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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Call Quality

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review
Honestly, it’s not the best sounding phone we’ve used for phone calls, but nonetheless, the Galaxy Note 3 is effective enough for the occasion. Through the earpiece, voices pop with authority thanks to its strong volume – though, there’s a hint of crackling when it’s placed at the loudest setting. It’s noticeable, but quickly remedied by lowering the volume a couple of notches. Still, voices through the earpiece sound very natural in tone. However, we can’t say the same on the other end of the line, as voices tend to sound robotic. Switching to the speakerphone, we’re neither impressed or disappointed, as it works enough to get us through our conversations.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

Boy oh boy! Power users will especially fall in love with the Note 3, seeing that its equally monster sized 3200 mAh battery pulls in some impressive results. Under normal usage, we’re able to pull close to two whole days of battery life from a full charge – whereas heavier usage permits us a full 24 hours! The latter is pretty impressive because we normally get through only an 8-hour work shift before charging is necessary. Therefore, we’re pretty stoked that we’re able to get a full 24 hours out of it!

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
6h 48 min (Average)
5h 45 min (Average)
View all


Prepping for that crucial holiday season, Samsung seemingly has a one-two punch offering now, seeing that the Galaxy Note 3 perfectly complements Sammy’s other flagship smartphone. On the surface, the two share many of the same commonalities, like their designs and software experiences, but as we’ve come to know and love, the Note 3 gets the love with its juicier hardware specs, updated design, and deeper software experience.

True, most of the new software features aren’t new, as it borrows many things from the Galaxy S4 before it, but the new stuff primarily centers around the S Pen and multi-tasking aspect of the phone, which is something that continues to make the Note 3 very different from other smartphones. Business oriented folks will surely appreciate all of these features, but even for the everyday Joe, it’s something that offers more diversity than other things. Some argue that the exorbitant amount of features might end up confusing, and possibly alienating users, but it simply goes to show how rapid Samsung really is when it comes to expanding its experience.

On top of all that, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is simply one balanced performing smartphone! At $300 with a 2-year contract, there’s no denying the fact that it’s an expensive cost, but as we’ve come to learn, the hefty pricing does come with some perks. The phablet category saw some new entrants into the space this year, but the Note 3 continues to be the best in its class.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.3
Build Number: JSS15J.N900TUVUBMI7
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-1670611


  • Long battery life
  • Has all the S4 features & more
  • Fantastic note taking features
  • Well rounded performance


  • Expensive
  • Weak speaker
  • Limited apps support with Air View, Gestures, etc
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
9.4107 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:06 13

1. jodeci888 (Posts: 44; Member since: 14 May 2009)

I can't wait. ..... getting mine next week AND keeping my unlimited data due to the glitch.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:17

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Btw, I read that Verizon fixed the glitch if that's your carrier.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:23 3

15. msa1988 (Posts: 418; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)

They did, but the benefactors get to keep the unlimited data. Good for VZW for staying true.

I was shocked as well to see this only get a 9. It's entirely too big for my liking, but this thing truly is a beast.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 09:00

52. bubbadoes (Posts: 1225; Member since: 03 May 2012)

goood luck on your unlimited...they fixed it...i had it to, but it's goneeeee...i had to buy 10gigs based off of my previous usage, but being the fact that I am not unlimited anymore, my daily surfings on LTE will go down

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 09:09 1

56. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

That sucks. If you really want unlimited LTE and live in a major city, get T-Mo. Speeds of 40+ is nice.

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 10:40

210. Truddy90 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Oct 2013)

I have a way for people to get unlimited data with Verizon. Let me know if you are interested. Truddy90@gmail.com

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 09:42 8

74. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

And the iphone 5c got 9
It is not justified

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 14:44 3

193. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Hi guys Johnnnnnnnnnnnnnn VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV from iPhonearena here that's why I am giving this beast 9.

Hey John let Nick do these reviews.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 01:52

225. chocolaking (Posts: 495; Member since: 22 May 2012)

PA rated this phone as no CONs.. wtf is zero CONs
brilliant review! totally brilliant pa

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:06 33

2. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Lol ! it scored same as iPhone 5C. Unbelievable !

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:10 47

6. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)

So, iPhonearena thinks a last year iPhone5 in a new, colourful and REVOLUTIONARY coating is just on the same level as the Note3...
Congrats guys! *applause*

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:27 7

17. buccob (Posts: 2732; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

thats the problem when there is more than 1 guy writting the reviews.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:38 3

31. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Nick or Ray would differ on this score I know that for a fact.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:42 5

35. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Please read this page:http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate (you can find a link to it next to the review rating).

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:46 39

37. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

My biggest complaint is the expensive con. Where's that con on all iPhone models?

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:59 36

50. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

iPhone 5s 32G cost more than a note 3 32G but only for note 3 it become a Con. wow!

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:49 18

109. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1639; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

I have to agree with you and the fellow users on this one. Either the iPhone 5C score should be updated or this score should be improved.

What's more is that when you look back at PA's review of the Note 2 (which was the same price then as the new Note 3 is now, $300 on contract) it NEVER mentioned the price as being a con. I'm sorry PA but this is inconsistent. It would make sense if the Note 3 increased in price over the last generation, but it didn't.

Also, has anyone else noticed that most of PA's reviews of new devices seem to fall in the 8.5 and above range? Either PA is not being critical enough of devices or they are afraid to offend the viewers by being critical of a product they like. I want to see more devices fall in the 8.0 range or the 7.0 range. By being more critical, you are helping the consumer more and you gain recognition by fellow blogs and consumer review sites for having thorough critiques (phone manufacturers may even ask to partner with you in the future similarly to how car manufacturers partner with Consumer Reports to improve their vehicles).

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 12:36 1

199. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)

+1 on that DrPhil! The best reviews are done at GSMARENA. 12 page indepth reveiw with no needless comments, and a last paragraph opinion by a PRO! Whats wrong with a 8 of 10 - which is above great, but not exceptional (9 of 10) or almost perfect (9.5)!

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 03:24

181. c.hack (Posts: 614; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)

Of course the Note only has 16 GB usable because of all the Samsung bloatware.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 09:50 8

80. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

In the link you provided a sentence mentions: 'As the technology evolves, it is logical that the new models should meet higher expectations'

Where is that logic when testing 5C ? 5C has same specs as the last year's model not to mention the cheaper material, thick and heavy body. Still a depreciation of only 0.3 percent...smh

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 13:07 1

142. Kal-el (Posts: 96; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)

OHHHH THX for the link PA....yes we can read....but it doesn't mean ur reviewer has a print out besides them and actually follow this word for word hence the inaccuracy in rating between phones ....and complaints from everyone on here -_____- Thanks for link thou...i'll be sure to send it to john v

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 08:53 11

44. jdoee100 (Posts: 334; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Not just iphone, PA has rated Z1 and G2 better than the Note 3. Congrats PA. Note 3 is only faster, bigger, and more capable than those phablet wannabes.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:03 1

89. bodzio1809 (Posts: 361; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

Note 3 is better that Z1 and G2? LOL. It depends on what you like and what u need. I prefer LG G2. And it's not faster. They all got S800 that is faster than Samsung Exynos Octa. Don't forget also about LagWizz which is one of the worst optimized launchers. I saw lags on Note 3 presentation. Also I got S3 so I know about it.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:11 6

92. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I have a S3 and lag is non existent so I'm taking your comment with a pinch of salt.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:20

95. bodzio1809 (Posts: 361; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

As u can see in your link S800 is better than Samsung Exynos. Have u ever got or use iPhone? I got 4S before S3 and that's why I noticed lag. Now I installed Nova and device run much better. TW and plastic body are two most cons of Samsung, but I like Amoled screens.

I see a lot of Samsung fanboys here :)

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:38 5

101. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

1) Running a benchmark once isn't the beat indicator on how it performs. Getting an average is more accurate.
2) Phones score equally, so there's no this chip is better than this one (Adreno 330 vs Mali T628 is a different story)
3) There's an iPhone 4 in my household, so yes.
4) When I ran stock, my phone didn't lag like at all. Rarely had hiccups but every phone does once in awhile.
5) Plastic = removable battery, which is a deciding factor of me getting a phone or not.
6) Not a Samsung fanboy, just a lover of phones in general.

posted on 01 Oct 2013, 10:43 3

105. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


posted on 01 Oct 2013, 11:02

117. bodzio1809 (Posts: 361; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)

1,2) I agree, but Exynos take much more RAM in idle(1.6-1.8 GB to 1.1-1.2 GB on S800). Also u can't shoot 4k videos on Exynos and it don't has LTE. So that's why version with S800 is better. Also older version of Exynos Octa got a lot of problems with heating etc.
3) So u know what i mean, still iPhone 4 is bad example, because it got not enough power to the screen with such a high resolution.
4) Not every phone, just Androids, Symbian etc.
5) Samsung Wave got full metalic body with removable battery
6) Me too :)

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 20:49

207. andrewkpopboy (Posts: 8; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)

Obviously, Were Going To Argue About This Ridiculious Rating Which Needs A 9.5-10

posted on 02 Oct 2013, 11:37

188. timaustin2000 (Posts: 42; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

I've used an S4 at length on numerous occasions and it lags like a dog, despite packing an s600. An updated-firmware Xperia Z with the S4Pro lags less. Yes, really.

Touchwiz is a bloated, ugly, messy and un-intuitive loss. It's the one and only reason that I don't buy Samsung's.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.4 4.4 4.3
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.7 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (386 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz, Krait 400 processor
Size5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches
(151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm)
5.93 oz  (168 g)
Battery3200 mAh, 25 hours talk time

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