Call Quality


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.

Battery


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!

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.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Poor)
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
LG G2
6h 48 min (Average)
HTC One
5h 45 min (Poor)


Conclusion


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



Pros

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

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Weak speaker
  • Limited apps support with Air View, Gestures, etc

PhoneArena Rating:

9.0

User Rating:

9.4
107 Reviews

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233 Comments

236. LacyCrain

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 20, 2015

I've had many Smartphones over the years... and several iPhones... I give this phone a 9/10 because it's performance is great, it's size is desirable, and the functionality is amazing. So far, it's one of the best phones i've owned... and as I stated above, I've had quite a few different ones.

235. zacsaturday

Posts: 262; Member since: May 09, 2014

I Hope Samsung sees sense and adds a front facing speaker to a note 4 or s6

233. stormfan314159

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

I have not hadone the time to read the hundreds of comments on here but I wanted to make a quick point. I feel like universally scoring the Note 3 is like trying to compare a Harley Davidson to a to a bunch of luxury SUV's. Yes, they both may have similar functions as automobiles, but one represento a particular niche marketc that has existed since before phones were "smart" (remember when the really cool executives were all rocking either analog or b&w lcd-display cell phones while carrying PDA's? ). Same thing here, but I think Samsung has achieved an excellent crossover into the mainstream...something that (correct me if I am wrong...I do have an MBA in marketing but wireless is not my specialty) the Treo-family of phones was never quite able to do. While the Treo did a great job of raising the competition stakes for, say RIM and it's then-dominant BlackBerry which adorned the hip of every mover and shaker from Wall Street to the Bay Area, it doesn't feel like (and again this is a "gut feeling just based on observation) it was able to grow anything n other than a loyal niche market. But, it was a dedicated niche...a niche that would not soon forget the productive benefits and potential of the stylus, something the Treo family barely scratched the surface of. Flash forward > 5 years and all of the sudden Samsung is realizing at a bare minimum a very loyal niche market was essentially left by the wayside as two of the biggest names in electronic communications squared off in a never-ending battle between garrisons of produce and infantry of cute little green alien robot things. And while Google and Apple battle for market share, the overseas hardware giants compete in bloody mortal combat against one another to become the premier provider for Android's latest cavity-causing reinvention. I think what Samsung did was nothing short of brilliant. Make no mistake...it holds its own in the general melee...I am 99% certain the S5 is the hottest thing out there right now if you are not a fruits-only techno vegan. But the Note, from its first incarnation through its tablet forms to the current Note 3, has revived the enthusiasm us former Treo faithful had for the power of the stylus! Don't get me wrong...I think it will always be a niche market. Some of us are born with stumpy sausage fingers that make navigating a nightmare. Some of us really do agree with the "phablet" mentality, and realize that true tablet-like productivity on a

234. stormfan314159

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

Oops...guess my post was too long. Well my closing said that personally I like it because I was a Treo fan, and on the train ride into the city today I was able to check 3 Gmail accounts, edit a shared doc, flip through my Flipboard, create a perfectly cut-out screen shot for a Facebook wall-post comeback that was so good it needed to explanation, answer a text message that came in while doing this without putting my stylus away (I hand-wrote the short response, and the Note 3 can decipher my chicken scratch so it will work for anyone), create a to-do list, design an organization chart for a startup AND create a first draft of a logo for a non-profit group, all with time enough to spend 5-7 minutes doodling. Train ride = exactly 43 minutes. So bravo, Samsung...here's to the power of the loyal niche!

231. abdulwaheedshaikh

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 18, 2014

I have a note 3 4g. Bought it couple of months ago. When i download a pdf file from any where. My phone just stops and a message appears saying that android.process.media has stoped working. This message keeps on coming until i switch off my phone for 5 min. If i restart my phone the message dosent stop. Please advice me as it really hurts to find your new phone not functioning properly. Thank you

230. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

After calibration the screen looks much better than when I saw it the first time in a store. It is easier to handle than a 2, it doesn't slip off your hand like a 2; I broke the screen of my 2 twice. I noticed that the outer edges of the screen of the Note 3 raise slightly above the glass preventing it to fall flat on its face. Colors seem richer than with the Nokia 1520. I now have a black and a white units. I could not stand my 2 anymore. ATT now have a $130 unlimited time and text plan for $130 for 2 units and 10GIG shared data and I got those units on a 12 months installment for $36.00 each. Great deal. I don't want to wait 2 years anymore to get a new cell.

229. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

I have to say that the Note 3 is much better than the 2, so much so that after getting one Note 3 I could not stand my second Note 2 and upgraded that one to 3 as well. Now I have 2 Note 3 and I am very happy. I dropped the idea of getting one Nokia 1520 because of concerns with security cameras apps and such and I love that stylus for my customers to sign their Paypal Here credit card receipt with the Stylus. It is more glamorous than signing with your finger!

228. jewel_exports

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 24, 2014

I have pre-booked Samsung Grand 2 for 2000/- INR. They were showing and are still showing 3 colors including a pink color on their MICRO-SITE and Advertisements on Yahoo Mail India. But at the time of full payment they have refused to send a Pink Color. I strongly suggest that Please Don’t Pre-Book any Device on Samsung India as they are just making fool of general public. They refuse to honor their own commitments and even refuse to accept that they are showing 3 colors of Grand 2. I am forced to buy a white color which I was not interested in. They have left us no choice, otherwise 2000/- INR pre-booking amount will get forfeited. They are cheating on us by showing 3 different colors and forcing the pre-booking customers to buy only white one. Shame on you Samsung India! I remember the time when Samsung Staff pleads to Retailers to buy their phones. I hope and pray that Samsung will see the same time again. General public should beware of their fooling tactics.

227. ibrhmymn

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Is there a performance difference between the Snapdragon 800 and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 + 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7) Core variants in terms of UI fluency thanks in advance.

226. sweet_GA_peach

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 23, 2013

All I want for the Holiday or specifically Christmas 2013 is a new SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 for my guy who is always there for me. Now I'm done with all the mushy talk. We are actually nerds and love new technology. I have being using an iPhone 4s for the past year and it works GREAT for business purposes. I bought my guy the same model and with the kind of work he does, it wasnt such a great choice because we have replaced his cracked screen twice despite having top of the line cases. He is sold on getting the SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 3 because of all of the great features, but most of all he really loves the size of the screen.

223. 4.1.2

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Why is this made? It's to big to be a cellphone but to small to be a tablet....

222. deepa_kukanagoudar

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Get better price for you are Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at hamaramall.com

221. deepa_kukanagoudar

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Note 3 is best smart phone device, it is the best option for people who want to have Tablet as well as Phone. It has great specification and best design. I had my Phablet @ hamaramall shop

220. Jalil

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I received my Galaxy Note 3 yesterday but I can't download any applications from Google Play. Can anyone help me please?

216. JMartin22

Posts: 2422; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

John V is giving misinformation about the display outdoors. In auto-brightness, it can achieve up to 660 nits, the brightest display rating ever for a smartphone.

211. PorkyBurger

Posts: 585; Member since: May 18, 2013

Note 3 only 9.0? Not surprised. As soon as I read that iPhone fan John V. is reviewing this beauty, I was dissapointed already. Really, I hate when those pages like this, has bias all over the place. If you are Apple, Samsung, whatever-what fan - DON'T REVIEW ANY OF THE PRODUCTS AND GTFO. Obviously, I want fair reviews once and for all. At least GSMarena doesn't have bias so much. >.

209. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

From Note to Note they have been clueless. They never saw the potential of the 1st Note when it created a category. The rating of the 3 is ridiculous compared to the 5s and even the Sony. When Apple comes with a 5.7 screen in 3 years they'll say its fine -its Apple.

201. theaztech unregistered

I love how the note 3 is too big for small hands, but the iPhone 5s isnt too small for big hands. according to PhoneArena NOTHING is wrong witht the iphone 5s. Everything is made to be perfect. Its not the phones fault, you just dont know how to use it. Pathetic.

224. 4.1.2

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

This phone is simply to big and unoriginal.

200. cdwjustin

Posts: 28; Member since: Sep 18, 2013

Help my my note 3 only has like 2.4gb of ram total.. what the hell

196. ausnote2

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

missed out something plus --Hardware Optical Image stabilizer 20MP camera

197. ausnote2

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

plus -Wireless charging -Fingerprint and/or Eye scanner

195. ausnote2

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

Hopefully be picking one up today release on Australia today. Now my usually prediction for Galaxy Note 4 - 5.9" FHD while keeping the dimension the same, ( may not be possible since their is little side bezel to work with, however, maybe edge to edge and move the Power button and volume control to the top. I don't like the back as it interfere with protection cases) -True Octa-Core -4GB ram ->4000mah battery removable of course -SD card slot -Stereo Front Speakers -Add digital TV tuner -Put back the FM Radio -Keep the same weight 140g - 180g -minimum 64gb internal memory Have I miss anything out except for the Kitchen sink? :) With every iteration of the phablet, my Sony Vaio Z laptop is used less and less. There will come a time where my phablet will be the first choice for business and leisure. And a shout out for any manufacturers that can create a leather case for the Note 3 that has a build in thin tacile keyboard with belt clip will get my vote and money :). To make typing easier, have it fold out to vertical side for close to full side. May I should patent this :)

194. EjazAhmadi123

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

When will be the Note 3 available in T...Mobile???? Phonearena please tell me about this....

192. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1382; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Disappointed again by John V. review not because it affects me in anyway but when a tech site claims to hold a certain standard for reviews but then contradicts itself it is not a good site for any reviews. To get a con for a on contract price?? to score the same score as the iPhone 5c??? I said it before and I will say it again PA needs to re-review the 5c and now the Note 3. I really have to say that John V was a good reviewer but has dropped the ball now twice and if he drops it a third time... well PA needs to get a relief pitcher. I will definitely recommend phone-dog's Arron Baker as the best mobile reviewer I have seen. I trust his reviews as he is very fair

189. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

Our staff no longer recommends phonearena as a choice for phone reviews. In fact, we regular tell customers to avoid it because of the unbalanced bias towards certain companies. Although this doesn't mean much but that means 14k people will be redirected to other sites.

187. rossumentum

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

cost should not be a factor in ratings phone arena. If it is then as the prices get reduced as time goes on the Phone Arena ratings should go up since you are getting the same device for cheaper.

191. cdwjustin

Posts: 28; Member since: Sep 18, 2013

at TIME of review everything should be taken into account... if what you say is true then they should be re-reviewing the origonal note phone and the note 2 and they score should drop for them too.. but hey thats not how reviews work buddy

184. invzblman

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 02, 2013

T-Mobile today has Note 3 listed on their website for $0 down, $29.50 x 24 months, ( $708 total 0% APR O.A.C, ). No contract, but, If you cancel wireless service, remaining balance on phone becomes due.. . Qual’g service req’d. Unfortunately, listed as out of stock, but, should be updated later today.

185. invzblman

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 02, 2013

Now listed in stock for $0 down, $29.50 x 24 mo on T-Mobile

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop

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