Samsung Galaxy Note 3: So Much Phone, So Much Power

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the best Samsung phone I’ve ever used. It’s big, it’s powerful and it finally turns the S Pen — the small stylus that goes hand-in-hand with the Galaxy Note line — into something useful. It’s even better than the Galaxy S4.

To love the Galaxy Note 3, though, you need to get over it’s plus-size screen. That’s not too tall an order these days, as most notable phones these days have large displays. No, our hands haven’t gotten bigger, but we’re also more used to tablets and the advantages a bigger screen can offer.

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At least with the Note 3, Samsung didn’t get carried away. Although its 5.7-inch screen is larger than the 5.55-incher on last year’s Galaxy Note II, the device’s overall footprint is the same. That means it’s no harder to hold and involves about the same amount of finger stretching to operate with one hand. (Hey, at least it’s not as ridiculous as the Samsung Galaxy Mega.)

Design Write

The size may be similar to the previous model, but Samsung has really taken design to the next level. The Galaxy Note 3 upgrades the plastic back with a faux-leather feel that’s pleasing to the touch. It’s a gimmicky move (the material is still plastic), but an effective one. The of the phone is grooved metal instead of smooth plastic, which is prettier and, more importantly, bestows a better grip.

The stylus is improved, too. The Note 3′s S Pen is reversible, so there’s no chance of putting it in “backwards” — a great feature that makes you wonder why it took Samsung three tries to get this right. There are grooves on the stylus, too, matching the phone design with the respective improvement in grip.

Galaxy Note 3 is the first mainstream phone to sport the new USB 3.0 connector. The new connector may mean faster hard-wire data transfers and charging, but it’s a big step backward, design-wise: It actually makes the physical jack significantly larger, looking like your micro USB cable has a cancerous outgrowth. At least old cables are backward-compatible with the port on the phone.

The ginormous screen is one of the main reasons you buy a phone like this, and Samsung has finally given the Note the display tech it needs to really shine: a 1080p full HD panel. It’s still a Super AMOLED, which can occasionally suffer from artifacts, but I didn’t notice any. The display was also significantly brighter than other AMOLED screens I’ve seen.

With such a enormous, high-resolution screen, the Galaxy Note 3 takes away one of the last reasons you’d want a tablet in addition to this device. Kicking back to watch Captain America: The First Avenger on Netflix, I quickly got immersed and forgot I was watching the movie on a phone. I could see pixelation at various times, but that likely had more to do with Android and Netflix than the phone itself — high-res photos looked very crisp.

The sound coming from the bottom speaker was decent, but for smartphone audio, nothing so far has beat the HTC One’s front-facing stereo speakers.

Full article: http://mashable.com/2013/10/01/samsung-galaxy-note-3-review/

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