The Galaxy Note family is credited with not only starting the phablet craze, but also resurrecting the stylus. The S Pen is no ordinary stylus though – the special screen digitizer and a button on the S Pen work their magic to augment the thumb-on-screen experience, and rival it in terms of speed and options.
Other than that the Galaxy Note 3 phablet continues the tradition of being the current generation’s Galaxy S phone on steroids – a large 5.7″ screen (in a body the size of the Note II), choice of Snapdragon 800 or Exynos 5420 chipsets, 2160p (a.k.a. UHD) video recording, USB 3.0 (a first on a pocketable device) and Samsung’s ever-growing list of software features available right out-of-the-box.
Key Features :
The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the highlight feature alongside the S Pen support. The diagonal has been bumped by 0.2″ (from 5.5″ to 5.7″), while the resolution has more than doubled (1080 x 1920, up from 720 x 1280) resulting in a pixel density of 386ppi, which effectively (for the first time in Note history) crosses the Retina 300ppi threshold.
The display technology is, again, Super AMOLED but Samsung has abandoned the RGB design from the Note II and gone for a diamond-shaped PenTile matrix instead. However, at these insane pixel density levels there’s no visible pixilation whatsoever, even if you have 20/20 vision.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with the same 13 MP snapper that we found and loved on the Galaxy S4 but with some additional perks, like the Photo Sphere-like Surround Shot. The 13MP camera is good for photos of up to 4128 x 3096 pixels in its native 4:3 aspect. Now to the most important part – image quality. If you were happy with the Samsung Galaxy S4’s excellent 13 MP snapper then you will love the Galaxy Note 3 snapper. Images have a lot of detail in them even in less than perfect weather (cloudy weather) noise is kept well under control. White balance is pretty natural and colors nice and punchy. HDR stills come out great as well. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 does well to develop the highlights that would otherwise be clipped, while shadows are only improved slightly, so contrast is still great and images don’t look too flat or unrealistic. HDR images have an excellent amount of fine detail, too.
Samsung has done it again – and it made it look so easy. The Galaxy Note 3 can pretend it has no competition, while otherwise remarkable rivals know they’ll will have to live with – but not quite live up to – comparisons to the gadget that defines an entire segment.
Three generations into it, Samsung is returning to a playground which now has to be shared with others. There are bigger screens out there, waterproof bodies, impressive cameras and immensely powerful chipsets. But the Galaxy Note 3 is in no mood to share the spotlight, and is keen to show everyone that it doesn’t break the rules – but makes them.
1. Sony Xperia Z Ultra:
Sony recently unleashed the Snapdragon 800-powered Xperia Z Ultra. It has a massive 6.44-inch 1080p display responding to pen and pencil input. The phablet is water and dust resistant, on top of having one of the hottest bodies in business. The Xperia Z Ultra is seriously bigger than the Galaxy Note 3, though, and while the screen size may be a legitimate advantage, the LCD quality isn’t quite a match for the Note’s AMOLED. Still, the Z Ultra is around ₹ 5000 cheaper and can go under water so it might manage to build a loyal following.
2. LG Optimus G Pro:
The LG G2, even though sporting a 5.2″ only 1080p display, is much closer to the Galaxy Note 3 in terms of functionality and speed. The latest LG flagship is powered by the Snapdragon 800 chipset, offers a host of multi-tasking features and a respectable Q-Note repertoire. If the smaller screen is not a problem, it’s definitely worth checking out. Currently the 16GB model costs ₹8000 less than the Note 3 but, considering the lack of memory expansion, the 32GB version might make more sense.
3. HTC One Maxx:
HTC One has given a quite competition to the Galaxy S4 and now its time for its bigger sibling, HTC One Maxx to carry on the same march to tackle the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The One Maxx sports a 5.9 inch 1080p screen and is accompanied with 2 GB RAM. The One Maxx comes with Dual Frontal Speakers for great Audio performance and has a Fingerprint Scanner too at the back.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the phablet benchmark for the competition to live up to – and a matching price tag is perhaps the only piece of bad news. On the other hand, without the advantage of the S Pen, rivals haven’t got too many options – they just deliver as much horsepower as possible and the push screen size as far as they can and hope for the best. The first obvious casualty is the comfort of handling. And the irony of it is that a device like the Note, which clearly is supposed to keep both hands busy, is more compact and more optimized for single-handed use than its main rivals.
Oh well, Samsung and the Galaxy Note 3 have done it again and the bad news for the competition is that their phablets have just been relegated to just huge phones by the latest installment of the one that once started it all.