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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Smarter, longer, faster, something else-er... this is an evolution and a half

Our Verdict

The phablet is here to stay and the Note 3 is the best out there - fast, powerful and supremely functional.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 13 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 21 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Fast and smooth
  • Great battery
  • Full HD display
  • 4G

Against

  • Tricky to hold
  • Expensive
  • S Pen still limited
  • Tacky plastic rear

Battery life

Battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is impressive. Part of that is down to the Snapdragon 800 processor which provides various power saving capabilities and the other part is down to the 3200mAh battery Samsung has squashed inside the slender frame.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

There's more good news in the battery department with the rear cover coming off the Note 3, giving you access to the removable power pack. This means you can carry fully charged spares with you if you know you'll be away from a plug for a while.

We feared battery life might not be up to much thanks to the full HD, 5.7-inch display which adorns the front of the Note 3, but we were pleasantly surprised.

An hour of music playback while playing a game for 20 minutes and a bit of social media and emailing saw the battery drop by just 7% on our morning commute.

We even tethered our Galaxy Note 3 to our laptop to benefit from its mobile internet connection, and even that didn't drain the battery greatly.

With average usage - emailing, texting, a few calls, a bit of gaming, some social media fun and web surfing - the Galaxy Note 3 was able to comfortably see out the whole day without wailing for a charger.

Of course as soon as you turn the brightness up to full and settle down to watch a movie the battery life starts to suffer, but it certainly isn't anything to worry about.

We ran our 90 minute video text, with screen brightness on full and various accounts syncing in the background and the Galaxy Note 3 only lost 13%

This makes it far superior to the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z which all lost at least 19% of battery life during the same test. Impressive stuff Samsung.

If you find you're struggling with battery life then turn on Power Saving Mode - there's a toggle in the quick settings of the notification bar - to eek out some precious extra life from the Galaxy Note 3.

Connectivity

There's a wealth of connectivity options at your fingertips with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with all the usual suspects such as Wi-Fi, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0 low energy all present and correct.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

As well as the standard Wi-Fi a/b/g/n support you can also turn the Galaxy Note 3 into a wireless hotspot, allowing you to share your network's internet connection with other devices such as laptops and tablets.

If you're lucky enough to have a 4G SIM-card inside the Note 3 you'll be able to get some pretty descent speeds through the hotspot connection, just make sure you keep an eye on your usage so you don't rack up a huge bill.

Near field communication (or NFC as it's better known) hides below the plastic rear of the Note 3, and you'll need to use it to pair the handset with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

You can also use NFC to share data such as contact details, photos and videos with other enabled handsets as well as pair your Note 3 to NFC capable accessories such as home entertainment systems and headphones.

GPS is on board ensuring the Galaxy Note 3 can pinpoint your location on Google maps as well as attach your location to any Facebook status or Tweet you post to the world.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Thanks to the quick settings panel in the notifications bar you can easily toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, mobile date, NFC and the wireless hotspot at pretty much anytime without having to dive into the full blown settings menu.

To complement the 32GB/64GB of internal storage housed inside the Galaxy Note 3 you can expand on it by up to 64GB with a microSD - just pull the cover off the back of the handset and slot your card in on top of the microSIM.

DLNA support also features on the Galaxy Note 3, allowing you to stream video, photos and music to other enabled devices such as SmartTVs and laptops.

This means you can watch a film on your Note 3 on your big TV at home without having to dig out a cable - handy.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.29 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Note 3
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution13 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time21 Hour
Product ModelSM-N9005
Screen Size14.5 cm (5.7")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)168 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density386 ppi
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height151.2 mm
Width79.2 mm
Depth8.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 Smartphone
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 800
Product LineGalaxy Note 3
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Barometer, Digital Compass, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Humidity Sensor, Temperature Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberSM-N9005ZWEBTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information **Please note this product can only be used in Europe**

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 adds delight to daily tasks and infuses innovative features that help consumers tell the story of their lives. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 delivers a larger and better screen for the best viewing experience and more powerful multitasking, as well as significant S Pen improvements that make everyday life easier and faster.

Bigger & Better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a wider (5.7inch) full HD Super AMOLED display, yet slimmer (8.3mm) and lighter (168g) hardware design and more powerful and longer lasting (3,200mAh) battery. Equipped with a 13-megapixel rear camera with Smart Stabilisation and high CRI LED flash, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 enables users to crisply capture every visual story in their lives, even in low light and active situations. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 offers the latest LTE technologies - CAT4 Carrier Aggregation and supports the greatest number of multiple frequencies. Incorporating the industry's largest 3GB RAM, the Galaxy Note 3 also provides faster and more powerful performance.

Balancing Strength with Design
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 delivers a new premium look and feel. Expanding on the modern Samsung Galaxy design approach, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 adds a soft and textured-touch back cover and delicate stitching. It also features a serration pattern on the side of the device that evokes a connection to the timeless and enduring strengths of classic notebooks and planners.

Click S Pen to make life easier, faster and more exciting
The new S Pen reinvents and modernises the classic note-taking experience by providing the ability to accomplish everyday tasks with just one click. The advanced S Pen is designed to be fully functional as a communication driver between the phone and the user by creating essential input and control features. It plays an integral role in how users interface with the device, making all daily routines easier.

A simple click of the S Pen button while hovering over the screen introduces users to Air Command, a palette of five powerful features that truly make tasks easier and faster. With the Air Command feature, there is no need to toggle between screens, memorise commands or look up different menus. The Air Command feature provides access to the following key functions:

Action Memo allows users to handwrite a note and automatically execute a function or convert that handwritten information into formatted content. Action Memo can instantly initiate a call, add to contacts, look up an address on a map, search the web, save a task to a to-do list, and more

Scrapbook enables users to organise or track down content and information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place so that users can easily look back at collected content all at once. When consumers save content for future use, Scrapbook also collects source material or URLs allowing them to easily refer back to the original source

The Screen Write feature captures the full screen image of the current page on the device and allows users to write comments or additional information onto the captured image

S Finder allows users to expansively search for content on their device regardless of the type. By putting in keywords or filters such as date, location and content type, users can search related documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page - all in one place. In addition, users can also search for hand-written content in their Notes and memo applications, as well as symbols and formulas
Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory3 GB