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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

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

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 plays host to a wide range of messaging options from text and emails to social media and live chat.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Samsung has preloaded the Galaxy Note 3 with a variety of applications which includes the stock Email, Gmail and text messaging apps, along with Google+ - the search giant's social network - and its own ChatOn instant messaging application.

If you fancy getting onto Facebook and Twitter then you'll need to pop over to Google Play and download the applications as they don't come pre-loaded. It's a little odd as to why Samsung doesn't have these preinstalled as it usually goes to town with bundled apps, so two more surely wouldn't hurt.

First up is text messaging, which sports an application which will be familiar to anyone who has used Android before, and to be honest it's not going to outfox those who are new to Android.

The Galaxy Note 3 does pull through your contact's profile pictures to the message overview page - something that not all smartphones do these days - and this makes the app look a little more appealing.

As we mentioned in the contacts section, you can quickly jump into the new message screen from the contacts app (or via the call log tab in the Phone app) by swiping your finger from right to left over a person's name.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

If you don't fancy this sliding interface then you can always do things the old fashioned way and hit the new message tab in the app and manually select your recipient in the "Enter recipient" box.

You can easily transform your SMS into a MMS by attaching a photo or video to the message - just hit the paperclip icon next to the text entry box. Make sure you check your tariff though, as these types of messages usually carry additional charges.

If the text is a little on the small side to read comfortably just hit the volume rocker switch on the side of the Note 3 and you can increase (or decrease) the font size. You can also do this by pinching the display.

The Note 3 will then remember the zoom level you have selected next time you return to the messaging application. It's a nice addition by Samsung and one which we found really useful.

As with all Android smartphones these days the Galaxy Note 3 comes equipped with both a standard Email app and Google's own Gmail offering which solely looks after googlemail addresses.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

The Gmail app is the same as you'd find on any Android phone, with a clean, simple layout making for an intuitive application.

Over in the general Email app things are a bit more developed, as you can sign into several email accounts here (including Gmail) and have them all feed into one universal inbox, saving you time as you don't have to route through each address for new emails.

If you are very popular and the unified inbox is becoming overrun you can view accounts on a singular basis too - just select the account you wish to browse from the left hand menu.

While the Galaxy Note 3 automatically zooms in on a HTML email when you open it - making it easier to read - unlike some other handsets you can zoom out to see an overview of the whole message on screen.

Thanks to the large screen on the Galaxy Note 3 you get more information - be it an email or text message steam - displayed at one time, meaning far less scrolling is required.

The full HD resolution also means text is crisp and clear, so reading the latest newsletter in your inbox is a breeze.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Samsung's ChatOn service looks to take on the likes of BBM, iMessage and WhatsApp in the instant messaging game and while the application is well laid out and attractive enough, the reality is not enough people use it.

Samsung claims it now has over 100 million people signed up to ChatOn, so there's always the possibility that some of your mates will be on it.

Only seven of our friends in our extensive contact list actually had a ChatOn account, but we rarely saw any of these people online, meaning we didn't have much use for the application.

As we've already mentioned the Facebook and Twitter apps need to be downloaded from Google Play as they don't come preinstalled, but once up and running the Galaxy Note 3 provides enough power for a seamless social networking experience.

Keyboard

When it comes to typing on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 things can get a little tricky thanks to the sheer size of the handset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

With the stock Samsung keyboard under thumb we struggled to tap out a message one handed, with our stubby digit really fighting to reach the other side of the display. This meant two hands are almost always needed if you actually want to type at a half decent pace on the Note 3.

Dive into the settings menu though and you'll find the "one-handed operation" section, where you can have the Galaxy Note 3 float the keyboard towards the left or right side of the screen.

This does allow you to reach all the keys a bit more easily with one hand, but they are smaller meaning errors are more likely to occur as your fingers can hit the wrong keys - ours certainly did.

The screen is responsive and the keyboard relatively accurate, although due to the width of the Note 3 it took us some time to get used to the spacing of the keys and work up to a decent typing speed.

There's a pretty decent spell check and next word prediction engine baked into the Samsung keyboard, but for an overall better typing experience we'd still recommend downloading SwiftKey.

Of course you can ditch the keyboard altogether in favour of the S Pen, which gives you the option to hand write your messages.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

While it's a novel idea we found that in practice it was actually quicker to use our fingers and the on screen keyboard to tap out a message.

The handwriting recognition was surprisingly accurate, but there's a noticeable pause between writing something and the Note 3 translating your scrawls into text.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density386 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height151.2 mm
Width79.2 mm
Depth8.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time420 Hour
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