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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

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

As is customary on Android devices these days we're treated to two internet browsers on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - the stock Internet offering and Google Chrome.

There's not a great deal of difference between these two options and you'll get a decent web surfing experience which ever one you plump for.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Chrome is a marginally cleaner offering with a light grey colour scheme and just the URL bar and tabbed browsing icons on display at the top of the screen, while the Internet browser also squashes in back and forward keys and a shortcut to bookmarks in this top bar.

Minimalism versus functionality then - take your pick.

Thanks to the beefy quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM stuffed inside the Galaxy Note 3 browsing speeds are pleasing quick, with the desktop version of TechRadar fully loading in just under seven seconds over Wi-Fi and 3G in both browsers - although you can start moving round the page and clicking links after four.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Mobile sites take around three seconds to load on a strong Wi-Fi or 3G connection, and you can take another second off all these load times if you're rocking a 4G connection on the Galaxy Note 3.

So load times are impressive putting the Note 3 up there with the best of them, and if we had to choose between the two browsers we'd say Chrome was a shade faster - but it's hard to tell.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Open a desktop site in Chrome and you'll see a zoomed out, full width display of the page, but in the Internet browser it automatically zooms in on the page, meaning you have to pinch the screen and zoom out manually to see an overview.

We prefer having the full width of the site shown to us when we visit, as it makes it easier for us to zoom in on the relevant area.

The 5.7-inch full HD display means text appears sharp and images well defined, but the clarity doesn't quite match the likes of the Galaxy S4 or HTC One.

Sadly there's no automatic text reflow in either browser. A double tap on an area of text will see the Note 3 zoom in so the text fits the width of the display, but it will still be too small for some.

You can zoom in further, but you end up having to scroll sideways to read sentences as well as down. You can adjust the text size of sites in both browsers, just hit the menu button below the screen and select settings.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

The stock Internet browser does have an ace up its sleeve in the form of Reader mode though. You'll see a green icon appear in the URL bar and if you hit that the Note 3 will strip out all the page furniture from the article you're viewing, serving you with just the text in a far more manageable form.

Both browsers support multiple tabs, allowing you to have several websites open at the same time, and it's easy to switch between them, add new ones and delete the ones you've finished with.

There's an icon in the top bar of both browsers providing a link to your open tabs, with neat little thumbnails showing which sites are open in each window.

If you need to do some private browsing then both clients support incognito mode, and an added benefit with Chrome is its ability to sync with Chrome on your other devices such as a laptop or tablet, allowing you to access the same favourites and have the same tab open on multiple devices.

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