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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 comes rocking a powerful 13MP camera and the same fancy camera features found on the Galaxy S4, plus there's a 2MP camera round the front for those all important "selfies."

The camera app UI and shooting modes on the Galaxy Note 3 are borrowed from the Samsung Galaxy Camera, just hit the mode button on the right (when held in landscape) to bring up a scroll wheel of options.

You can view all the options at once by hitting the button in the bottom left corner of the screen if the wheel isn't clear enough, and we found it was much easier to find what we wanted in this exploded view.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Standard options such as Panorama and Sports modes are pretty straight forward, but Samsung's "innovation" comes into play with some of the more left field options such as Sound & Shot, Beauty Face and Animated Photo.

There's even a specific "Golf" mode included on the Galaxy Note 3, perfect if you're a regular on the green - and utterly useless if you've never set foot on a fairway.

If you're someone who likes taking photos of people then Best Photo and Best Face will be attractive options for you to use, with the former taking a eight snaps for you to then select the best one to keep.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

The latter is a similar concept, but focuses on the face only and it's capable of picking out several faces in a single picture. This is great for group shots as once you've taken the picture you can select each person's face and choose from five snaps to find their best smile.

These functions are all well and good, but you have to actually remember to turn them on when you come to take the photo, as the Galaxy Note 3 can't do these fancy things on auto.

This is annoying as we often forgot to switch a particular mode on, and the times we did the added process meant our subjects weren't quite as we'd hope they'd be.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

We found that most of the time auto mode was good enough, be it taking in a city landscape or going up close and personal with dinner.

There's also Samsung's bizarre picture-in-picture mode on the Galaxy Note 3, which uses both the front and rear facing cameras at the same time, so you can create a photo which features yourself as well as the subject you're shooting.

We're still a little perplexed as to when you'd actually use it, but the option is there if you find such an occasion.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Something we found irritating on the camera app on the Galaxy S4 and S4 Active was the shutter sound, with could only be turned off if the whole handset was on silent - and it's the same case on the Note 3.

A single LED flash just below the camera lens on the rear of the Note 3 is there to help you out in lower light too, plus a 4x digital zoom helps you get closer to the action - but image quality does suffer.

Shutter speed and auto-focus are both very quick and this means you can take a succession of photos without having to wait in between snaps.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Thanks to its larger sensor the Galaxy Note 3 is capable of taking some very nice photos, with a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096.

Images on the whole are well defined, bright and detailed, plus the tap-to-focus allows you to get the depth of field just right.

The camera on the Note 3 won't disappoint and while it doesn't offer the same quality as the Lumia 1020 or Sony Xperia Z1 you're unlikely to find issue with it. Its size however, may be a hindrance when it comes to actually holding it up.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Fully zoomed out the Note 3 can take some decent pictures

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Zoom in though and quality depreciates rapidly

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
A foggy morning makes for an eerie snap

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Bright, colourful scenes come out well on the Note 3

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Photo-in-photo - why? We don't know.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
The Galaxy Note 3 does well close up

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
The front facing camera doesn't do a bad job

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Panorama mode does well to stick images together

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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