The original Galaxy Note surprised us all. We all laughed and joked at how absurd a 5.3-inch smartphone sounded. Who would ever want to carry a phone that big every day? It seemed ludicrous, and we had trouble imaging anyone would ever buy one and … actually like it.
Turns out, a lot of us were wrong. The Galaxy Note was a success, so Samsung made a successor, the Galaxy Note II. It’s been my personal phone for the better part of a year. Michael uses one as well, and so do Anton and Jaime, from time to time. Even now, I have one sitting on my desk, with a bright orange flip cover.
Admittedly, I wasn’t excited for the Note 3. I didn’t keep up with the rumors, and I told myself that I was done with large phones for a while. The Z Ultra and Mega 6.3 turned me off of big phones, and I gladly dropped back down to a 4.7-inch phone. Rumors said the Note 3 would be even larger than the 5.5-inch Note II, and all that did was make me even more disinterested. Not to mention, I’m tired of Samsung’s hyperglaze finish on phones, the plasticky build, and monotony.
As expected, Samsung unveiled the Note 3 at its Unpacked Episode 2 event at IFA. And some of us here at Pocketnow changed our tune. In fact, we can’t wait to get our hands on Samsung’s next Note handset, and below are five great reasons why.
Improved build quality
Only Michael and Anton can attest to the improved build quality of the Galaxy Note 3. But I’m willing to wager that it has enough in common with the Galaxy S 4 to feel similar – albeit larger – in the hand.
That said, unlike all its recent Galaxy brethren, the backside is not coated in hyperglaze. It’s a faux leather (likely still super lightweight polycarbonate beneath). And the S Pen looks much more professional and fine tuned.
The Galaxy Note 3, on appearances alone, is yanking out the business professional in all of us, and some of us can’t help but drool. It’s still no unibody or aluminum, but the fact that Samsung threw its super slick finish to the wayside in favor of a nicer finish says a lot.
Improved S Pen features
The defining feature of the Note brand is the S Pen. Unlike your standard capacitive stylus, the S Pen uses induction and shuts off capacitive input to prevent accidental input with your hand. But it has also been a key to a host of useful features.
Those features, like S Memo and the ability to screen capture and annotate, received an overhaul with the Note 3. Now called Air Command, you can access five features at any time with the S Pen by pressing a single button – Screen Write, Action Memo S Finder, Pen Window, or Scrapbook. This can be accessed by hovering the S Pen over the display and clicking the button.
But Samsung added some useful capabilities to the S Pen, as well. For instance, you can now drag and drop content between certain apps with the S Pen in Multi-Window mode.
We loved the S Pen before, and any and all improvements are welcome.
Larger display, smaller chassis
Rumors of a larger display turned me off faster than anything else. The Note II was plenty big, so the thought of it getting even larger was not appealing.
I should have known, however, that Samsung was going to pull the very same move it did with the Galaxy S 4. It bumped the display size just a tad and actually made the chassis smaller. The Note II was 151.1mm tall, 80.5mm wide, and 9.4mm thick. The Note 3 is 151.2mm tall (only 0.1mm taller), 79.2mm wide, and 8.3mm thick. Not bad.
Samsung also made it lighter. The Note II was 183g, but the Note 3 hits the scales at only 168g.
Kudos, Samsung. Kudos.
It’s a multitasking machine
The Note brand has, by design, always been pretty great about multitasking. The Multi-Window feature allows users to run two applications simultaneously. And, if you’re cheeky, you could also open S Memo and Popup Video atop the two running applications for a total of four running apps at once.
The problem has always been performance during such intense multitasking. But the Note 3 is made for it. It comes with 3GB of RAM, as opposed to the standard 2GB. It also comes equipped with a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip or 1.9GHz Exynos Octa chip.
In other words, this thing was born to handle more than one task at a time. Unfortunately, it may also inadvertently double as a hot plate.
Android 4.3 out of the box
Finally, the Note 3 ships with Android 4.3 out of the box. Our guess is that there aren’t any major improvements to TouchWiz, but there is plenty to be happy about with Android 4.3 on board, such as Bluetooth Smart Ready, OpenGL ES 3.0 support, and audio enhancements.
Are you excited for the Galaxy Note 3? Or does it fail to impress? Sound off with your sentiments in the comments below!