If you’re thinking of buying a new smartphone “phablet” (phone-tablet hybrid) this Boxing Week, we have a great suggestion for you. Go buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Watch BeatlerTech’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review featuring Autodesk SketchBook Mobile Express
Note 3 is the third iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Note line and it is the first one with a 1080p resolution screen. The Note 3 is 5.7 inches, 1mm thinner than its predecessor and 20 grams lighter. The backside of this phone is different from the others as it sports a faux leather casing.
This looks sharp and best of all it improves your grip. For me, one of the problems I have had with other Samsung Galaxy phones is having them slip out of my hands because of their slippery plastic casing.
There is a large home button below the screen. It is something Samsung includes on most of its mobile devices now. Josh is not a fan of this but for me it is a must. It is the first thing I look for and even helps me orient the phone when I grab it. I am a Blackberry enthusiast so I really dig the tactile feedback I get from physical buttons. Samsung has compensated for this with touchscreen keyboard feedback which simulates that feeling by vibrating the phone slightly when you type on the screen.
The home button is flanked by two capacitive touch buttons which light up when touched. The left one brings up contextual settings and the right one is the very useful back button. You’ll find yourself using the back button a lot and it builds into your muscle memory. I’ve caught myself when using an iPhone or iPad, grasping down to the bottom right for a back button which of course doesn’t exist on those devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Note series are unique because they sport a stylus called the S Pen, and I love it. There is a slot in the body to tuck it away for storage. When you slide it out, it senses that you’ve done this. A little menu (designed specifically for the S Pen) called Air Command pops up on screen.
Air Command has cool options such as Scrap Booker which allows you to draw a circle around content and store it away in a ‘scrap book’ for reference later. Don’t worry about losing the stylus, the phone will notify you if you walk away without it!
Samsung has lots of great stock apps for use with the S Pen such as S Memo and more. My absolute favourite thing about this phone is the ability to draw, and the screen size is just right.
The S Pen has a Wacom digitizer, meaning it can sense varying pressure levels. This is perfect for simulated painting and drawing tools. While Samsung’s apps are quite good, my favourite drawing app is Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. In this case I used the free version Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Express.
See it in action in our video. Check out my Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Express drawings above.
This is the first phone to work with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch. As a kid I always dreamed of having a computer watch and the time has come – or at least begun! It connects to the phablet and allows you to glance at messages and info, you can even snap photos and of course make phone calls with it!
When it comes to photography, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is very well endowed. It boasts a 13 Megapixel rear facing camera (that’s 4128 x 2322 pixel photos) and has introduced 4K video recording to the smartphone market.
Photo / Video Camera Specs:
- 13 MP BSI rear camera
- F2.2 31mm equivalent lens
- 4K video recording
- LED flash
- High-speed burst mode
- Digital image stabilization
- ISO 50-1000
- HDR, Surround Shot, Panorama, Dual Shot
- Exynos 5 Octa-core processor 1.9GHz / Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz quad-core (for LTE)
- Android 4.3
- 1080p 5.7-inch Super-AMOLED screen (386 ppi)
- 3GB RAM
- 32/64GB memory options
- microSD cards up to 64GB
- S Pen stylus
- black, white and pink colour options
- 3200 mAh battery
Typing is super smooth on Samsung’s screen keyboard. As mentioned, I love the fake physical feedback provided by the touchscreen and I make way fewer typos than on the iPhone.
One of the great benefits of the screen keyboard is the predicted or suggested words which show up as you type.
The responsiveness of the touch screen is seriously divine. It is an all around wonderful user experience. Samsung engineers have truly nailed the UI. I love this phone. Just the scrolling and feedback is amazing plus the huge screen is so sharp and the contrast so crisp. Interacting with the device is actually addicting and of course using Google apps on Android like Maps and Gmail provide a supreme user experience as well.
Watch our video for hands on with super geek Joshua Coghlin and more! (Scroll to the top)
Zinio: 5000+ Digital Magazines on Your Android
You can find the Free Magazine Zinio app mentioned in our video in the Google Play Store and here’s where you can set it up with your Surrey Library membership. Check with your local library for Zinio access as well.