Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – The Royal Beast!

Pros – Performance, design, camera, great screen, and stylus functionalities.
Cons – Overpriced, back case leather quality not up to the mark, poor low light photography, and no FM Radio.



The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was launched in India in September 2013 which is now available for Rs. 41,000. The mighty phablet is powered by a Exynos 5 Octa 5420 Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor, 3 GB RAM, Mali-T628 MP6 GPU, 32 GB internal memory with microSD support upto 64 GB, 13 MP primary camera, 2 MP secondary camera, 5.7 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen and Android 4.3 JellyBean OS.  



The phablet segment was introduced by Samsung with the launch of original Note in 2011. The phone received decent response from customers and in 2012 Samsung improved the phone and launched Note II. It received an overwhelming response and managed to set the sales chart on fire. In the latest iteration, Note 3 promises to be bigger, bolder and better than any other phone available in the market and to some extent the promise is fulfilled. Let’s have a closer glance to Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Screen & Build Quality

Note 3 means a splendid viewing experience. Sporting a 5.7 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and ~386 ppi pixel density, it would be not wrong to say that Note 3 has the best screen till date. It is a multi-touch screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The text is sharper, images and videos are crisper, color and contrast reproduction is realistic and most importantly it is easy on eyes. Watching HD videos and movies is a delightful experience.






The Note 3 has superior build quality even though it is completely made of plastic body. Design wise, Note 3 resembles its predecessors and there is hardly any notable difference except for minor changes. Being a phablet, Note 3 is still easy to operate and use. It weighs around 170 grams along with the weight of stylus which is on lighter side considering the size of this phone. The back cover is made of faux leather which is not of very superior quality. Though it gives a premium feel when compared to plain plastic back panel of Note 2. On the back there is a 13MP camera along with flash and Samsung logo embossed on the panel in silver finish. The stylus sits at the bottom left of the phone.

Camera, Buttons & Call/Audio Quality

Samsung Note 3 has a very capable 13 MP primary camera which clicks pictures with max resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels. Now it has various features on board like autofocus, LED flash, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, panorama and HDR. There is no shutter lag at all.  It also supports 1080p video recording with its both front and rear cameras. Secondary camera is 2MP lens which is just adequate for the skype calling etc. Daytime image quality of Note 3’s camera is exceptional but it suffers from poor low light ambient conditions. There is no night mode in the camera and low light photography will leave you disappointed. Though the primary camera is equipped with BSI sensor but it still doesn’t help much for night photography.







Note 3 has a power button on the right hand side, volume rocker controller on left hand side, 3.5 mm audio port on the top and charging/USB connector at the bottom along with the housing of the S-pen. The vocals from ear piece are loud and clear, same for the microphone. Music sound quality is brilliant, speakerphone is however, not very loud. The S Pen is optimised for features like Air Command, Action Memo, Scrapbook, S Finder, Pen Window, Multi Window and Direct Pen Input.

OS/Performance and Battery

The heart of the matter – The hardware. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has some really impressive hardware specifications. Note 3 is powered by a Exynos 5 Octa 5420 Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor, 3 GB RAM, Mali-T628 MP6 GPU, 32 GB internal memory with microSD support upto 64 GB, 13 MP primary camera, 2 MP secondary camera, and Android 4.3 JellyBean OS. As far as performance is concerned, it will just amaze you by its speed and responsiveness. Lag is a word of past for Note 3 users. Every app, every game performs just seamlessly on Note 3. Playing games like real racing, NFS on this phone is simply an awesome experience. Note 3 has number of integrated sensors like Gyroscope, Gesture, Temperature and Humidity, Accelerometer, Hall Sensor, RGB, Geo-magnetic, Barometer and Proximity sensors. It also supports NFC and has universal IR LED Remote Control along with a TV out port.




Samsung Note 3 has Android 4.3 out of the box along with Samsung touchwiz UI. Note 3 offers plethora of features and apps including Group Play : Share Music, Share Picture, Share Video, Share Document, Play Games, Story Album, S Translator, Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, ChatON, Samsung WatchON, S Voice Hands Free, S Health, Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound Auto Adjust Touch Sensitivity, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, Safety Assistance, Samsung KNOX and Important Apps Chrome, Search, Gmail, Google+, Maps, Play Books, Play Movies, Play Music, Play Store, Hangouts, Voice Search, YouTube, Google Settings, Play Games and Messenger.







Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has removable Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery which powers this beast. It lasts a day easily with light to moderate use, heavy users might want to carry a power bank to top up the charge. Just like for every other phone, Samsung provides 1 year manufacturer warranty for Phone and 6 months warranty for in the box accessories.

Conclusion

When Note 3 was launched last year, it was heavily criticised for its absurd pricing but as the time progressed, Samsung has lowered the price by 9k and now it is available for Rs. 41000. It still may look a notch overpriced to many but at this point of time, Note 3 is very worthy purchase if you want a high end large screen Android smartphone.

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

Build Quality ****
Screen *****
Performance *****
Camera ****
Value for Money ***


Overall *****

Specs at a glance

Screen
5.7 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and ~386 ppi pixel density
Processor

GPU
Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chipset Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 Processor &  Mali-T628 MP6 GPU
RAM
3 GB RAM
Storage
32 GB internal memory with microSD support up to 64 GB
Camera
13 MP Primary camera + 2 MP front camera
Network Type
HSPDA, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 GPS, GPRS/EDGE, Universal Infrared, Remote and NFC
Battery
Li-Ion 3200 mAh batter
OS
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Dimensions
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight
168 grams

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1 comment:

usman khatri said...

My good friends over at Anker we're nice enough to send my this nice Galaxy Note 3 wallet case combo for a review. galaxy note 3 case