Specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (No price yet)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset
- S Pen integration
- 2.3GHz quad-core CPU
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
- 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display (1,080 x1,920 resolution; 386ppi)
- 13-megapixel rear camera capable of 4K video recording
- 2-megapixel front camera
- 3,200mAh battery
- Android Jelly Bean 4.3
The suspense is over, and Samsung has proved yet again that it's not great at keeping secrets. With the exception of the different-looking metallic band spanning the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's entire circumference and the faux leather rear cover with stitched trim, the leaks about the device were spot on.
Getting an official launch at IFA in Berlin, the Korean company's third stylus-equipped phablet is indeed better than its predecessor in most areas. It also features an improved S Pen to go along with a fresh bag of software- and sensor-based tricks.
Sure, the plastic build is a fair point for debate; the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn't as beautiful and fancy as competing products like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. However, it shows improvement from a physical standpoint.
Narrower, thinner, lighter
Impressively, despite a larger display and a higher-capacity battery, the device is narrower, thinner, and lighter than its predecessor—a feat it shares with the Samsung Galaxy S4. That's largely thanks to the minimal bezels around the panel’s edges.
The facade of the new Note is reminiscent of the original's exterior; the form factor is rectangular, with curved corners and a glossy finish on the front and sides.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s home button retains the general size and shape of the Note 2. Its left- and right-side button layouts remain similar to the previous model’s; the left-hand side houses the volume rocker, and the power/lock button is located on the right-hand side.
You’ll find the single speaker and USB 3.0 micro-B connector on the bottom edge. The headphone jack and the built-in IR blaster for controlling your TV, set-top box, and other home-entertainment gear sit up top.
As evidenced by some of its more recent releases, Samsung has made significant strides in the Super AMOLED department, and the Galaxy Note 3 is further proof of that.
The device’s bright and crisp Super AMOLED display measures 5.7 inches and has a full-HD resolution of 1,080 x 1,920, which translates to a density of 386 pixels per inch. The result is stunning; text and graphics are rendered with great clarity and detail, and colors look natural, not oversaturated.
A gadget lover's wish list
The rest of the unit's spec sheet reads like a gadget geek's wish list.
Pushing the pixels is a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, supported by an Adreno 330 graphics chip and 3GB of RAM, making this beast a bar-setter for mobile devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 also supports LTE and offers 32GB of internal storage, 25GB of which is user-accessible. There's microSD expansion (up to 64GB) should you need more room for content.
The user-replaceable battery is rated at 3,200mAh. A 2-megapixel front-facer and a 13-megapixel rear camera, which allows the phablet to shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second, round out the spec list.
By contrast, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2—the variant sold in authorized Philippine retailers at least—sees an in-house quad-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with Mali-400MP graphics, 2GB of RAM,16GB of built-in storage, and a 3,100mAh cell. There are also 1.9- and 8-megapixel front and rear cameras.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3's performance is near-flawless and almost beyond compare.
Even with TouchWiz's extensive set of customizations on top of Android Jelly Bean 4.3, the device still works just as smooth as Nexus devices running Android's latest build. It zips from window to window, from app to app, not to mention it can handle eight simultaneously opened S Pen-optimized apps without bogging down.
This is decidedly one of the fastest mobiles we've ever used. Its AnTuTu benchmark score should speak for itself: 35,031 points, the highest mark we've seen on any device.
We’ll see if our positive first impressions will hold up after we review the phablet. Expect at least one video and more photos, among other things, in a week or two.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be available in black, white, and pink and will ship globally to over 140 countries starting September 25. Regrettably, we have no pricing details to share as of this writing.