The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 makes a couple of key improvements over previous generations of the famous phablet that makes it a more compatible device. Only a handful of smartphones are currently running on Android 4.3. Packed with the power of 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM the Galaxy Note 3 is giving some laptops a run for their money in terms of power and processing ability.
The device has the same polycarbonate frame that rims the edges. It is strong and chrome-colored white, black or pink. On the Note 3 Samsung has used an ersatz leather surface as against the previous models of flimsy plastic battery cover. The ersatz leather doesn’t feel slippery; it has a real feel, and looks much better than the glossy plastic of previous models. The new Note 3 has been referred to as a modish smartphone with efficiency and supreme device.
The display is at 5.7-inch which makes the device to appear tall, but it complements that with a thin, sleek narrower body. This can be an attraction for some users. The reductions in size make the Note 3 feel significantly smaller and lighter when you hold it. Samsung appears to have merged its water-ripple unlock effect from the Galaxy S3 and the shard of light from the Galaxy S4 to provide what is called a water-colour effect when you drag your finger across the lockscreen. It may not be anything special, but it's an attractive animation which you can spend time just playing with, partly because the Note 3 can detect your finger even when it's not touching the screen, which is a remarkable feature.
Usability is definitely improved, but the Note 3 is still big at 5.7-inch screen though some people will find it hard to use. You might find it does slip into your pockets quite easier, but that hard edge makes itself known on the Note 3; it has rounded shape, which is more comfortable in tight pants or jeans. The Note 3 has a lot of upgrades from the older version, one of which is the USB 3.0. The Note 3 is among the first to introduce this. The Note 3 has two sets of prongs that fit into the port, the extra pins support a mode called SuperSpeed, that, as you might guess, transfers data faster. The good news is that USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and will accommodate common micro-USB cables for charging and (slower) data. The device ships with a USB 3.0 cable.
The stylus, which is generally referred as the S Pen, is tucked into the bottom of the Note 3. It’s easily retrieved with the help of your thumbnail. It sits tightly enough in its slot. It’s obvious that Samsung has crafted a fine smartphone in the Note 3. Aside from the hitches related to its size for some users, it is a gorgeous phone; it is simple to use and firmly built.
The Note 3's display measures 5.7 inches across the diagonal and includes 1920 x 1080 pixels. Samsung continues to use Super AMOLED panels in its displays, and the Note 3 impresses. The Super AMOLED technology over-saturates colours a bit, but it offers incredible brightness and amazing viewing angles. Lastly, the screen works with gloves on. It's a good screen, one of the best for watching HD movies, browsing the web, or viewing slide shows.
The Note 3 has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with each core rated at 2.3GHz. The processor is paired with a class-leading 3GB of RAM. Let's just call this arrangement a monster. The Note 3 doesn't have any performance issues of any kind. It is blazing fast, doesn't get bogged down, and is able to run every service or application you might find smoggy running on the older notes. The Snapdragon 800 is an incredible processor, and it gives the Note 3 all the computing power a smartphone requires.
All your best pals, contemporaries, and dear family members can be found in the Contacts application, which has the same design as previous TouchWiz. Favorites are accessible from a tab at the top of the phone application, as is the entire contact database. There are standard home screen shortcuts for direct access to a contact on the home screen panel, as well as a direct dial, and direct message.
You can directly call or text someone from the contacts list without having to tap through stored v-cards; a simple swipe across their name from left to right will jump you straight into the dialer. This feature has been on with the previous models and on the S versions, while moving your finger in the opposite direction will see you transported to the new text message screen. Smart dialing is enabled on the Galaxy Note 3, meaning the phone will offer up contact suggestions as you start typing in a number, plus it will also recognise names, making calling easier.
When you pull out the S Pen, you'll receive two alerts that let you know the Note 3 is ready for you to rock and roll with the stylus. Firstly, the device vibrates to signal that the stylus has been removed. Secondly, it automatically launches Air Command, a small, pop-up menu that lets you access the five different S Pen tools. The Air Command menu itself can be dismissed or called up with the stylus when you press the stylus button and hover. It comes and goes as needed and offers one-tap control over the essential stylus functions.
The Note 3's camera is a direct carryover from the Galaxy S4. It can be launched with a lock screen shortcut, but there is no dedicated hardware button associated with the camera. The user interface lets you easily switch between 10 different shooting modes, which include Night, Sports, Panorama, HDR, Sound & Shot, Best Face, Continuous Shot, Best Photo, Beauty Face, and Auto. The Note 3 has a 13-megapixel sensor in the main camera. The picture quality is razor sharp, exposure is perfect, and white balance is spot on. The front-facing camera, at 2-megapixels is enough for video chats/etc. It produces good results, and the focus, exposure, and white balance are all good.
The results delivered by the Note 3 were in focus, and exposed correctly. The 1080p footage was vibrant and lifelike. It truly represented the real-world scene it was meant to capture. You can also use several effects, such as slow-motion, fast motion, and smooth motion. The slow-motion does what it advertises and slows down what you've recorded. The fast motion tool does the opposite and often produces comical results. I didn't see any benefit to using the smooth motion mode. People won't be embarrassed to share the results across social networks or on big screen TVs.
Some of the most prominent applications are: Story Album, which lets users create photo albums and even order physical copies. S Voice is Samsung's Siri and Google Now clone. It accepts spoken queries and commands. S Translator lets users speak one language and have it automatically translated into another. There's also a separate Samsung Application store. You'll see most of Samsung's applications and services available there, as well as applications made by third parties that Samsung approves.
The Note 3 also includes gimmicky features such as Air View and Air Gesture, which lets you interact with certain applications without actually touching the screen. Air View, for example, can be used to preview the content of emails, while Air Gesture can be used to answer calls or advance through a photo album. Both work when hovering either the stylus or your finger over compatible application or content… cool.
The Note 3 has a 3,200mAh battery inside, which is only a tad bigger than last older model. The Note 3 is powerful – it is an energy-efficient engine. Battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is impressive. Part of that is down to the Snapdragon 800 processor, which provides various power saving capabilities. If you find you're struggling with battery life then turn on Power Saving Mode - there's a toggle in the quick settings of the notification bar - to eke out some precious extra life from the Galaxy Note 3.
The little screen looks surprisingly good. It measures 1.63 inches across the diagonal and offers 320 x 320 pixels. It uses an AMOLED display panel and is bright and colourful.
The Gear is not really a stand-alone device. It can be used without a smartphone, which is a plus, but will only be able to offer some of the features. The Galaxy Gear does not have Wi-Fi, nor an independent connection to the Internet. It relies on a nearby smartphone for most of its functionality.
According to Samsung, the Gear should provide about 25 hours of total battery life; that includes standby time. The Gear Manager lets you arrange your favorites, which means they are the simple application to access on the watch itself. The favorites are limited to just six applications. Everything else falls into the Application folder on the Gear. You can, if you so desire, use the Gear Manager to download and install a number of third-party applications, such as Evernote, MyFitnessPal, Path, ChatOn, and others. These third-party applications are a bit more graphically pleasing to use since they actually make use of colour and not just black and white icons.
THISWEEK on SOFTWARE
Windows 7 Shortcuts Windows 7 adds loads of great shortcuts for switching between apps, moving windows around your screen, moving them to another monitor altogether, and much more. Here's a quick-reference master list of the best new Windows 7 shortcuts.