We saw the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for the first time at IFA in Berlin when it was unveiled alongside the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Now the device is available this month for 299.99 from all four carriers, and we spent some real-world usage time with a retail unit from Sprint.
Samsung has come a long way since the release of the original Galaxy Note 1 in 2011. Then, most people made fun of me when I was placing calls from this “ridiculously big phone”. Fast forward to 2013, it looks like the Galaxy Note smartphone lineup is taken very seriously now, and Samsung has sold over 30 million Galaxy Note 2. Ultimately, the Korean giant started the “large display phones” trend in the mobile industry and recent flagship smartphones such as the LG G2, feature over 5-inch displays while they are not even categorized in the phablet segment anymore. 5” is the new normal.
The most notable feature upgrades in the Galaxy Note 3 are the full HD 5.7inch AMOLED display, the new powerful processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (2.3 Ghz), 3GB RAM, an improved S-Pen and the new design language with a faux-stitched leather back that replaces the overly criticized plastic body of the Galaxy Note 2.
On the software side, the most interesting innovation is the Air Command menu that works with the S-Pen and gives access to five practical productivity features that we will describe in the review. (more…)