Big is back! The pocket-filling Galaxy Note returns with a third iteration, and Samsung has one-upped just about every item on the Note II spec sheet with this sequel. While we see the return of the 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 800, the benchmarks aren't just a carbon copy of what we saw with LG's G2, thanks to some odd CPU governor settings.
Specifically, Samsung appears to be giving preferential treatment to benchmarking apps. Through some testing, we've found the CPU runs in a special high-power mode whenever a popular benchmark app is loaded. But before we get into that, let's talk about the device itself. The Note 3 is Samsung's "everything but the kitchen sink" product, so there's a ton to go over: the S-Pen, Touchwiz, multi-tasking, a new sub-pixel layout, USB 3.0, and of course, a screen the size of a small table.
Specs at a glance: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
1920×1080 5.7" (388 ppi) Super AMOLED touchscreen
Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean"
2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800
32GB or 64GB
Dual Band 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHzHSPA: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHzLTE: up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)
Micro USB 3.0, headphones
13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
151.2mm x 79.2mm x 8.3mm (5.95" x 3.12" x 0.33")
$299 with 2-year contract
Removable battery, MicroSD slot, RGB Notification LED, IR blaster, 4K video recording. MHL 2.0
Let's get the obvious out of the way—the phone is big as hell. The size of the Note family has always been extremely polarizing, and the Note 3 is no exception. While showing it to friends and family, it got reactions ranging from "joke-big" and "Zack Morris" to instant gadget lust. The Note 3 is also quite the attention getter—whenever I take it out in public a few people always come up and ask what it is. We'd advise against buying a big device like this sight-unseen. Either go experience it in a store, ask a friend, or (apparently) approach a stranger (at your own risk*). The bottom line is be familiar with the size of the Note 3 before diving in.