Samsung has unveiled Galaxy Note 3 in the Indian market, giving us a first glimpse of its latest flagship phablet. The device has a bigger screen and packs more pixels than its predecessor, but is smaller in size and weighs less. It also has an upgraded S Pen stylus that adds new functionalities to the device. It has a lot of promise, looks better than the Galaxy Note II and adds a new flavour of features that offer improved user experience. Here are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3:
The phablet looks premium, even though it is made of plastic. The plastic back has faux leather finish and comes with a stitching along the sides. The chrome edges we saw in the Galaxy Note II are present here as well, but look better. Overall, the phone’s finish looks premium since the back has leather feel to it, the feeling of cheap plastic doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore.
At 168gram, Galaxy Note 3 weighs less than its predecessor. Its width is same as that of the Galaxy Note II, but the length and thickness are lesser. And within this compact frame lies the 5.7-inch screen that packs 1080p resolution and 324ppi pixel density. This is a major improvement over last year’s Galaxy Note model and similar to that of the top-end smartphones like LG Optimus G Pro, Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Lenovo K900.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 version for India runs on a 1.9GHz eight-core Exynos processor that is based on ARM’s big.LITTLE chipset architecture. While this may seem impressive, the problem is that the international variant running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip is capable of recording movie hall quality 4K videos. Such a feature would have made Note 3 a very exciting prospect for Indian buyers.
The images taken by Note 3’s camera are very good. However, when we did a full zoom, most photos showed lack of details, which is disappointing given the high price of Note 3 and more so when you compare the photo quality seen in previous Samsung phones that are priced much lower. However, colours and contrast levels were very good in all photos.
India gets the 32GB variant of the Galaxy Note 3, which is the lowest storage option that Samsung is offering with the phone. However, we feel that if 16GB storage variant was also made available in the country, the price could have been reduced by at a least a few thousand rupees by Samsung. One already gets 50GB Dropbox storage and microSD expansion up to 64GB in the handset, so 16GB internal storage would not have been a problem.
The screen is vibrant and displays beautiful colours. We have seen SuperAMOLED displays in many previous phones and the results have always been fantastic. Thus, it is no surprise that colours did not wash out even at acute angles and contrast level is very good.
The S Pen stylus is more central to the Galaxy Note 3 compared with styluses in previous phones in the series. This stylus adds many more functionalities, which actually add to the overall user experience and do not seem to be just gimmicks. It has a button that opens up the S Pen menu that allows you to find objects, write memos, copy data etc.
Some of the features we saw are quite neat. For example, if you scribble a phone number on the screen using the stylus, and then make a call, send text message or add it to contact without ever opening Contacts app. Or you can search for anything throughout the device, with several new options like Last Updated etc. Or, you can write an address and look it up on Google or map apps. You can select some text or a particular image from the screen and save it for future use; you don’t have to save the whole page, as is the case with most other phones.
The Multi App view is present here too, but this time you can open the same app twice; this was not possible earlier.
Overall, the software features of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 seem exciting, but a proper evaluation can be made only after a full review.
At Rs 49,900, the Galaxy Note 3 is a very pricey prospect. With a price tag of half a lakh rupees, the company is pushing it too high, especially since its rival from LG is available for approximately Rs 38,000. However, it is likely that its price will come down in a couple of months, as was the case with Galaxy S4.
We also checked out the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the launch event, which is priced at Rs 22,990, higher than the industry estimate. Its usage is limited to only Samsung gadgets and that too only the ones that run on Android 4.3. Thus, Galaxy Note 3 is the only device it works with in the market, as of now.
This video will take you through some of the key features with narrative that you’d encounter in your day-to-day life.
The new Samsung GALAXY Note 3 delivers a smarter large screen experience for the best viewing experience and more powerful multitasking, and introduces significant new S Pen improvements that help to make everyday tasks easier and faster.