The overwhelming impression when you first lay your hands on the Note 3 is of size – as, frankly, it’s humongous for a phone. If you like large, flashy phones, on the other hand, you’ll love the Note 3. With its faux-metal ribbed border and its leather back panel, the Note 3 has been given quite an upgrade from its predecessor – the Note 2. Instantly, the new phone feels much more premium and looks better too – with its square bezel and thinner form factor.
However, Samsung could have made better use of materials used in the construction of the Note 3 – given its price, it feels a little too plasticky for our liking. But, where the 3 really shines is in the display and the processor department. The 5.7-inch super AMOLED display is 1080p, and looks absolutely gorgeous – whether it’s viewing pictures or surfing the web, the colours really pop out at you, and the display feels vibrant, yet sharp.
Powered by an Exynos Octa 5420 processor, the Note 3 also packs a punch when it comes to performance. In daily use, it’s blazingly quick – whether it’s opening apps or browsing the web, and there isn’t any delay even when multi-tasking between various apps. The main camera is a 13-megapixel unit, which takes excellent pictures in almost all light conditions. However, the stand out factor as far as the camera is concerned is its ability to shoot video in 4K, which means the video is twice the resolution of HD – producing some fantastically clear and detailed footage.
Of course, one of the benefits of the large size is that the included stylus works very well with the screen, so scribbling notes or sketching on the phone is easy and fast. The other benefit is the large 3200mAh battery – which ensures that despite that huge screen and the power hungry processor, the Note 3 still has outstanding battery life. With daily use, including social media and various other apps, it’s easy to get a standby time of at least 1.5 days from the phone – which is very impressive indeed. However, the drawback of the size is that the phone can often feel clumsy and difficult to use – since operating it with one hand is impossible unless you’re a professional basketball player. Secondly, while the UI of the phone works well, there is far too much bloatware from Samsung on the phone – and this can be annoying at times, with updates taking place for apps that aren’t really needed.
We also tried the Galaxy Gear smart watch, which is an optional extra with the Note 3 – and while the touch screen watch does have useful functions, such as making and receiving calls, checking notifications and messages, it remains more of a novelty rather than an integral part of the Note 3 experience. So, unless your inner geek really demands it, we would pass on the Gear, especially given its price of Rs. 19,000.
In conclusion, if you fancy screen real estate and fast performance, the Note 3 is a highly desirable phone offering excellent features and performance. However, do ensure you try it to see if the size works for you before you buy one.
Pros: Excellent screen, fast performance
Cons: Feels big and plasticky at times
Price: Rs. 47,900/-