A brief introduction of Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Galaxy Note 3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a large phone. It’s a very large phone. But it’s not in the same league as mobiles like the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Xperia Z Ultra. You don’t feel entirely ridiculous holding the thing, and fitting it in one hand is not a struggle. Samsung has managed to make the Galaxy Note 3 narrower than the Galaxy Note 2, even though the new phone has a larger 5.7-inch display.  It’s an impressive feat by Samsung, but let’s not forget the phone is still 8cm wide. If you want a phone that you can easily use one-handed, this is not it. For a bit of context, the iPhone 5S is just 5.8cm wide. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is also among the first Galaxy phones not to use a glossy plastic rear. Samsung has tried to fool us into thinking the Note 3 has a leather rear. It looks like leather, and the battery cover has fake stitching around its outer edges. But make no mistake – this is not leather.

Galaxy Note 3 17So what is it? It’s rubberised plastic with a leather-effect grain to give it a frictional quality of the real thing. Take the battery cover off and you’ll see quite how similar it really is to the backplate of the Galaxy S4 and Note 2. It’s thin, it’s bendy, it’s plastic. And while it doesn’t feel bad as such, we prefer the aluminium of the HTC One and the matt plastic of the Nokia Lumia 925. This is not a deal-breaker, but don’t approach the Note 3 thinking Samsung has revolutionised its approach to hardware design – it hasn’t. If anything, the new stylistic tweaks are likely to polarise opinion more than the old phones.  As well as a leather-effect rear, the sides of the phone are ribbed chrome effect plastic, clearly intended to look like metal. And it ends up looking a bit naff. Moreover, the white version has a less convincing feeling than the black.

The Note series has seen a gradual increase in screen size across its three generations. The first had a 5.3-inch screen, the Note 2 has a 5.5-inch screen and the Galaxy Note 3 has a 5.7-inch screen. These small increments have been made without any negative effects on the bodywork. The Note is less wide and less heavy than either of the former Notes. The Note 3’s core screen technology is similar, though. It uses a Super AMOLED display of 1080p resolution.  Like Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3 uses a PenTile ‘diamond’ display, where the sub-pixels are arranged into a diamond shape. In a lower-resolution screen, using a PenTile display would result in fuzzy text, but here the 396ppi pixel density is high enough to make it a non-issue. This is a super-sharp screen despite being oversized.

And as comes with any good OLED-type screen, contrast and black levels are excellent in the Galaxy Note 3. Colours are a little more problematic. Fresh out of the box, they are a little hot, but Samsung gives you some control over the character of the display.  In the Settings menu you can pick between Dynamic, Standard, Professional Photo and Movie screen modes. Dynamic is as ugly as a TV in a Curry’s high street store (i.e. oversaturated), but the Photo and Movie modes get pretty close to giving an impression of accuracy. As we saw with the Galaxy S4, top brightness is excellent for an AMOLED panel, although whites aren’t quite as searing as you’d see on a top-end IPS screen. This is a great display.

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