When it comes to phablets, Samsung basically pioneered the category with the original Galaxy Note. Many thought the device would flop, but it was really successful. The next year, Samsung released the Galaxy Note II, which I personally still use to this day. These large devices with a built-in stylus have so much versatility and surprising popularity that Samsung has announced the new Galaxy Note 3!
The new Galaxy Note 3 is now larger than the previous model, with a 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED display to replace the previous 5.5-inch Note II. However, Samsung kept the width of the device the same by using slimmer bezels. So, the size of the device stays about the same. It will be thinner at 8.3mm and will only weigh 168g. With a change of heart, Samsung has made the back a leather sort of material instead of shiny plastic.
The S Pen has also been improved. It has taken on a slightly different design, but the functionality has been massively improved. And by improved, I mean Samsung added a ton of features. The first is Air Command, a radial menu that pops up when you hover the pen over the screen and press the button. It offers five options, including Action Memo. Action Memo allows you to perform actions like adding numbers to contacts and searching addresses on a map.
They have also redesigned multitasking for the larger display. Multi Window now allows you to have two windows open for the same app. This allows you to chat with two people at once in ChatON, for example. You can also drag and drop things between the two windows, which is an awesome addition. Pen Window allows you to draw a box and have a quick app pop up in your chosen size, like a calculator.
In terms of specs, you’ll be getting a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad core processor on the LTE model paired with 3GB of RAM. It’s a real powerhouse. And finally, Samsung has made the minimum storage 32GB as well as included microSD slot. The audio has been improved, allowing playback of 24 bit 192khz audio. Throw in Category 4 LTE and a large 3,200 mAh battery, and you have an amazing device.
The rear camera is a 13MP BSI sensor with Smart Stabilization and can shoot 4K video at 30FPS, 1080p video at 60 FPS (on some models), and 720p video at 120 FPS slow motion. It also has a high CRI LED flash to help with better low light shots. The front camera is a 1.9MP BSI sensor, also with Smart Stabilization.
There are a bunch of software features; surprisingly few, in fact, considering how much Samsung usually packs into its devices. Multi Vision lets you combine multiple Note 3s to make a larger screen for watching video, which seems a bit of a gimmick to me. There are also new and redesigned apps like My Magazine and S Note.
The device will be coming out September 25 for many countries and will appear in October for the US and Japan. A lot of us will have to wait. As a Note II user, I’m very impressed. Are you?