Ever since I got the Note 3, I have been asked, since this is 3, what does it have more than the Note 2?
For the first time, there is actually quite a lot to talk about rather than saying it does a couple things. The Note 3 is a complete redesign and an evolution of the Note line up in nearly every way, so lets start.
The Note 2 was a good looking device, and it took design cues from the Samsung S3, in fact it looked like a bigger S3, and when Samsung came with the S4, everyone, including me, thought that the Note 3 would be a bigger S4, which it does, but they made it a lot better. We’ll get to that in a moment, first lets talk about the dimensions:
Note 2: 151.0 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm and weighs 183 grams
Note 3: 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm and weighs 168 grams
The Note three, right off the start is a tiny bit shorter, slimmer, lighter and nearly a mm thinner, which means it fits better in the hands than the Note 2, but thats just the beginning..
The rear of the device is designed to look like leather, its not, but it looks like it’s leather. The sides have a little ribbed lining over all trying to give the overall look of a notebook. Does the effect work? A LOT. The device looks and feels a lot more of a premium device. The fake-leather back also does assist with grip, and certainly will not be as finger print friendly as the Note 2.
So the Note 3 looks classier than the Note 2 while getting a tiny bit smaller, so where’s the advancement?
Before we get into the specs, there is one more aspect of the outer design that needs mentioning, the display.
Note 2: 1280 x 720 resolution Super AMOLED 5.5-inch, 267ppi Display
Note 3: 1920 x 1080 resolution Super AMOLED 5.7-inch, 386ppi Display
The device got smaller, yet got a bigger sized display with a higher screen resolution. Physically, the display is gorgeous and is made out of Gorilla glass which would make it quite a bit more durable as well.
At this point many manufacturers could label this a new device and launch it, but that wasn’t the case with the Note 3.
The Hardware Specifications
Since the screen is covered, lets speak about the essential aspect of processor.
Note 2: Exynos 4412 quad-core 1.6GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, Mali 400MP GPU
Note 3: Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.3GHz, 3GB RAM, Adreno 330 GPU
Benchmarks stated that the processing power of the Note 3 surpasses the Note 2 by over 100%, of course these would vary in the real world.
For non-geeks, this means that the system (which is Android’s 4.3 system in the Note 3 vs the 4.2 in the Note 2) can run a lot smoother, and is much more capable at running multiple tasks, and quickly zooming between applications. With the ability for it to handle a lot of application switching and running tasks, it should have more storage capacity than its predecessor, and it does, the Note 3 starts with 32GB internal storage, while the Note 2 started with 16GB (both expandable with MicroSD).
The battery life has improved slightly with the updates even though the performance has increased a lot. The Note 3 comes with a 3200mAh battery compared to the 3100mAh battery in the Note 2.
The camera has been improved this time around, or should I say they just lifted it off the Samsung S4.
Note 2: 8 Megapixel camera with a 1.9 Megapixel front facing camera
Note 3: 13 Megapixel camera with a 2.0 Megapixel front facing camera
The interface has also been lifted off the S4 with MANY additional shooting modes and options, including 4K resolution video recording.
The Operating System
The Android 4.3 is an update that comes with many fixes and additional features, most of which are found from the S4 including many hand gestures and smart recognition technologies.
The S-Pen handles all the features it did on the Note 2 and then some. The new Air Command Menu allows easy access to some quick features and they have tweeked and added some tools for the S-Pen use.
There has been many optimizations on the Note 3 for one handed use such as detachable keyboard and actually resized version of the entire operating system to one side or the other of the screen to be able to be used with one hand.
There has been many enhancements and tons of tweeks and features found in Android 4.3 on Samsung’s TouchWiz.
Overall, Samsung has done a great job with the Note 3. Instead of going the typical way of created an oversized version of their smartphone flagship, they actually spent some time on the Note 3.
It has an updated everything. It is that simple. The design is classy, slightly smaller than the previous generation with a lot more to offer. The camera is now outstanding, the build is more stiff in the hand and the performance of the device is one of the highest available on the market today. The S-Pen (being a speciality) has been improved with several new features and tweeks to make the experience even better.
The Note 3 is a brilliant device, and certainly a favorite right now, and I cannot wait to get the entire review done soon, stay tuned!