Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Size matters

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | Updated: Oct 10 2013, 19:36pm hrs
Samsung Galaxy Note 3Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: There was a time when each phone had its own characteristic and had to be learnt anew. That was exciting. Today, however, choosing between phones has largely boiled down to the choice of hardware. Let us face it, sparing Apple, BlackBerry and Nokias Lumia, most manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC all now depend on Googles Android operating systemoperatibility, software and in many cases features are usually common between these handsets. So how does a phone try to stand out in this crowd; here is where design, build materials, screen size/resolution comes to the front. This differentiation is exactly what Samsung, today the market leader in smartphones, is targeting with its new Galaxy Note3 phableta phone that is almost the size of a tablet.

The Galaxy Note 3 takes up the mantle from the well acclaimed Galaxy Note series, which though initially lambasted for the unwieldy size, later became quite a rage for its large screen size. The Note3 carries the family tradition forward with a 5.7-inch full HD super AMOLED touchscreen display sporting 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. The screen is just brilliant for movies and pictures, and make the 13 megapixel back camera look even betterin fact, the camera is among the best I have seen on a smartphone yet.

The Note3 also comes with a bevy of featuresit offers a split-screen function, useful when you have such a large screen, that lets you run two apps at once, plus the new S-Pen lets you make a dot on the screen to bring up shortcuts, while you can also circle anything on the screen to save it for view later. All this besides improvement on the handwriting recognition technology. Incidentally, the Note3 is also one of the phones on offer with massive computing capabilityit has CPU with eight cores, though I cannot imagine when you will need all that power.

What sets phones apart in the R45,000 plus range finally is the build quality and how the phone feels in your hand. Now, by Samsung standards I would say that the Note3 gives a far more premium feel and it is also light. But dont be fooled, it is still all plasticsomething that Samsung has long been warned against, especially when rivals like Apple and HTC offer premium materials like glass, brushed steel. The back of Note3 imitates a clever leather stitch, while the sides pretend to be chromebut they are not! Fit and finish is good, but thats really what we expect in the segment. Another issue is that few video formats were not supported on the phone, but these can be easily fixed by downloading external apps.

To buy or not to buy Well, it is definitely a brilliant phone with a lot of hardware. But at this price Samsung has to tick a lot of more boxes than just its traditional USP of value-for-money. It feels a tad bit expensive considering the look and feel, though its promises far more features than competition. The only question is that do you really need all those features and a bigger screen or would you go for more svelte design and a smaller display like in the Sony Xperia Z1, HTC One or the LG G2. Expect Note3 to soon see competition from HTC One Max.