Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from Verizon

10/30/2013 4:29 PM

10/31/2013 5:52 AM

Bigger is better in some cases, like cinnamon rolls and back seats for example. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 delivers first and foremost on size, but Samsung has tweaked the device to deliver more than just a super-sized smartphone experience.

While sampling the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from Verizon Wireless, I found the brilliant 5.7-inch, 1080p display to be just large enough to serve three cheeses with a small cluster of grapes on the side, but that isn’t all the Note 3 has going for it. Sure, in addition to the upgraded 386 pixel-per-inch screen, it is faster and lighter. But Samsung has sharpened its S Pen and S Pen software to make it mightier than before.

The 13-megapixel camera is a good performer. Voice control to make calls and send messages works reasonably well. The loudspeaker was loud enough to break through the harmony of Godspeed You! Black Emperor at slightly louder than conversation sound levels. The faux leather back hasn’t won everyone over, but I like it well enough. It’s certainly better than a slick glossy plastic back. The 3200 mAh battery easily lasts through a day of even heavy use.

Go for it if...
...size really does matter to you
...handwriting recognition and other S Pen magic can work for you. want to run two apps on the screen simultaneously. will spring for the Galaxy Gear Watch. want to add your own microSD card.

Not for you if... think less is more.’re going to complain about it not fitting in your pocket.

Wrap up
It's a niche device too large for some. Others may find the $350 price also too large. The dazzling 5.7-inch display is large enough to purge my urge to grab my Nexus 7 so it really can play the dual roles of a smartphone and a small tablet. The S Pen is what sets the Galaxy Note 3 Apart from the super-sized competition, but Samsung has honed the Galaxy Note 3 into the best of the biggest smartphones.

What can you do with S Pen?

    • - S Finder: Search for keywords in items on your phone, such as emails, text messages and files.
    • - Scrapbook: Keep track of what catches your eye. Clip images with the S Pen and pin them to a virtual bulletin board.
    • - Action Memo™: Take handwritten notes with the S Pen, then compose emails or text messages by turning your handwriting into text.
    • - Screen Write: Capture screenshots, add your annotations and save or share them with others.
    • - Multi Window: Overlay and resize a floating app over another app, so you could watch a YouTube™ video without leaving the webpage you are reading.
      • 5.7” full HD Super AMOLED Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 Touch Screen Display
      • 5.95” (H) x 3.12” (W) x .33” (D) inches
      • Weight: 5.93 oz.
      • LTE, CDMA/1xEVDO Rev. A (800/1900 MHz)
      • Global Network: EDGE/GSM (850/900/1800/1900), HSPA/UMTS(850/900/1900/2100)
Operating System
      • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) & TouchWiz
Memory / Processor
      • Processor: 2.3 GHz Quad Core
      • Memory: 32GB on board memory + 3GB RAM (actual formatted capacity is less)
      • Supports up to 64GB microSD Card (sold separately)
      • Virtual QWERTY Keyboard with Swype
    • Standard 3200 mAh Lithium Ion Battery
    • Usage: Up to 24 hours
    • Standby Time: Up to 21 days

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service