We recently saw Samsung launch the latest iteration of their phablet series and they named it the Note 3. It is the most powerful mobile device we have seen yet and apart from raw power, it packs in a lot of innovation. As the Note 2 started to show its age, this new device came in to be the benchmark for others to follow. Samsung has gone crazy with the software on this device and they have packed in a lot of features that you won’t find in any other device. They have taken the multitasking to another level and the S pen packs in much more features now.
It runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and has got 3 GB of RAM to complement that. The display is an amazing full HD AMOLED unit measuring 5.7 inches. Not only have they worked on the hardware and software features but they have also tried to improve the aesthetics and build of the device by using slightly different material. While it is all good about this device and we absolutely love this device for its software features and the powerful hardware, there are few things that you might not exactly like about this device.
Camera- We expect to see a superb camera in device which costs this much. The camera on this device is the same 13 megapixel unit you would find on the S4. While this isn’t a very bad camera, it isn’t very good either. Outdoor photos captured in proper lights come out to be decent but everywhere else it just ruins the photos. Low light photos don’t have much detail and the noise is noticeable. Plus the camera doesn’t bring any features that will dazzle you. It is just another 13 megapixel camera fitted to a high end device. Other devices which are priced close or below like the Xperia Z1 or the iPhone 5S have got much better camera’s which can easily mock the camera on Note 3.
Size- Yes we understand that people are adapting well to large devices and they are very practical but manufacturers have really crossed the limits now. Even though they have tried to keep the thickness of bezels to a minimum, there is no way you can keep the size down with a 5.7 inch display. Samsung is not the only one going crazy with sizes. HTC is soon coming up with a 5.9 inch device and Sony recently came up with the Z1 ultra that has got a 6.44 inch display. The first Note device was comfortable to use for people with large hands but this one is just too big to be used by humans. There is no way you can use this device with a single hand and even if you can, you’ll always be afraid of dropping your device which is the last thing you would want with a device that costs a bomb to buy.
Built and Design- Samsung has got a very smart technology that they use to design their devices. Most people like to call it a copier. No matter how much they talk about redesigning devices, they all end up looking the same. A device in the shape of rounded rectangle made out of glossy plastic with a physical home key up front. This new Note looks somewhat similar to the previous one which was similar to the previous one. They tried to make an exception this time by using slightly different material on the plastic back panel but it didn’t bring much joy. The plastic back panel has got faux leather on it with fake stitching on the edges. While this is a bit better than other Samsung devices, it is still no match for the premium materials that other manufacturers are using. Plastic can never match the build quality you would get from a device made out of brushed aluminum or glass. It is not only the material that they use. The devices feel flimsy and like they would fall apart under rough use.
TouchWiz- Well we don’t have many complaints against the UI that they put on their devices but it has been more or less the same for ages now. The additional features are good and we really appreciate the effort that they have put in adding all the multitasking features and the S pen. What they need is a better interface to keep up with the rivals. If they have got potent hardware, why can’t they put in better interface on the device. Okay if we ignore the lack of eye candy, some might think that it would be faster than most launchers but even that is not the case here. The stock android launcher is much faster. The Sony launcher has got much more to it and is still not as resource intensive.
Price- This device is a mammoth so it was very obvious that it will cost a lot. But around 50K in India is still too much. We can’t get devices on contract here like other countries and the price can be quite a big factor when you are going to choose a phone. There are many other devices that run almost the same hardware and give you much better camera and built quality. Like for instance the Sony Xperia Z1. While it might not be as big as the Note 3 or have the multitasking abilities, it has got a much better camera, better built and other software enhancements for lower price. The recently launched LG G2 is another tough rival which features similar hardware, better display and built for less money.
These are just some minor complaints we had against the Note 3. If you can live with these minor issues, it is a great device and there would be no device that would be able to match in terms of raw performance or software features.