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Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (Updated: Video Added)

Note 3

Kellen is on hand at Samsung’s NYC event that showcases the new Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Note 3 features a crisp 5.7″ 1080p Super AMOLED display, 3GB of RAM, a quad-core processor, a revamped S-Pen and more proprietary software than you would like to count. We will have a full hands-on video and Kellen’s initial reactions to the device shortly. 

Take a closer look at the Galaxy Note 3 with our full gallery down below.

So far, how are you liking the new Note 3?




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  • rdoib

    sammy would have to go all metal for s5, going with faux leather tells you they admit plastic can’t compete but not ready for metal yet due to blah blah product cycle blah blah production pipeline . whatever build quality still comes short

  • rdoib

    screen looks dim, sammy need to go lcd like htc.

  • Trevor Clement

    Tell me more about the One Maxx now! I’m going to explode trying to decide on whether to to pull the trigger on the Note 3 or wait… but how long is the wait.

  • kashtrey

    That Pen Window thing has to be one of the most unintuitive things ever and just goes to show that Samsung doesn’t think things through and are all about gimmicks. The functionality is pretty cool but really it’s just the “mini-apps” that TW has always had, except they’ve added an extra unintuitive step (drawing a square) that serves absolutely no purpose. Really, why does the user need to draw a square after hitting a menu button just to get to another submenu?

  • ApplesNAndroids

    Moto X or bust.

  • greenairwaves90

    [email protected] if anyone interested in an Verizon titanium grey one with accessories

  • Chris Amaya

    Given all the touch wiz crap that’s loaded on the phone, how much of the storage space is actually useable?

  • deadpenguins

    Ew, why does the screen look ridiculously blue?

    • Taglogical

      Sammy OLED at it’s finest.

  • Tylar Overturf

    Ehh i’ll wait for the Nexus 5.

  • mustbepbs

    So huge.

  • tvBilly

    Too big for a phone, too small for a tablet. What a waste.

  • CasperTFG

    The S-pen is interesting. Even though this link pertains to Note 2 it shows an artist rendering a picture using the pen feature. Look at the 9:11 minute mark. You can see mountains.


  • zombiewolf115

    so umm. ik samsung fanboys are going to give hate. but its the same lol. lol its exactly the same except spec wise lol.

  • Darrin W. Crenshaw

    This looks pretty beast. Samsung does it again!

  • schlanz

    Well I think I may upgrade my Note 2. I hope my media dock works with the note 3.. cant think of a reason why it wouldn’t

  • Dcdanger

    Look at the size of that thing

  • ImmaDroid

    you should of checked how much usable memory was left after all the samsung bloatware. then double that for Verizon

  • Pyro411

    I’m waiting for hell to freeze over, I want a Google Play Edition of this on Verizon 🙂

  • DanSan

    is the charger micro USB? from pictures the slot looks completely different. also is the microsd card right next to it? no idea what those slots are on the bottom

    • ImmaDroid

      Looks like the slots for the speakers. see theres none on the back for them

    • Cory_S

      It’s Micro USB 3, but there is a slot inside of it for a Micro USB 2 connector

  • Dan


  • Turb0wned

    Hey Samsung fan boys, tell me again why you are “upgrading” from the Note 2? You do know that those 3GBs of ram and the Snapdragon 800 isn’t gong to make you not lag any less than the Note 2.. It’s going to pretty much run the same way. More cores, “better processor and more ram on phones these days don’t mean much anymore. But hey, just like the Apple fanboys, keep making Samsung rich.

    • ToddAwesome

      What about those of us upgrading from the GNex, is that acceptable?

      • Turb0wned

        That is a huge upgrade, minus the ugly Touchwiz…

      • steve james

        Count me in that. I am actually happy with how well it has held up. My OG Droid was an unusable mess by this far in my two years.

    • J2886M

      you must be a nokia fan boy, did ballmer send you?

      • Turb0wned

        Oh yeah, i’m such a nokia fan boy, yet I never owned a Nokia in my life… I own and HTC One and a Gnex…

        Why does Apple consistently run laps around so many Android phones? They are optimized to run with the with the hardware as to where most Android manufactures just throw the best specs available in and call it a day. This is where the Moto X shines, but people like you are to dumb to pull your head out of your ass and realize that the spec wars is dumb now. But Moto of-coruse still failed to get things right, like the camera.

        • J2886M

          sorry for being excited about new product announcements, suppose that gives me the “dumb” title. I can happily admit my first cell phone was made by Nokia, and I played snake.

          • steve james

            Right on brother! 252 for me. It was light years ahead of the game. I wish they would have stayed ahead of the curve. Loved that phone. As to the troll I put him at just out of high school physically but still in middle school mentally. Calling strangers on the internet names for jollies is a sure sign.

          • J2886M

            Those phones were tanks!!! Maybe he had a bad day and his anger sharks swam into bay?

        • Caleb Boerner

          Spec wars are totally over! I mean like the capabilities of smart phones are like totally static. There won’t ever be an increase in the resource demands of apps and OS or a need to render high quality video quickly and smoothly and stuff. Properly optimized, a TI86 could like totally do everything the Note 3 can.

          *stupidity is the proudest human condition*

        • Taglogical

          Moto did it right in many ways – and when the costs of producing their new architecture come down, they will be able to again include features like expandable storage and removable batteries. The Moto X is a ‘coffee table’ phone; a talking point – it demonstrates where we could go… it’s a demo.

  • J2886M

    are they updating software for the N2 then? heard them mention updates to several lines of theirs to adhere to the watch

    • jboogie1289

      If I’m not mistaken, I heard one of the gentlemen mention something about an October software update rolling out allowing the Gear to sync with the GS3 and Note 2.

      • J2886M

        id sure like to see the N2 get 4.3 by year end

  • Bigwavedave25

    @Kellen – How does the back REALLY feel?? Cheap or passing for a decent non-slip material?

  • John Malin

    The microUSB isn’t center………. Can’t unsee that

  • Tim242

    No video? Every other site had hands-on videos.

  • sk3litor

    Does anyone have a link to the unveiling of this wonderful piece? I just got off work

  • OneForTheGoodDays

    JK Shin: “With the Samsung Galaxy S3 we were inspired by nature: pebbles, droplets of water etc. … with Note 3, we let our inspiration take us inside and took hints from your Grandmother’s faux leather sofa and chrome accented refrigerator.”

  • 3GB Ram…..wowww

  • JoshGroff

    The leather back cover is an interesting option.

    • SA_NYC

      But I don’t think it’s optional, unless I misunderstood.

      • JoshGroff

        IIRC, they also have aluminum, was sort of just glancing through though.

  • Can’t wait to get them…I will be my first customer of the new Note 3…lol

  • panicswhenubered

    Biggest decision of 2013: LG G2 or Note 3?

    • john

      I was waiting on today to decide.I think I am going to go with the Lg G2.Not that impressed with the Note 3.Cheap looking back and no need for 3gb of ram unless the OS is a memory hog.I never used the spen on my Note 2 or the multi screen.
      Replaced the note with the S4 and really like the size a lot better.The G2 will be very close in size to the S4.Don’t think I could go back to a phone that big.

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Note 3. 32gb/SD, 3gb Ram

      • Taglogical

        Yea but it has that awful OLED… Answer: Neither (wait for something that has what you want)

    • p0k3y

      I am going to hold out for N5. Hope it won’t disappoint, although it would be nice to have MicroSD, which I am sure Google won’t put in the N5 again.

  • nina

    i would sell my ass on the street for this phone. okay maybe not. but it’d sure come close.

    • Brian P.

      Wow Nina…if you reconsider ;-]

      • nina


    • Alex

      Somebody would “come” close, that’s for sure.

    • New_Guy

      Hand was already reaching for the wallet…darn.



    • TheTruthSquad

      What street?

  • Philip J. Fry
  • PuttsMoBilesiCit

    Is this Android 4.2.2, 4.3?

    • jbegs


    • tomn1ce

      It’s supposed to come with 4.3 out the gate…

    • countryashell334


  • Ryan

    ehhh… Hurry up G2.

  • Ryan B

    If the ui wasent soooo ugly I might think about it. But now its going to get unlocked and ROMed to the point of no additional features. Thus, the LG G2 looks pretty good in comparison.

    • Exactly why I am waiting for the Nexus 5!

  • grayson360

    So its a GS2 but 5.7 inches? Oh wait a pen and chrome!!!!!

  • Mark Schleupner

    There is no speaker grill on the back – it looks like the speakers are on the bottom, like the iPhone. Is this a good thing?

    • jnt

      In general I would say yes, but I rarely lay my phone down on it’s face.

  • Definitely getting this on Tmobile and just skipping the Nexus 7 all together. I’ve been trying to use a stylus with my ipad and it’s just not cut out for what I want to do with it.

  • Stevennnnnnnnn

    It’s still too big for me. Look at how much bigger it is than the S4.

  • Wooooonote3

    Dunno about the leather back buuuut it’s a note 3 so I’m in 🙂

  • Jimmyjammer

    Leather back really? …


    • Mike Hilal

      Leather back is far better than cheap (yes, anodized aluminum is cheap…if you dont believe me, go do some research on anodized car parts )scratched up aluminum or glossy (and low grade) abs plastic.

    • akellar

      It’s textured plastic, not “leather”

      • Mike Hilal


    • Whenever I see this gif I think of my reaction to watching Iron Man 3…

      • New_Guy

        Or “Grownups 2”. Holy crap, that movie was awful.

        • Whoever suggested that Grown Ups deserved a sequel should be shot.

          • New_Guy

            ..in the neck.

      • StuckOnVerizonForever

        Still better than Iron Man 2. That was the real trash of the trilogy.

        • Meh, I’m not even sure about that. I really thought IM3 was awful. The humor was over done, and at times, not even that funny. The plots were all over the place, with way too much time spent walking around some rinky dink town doing random crap. Then there was the whole fake villain plot. Then you had Pepper saving Tony’s ass, because blowing Killian up while he was inside of a suit wasn’t good enough. Then Tony blows up all of his suits for no reason whatsoever. I mean he probably spent thousands of hours working on those suits, and instead of trying to find a good solution to make it all work out with them and Pepper he just blows them up. I thought it was all really dumb. At least in Iron Man 2 there were plenty of legit badass moments with Whiplash. Never felt the same way with Killian. Just my opinion though. Don’t hate me 🙂

          • steve james

            Thank you. It is nice to know I am not the only one. Mickey at least made a good drunk Russian. Really did not care for IM3.

          • Haha, you’re welcome 😛 But yea, getting back to the point: I basically did exactly what’s in that gif when the movie ended.

  • Beesley

    I’m in. 100% Anyone in the market for a used Note 2?

  • RaptorOO7

    So no fingerprint sensor after all, how interesting.

    • tomn1ce

      This was a deal breaker for me…. O_O

      • JoshGroff

        I actually had the Atrix 4G, the fingerprint sensor made me feel like a spy.

      • Apple bought the company that provides this technology.

  • Defenestratus

    Going to replace my aging G-nex with this hopefully.

    • KB

      This or Nexus 5 for me. Buh-bye verizon

  • Rev

    still want to know what the cost on the 10.1 is

  • Shaunwin

    I have many questions, so I will reserve judgement until after a full DL review. But so far it is looking good and will likely be my replacement phone.

  • Is the leather a lot grippier than the slippery plastic? If so, I can see this being a big pro as the Note 2 is really easy to drop. I really feel 50/50 on this, I like the upgrades but at the same time it doesn’t seem like there’s much new stuff that isn’t software related.

    • Lucid

      It’s plastic that looks like leather.

      • Open1Your1Eyes0

        It’s faux leather actually the plastic is underneath it so you never feel it.

      • jboogie1289

        Sigh……..They did say it was leather but we won’t know until it’s released. I haven’t heard anyone comment on the back during the hands on videos.

      • Mike Hilal

        They call this vinyl

  • kamkid279

    Pleather and chrome!?

  • Beamish

    Is the battery the same as the Note II or is it tweaked just enough to make it “new”?

    • It’s 3200mAh, I believe the Note 2 was 3100mAh. They mentioned that with a lot of hardware and software tweaks you’ll get 4 hours more video playback over the Note 2 though.

      • T4rd

        I assume you meant the Note 3? I pretty much already get that with the Note 2.

        • No the Note 3 has 3200, the Note 2 has 3100.

          • T4rd

            Oh, nevermind, I thought you said that it will get “4 hours of video playback”, not “4 MORE hours”, hah. So I thought you meant to say Note 3 at the end there.

        • Ericfranca

          4 more hours on top of what the Note 2 gets.

        • tomn1ce

          They said 4 extra hours on the Note 3 if you tinker with it…

    • bluemon

      3200 vs 3100

  • tomn1ce

    It’s a deal breaker for me, it doesn’t have a finger print scanner…How can I make myself buy the G-Note 3 with no finger print scanner…/s
    On another Not3, it’s time to retire my aging vzw G-Nexus….Too bad vzw won’t release it until Nov/Dec…

    • EvanTheGamer

      I wanted to get the SGS4 since I first heard about it, but then I heard about the Galaxy Note 3 so decided to wait until I could see what it was all about. So far I’m really impressed, and it very well could be my next phone, IF it gets released at Verizon before the year is up. Looking forward to it.

      • Derek L.

        To both of you, I say this… The rumor is that the Note 3 shall be released on every carrier on the same exact day.. We shall see how that turns out though with VZW in the mix…

        • tomn1ce

          Good luck with that on vzw. I think they do it just to tick us off…..

        • EvanTheGamer

          Let’s hope you’re right, but pretty doubtful. But if somehow you are right, I’ll be totally jumping for joy in the streets!

    • Jay

      where did you see that Verizon isn’t until nov/dec?

      • T4rd

        He’s basing that from the previous GS4 and Note 2 launches where Verizon took 4-6 weeks after everyone else to launch the latest phone.

      • tomn1ce

        Vzw always releases phones later then other carriers when releasing the same device. Look at the GS4 release and what about the HTC One release, what a joke that was. The same goes for updates to the OS have you not notice how we blast vzw for this. Look at the G-Nexus everyone else is on 4.3 and the red headed step child is still on 4.2.2. I have PacMan 4.3 bld on mine so I can care less when vzw gets around in updating the G-Nexus if they get to it.

  • Inspector Butters

    I think the leather idea might actually be a nice feature

    • Defenestratus

      I actually like it as well.

      • jboogie1289

        Me three…..

    • Travis Erickson

      I was unsure at first, definitely a fan of it

    • Thomas
      • crazed_z06

        Let me tell you what Melba Toast is packing here.. Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB of RAM, 32GB onboard storage, 5.7″ 1080p screen..

        We’re talk some f’in muscle..

    • YankInDaSouth

      Only concern I have is with the stiching coming loose and the leather easily tearing.

      • Greyhame

        Not to worry about that. Stiching is faux. The whole back is plastic, per usual.

        • YankInDaSouth

          Gotcha … should have figured that LOL Pictures made it hard to tell.

    • Isaac W

      Agreed. It’s like a built in case. Slap a screen protector on it and call it good. 🙂

    • Detonation

      It’s not leather it’s textured plastic

    • New_Guy

      That’s friggin sexy. I’m already looking for one for my Note 2 on Amazon.

    • jdl13

      Crap, here comes another lawsuit…

  • woot

    top right of the phone… is that an IR blaster?

    • jboogie1289

      That’s one of the things that they didn’t mention. Looks like it could be that.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Well and IR LED is listed in the specs for remote functions, so I’d say yes.

    • Travis Erickson

      Glad someone else caught that as well, maybe a potential TV controller?

    • nina

      the press releases are saying that it is-

    • Matt

      The IR blaster seems pretty standard on the note series. Although their “peel” remote control app is pretty weak.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I like the leather. Anything for a better grip.

  • htowngtr

    Still just a giant S4/S3. Nice specs though… remains to be seen if it is approaching “too big for a phone” status for me though.

    • jboogie1289

      So do you have or ever used a N2? If not, I’m not sure how you can justify your statement. If I’m correct, it’s basically the same dimensions as the Note 2 except the screen has been stretched (and bezel minimized). Looks awesome coming from a Note 2 user.

      • ITGuy

        Who gives a sh!t! Let the user have his opinion. He’s just as entitled to have one as you are. You’re just baiting him into an argument for no reason. Everyone…the world should just start basing smartphone standards on jboogie1289’s experience…he know’s how exactly it should feel in your hand.

        • jboogie1289

          Take a deep breath junior!! This guy or better yet “PRO” is basing his opinion on what? I read his comment and based my answer on just that guy. He didn’t say that he had a Note 2 to begin with, just mentioned that the Note 3 looks more like a giant S3/S4. So yes, he stated his opinion and I stated mines big brother!! And if everyone based their experiences on jboogie1289’s then we would all have much more. Man please, move back.

          • ITGuy

            Nice argument. The bottom line is this…Samsung’s Note product line does NOT suit everyone. It doesn’t make people uniformed or ignorant because they’ve never owned one. And to answer your question, the Note series is indeed a giant S3/4 with added functionality for S Pen. Put them side by side with the same Android version and aside from S Pen software pick out the differences. And don’t talk to me about Hardware either. From a usability and multitasking standpoint, both these devices are equally capable given your normal day to day user. The big question here for anyone considering a Note is simple…do I want a bigger screen and do I need a built in stylus.

          • jboogie1289

            I agree, that the Note series is NOT for everyone. No one was ever considered ignorant by me nor have I implied that they were considered ignorant because the comments that they’ve made. My response was only to ask have they ever used a Note line device in order to claim that it was becoming too big for their liking. Maybe this individual has used one hence the reason for his post. Hardware, meh, I’m not going to say much there because truth be told is that most handsets are basically the same on internals or close enough to not matter. So if the Note 3 was just a bigger S4 then there wouldn’t be an S-Pen and the S4 wouldn’t have some of the functions that it has that the Note series lack but that’s neither here nor there. As for me, I’m pleased with the Note series, can’t see myself going to any other handset of a smaller size from another manufacturer and no, I don’t have a use for the stylus but I like knowing that I have it there in the event that I would need it when a pen and paper isn’t available. No harm, no foul and thanks for the spirited chat. I stand corrected.

    • ksat

      I would agree… Seems like a monster of a device. And I thought my GNexus was large. There is a fine line of just right and too big. I’m thinking this just became “too big.”