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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

The Galaxy Note 2 from Samsung was a very successful device, with millions of users falling in love with its massive display, excellent battery life, S Pen integration, and non-stop A+ performance. While the size of the device might scare a few people away, there is now a dedicated group of folks who can’t imagine having anything smaller in their pockets. Back in early September, Samsung introduced the newest member of the Note family, the Galaxy Note 3, giving Note 2 members a reason to upgrade and others a chance to reconsider their fear of tablet-phone hybrid category.

The key things we kept in mind  while putting this review together were the subtle differences between this device and the Note 2. The Note 3 features a larger 1080p display, up from the Note 2’s slightly smaller 720p display. The Note 3 also comes packed with a beefy Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB of RAM, up from the Note 2’s 2GB of RAM and less-powerful quad-core processor. Other little things to note are changes to the camera, overall hardware enhancements, and misc. S-Pen software additions.

Without further ado, let’s get to it. This is our Galaxy Note 3 review.  

The Good


The Note 3, in terms of specs, is the ultimate beast. For now, it’s the top dog on paper, sporting a 5.7″ 1080p HD Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 800 chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP back-facing camera (records video at 4K), 2MP front-facing camera, 3,200mAh battery, full stylus S Pen functionality, NFC, 16GB and 32GB storage options, runs Android 4.3 with a more-than-likely quick bump to Android 4.4 once it’s released, and a USB 3.0 port, all in a somewhat smaller package than the previous Note 2 device. When it comes to specs, we haven’t seen anything like this quite yet. Sure, the Snapdragon 800 processor is in a few devices, including the G2 and even the rumored Nexus 5, but the Note 3 packs 3GB of RAM, allowing it superior multi-tasking functionality. While your everyday user may not ever notice the difference between performance in 2GB of RAM and 3GB, the power users among us will no likely be clamoring for all phones moving forward to come with this spec bump. The phone in most cases is fast and very responsive, but at other times, it acts just like any other top-tier Android device with its minor quirks and performance hiccups.


note 3 display

Unlike the Note 2’s 720p display, the Note 3 features a 1080p HD Super AMOLED display (386ppi), allowing users to see mobile content in a whole new light. The display is bright, well-saturated with color, and is extremely crisp with text and the tiniest of details. When viewing videos and photos, the experience is exactly as good as you would expect from a 1080p display, although using the phone in direct sunlight is sometimes difficult; you will definitely want to crank up the brightness.

In terms of touching the display, it isn’t quite as nice as our experience while using the LG G2, where the screen is almost buttery smooth or soft to the touch. On the Note 3, you feel some stickiness, and it picks up grease quite easily, but beyond that it is an extreme joy to look at and touch.

The pixel arrangement is an odd diamond shape, similar to what we saw with the Galaxy S4, but isn’t technically considered PenTile. It takes a macro lens to notice the arrangement, so don’t worry about your naked eye being able to pick any of it up during scrolling or image viewing. This may not be the RGB stripe you’ll see from LCD counterparts, but it’s as good if not better in some instances, especially when it comes to producing black. You’ll also notice how cool it displays whites when compared to other AMOLEDs like that featured in the Moto X. Overall, this is a really nice display that has incredible viewing angles, impressive brightness, and great color reproduction.

macro small3

Macro for fun – Full resolution.

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The Note 3’s camera is a huge plus for the device. It has a 13MP sensor with anti-shake technology that Samsung is calling “Smart Stabilization.” We don’t think it’s true OIS (optical image stabilization), like you’ll see found in devices like the LG G2, but could be digital image stabilization. That aside, when shooting on max resolution, photos come out with extreme detail, crisp and clean. It is especially good at taking close-ups and macros, while still getting the job done when it comes to landscapes and wide angle shots. I am very critical of smartphone cameras, given that I adore Instagram, and this device easily passes my tests. Sample shots can be seen below.

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Full resolution: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

And while taking pictures is great, don’t forget that this device is capable of shooting 4K video (only on Snapdragon 800 variants, which are U.S. carrier variants). Yep, 4K, baby. Before taking 4K video, though, you should make sure you have a lot of space on your memory card. After shooting a 30 second video in 4K, the file was roughly 300MB, so if you plan on using the Note 3 to shoot a documentary or action flick that can be replayed on your $10,000 TV, you will need a few SD cards laying around.

The camera comes with plenty of filters and different pre-loaded settings from Golf (yes, reallY) to HDR to Animated Photo to Drama modes, all of which have their own benefits if the time calls for them. Burst mode is included as well, along with face detection software, picture-in-picture video and stills, the ability to take stills while recording video, and enough manual settings (ISO, white balance, and exposure) to satisfy even camera enthusiasts. Samsung’s camera software has never been my favorite as it tends to overwhelm, but it gets the job done once you become familiar with it.

I will say that I noticed far too often the phone “Processing” after snapping photos. Since I’m coming from the LG G2, which took pictures in a split second, the waiting times seen between photos is a bit unexpected and unwelcomed. The processing between shots wasn’t constant, but it showed up often enough for me to notice it (screenshot).



The Note 3 comes packed with a removable 3,200mAh battery. For having a 5.7″ 1080p display, quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM, the battery holds up pretty well over a normal day of usage. For the review I definitely used the phone a lot more than your average user, playing tons of games, taking lots of photos, and running a lot of apps simultaneously. Unsurprisingly, it held up very well to my torturous review regiment. From the mornings when I unplugged the device to the nights when I plugged it back in, the phone always had about 10-20% remaining. Although, when running certain games such as NFS: Most Wanted for a few hours, I would notice significant battery loss. For a game as intensive as that, that’s no shocker. To sum it up, I had no issues with the device’s battery, so I am pleased to report that.

galaxy note 3 batterybattery2battery1

S Pen software

I was a heavy user of the Galaxy Note 2 after it was first released, but one thing I hardly ever used on that device was the S Pen. I saw the need for some users to have it, but it just didn’t seem very practical at times, at least for me. With the Note 3, my opinion of the S Pen and Samsung’s baked in Pen software has changed quite  bit. I find myself using the pen when I am out and about a lot more often than I ever did with the Note 2, thanks to apps such as Scrapbooker and Pen Window. For example, I was making dinner and the recipe called for a lot of ingredients from the store. I took a screenshot of the ingredients in the Chrome browser app using Screen Write, then I was able to physically check off what items I had in my cart while at the store using the pen. This function is available for Note 2 owners, but that is just my top-of-the-head example for everyday use.

Using Pen Window is when I really fell in love. With this app, you can draw windows on your homescreen while in any other app, and then open additional applications inside of that window. For example, if I am in my gallery, but need to chat with my friend on Hangouts, but don’t want to close the gallery, I can simply draw a window and place Hangouts inside and have full control over both apps at the same time. It’s like Multi-window, but with Pen Window, I can collapse any app I have open into a ChatHead-like popup that I can move around my display. If I need the app again, I can just hit the little popup and I’m back in the app. To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, watch the video down below where I go over all of Samsung’s S Pen software. If you were planning on picking up a Note 3, you will need to watch this.



When it comes to finding this phone in a store near you on launch day, Samsung spared no expense. As of this posting, you can find the Note 3 on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, all starting sometime within the first two weeks of October. Almost every carrier has the device priced at $299 for the 32GB version (Sprint’s model starts at $349). Samsung has been very good about getting its flagship devices into the hands of as many people as possible on all carriers, and the trend continues with the Galaxy Note 3.

Somewhere in the Middle


Much like we saw with the Galaxy S4, the current version of TouchWiz that is running on the Galaxy Note 3 sometimes hinders the Note 3’s performance. The Galaxy S4 received an update after it was released that allowed the device to speed up, and we are hoping for the same thing here. The Note 3 has a next-gen quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM, so there is no reason to see performance issues. It wouldn’t be a shot in the dark to blame any type of slowness on Samsung’s software.

Most of the issues (stuttering, lag, slow app switching, etc.) we have seen come when you are running Samsung’s stock home launcher that first appears packed with widgets. Once the widgets are removed, it seems to be more of a fluid experience. But again, with 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 800 CPU, there shouldn’t be a delay when exiting an app or launching one of Samsung’s heavily advertised S Pen features, something we saw quite often.

Another frustrating time to see performance issues is in the camera through the previously mentioned “Processing” message when you are taking pictures. Many of the times we snapped a shot in Auto and with ideal lighting, were then met with the on-screen delay while the phone processed the photo. Both Kellen and myself have been met with this issue time and time again, one that we are hoping is resolved very soon. Again, we had zero lag with photo processing on devices like the G2 or Moto X.

A phone that comes with futuristic specs needs to perform flawlessly. That’s what people are paying $299 on-contract for. Although, take a look at these benchmarks and you will be surprised that this device has any performance flaws at all. But like we always say, benchmarks are never a true way to measure a phone’s real-world performance.

Note 3 benchmarksNote 3 benchmarks 2

Click for full size.

Overall feel and design

Before the Note 3 was finally unveiled, there were numerous rumors and reports on the Web suggesting that Samsung was going to change the look of the Note series. There were talks of seeing a metallic Note 3 or even a curvy looking device, but once we saw how Samsung changed the S3 into the S4, I was certain that the company would go the same route for the Note lineup. Sure enough, Samsung followed the exact same guidelines by making the screen bigger, bezels smaller, device thinner and gave it a more straightforward look, meaning it’s not as bubbly or curved as the Note 2. It’s a very handsome device and looks quite premium with the metal accents along its sides. In short, it’s a hot phone from the front.

The Note 3 is massive, though, and for some people that’s the initial draw to or away from it. They purely want a big phone. But again, what should impress you about this design is the fact that Samsung managed to fit everything we have already talked about into a package that is actually thinner and lighter than its predecessor. At just 8.3mm thick and at 168g, you are looking at a substantial difference in build. If you can manage a device this big, you’ll be impressed by its size.

samsung galaxy note 3

With that said, the way people feel about the backside might not all match, as I for one don’t really care for the notebook-inspired aesthetic the device give off. Samsung decided that to give the phone a better look and feel, they would ditch the glossy plastics seen on the Note 2 and Galaxy S4, and instead place a faux-leather material along the backside to resemble the look of a real leather-bound notebook. It does look and feel sort of nice at first, but once you really get your eyes on it, and start getting your fingers all over it, it just doesn’t give off the feeling of a premium material you were led to believe it had. Sure, it’s not pure plastic like we saw on the Galaxy Note 2 or the Galaxy S4, but this isn’t much better. At the device unveiling, Samsung touted the stitching along the edges of the backplate, but when you look closely, they are nothing more than just “plastic” bumps that resemble stitches. The feeling of the backside does resemble leather, and gives off a good feel, but it’s not at all what I had initially imagined. It’s just a textured “plasticy” battery cover.

While plastic-fake-leather-with-stitching is not the worst thing to look at, it would be nice to see Samsung announce replaceable or premium backplates that can be hot-swapped, if that leather isn’t to your liking. We would love for there to be different color options or even material options for that matter, especially after seeing what Motorola has planned for the Moto X. Knowing Samsung, it’s almost certain there will different colors of the device, and if you feel like using a Smart Cover, then obtaining a new look will be very easy for you. And don’t forget that the third party accessory industry will surely have you covered as well.

galaxy note 3 stitching

The Not-so-Good



Samsung’s custom Android skin, also known as TouchWiz, has needed a design makeover for 3 years now, yet here we are in 2013 with a UI that looks straight out of Android’s Gingerbread days. It fails to utilize gestures in menus, uses unnecessary animations throughout that cause lag, has an incredibly complicated settings area (more on that below), and includes so many single-use case add-on features that we’re not sure a normal human could take advantage of them all in a two or three year period. The biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world should be able to do better than this.

Companies like LG have similarly terrible UIs, except they are at least trying to adapt theirs over time to meet Android design guidelines and to add on subtle, yet useful features. Samsung, on the other hand, appears to be stuck in a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. Rather than spending some of those extra advertising dollars on an innovative design and intuitive Android skin, they continue to pile on features without a clear way to present, explain, or convince anyone to use them.


Audio jack issues

Unfortunately, much like we experienced with the Galaxy S4, the Note 3 is currently suffering from some type of headphone jack audio issue. I’m no professional sound engineer, so please excuse my crude explanation of the problem. This issue has been documented on various user forums for the S4, so at least I know it’s not just my review unit that is having issues. When listening to music through the 3.5mm jack, you are sometimes met with a very weak sound. It’s as if the sound of the music isn’t “full” or quite loud enough. Then, after a few minutes without touching anything while at full volume, the volume just explodes and you are left deafened by the surprise volume attack. Some people are pointing towards low-impedance headphones being the issue, but I have had the problem on multiple pairs of headphones, in-ear buds, through car decks, and everything else. It’s a very frustrating and reoccurring issue that I wish Samsung would find a cure for. Until then, I fear listening to music out of this device because I don’t want to go deaf. It might sound crazy, but it’s a very real issue that I experienced over the course of time I had the device.

Sticky power button

Whether it is only my unit or a potential widespread issue (Kellen reports no sticking on his international unit), the power button on this Note 3 sticks. The problem seems to arise when I hit the lower end of the button, and then once it’s stuck, I just have to repress once or twice to unstick it. When I go to turn off the display, quickly hitting the power button, it will then get stuck and I am met with the Power Off menu. This is annoying. Whether the button just needs to be worked in to prevent the sticking, I don’t know. While I hope it’s just my unit that might be “damaged,” it’s impossible to tell at this point until everyone else gets their Note 3s. Let’s hope it is only me.

Cluttered Settings menu

The Note 3 has so many features that you can easily get lost inside of the Settings menu. With settings for Air Gestures and Motion Controls, it’s just crazy to me that Samsung has not come up with a better way to either a.) label the menus better or b.) display these settings in a more user-friendly fashion. For instance, it would take someone with little smartphone experience quite a long time to navigate and find the correct menus to fix something. Luckily, there is a “search” bar in the settings menu, but when you don’t know the name of the particular setting you are looking for, it’s rendered useless. The Settings menu is based on four tabs along the top of the display. You have to hit each tab to see their contained settings options, and you cannot slide between each tab with a swipe. That is just silly. LG did the right thing and made it possible for users to easily slide between each tab. If you have already been a user of TouchWiz, none of this will shock you. If you plan on this being your first TouchWiz-powered device, be prepared to navigate yourself through the endless menus upon menus of settings.

TouchWiz Settings


Just like any other device you purchase that is tied to a carrier, it comes packed with bloatware. The Galaxy Note 3 on Sprint is no different at all. When added up, the bloat count for the Note 3 is only 13, which isn’t nearly as bad as the G2’s 20 bloat apps, but it’s still just as annoying. When first powering on the device, I was met with app updates for each one, so the initial setup of the device was postponed because of that. Luckily, you can disable any and all of the bloatware you like, so at least Android allows for that. Thanks, Google. We appreciate it.

Speaker placement

Samsung decided to place the Note 3’s speaker along the bottom of the device, which is different from the Note 2’s placement. The Note 2 had its speaker along the lower-backside of the device, not on bottom. This is an issue because the way you hold the device while in landscape mode, completely covers up the speaker. If you are playing a video game or watching a video, you have to be conscientious of where you place your fingers, as not to block the speaker. That’s a serious downer in my book, as I tend to play a lot of games and watch a lot of videos. What I end up having to do is sort of spider grip the backside using my right hand, which actually hurts after a while. This comes off as just improper design testing to me.


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30+ Tips and Tricks



The Galaxy Note 3 is priced at $299 on-contract through all major carriers ($349 at Sprint) here in the US. The price isn’t surprising, as this is the tippity top of the top tier offerings from any manufacturer in the world. It delivers the best specs a phone has seen to date, fantastic battery life, and is a mobile photographer’s dream device thanks to its impressive 13MP camera. Besides the minor inconsistencies in performance with TouchWiz and a few disconcerting hardware issues with my unit (power button and audio jack issue), this is a killer device for anyone who wants a big device. If you are coming off of the original Note or upgrading from the Note 2, you will love this phone completely. It is in every way, shape, and form, a step in the right direction for Samsung.

Links:  Galaxy Note 3 deals at eBay | Amazon

  • dkochheiser

    OK, I have this phone, but I HATE Touchwiz, especially coming from a Nexus 4. Anyone know of any custom ROMS that will still support the S Pen with the Note 3? I care less about Samsung’s custom apps that I will never use, want to be able to use Sketchbook/Lecture Notes/etc and still have the pressure sensitivity with the pen….

  • disastrousrainbow

    So after nearly a month with this phone I gotta say I love it. Battery life is still killer and it’s just a pleasure to use. Again, always liked the Galaxy series, so this new design has been like a godsend.

    Btw, I noticed this review complained about the camera’s processing. Turns out it’s a setting called “smart stablization.” Turn that off and picture taking becomes just as quick as most fast shutter cams out there.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Way To BIG!!!!

  • Bigsike

    Dear God we need this bootloader unlocked, we need every dev in every part of the world to put their minds together and unleash this beast.

    • Bigsike

      Looks like the devs are hard at work and should be able to get Safestrap on this beast at the very least. This is about the best we could have hoped for but it looks like we’ll finally be able to unleash it. 😉

  • Chris Kinchen

    I have the Note 3 and love it. I have bigger hands though, so it’s not a pain to hold. And I never consider UI/Bloatware when I buy phones, as I have rooted every device I”ve owned, starting with the OG Droid. I think the G2 is a great phone as well, it’s kinda weird for people of any camp to bash the other lol. Honestly, most “top-tier” phones, spec-wise, are VERY similar, with maybe some deviations in the amount of RAM, +/- camera megapixels, etc. That’s where design and user-experience come in…..

    If I could own both the Note 3 and G2 I probably would, just to do it lol. The Note 3 won for me based on the screen size and perceived “speediness” during multi-tasking etc. I also don’t like the buttons on the back of the phone….I was difficult for me to manipulate them while I was in the Verizon store. Other than that though, a very well designed phone I’d say…

    I love Droid Life reviews, and honestly the comments on the articles are almost just as informative (if you can get past all of the trolling/racism/perceived racism/spamming lol).

    Do your research and buy whatever phone you want, who cares what anybody else thinks lol!

  • Luke Kallam

    I personally haven’t experienced any of the issues you mentioned so far, and the speaker placement could be worse, my previous phone (Galaxy Nexus) had worse speaker placement and volume, so I’m not complaining! No stutter or lag so far, I’m a week in!

  • Drew Kilkenny

    Just putting it out there to see if anyone else has had the same issue….When I go to turn on the screen after the phone has been sitting untouched for a while, aka wake the phone (30 seconds to 1 minute or more) it takes approx 3 seconds after i push the on button for the screen to turn on. After the button has been pushed and the screen has been turned on there is no lag between going from lit up to dark. I am just wondering if anyone else has had this same problem. I have all the animations turned off under development options. Even my dinosaur OG moto droid doesn’t lag when i hit the power button, I just figure that this top tier most advanced machine shouldn’t have any lag time for the screen to turn on. Thoughts??

  • disastrousrainbow

    So day one with the Note 3 and I’m quite impressed. From a design perspective, it’s an elegant piece of hardware no doubt, and the faux-leather really gives it a MUCH better feel than all the Galaxy’s that have come before. While I don’t have freakishly large hands, I found one-handed operation to be easy enough, although I usually always rest my phone in my left hand and use my right to manipulate it, regardless of the size. Just a force of habit as I’m sure is the case for most.

    I spent all day setting my Note 3 up and going through every single menu multiple times. I had my screen set to near max brightness (no less than 75%) and I put the phone through its paces. Camera shots, multiple uploads to Facebook/Instagram, video playback, some streaming via Chromecast, plus the usual suspects, text, email, and web browsing. There was even about ten minutes of temple run action done and by the end of of it all I had crossed the ten hour mark with half of that time with the screen on. Not too shabby at all and way better than my S4.

    I’m sure people who are more conservative with their use, especially those who take advantage of power saving settings like auto-brightness, will easily be able to chug along at least a day or more with this battery, and even if that’s not the case the USB 3.0 charging is surprisingly quick. I brought my battery life all the way down to 1% and plugged it in about an hour and a half ago and it’s already 85% charged!

    The phone’s faults mainly lie in the speaker and performance, although the latter is somewhat of a misnomer. First of all, I have no problem with the placement, it’s no different than an iPhone and it hasn’t gotten in the way, in fact I kind of like it because when I put the phone in my pocket I usually place it upside down, with the speaker poking out of my pockets, so no more muffled noises in my pocket. Still, the clarity and quality are weak. It’s not as bad as some reviews would have you believe, but it’s not going to beat a phone with boom sound or what I’ve heard on the latest Droid Maxx.

    As for performance, the phone is blazing fast a majority of the time, but every now and then there’s the occasional hiccup, noticeable when you swear you thought you flicked the screen correctly to move around, or when you initiate scrolling in an app. Basically, if you second guess whether or not you thought you tapped an app to open it and it didn’t the first, chances are you did but the phone just didn’t respond. To be fair, I’ve experienced this on pretty much every phone I’ve ever owned, but it’s not as consistently smooth as pure Google device would be, but it’s still close.

    So yeah, long read, but about as quick I could summarize a days worth of time with the Note 3. As much as I would’ve loved the back to be real leather, or the band around the phone to be real metal, I’m one of those people who doesn’t care so much about that. I mean, sure it feels premium, but that means there’s a premium chance the phone could get damaged incredibly quick with heavier materials (Nexus 4 anyone?) and since I’ve dropped pretty much every Galaxy device I’ve owned at one point without a case without ever shattering a screen, on multiple floor types too, I’ll take my pleather and run with it. I honestly feel I’ve made a sound, future-proofed purchase and there’s nothing you could say to make me give this phone up…unless of course, you were to tell me the Note IV is being made out of aluminium materials and a uni-body design. 🙂

  • Bigsike

    Ok just picked mine up and wow!! Beast X 2!. The only question I have is when does anyone think this sucker will be rooted? I know I need it and I’m sure many others do too. Come on devs get a rockin! 🙂

    • Bigsike

      Well we now have Root on the VZW Note 3! so now let’s see how good it is!

  • disastrousrainbow

    Pretty excited to get my hands on mine today. I loved the Note II but I just couldn’t get over that stupid home button and the screen. It was a nice screen but it just looked so tame compared to the likes of (at the time) the DNA and (now) the S4 and G2. However, everything I’ve read/seen/heard about the Note 3’s display just excites the hell out of me and the more minimalist/faux-professional look has me hooked (loved my S4 but the gloss, dat gloss).

    And yes, I know there’s an alarming amount of slashes and parentheses used in this post, I realize that, yes, but I’ve been up late studying and drinking far too much coffee.

  • Tim

    The note 3 phones I have been looking at only have an available amount of 2.38 Gig of RAM, although the specs say 3 Gig of RAM. That is a 21% difference. Anyone care to comment on this?

  • Bigsike

    Someone needs to pull root on the N3 please oh please! 🙂

  • geocab

    Sounds like I’m sticking to my Note 2 and will upgrade to the 4 possibly. Quick question, are there jaggies in games? My Note 2 doesn’t do AA apparently. If it does, it isn’t working. NFS has jaggies and The Pinball Arcade isn’t as detailed as other devices.

  • babyface

    I have s4 and it lagged crazy but I installed miui launcher app
    And it eliminated lag 90%
    use miui program!!! Will help for lag user

  • Annette

    If the pixels can only be viewed with a macro lens why would you think that it was necessary to put that in your review? Im so glad I pick devices based on my needs and my own judgement…Some of theses phone reviews are just funny and sometimes useless but
    hey I like to read, I own a GN2 and fully intend to upgrade to the GN3, I will be the judge of how I see the 2 phones…Reviews can be so overrated!

  • AlexFirth91

    Honestly I was going to get the G2 but I went to Verizon and it had bloatware on top of Verizon’s store bloatware; I couldn’t even get the lock screen to work. Plus having those back buttons I don’t think I can get used to them. Also personally the screen appeared more crisp on the Maxx which I purchased. I was in the store for an hour btw lol.

  • Sanjay Saini

    Another issue is the price and no way is the Note 3 worth $200 more than the LG G2

  • imaletufinish

    If you guys want an unbiased review based more on hard performance data than subjective big phone Samsung hate, I found this review to be much more informative:


  • kenkimg

    Thanks for a great report, especially the audio jack issues. I once had my ears blown out by a Samsung flip-phone several years ago where it did the sudden blast-of-volume thing–couldn’t hear for 10-15 minutes afterward. Swore i’d never buy another Samsung after that, but i lied–ended up with a Fascinate, Galaxy S3 (current), and pre-ordered the Note 3. I earbud-listen to alot of audio material on my smartphone, and your audio jack horror-story brought back very bad memories, and raised concerns that Samsung still doesn’t have a good handle on their audio subsystem. After considering whether i really wanted to be on the bleeding edge for a brand new device (and possibly lose more hearing), cancelled my Note 3 order. Better wait till it’s in general use and see if this is a recurring problem. Actually my S3 has had a couple of incidences of sudden volume burst, tho uncomfortable, not as bad as the flip-phone experience. Also the wait should allow comparison with some phablet competitors, in particular HTC and LG, therefore more choice.

  • Timothy Sternig

    I saw on T-Mobile’s site today that they are offering up the Note 3 for $0.00 up front:


  • battlife

    Battery life for the Note 3 is getting terrible reviews. 4 hours less screen-on time than the G2. Totally not worth carrying this beast of a phone around if the huge battery in the back can’t even hold up. Yeah yeah, Sammy still has removable batteries, you can carry an extra. No thanks.

    • TankerTuff

      I watched 2 two he 30 min videos w/o charger and it only used 25% of the battery. That’s not bad at all.

  • Bruce Wayne

    no thanks… I’ll stick with my waterproof 6.4″ Sony xperia z ultra

  • Jason B

    That’s definitely a Pentile display. It’s displayed in a matrix (criss-crossed) rather than a stripe (vertical or horizontal). The pixels are small enough though, so most people won’t notice.

  • kevin

    Is it possible to use lock screen widgets on the galaxy note 3 while having a type of security enabled as in patter lock?

  • SoWhy

    >> Samsung, on the other hand, appears to be stuck in a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset.<<
    What they don't seem to understand that it *is* indeed broken

  • all the comments makin me want to get a G2. seems like the true phone of the year. just cant wait till it gets unlocked and i can flash CM 10.2…

  • frankie

    so tim can we agree this is the best phone out right now? 😛

    • HarvesterX

      No. This and the G2 are the best out at the moment. Just take your pick. Of the two I’d suggest the G2, unless you need a larger (albeit less quality imo) display and stylus support.

  • Sporttster

    Well now I’m concerned. I preordered a Note 3 on this past weekend ‘Veriizon upgrade bonanza’ mainly because of the Notes power, sd card slot and battery. I did not think it would have audio jack problems! I am a heavy user of both Poweramp and Google Music app and absolutely need a functioning audio jack! Use it in my car all the time. Hopefully it’s just a adjustment in the settings, i.e. auto volume or something because I will not tolerate a screwed up audio jack AT all!!

  • Richard Yarrell

    Being a former NOTE 2 owner and have previously owned the Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Nexus I THANK GOD I don’t arrive here to this site needing honest, concise, truthful guidance if that was the case this isn’t the place for it. This site is nothing more than a stock android, Verizon fanboy haven which is truthfully pathetic. Everything is Nexus, Moto X crap which is comical to me. The Galaxy Note 3 is the BEST ANDROID DEVICE PERIOD. The Lg G2 is nothing more than a KNOCK OFF of all things Samsung at least LG knew who to copy if you can’t beat em midus well join em. At the end of the day I will be purchasing my Note 3 on launch day for T-mobile tomorrow. Plain and simple nothing tops Samsung or the Note product line.

    • flosserelli

      “Midus well join em”?

      You’d speak more clearly without Samsung’s balls in your mouth.

  • Akashshr

    @kellex Please next time one video 🙂

  • everettedl

    I thought it came in 32gb and 64gb only

  • Anon
  • John Smith

    beautiful hardware. but the heavy skin and bloatware kills it for me as a Nexus user. and i hate hardware buttons.

  • Armus

    I don’t give a rats butt about the G2 being slightly better at this or that. It doesn’t have an SD card slot or a stylus – not to mention all the Samsung software that really does enhance these phones. Multi-window, gestures, s beam, etc.

    And the review got at least one thing wrong, the N3 has a minimum of 32gb storage.

    • G2stillbetter

      Not that I really care what phone you get, and you obviously have the right to like whatever you want, just sounds funny to say “who cares if a different device does a decent list of things better”, when the reasons you list for why the Note 3 is still better involves some pretty outdated, pointless things.

      A stylus stopped being cool about ten years ago, why have to worry about an extra piece to worry about taking in and out of the device (not to mention losing it) when we’ve all had touch screens that react accurately to finger presses for years now. For as much as people try to claim there are special S-pen features, it still doesn’t seem like anything that couldn’t be done without a Stylus. You can take a screenshot and doodle on it on just about any smart phone, just install a drawing/paint app. This new ability to draw a window on the screen and bring a new app into it sounds handy, but we could all draw a square with our fingertip and still not need the S-pen.

      Not sure why SD card is such a big deal to people. Sure, the more storage the better, even I feel that way, and I’m never thrilled to hear that a phone doesn’t support one. The 32GB on the G2 is not bad, even when looking at it as an honest ~26GB free to use with the system installed. Firstly, I don’t understand what the hell people store on their phones that 32GB is starting not to be enough. And even allowing for the fact that maybe people like to have more movies or data on their phone than I am used to, are you never near a PC where you can offload some of it and store it on a larger hard drive? People make it sound like they have to be able to buy their phone on day 1, use it for the life of the device, and never expect to have to move something off the SD card and store it somewhere else. What’s so hard about having a phone with 32GB, and if it starts to get full, plug in a USB cable and move some of your older pictures and files to keep on your PC, upload some stuff to online storage where you could still access it from your phone if you really wanted to, etc. I don’t see why anyone really needs every picture they’ve ever taken, or an entire collection of HD quality movies in their pocket. Put what you need on the SD card, bring a few movies on a trip, and then take them off the phone when done. For people who act like you can never delete anything or store it somewhere else, then yeah, I guess any amount of storage will still seem limited.

      • Armus

        If you don’t own a note then you won’t understand the s-pen. It’s very handy for things that require precision and speed. Could I live without it, sure. But I don’t have to. It doesn’t make the device, it accentuates it. (BTW it makes copy and paste, screen captures and even screen shot taking much easier) the SD card, could I live without it? Sure, but I wouldn’t want to. I enjoy the security of having a separate storage partition that can be removed and shared quickly, separate so that should the device fail, I haven’t lost everything and no hassles of downloading data. It isn’t for everyone but it is a requirement for me. So you may find the G2 to be the greatest thing since sliced bread but it doesn’t cut it on my list. That’s what makes Android great, though. We don’t have to complain about a limited selection of devices.

        • I’ve had a note 2 since release and I never use they stylus. and I havent used touch wiz for like 5 months.

          Cant a guy just want a big screen?

      • HarvesterX

        OTG USB Flash drives work wonders.

  • Jkdem85

    are any stores carrying it today?

  • puch0021

    Is there any way you can find out if the Sprint Version has TRI BAND LTE?

    FCC rumor has it it only has one band of LTE compared to the LG-G2.

    I know others want to know , big thread on XDA and S4GRU as well.

  • Matt

    To the G2 users are there many accessories for it yet?

  • Pdewet

    So glad I put my order in this weekend. Now counting the days until the 11th.

  • Godzilla

    Nova launcher kills app drawer lag FYI

    • tomn1ce

      Nova Launcher Prime will be the first app that I’ll download onto the Note 3 when I get it later this month followed by Back2Black background…

      • Jay


  • I really did like the concept of this phone, but app launch lag on a quad core, 3GB RAM device is unacceptable. Definitely can’t see myself dropping $299 on it unless I absolutely have to. Hopefully Samsung comes though with a performance update.

    Interestingly enough, Engadget’s review of the International version says it’s super fast and has zero lag, so US users get screwed as usual.

    • Tim242

      Nova Launcher.

    • crazed_z06

      Lag is subjective I think. People say the GS4 is laggy and my gf just got one and it’s smooth as butter to me. Yes, there are some points where it might skip or stutter, but it’s not like it’s happening constantly. Even the iphone gets tripped up here and there.

  • Artune

    Touchwiz really is keeping the performance down. The Note 3 got 13K Quadrant score and my LG G2 got 20K in the same test and in Antutu benchmark the Note 3 got a score of 29K and the G2 got 34K. The scores should be a little closer.

    • Tim242

      Benchmarks !=! Actual performance

      • HarvesterX

        Benchmarks are more useful when comparing two of the same device. If my G2 is getting 21k on Quadrant and yours is getting 12k, something is wrong. There is something to be said about benchmarks, but manufacturers have had a long history of tuning drivers to achieve higher scores on popular benchmarks. This was going on over 10 years ago when it was Nvidia vs. ATI on the PC.

        The G2 does smash every benchmark though. That’s coming from a stock setup. People just care whether the stuff they want to accomplish can be done without waiting around for ages or having things crash. No one besides people here are going to complain about either of these phones.

  • CraigBoyte

    Nice review, it looks it’s getting great reviews everywhere. Unless the Nexus 5 knocks my socks off it looks like this will be my next phone.

  • Ballerado

    Contemplating a couple things:
    1) Switch from T-Mobile to Verizon, get the Note 3 to use as phone/tablet
    2) Keep Nexus 4 on T-Mobile, get the upcoming Nexus 10 2 tablet


    • flosserelli

      If you switch to Verizon, be prepared to pay a premium for a tiered plan. Their coverage can’t be beat (in my area) but their LTE speed is significantly slower compared to just 1 year ago.

      The Note is an awesome enhanced phone, but it’s not a real tablet substitute imo. I still use my Moto Xoom for tablet duty. Some things are just easier to do and more enjoyable on a real tablet. If you are on a budget, or simply don’t want both a phone and a tablet, then the Note 3 would do an ok job as both, but not ideal.

      I would say if you are happy with T-Mobile service and the Nexus 4 as your primary talk/messaging device, then just get a Nexus tablet. But if you don’t get decent cell service and/or you just one want device, then switch to Verizon and a Note 3.

      • Ballerado

        Thanks for the reply. I can actually get on my company Verizon plan. 450 minutes, 5GB Data for $80/month. I currently pay $55/month (Solavei) for unlimited voice/text, 4GB data. Coverage is pretty good in Denver, but it sucks in places I travel a lot (Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana).

        I’m leaning towards getting a tablet. I really need something to read on and watch videos on. I don’t think 5.7″ is big enough (that’s what she said).

        • flosserelli

          Yeah, it all depends on your priorities. That company plan is not bad as long as you stay below 5GB. I’d be willing to bet VZW coverage is better in those flyover states, but you should check with friends/colleagues there. I don’t do much reading on the go (besides web browsing), but video on my Note 2 is much better than on smaller phones…and video on my Note 2 is just meh compared to my Xoom 🙂

  • rggarrison

    I have never experienced any lag with my Note 2. I got rid of my Droid Razr Maxx b/c it was so slow, it was barely usable. I’m not sure why all the hate for Touchwiz on this site…it doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Richard Yarrell

      This site is nothing more than classical STOCK ANDROID and VERIZON fanboys at it’s worst level it is simply the worst site when it comes to this. I feel bad for people who come here expecting to get guidance or logical assistance when it comes to android. Too much BIAS here…

      • squiddy20

        “Too much BIAS here…”
        Says the Samsung fanboy who has repeatedly claimed he wouldn’t touch a given device (be it from LG, Motorola, or any manufacturer other than Samsung) “with a 10 foot pole”. The same fanboy who, just 2 years ago, was pretty much worshipping HTC like they were a god, and claimed he’d never touch any of “Samsuck’s crappy ass plastic devices”. You should look in a mirror when you say the above quote.

        • Anotherworld

          He worship HTC?

  • JoeTi

    Keep seeing the posts of lagginess. In ranking on the phones ui speed from speediest to minor lags, how would your rank the G2, moto x, and Note 3? Any irony that one of these is sporting a dual core?

    • AbbyZFresh

      I got a moto x for about a month and i have absolutely NO LAG at all. No matter what kind or how many apps i have running at once on it.

      I also tried the G2 at a verizon store and the performance is extremely smooth. The chrome app also opens extremely fast a less than a millisecond. It’s a very good phone. As for the Note 3, i have no idea yet.

      • AlexFirth91

        I prefer the moto x/ droid maxx over the G2. Which Is why I purchased the maxx. Couldn’t handle the back buttons and bloatware. Personally I don’t like on screen buttons.

  • flosserelli

    “While the size might scare a few people away…”

    Yeah, it’s a peculiar problem.

  • southerndinner

    FYI on your camera processing issue:

    The device has night mode enabled for some weird reason by default. Turn that off and the processing prompt will go away.

    • umbrellacorp

      winner winner chicken, dinner… err, southerndinner.

  • G2lookingbetter

    Was curious enough about the Note 3 (despite being pretty sure I don’t want a device this large) to wait to see some reviews before deciding, but upon reading this, feeling pretty confident with getting the G2. I’d like to see a more direct head-to-head between these two devices since there were only some brief comparisons in this review (understandably so). From what I can tell, G2 seems to win out in a lot of small but noticeable ways. Taking the camera for example, G2 has true optical stabilization and no post-processing lag. That sounds a lot more like a photographer’s dream to me, but would like to see direct image quality comparisons between the two.

    • AbbyZFresh

      optical stabilization?

    • flosserelli

      From the reviews & photos I have seen, the G2 camera seems to be the best all around. If you think the Note 3 is too big and photo quality is your top priority, then the G2 is probably the right choice for you.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Hmmmm. Skimmed through and read the conclusion. Just sounds like some good hardware that could use an update or two on the software side. I’m glad Tim did the review.

  • Chippah

    The Note 3 is the only Logical upgrade choice from a launch day Gnex that I just cant take anymore..

    Compared to the G2.
    +1 extra Gb of ram
    No slimey-greasy back.
    SD-Card!! (scarce these days!)
    Removable battery, and rear cover.
    Pictures that I have seen the N3 posted just just as good if not better than the the G2.
    ACCESSORIES! Yay! the N3 will have LOTS available.

    Now, Tonight I get a half-pint of Jagermiester,some beer, a pack of Camel crush,
    My GNEX using call recorder will call Verizon and I will NOT get off the phone until they get me in on the unlimited data.
    Why not? Others got it? Why are they so special?

    • Jacwhite22

      Yeah. Good luck with that.

      • Chippah

        Thanks, Ill be recording and will post the results,
        Im tired of these companies pulling this kind of nonsense
        where you are in a special “lottery” for promotions, etc..

        I have 14hrs logged on the phone with directv (all recorded)
        trying to get them to honor their stupid $200 costco giftcard promotion
        and get the newest hardware when signing up as a new sub.
        I won in the end.

        • letusknow

          Honestly would like to see a follow up if you end up trying this. I feel the same way, everyone saw it as a PR disaster to refuse this weekend’s glitch upgrades, but what about public relations with customers who now 1 day later are gonna be told to buy 700 dollar phones if they want the same opportunity to keep their data. I had the same thought about trying to upgrade this week and telling them I want the same deal unless they want me to walk when my contract ends soon. Let us know if you actually try to get them to offer it to you.

          • Chippah

            I will not stop until they do.

        • Chippah

          In the end all it proved was that there is no training continuity, and many liars in customer service. I took it far enough that the CEO of Directv personally requested that I worked with them on a TELEPHONE basis only, in the end My Coscto Giftcard magically arrived in 3 days vs 6-8weeks 🙂

        • Detonation

          To each his own but I have better things to do than spend 14 hours on the phone.

    • imronburgundy

      Good Luck. Not gonna happen.

    • chris_johns

      I tried that….to no avail…they kept trying to convince me that once they got the phones and tried activating it they would remove their unlimited data…and i kept saying how when they say they will honor it…bunch of bs all of it im so fkn mad i missed out on grabbing a moto x with unlimited data

  • Illinipoke

    If we can get the Note 3’s multi window function on the Note 2, I don’t know that I have any real reason to get the Note 3. This thing with Nova launcher never stutters unless I’m in power saving mode (and barely then) and the camera is very fast. I think this thing can hold on till the Note 4 comes out.

  • Trevor

    Thanks. I will be sticking with my Note 2.

  • Benjamin Mackie

    Cant you remove TouchWiz with a rom? I understand why in this review it needs to be mentioned, but if I put a ROM on it, wont it get rid of that?

    • Chippah

      There will be AOSP roms available 100%

      • Detonation

        And they will be missing all of the useful TW features. No S-pen, no multi-window, etc.

    • fillyo75

      There are too many useful Samsung features, someone will do a slimmed down ROM, like CleanROM for GS3

  • deskjob

    Did you guys see the same “CPU shenanigans” in certain benchmarks as Ars technica? http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/review-the-galaxy-note-3-is-big-and-it-pulls-some-benchmark-shenanigans/

    Their review actually shows the phone to be a bit of a disappointment. I was really surprised at the unusable stock gallery app, which took MINUTES to open. And the battery life was actually a negative according to Ars.

    Glad I didn’t wait for this…

    • southerndinner

      Weird because the battery has been great for literally every other review I’ve read

      • flosserelli

        I have not read a single review that said the N3 battery life was worse than the N2, which is good enough for me. I wasn’t really expecting N3 battery life to be better, I just don’t want it to be any less.

    • BobButtons

      Ars & Gizmodo crap all over pretty much everything not made by Apple.

      • tyguy829

        Ron Amadeo from Android Police recently got a job as the Android reviews editor at Ars. You may know him as the “APK Teardown Guy.” He’s one of the best out there and definitely gives nothing but unbiased reviews.

        • umbrellacorp

          There is no such thing as unbiased anything. If humans are involved, you can count on it being biased.

      • deskjob

        Agreed. Although with Samsung’s track record of cheating the benchmarks, Ars might be onto something. Which is why I was curious to see if Droid Life peeps saw anything in that arena.

  • Butt Crack

    I guess I’m the only one who actually likes the TouchWIZ UI?

    • Bionicman

      nope coming from a GNex, i was pleasantly surprised in getting a lot of features from touchwiz that stock android didn’t have. as much as people may not agree with me, using touchwiz for me personally made my note 2 a device that “just worked” mostly out of the box.

      • Chippah

        im coming from 3 years of nothing but aosp-aokp.
        I also see Touchwiz a breath of fresh air believe it or not, and many of the features and other small additions are things that many of us liked about custom roms. unlocked-rooted with a hybrid Tw would be killer on this device.

    • socarwolverine

      I lot of people like it, they just don’t frequent the comment section on android blogs. I know a lot of average users that have absolutely no problem with TW.

    • Feed Jake

      I have a Note 2 and unlocked and ROM’d it. Went CM 10.2 and then had to go JellyBeans v22. I like stock, but the camera app and Spen features are things I missed. I use NOVA launcher to get my stock feel, but I like TW features. Plus the mess with gps lock and volume made he ROM experience less than favorable. And I know I can find other apps to use besides Spen apps, but they’re not as good.

  • zepfloyd

    Love the folder simply called “ish”

  • Clark White

    I saw multiple times where the Note 3 was compared to the G2 in this review; and almost everytime – the G2 received the more positive response. (Camera, screen, software, settings, etc.

    What would be the incentive for getting a Note 3 when compared to the G2?

    I know you guys were not huge fans of the G2, mainly for the LG UI changes and the, admittedly, plastic back that is a huge fingerprint magnet. But when compared to the Note3, does it not win out on everything besides the screen size?

    The G2 UI is not abysmal as I think some people are being led to believe. I have always had AOSP on my phones until the G2, and I am perfectly fine now with it. Does it need some modifications – absolutely! I popped Nova Prime and Froze/Uninstalled a ton of the bloatware, changed the boot animation, and put on AOSP sounds, and that has me pretty damn close to a stock experience. Is this unnecessary steps that shouldn’t have to be done? Yes. But the demographic on this website is a group of people that WILL take those steps or have no issue with doing so.

    The Note3 will be a fantastic phone though, and sell remarkably well, but it’s odd to see so much slander towards the G2 when compared to the Note 3 and it winning in the majority of categories.

    • Charles Rogers

      Oh the LG G2 UI has some low points. Notification tray being the biggest of them IMO. Can’t wait fix that. Um how did you change your boot screen. Im sorta desperate here.

      • Clark White

        What are your main gripes with it? It is as clean as stock, nah, but I can get mine close. Remove qslide on the verizon model and you have almost as much space as AOSP.

        This is my notification tray:

        • BobButtons

          That’s what I’m saying. I’m not getting all the notification hate. It doesn’t have the stupid constant WiFi thing on it that my S3/S4 had so I’m happy.

          • Tim242

            The hate is coming from all of the junk taking up notification space

        • Rich Robinson

          I completely agree after having the G2 for a few days. Coming from Gnex I was unsure but with Vzn’s unlimited giveaway wknd, I took full advantage. Couldn’t be happier with the decision. Can’t believe the specs in the G2. The Note3 is a beautiful phone but 5.2″ is just about perfect size

        • Buenos

          You have to remember, the the other carriers drop down have the volume & brightness added. which i wouldnt have mined the volume on my G2, for instance, try adjusting volume while in a car dock with the verizon G2, …fun!

          • Clark White

            I know, for me at least, whenever any type of music is playing there is a volume slider in the drop down menu.

            I get what you are saying though, if you just want to turn up basic volume while in a dock, it would not be as convenient.

            As with everything (especially smartphones) that you buy, you almost never get exactly what you want. Pick 3 major things, and if those are met, then you should be more happy than not.

          • BobButtons

            Whenever I have anything open that uses audio (music player, etc.) a volume bar is added to the drop down. It goes away when you close the app.

      • Clark White


        I didn’t flash it though as I haven’t put TWRP on mine yet. Just unzip the bootanimation.zip and put it in the correct folder on the phone. (Read down in that thread and somebody walks you through exactly what to do.)

    • skubadoo

      Agree with you. I went from a GNex with AOKP to the G2. I think most users here who got the G2 didn’t mind having to making changes themselves to get the semi-stock experience we all had with our previous phones.

      I personally am incredibly happy with the G2. From the camera, battery life, overall size, screen, customizations, how it was rooted so quickly + loki’d, developer support is there as well. And any case will help with the plastic fingerprint magnet backside (I got the Incipio FeatherShine)

      When you read just the G2 review, it sounds like a mixed bag.. but after reading this review and the many comparisons, they may have made a case for folks to chose the G2 over the Note 3.

      • gg2

        I agree, came from a GNex as well and thought that LG’s UI is horrible, but after making some changes here and there and using Nova, it is almost perfect. I really like the ability to get the small window with the incoming call notification on top of what ever app is open right now, so i can decide if i want to answer, or just reject the call and go on with what i’m doing.

        • skubadoo

          This. And I am suprised by how much I’m using the QSlide apps for multi tasking, notes, calender, calculator, etc without having to exit back to the home screen. Saving me precious seconds through out the day..

          • Shawn Spring

            This too. I have loved every minute with the G2 (coming from the GNex on Verizon) – I had a heavier day of usage than normal, almost 2 hours of phone time, dozens of texts and web usage…about 3 hours of screen on time, and went to glance nervously at 10:15pm at the battery line – still 39% after 15+ hours off the charger. I can go a day and a half of real world usage if I need to, but I’m not anywhere near the “where is a charger at all times” mentality of the Galaxy Nexus anymore.

          • 1bad69z28

            I agree and came away from my local Verizon store very impressed with the LG G2. The UI like everyone has said needs some major polishing.

            But, just the basic experience of playing around with the G2 then jumping to the Note 2 and Samsung S3, HTC One and Moto X. Something kept bringing me back to the LG G2.

            If the Nexus 5 is based of the G2, then I’ll wait for the Nexus 5. I’ll still give the Note 3 a chance as soon as I can get into Verizon store to see how I feel about it.

            Ultimately it comes down to “USER” choice and expectations and doing your own research. It’s great to have Droid Life reviews. But, I think a lot of people on here just go by what the majority or someone else says and that’s it.

            Be your own boss and make intelligent decisions by using and remembering what you read from DL then go out and play around with the device. You might be surprised.

      • Smeckle

        Also came from a GNex (Shiny) to a G2 and am loving it so far. A few annoying keyboard quirks on the LG keyboard and still figuring out the customizations but my experience the last 48 hours has been great. The battery life is killer, too. I’ve had screen on for about 90 minutes now all on LTE and still at 79%.

        Any recommendations for rooting? I want to give LG a chance for a couple weeks first but may decide to root and go stock if I’m not digging their features.

        • skubadoo

          I’m rooted and loki’d.

          Pretty simple process via ADB, here’s the link. There’s a video to go along with it.

          There’s a few stock LG UI roms floating around, namely CleanROM (stock UI without any VZW bloat + wifi hotspot) That’s what I’m using.. I like the LG UI, and it’s awesome without the bloat. Battery life is improved too (if you can imagine that!)

          For the bootloader, once you’ve rooted, find the correct .img file on xda (there’s another forum post for it specifically) and use Flashify and flash the image and BAM, you’re in TWRP.

          Goodluck, let me know if you need any help!

          EDIT: If you’ve already done the OTA upgrade, you’ll need to flash back to stock, then root, then accept the OTA. For some reason, the OTA doesn’t allow some ppl to root. But if you’re rooted, the OTA won’t kill your root and you’ll still have it.

          • Smeckle

            Great, thanks! I’ll look into it over the next few days. Out of town and not in a position to do all that stuff until at least the weekend but good to have some direction.

          • duke69111

            Have the dev’s been able to prevent the root checker from showing root?

            Just curious.

          • skubadoo

            No mods available yet as it’s a work in progress. Some folks have tried to flash back to stock after rooting and the status went back to “unrooted”. Check out some of the forums over XDA. Try at your own risk I guess..


          • duke69111

            I haven’t bought one yet, I’ve just been following along. I knew they were looking into it, just never heard if they come up with anything. I would love to see it get Carbonrom, however I don’t think any of the dev’s have one. I might have to upgrade tomorrow. Thanks.

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          • HarvesterX

            Update: In case anyone doesn’t know, there is a Windows installer developed over at XDA now that can root the G2. Just enable USB debugging, connect to you PC via Ethernet mode. Then run the program and during process you’ll have a few options, and one is to have that field not display that the phone had been rooted.

            It was only matter of time as all we needed was to find where the resource file containing that asset was and just modifying the value attached to that variable. On another note, I’m still trying to root mine. I finally found an computer that I could use and finally got adb on and finding my device but it failed on ‘adb shell”. When I to “adb devices” it correctly detected my phone after installing the LG drivers. Don’t bother with to entire SDK just for adb if that’s all you need it fore . Search for “Android Commander” for Windows and after you install it, just ‘cd’ to “Program Files [(x86)]/Android Commander/bin” and run adb from there. Commander supposedly has its own command line where you can run adb from without worrying about the path to the adb binaries but I couldn’t get the program to connect to my G2, so I tried manually after finding where they adb binaries were.

            I ran the application but something was going on with the computer, and my boss was wantng to leave and lock up, so I’ll try to finish on Monday. If the application doesn’t help me, then I still have the loki file and recovery to manually push… As long as I can get “adb shell” working. From there it’ll take a minute. If you’re already rooted, search XDA for what to modify the value shown in the Settings menu on whether your phone is rooted. I just got home. I’ll try and find out how and edit this post with instructions.

            This may be news to everyone already, just posting in case it isn’t.

          • Heyitspeej

            No need to flash back if you took the OTA and didn’t have root. I got the G2 during the VZW unlimited weekend and took the OTA, rooted and then loki’d and had no issues. The only thing you HAVE to avoid is taking the OTA after you have loki’d. If you do that, you are in trouble.

            To reiterate:
            OTA-> Root -> Loki = good
            Root -> OTA-> Loki= good
            Root- > Loki -> OTA= VERY BAD (but fixable)

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        work for thus much less. this is often what I do, http://www.works77.ℂom

    • Gasaraki

      I hate how all the sites pooping on the G2. It has a better screen, it’s a phone you can use with one hand yet has at 5.2 inch display, has a better 13MP camera, better software with lots of options, better battery (real world usage not mAh), Gorilla Glass 3, etc. I came from a GNex running stock Android 4.3. I love the G2 even though it has 4.2.2.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Boy yo can’t get anymore clueless than this guy

        • Apostrafee

          How so Yarrell?

        • squiddy20

          Says the same guy who:
          1. Can’t spell “you” even with autocorrect, let alone be bothered to proofread a simple 9 word comment to make sure it makes sense; and
          2. Can’t/won’t put forth any reasons why said guy is “clueless”, just that he is.
          What a childish, moronic hypocrite…

          • Richard Yarrell

            When will your poor out of work living at home clueless ass plan on purchasing a product worth wild for a change. I

          • squiddy20

            1. It’s spelled “you’re” and “worth while”. Please go back to 3rd grade. You’re only embarrassing yourself.
            2. Contrary to your ridiculous viewpoints, I believe my “crappy ass” Galaxy Nexus is “worth wild”. I like the way it feels in my hand, and that I can use it with one hand, unlike the obscenely large Note 2 or 3. Sure, it may not have “the best” specs, but it performs quite nicely for what I need it to do, with no gimicky features and UI from the days of Gingerbread. What a joke.

          • HarvesterX

            Lol Richard trolls any thread which gives love to anything other than his Note. Ignore it. BUT, he used “your” correctly. It wouldn’t be “when will you are get out..”.

          • Annette

            actually he spelled (your) Right, you’re translates into you are

        • Alan Hardin

          Yarrell is just upset that his government checks might get delayed due to the shutdown.

          • dmagicp

            His rude remarks aside, how clever of you to assume that he is on welfare. I wonder how you came to that conclusion? Hey guess what, I’m black too, so now you can reduce my 2 college degrees and prominent career in the technology sector to someone who is on welfare too! Why don’t you take your racist attitude and shove it up your @$$.

          • Alan Hardin

            Who said anything about welfare @$$wipe? I guess the 2 college degrees were a waste of money. Funny how you turned this into a racial issue, not me. Typical.

          • dmagicp

            I knew before posting that you would reply with some BS cowardice comment. Everyone knows what you meant by government check. If you are going to attack someone with a racist comment, at least be man enough to say what you are. And by the way. You can attack my educational background all you want, but you aren’t there to keep the large paychecks from entering my bank account from said education, so who cares what you think about “how good my 2 degrees have done me”

          • jedialan

            Again, you brought race into this, not me. I get the impression your just one of those trolls that spends all day on these blogs looking for a reason to scream racism. Given your “large paychecks” you are obviously overpaid given your stupidity and working time trolling these blogs. Get a life.

          • squiddy20

            “Everyone knows what you meant by government check.” Uhhh… no. When I saw the words “government check”, that’s explicitly all I thought. And that should be all you think as well. Otherwise, you (and those “everyone” you mentioned) are making the (horribly stereotypical) assumption that only black people receive such checks, and that is absolutely not true. As I said before, you were the one who made it racial for even thinking his statement was racial, not him.

            What you did is no different than someone saying “What do you mean ‘you people’?”, making it about race/ethnicity/some other stereotype where there probably was no such distinction.

          • squiddy20

            Well, Richard was homeless and living on the streets of NYC about 6 years ago, until the Bowery Mission took him in and taught him basic computer skills, which he now uses to spamf*ck the entire Internet with his mindless drivel. I would link you to a PDF proving this fact (about the homelessness and Bowery Mission), but it seems to have been taken down, probably at Richard’s whining since it was used against him so many times.

          • Gnex

            Haha I remember that .pdf from AndroidAndMe!

          • Richard Yarrell

            Nobody takes anything you say seriously on the internet Mr. Squiddy20. How’s your 67 year old mom doing has she kicked you out from that basement yet. Are you still using that same crappy 5 year old laptop??? How’s that useless Sprint Galaxy Nexus doing you bought way back in 2011. I already know you aren’t working nor do you have any ability to actually purchase anything worthwild in the technology game. You are probably just one of those poor white dudes living off his disabled mother in a lowly dark basement waiiting for her to croke so you can finally take over the house.

          • squiddy20

            “Nobody takes anything you say seriously on the internet” And yet I am the one with the upvotes and you with the downvotes. Not to mention at least one person who stated they remember the .pdf I am talking about. Someone is obviously delusional…

            “Are you still using that same crappy 5 year old laptop???” Yes, yes I am. And I can do more with it than you ever could on your tiny ass Note 2. Can you have dozens of browser windows (from different browsers at that) open simultaneously while editing photos and listening to music? No, you can’t. Have fun with your < $300 devices with < 6" screen.

            "I already know you aren't working" Oh? Like you "knew" the specs of the S4, weeks before it was unveiled, and turned out to be totally, completely wrong? Like you "knew" Verizon's *low* frequency LTE didn't penetrate buildings well, when in fact it's *high* frequencies (like Sprint's failed Wimax) that exhibit that quality? Like you "knew" the processor in the HTC Sensation was lower speced than the one found in your "legendary" Evo 3D, despite it being the same chip (with exception to mobile wireless communication (CDMA vs GSM))?Or how about the time you "knew" the Evo 3D would be "Sprint's flagship device well into 2012"? And of course, how could we forget how you "knew" rooting was for "2plus year old devices", despite at the time owning an Evo 4G, which had an absolutely HUGE root community behind it? Yep, you sure do "know" a lot.

            As to the rest of your petty, childish insults: Grow the f*ck up. For God sakes, you're at least 50 years old. Act your age or get off the Internet. Unless you absolutely revel in being made a fool of?

          • Richard Yarrell

            I can’t laugh any harder than this useless @squiddy20 the same guy who lives at home with his mother down in that basement and doesn’t pay rent. When was the last time he purchased anything worthwild????Oh yeah his current Sprint Galaxy Nexus back in 2011. Mr. Squiddy20 has been and always will be a internet loser someone poor and unemployed living with his old 67 year old mother. You are a poor unemployed fool as usual Mr. Squiddy. I buy new year after year without fail what’s your excuse.???

          • squiddy20

            I love how your entire comment is seemingly addressed to me, but you made this in reply to dmagicp. Either you’re so obsessed with me that you talk “to” me while talking to other people, or you’re so stupid that you hit the wrong “reply” button. What a joke.
            As for all the “insults” you made, good luck proving any of it when you don’t know my name, what city I live in, my age, or anything substantive about me. Just another mindless fool blowing smoke… over the Internet. Way to be a “real man”.

          • dmagicp

            Richard, I saw someone making a blanket assumption about someone based on their race and I felt that I would stand up to it. You seem to be doing the same things by assuming that this man is living in a basement with his 67 year old mom. So I am going to bow out gracefully and let you two just tear up the internet with assumptions.

          • squiddy20

            “I saw someone making a blanket assumption about someone based on their race” Except Alan’s comment said, nor inferred, anything about race. You’re the idiot who assumed such nonsense. Pot. Kettle. Black.

          • hater of killers/rapists

            For God’s sake, its “worth WHILE”.

          • Gnex

            Sick burn is sick.

          • Richard Yarrell

            Birds of a feather always flock together. I am pretty sure you and squiddy20 together could do what I do nor are you making any money in the real world. Let’s cut to the chase squiddy 20 is a unemployed white dude living at home with his elder mother in the basement. His last device purchased was the Galaxy Nexus on Sprint and he uses this old 5 yr old laptop which doesn’t belong to him directly. He is the BIGGEST internet troll ever and never buys anything. I am pretty sure you don’t buy much either. I buy two devices yearly like clock work. Not bad for someone who’s suppose to homeless according to squiddy 20. I have owned the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3 and the Nexus LTE tablet in November. I buy what I want rather easily something you guys couldn’t even fathom.

          • squiddy20

            “I am pretty sure you and squiddy20 together could do what I do nor are you making any money in the real world.” First of all, in reading this “sentence” as a whole, I’m pretty sure there’s supposed to be a “couldn’t” somewhere in there. But you’re too stupid to proofread your own words to make sure they make sense, that your words make absolutely no sense. Secondly, you’re just a “Director of Security” at the Bowery Mission (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/richard-yarrell/45/b1b/421 , the same place that took you off the street and taught you how to use a computer. What do you do all day, watch security cams and make recommendations on what security measures to implement? Anyone with half a brain can do that.

            “He is the BIGGEST internet troll ever and never buys anything.” As I have pointed out many times in the past when you’ve used this ridiculous “insult”, if I’ve “never bought anything”, then how did I “purchase” (as you put it) my “Galaxy Nexus on Sprint”? Riddle me that one, retard.

            “I buy two devices yearly like clock work.” Ooooo, are we supposed to be impressed? That’s what, less than $700? You sure are “rolling with the big dogs” then. What a joke. Come back when you can afford a > $1000 computer, or a car, or a real home of your own, not the handout the Bowery Mission gave you.

            “Not bad for someone who’s suppose to homeless according to squiddy 20.” If you read (and understood) my comment (which you obviously didn’t), you would have known I said you “were” homeless 6 years ago, not that you currently “are”. Reading comprehension, man. It’s a wonderful thing to have. :rollseyes:

          • Futbolrunner


          • DoriDori

            brb stalking someone to no end and then saying they need professional mental help. sense. not even once.

    • Ryan

      I agree with the slander part. People are knocking the G2 but it actually a solid device. The benchmarks are higher than the Note 3 and the screen is beautiful. I have it and I love it. Before LG came out with the Optimus G their devices were meh but the G2 and all there marketing is really out there now. I think that so many people are just used to Samsung and Apple(booo) if it isnt either one its not worth looking at.

    • ahsan96587

      My mothers neighbour
      is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just
      got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out
      cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do,

    • nimbyist

      damn it. because of you all, i’m now going to get the G2 instead. was on the fence primarily because the note 3 is too big for my personal preferences

    • Sanjay Saini

      The Dilemma here is, how big a part will the stylus play for you?? The G2 has comparable to better battery life, a better screen but .5″ smaller, better camera and better call quality. Both LG and Samsung have crazy UI overlays, LG’s seems to be much more customizable.

      Now there is also the massive price difference between both devices, updates haven’t been looking great for the Note series. The original Note has issues with the latest update , the Note is still on 4.1! As for LG well we all know, so no point mentioning it.

    • David

      The G2 loses in my book for: No USB 3.0, no high quality audio, having a much uglier UI, smaller display, no 4K video, possibly worse battery life, no connectivity with the Galaxy Gear, button placement, plastic back, less RAM, and possibly more…

      • Sanjay Saini

        Hmm USB 3.0 or lack of is not a big deal, 4K?? really its just a wow feature I don’t not own a 4K TV..do you? Note 3 call quality is mediocre and its camera’s low light abilities. The Note 3 has more ram but most of its used up by S-ware and Touchwiz. LG has high quality audio playback, and doesn’t Note 3 lack FM radio? Also the Note 3 is priced $200 more over the G2, couple that with the blatant cheating in bechmarks Note 3 is a no go! I give credit the fake leather stitching however!

        • TrentBradley

          I guess you missed the article that showed how quite a few OEMs are cheating in benchmarks, including LG with the G2. Ever wonder how it gets such a ridiculously high antutu score?

        • David

          USB 3.0 is definitely a big deal for me. Yeah, 4K?! You can see the difference in quality in YOUTUBE VIDEOS without even watching in full screen in comparison to the 1080p mode. LOL I only heard call quality to be good and my Note 2 had amazing low light abilities… No it is not used up by Touchwiz. I would still have Touchwiz than the LG ugly UI. I don’t even care for FM radio, and no the LG doesn’t have 24 bit audio. Who the hell cares about benchmarks? Seriously, like it is even going to be a factor on which phone you should get.

        • David
      • Anotherworld

        No Sd card, and no removable battery…2 failures.

      • HarvesterX

        The G2 can record 4k, the case is beautiful (washing ones hands does wonders), 2GB VS 3GB RAM is kind of a moot point, and the display on the G2 is gorgeous and doesn’t suffer from burn in like the Note II. I’m not biased toward either but some of these comments are ridiculous. And yes it has high quality audio and it plays .flac files natively with it’s music app. MTP is going to limit file transfers to begin with so anyone needing better bandwidth should be using LG’s built in wireless connectivity settings. I think you gotta look under the hood a LOT more bud.

    • hot_spare

      LG — a Samsung copycat.

    • XxROCKxX

      I have the G2 and love it

    • jigar55

      I build
      $82h whereas i am traveling the planet. Last week I worked by my laptop
      computer in Rome, Monti Carlo and at last Paris…This week i am back within
      the USA. All I do square measure simple tasks from this one cool web site.
      check it out, http://www.works77.ℂom

  • Jeff C

    i was so excited for this phone when i pre-ordered it, now after reading through the comments i’m having buyers remorse. having to go back to touchwiz from a CM S3 for over a year is gonna hurt…bad

    • Liontamer

      Get a different launcher.

      • Jeff C

        was planning on usine nova prime but didnt know if S-Pen functionality would be compromised. did a little research, seems only the menu popping up when initially removed is the only thing lost.

  • Bald_Sasquach

    How has no one else asked how you got so close to that bird?!

    • [email protected]

      Its a lie!! Or maybe to small to fly away?!?!

    • He was sitting on my porch. I think the little guy was injured 🙁 But he did allow me to get a great shot.

      • dmagicp

        I thought it was due to the awesome digital zoom on the Samsung camera.

        • New_Guy

          As great as the camera is it’s not PureView :)..

  • A.Miller

    I really want to get this phone, but I’m struggling with the purchase. I’m stuck on VZW for awhile due to the network (I’m out of contract but TMO sucks in my area ) and I have unlimited data.

    The camera issues and slowness of TouchWiz makes me concerned.

    But, I love the SD card and removable battery.

    Why can’t there be a perfect device!

    • hkklife

      I’d like to see a Samsung device with specs & screen size somewhere between the S4 and Note 3 *BUT* without the S-Pen, better build quality and a lighter version of Touchwiz.

      I realize the GS5 will likely bump its screen size up another .2″ but I agree with Kellex that it’s long overdue for a major revamp of Touchwiz. It has barely changed since the Gingerbread days and there is simply NO excuse for a device with these specs lagging. Android in its native state is still lagging iOS in smooess and responsiveness, so the need for a dated and massively bloated skin like TW or Sense atop anything post-ICS is just nonexistent. Other than the camera app, of course–Samsung and HTC’s camera apps destroy the stock camera app in every aspect.

      • Tim242

        No lag.

  • Asimoalex

    So should I keep my HTC one or get this bad boy ?
    Or go back to my note 2 since it has root lol

    • 918273645ams

      Galaxy Note 3 already has root.

  • Kevin Cefalu

    Excellent run down, fellas. Can’t wait for the 10th. I MAY even try to leave it stock, this time, but the talk of touchwiz being all up in my grill has me concerned. Why do these manufacturers need to muck with android! Can you guys even imagine a note 3 google edition, with ALL (s-pen, included) the same features baked into AOSP? Holy hell-balls, batman!

    • Big_EZ

      If all the “features” were baked into AOSP it would then be called touchwiz.

    • New_Guy

      I’m selling my Note 2 on that day. No AOSP roms (that I know of) currently run SPen software. Note support Samsung MHL.

  • mils69

    Sticky power button is definitely a problem on my SM-N9005.

  • Zerogpain

    EDIT PRICE… $199 on T-mobile

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      199 down….

  • Detonation

    For as much as we all hate Touchwiz, unfortunately I’ll bet more people recognize that as what Android is versus AOSP/Stock. Which means Samsung isn’t going to drastically change it anytime soon.

    • Bald_Sasquach

      Truth. Hanging out with extended family, I pulled out my G2 and someone said “Oh, I thought you liked Android though?” Lol I was like …………..that’s why I got this phone?…………

      • umbrellacorp


      • Tim242

        Well to their defense, LG’s UI is wacky.

  • Porkchop

    So torn. Pre-ordered the Note 3 during the unlimited data fiasco, but was really tempted to get a $140 (w/ coupon) Moto X or G2. G2 was purely speculative, assuming Nexus 5 had similar hardware and that the G2 bootloader was already cracked open.

    I’m at least hoping the Note 3 bootloader falls on Verizon in the 14-day return window. If there’s an open bootloader, de-bloated ROMs and maybe AOSP in the future is a nice thought.

    • Jeff C

      im in the same boat. would like to know what you end up doing. i’ll probably stick it out with the note 3 seeing as being a first time note user i’d see myself using the s pen a lot

    • Big_EZ

      If the S4 is any indication, I’d say no unlocked bootloader for awhile. The Note 2 has a unlocked bootloader, but we still don’t have working AOSP.

      • Tim242

        S4 has Loki. You can put any ROM you want on it.

        • Big_EZ

          But it’s still limited. On top of that the Note 2 has an unlocked bootloader, but you still can’t run working AOSP roms. If the Note 3 had an unlockable bootloader, AND 100% working AOSP then I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

          • Tim242

            It is not limited. I flashed AOSP ROM’s on my Note 2, and my current S4, but settled on a TW ROM.

          • Big_EZ

            I settled for a TW rom also, since AOSP doesn’t work fully.

          • Tim242

            How does it not work fully? Worked fine for me.

          • Big_EZ

            When GPS stops working when you need it, I call that not working. I had issues with both camera and GPS (not until I needed it though). The GPS work around worked fine while I was at home, but when I went out of town and really needed it, it just stopped working.

    • tabsaz

      Same situation here. Wondering if I made the right decision now after reading this – with the 14 day return window, does that only count for going back to my old phone and plan or could I swap to a different new device and still retain the unlimited data from the new contract?

    • Tim242

      To have a debloated ROM, all you need is Root, and Root Explorer. Well, I use Titanium for uninstalling unwanted apps…both work.

  • [email protected]

    WOOT 4K video recording!!! Now if i could only sell my car and buy a TV that can support it!! lol

    • Tim242

      You’ll have a nice 4,K collection for viewing one day.

  • Defenestratus

    Looks like I’ll be getting a Nexus 5.

    Not really thrilled with having to deal with touchwiz after having nothing but AOSP/nexus devices for the past two years.

    Was hoping that this phone would replace my Gnex – now it looks like I’ll get getting the Nexus 5.

    • 918273645ams

      ROMs…ROMs everywhere.

      • Matthew Merrick

        With carrier lock down and Knox, that’s not a given anymore :/

        • Tim242


    • athorax

      So you’re disappointed this phone has Touchwiz? And you’re just figuring that out now? You’re a special kind of stupid.

    • 213ninja

      what were you expecting that you are now disappointed by?

    • DaManfittyGrand

      So wait….Samsung was going to remove Touchwiz for you? Really? You wanted the Nexus 5 to begin with don’t make excuses……And I’m wondering who are the people who liked what you said? Just as insane as the Republicans in Congress!!!….The Note 3 is a Beast!!!….But i’m not getting it because I like my Touchwiz SGS4!!!

  • Jeremy Alajajian

    Maybe I am spoiled and naive from being on my GNex, but please help me out here:

    I know launchers can change the way the phone looks, will the remove any of the functionality on the N3 or help with some of the lag issues?

    • decidedtochangename

      No. It will not help performance.

      • socarwolverine

        Nova definitely helped on my Razr MAXX. YMMV but a good launcher can help performance.

    • Detonation

      Your home screens probably won’t lag as much, but you’ll lose the TW widgets and s-pen gestures. The launcher is only a small piece of the device though, TW is deeply integrated throughout the entire OS so it will still be “running” and hindering overall performance.

      • Dan

        what are the s-pen gestures that will be lost?

        • New_Guy

          None… I’m using Nova Prime now and SPen gestures work just fine…

          • Greg Mapes

            I’m trying to confirm this, you can use Nova Launcher (need my custom icons and other things) and still get the new S-pen features like the hover wheel (sorry not sure the new name). I feel like I need that new feature and Nova together if I get the Note 3.

          • New_Guy

            Honestly, I have the Note 2 so I’m not sure about the hover wheel. I’m working at AT&T so I’ll try and put my hands on one ASAP and let you know.

          • Greg Mapes

            That would be awesome if you could check! 🙂 I want to be able to use some of those new Spen features, but I know I won’t be able to stick with the TW launcher and will end up on Nova.

          • New_Guy

            I’ll be sure to respond in line when I do :).

          • Greg Mapes

            Friend of mine sent a screenshot showing that it worked with Nova! So no need to confirm now, thanks.

    • Asimoalex

      I personally run nova on my note 2
      And can tell you it helps performance
      Gestures still work I mean its still touch wiz not AOSP …the only thing that doesn’t is the touch wiz widgets but they are bland at best

    • Jeff C

      you can use a combo of say nova launcher and an add on app like note buddy. im in the same boat as you, been on stock with my gnex/ CM S3 and dont wanna use touchwiz when i get the note 3


  • Futbolrunner

    Tim/Kellen, would you say the Note 3 has a better camera than the G2?

    • Image quality is certainly close, but the G2’s camera is sooooooooo much faster that it’s not really close in the end. Plus you have true OIS and multi-point autofocus on the G2.

      • Futbolrunner

        Thanks. That makes my decision that much easier (only because I’m still on contract with Verizon they’re most likely not getting the next Nexus).

        Plus, the headphone jack is on the bottom..bam!

        • David

          But the Note 3 features zero shutter lag? And someone else above has mentioned for Kellen to turn off night mode and the processing prompt will go away.

          The G2 loses in my book for: No USB 3.0, no high quality audio, having a much uglier UI, smaller display, no 4K video, possibly worse battery life, no connectivity with the Galaxy Gear, button placement, plastic back, less RAM, and possibly more…

          • HarvesterX

            Again, the G2 records 4k video (it’s not set to by default, you need to change the setting). The display on the Note III IS larger, but you’re comparing a Super AMOLED next to LG’s custom THD IPS LCD and is just a higher quality. Fingers glide over it and it feels like silk. Colors are realistic and not saturated.

            The case is gorgeous. I can flip mine over and I don’t see fingerprints..The same goes for the Note III. Both are solid and attractive. I guess it comes down to washing your hands like one should…

            I haven’t used a Note III long enough to comment on battery life, but both run the more efficient Snapdragon 800 so I would expect both to perform well. With the 800 and 3GB RAM the Note III shouldn’t have any performance issues. The G2 has had 0 issues (do both use the same 800Mhz channel DDR2 RAM? Idk).

            Both UIs are ugly. Toss Nova on each and stick to the features that run behind the scenes. Finally why are people complaining about either? Both phones are powerhouses . The G2 (currently) is rootable, you can flash custom recoveries on it, has developer support and will likely receive very quick updates via the community.

            Pick your favorite and enjoy it. Stop trying to justify your purchase (goes to everyone). Man… So much hate and bad information

      • A.Miller

        Is the G2 the best cameraphone available on VZW now and in the near future? Thanks for your help.

  • Booyah

    “The Note 3 has a next-gen quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM, so there is no reason to see performance issues. It wouldn’t be a shot in the dark to blame any type of slowness on Samsung’s software.”

    Inexcusable. That’s why I bought a Moto X. The spec wars are officially over.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Inexcusable. That’s why I dumped my S4 for an HTC ONE.

    • decidedtochangename

      I have to say I am ordering a Moto X instead of Note 3 (coming from a Note 2) and after reading they haven’t ironed out the TW stutter I feel the same way.

      Specs are now as useful as MPG ratings on cars, just an indicator not a real measurement.

      • Big_EZ

        I just wish there was a 5-5.5″ version of the X with 1080p and a microSD slot. I’d look at the MAXX if it at least had a microSD slot.

        • I don’t know if you realized this but you listed 3 things you wanted and the Maxx only has one of them, 5″ screen. No SD card, and no 1080p display resolution.

          • Big_EZ

            Yes. It would be a compromise, but every phone is. It has to have a microSD slot, or 96+ gb for me to consider it. My perfect phone would be a 5.5″ Moto X (firmware, and maybe a beefed up version of the current chip with X8) 1080p, 3000+mah battery, microSD slot or 128 gb storage, and a good camera. All of that is available, but not all in one package.

          • Why do you need so many GB? Music, I presume? We all have our dream phone. And some dream way bigger than others.

          • Justin W

            I don’t know why you’d need 96+GB of storage on a phone… Unless you are constantly listening to music or need your life’s collection of movies on your device, there’s no reason for it. Tablets – that’s another story.

          • Big_EZ

            I never needed more than the 32gb on my tablet, I was always on wifi when using it. I have cut back on how much music I have on my phone (around 30gb at the moment) and it sucks when I don’t have something I want to listen to but don’t have good data connection. The 16gb of internal storage is completely used up by the OS and apps alone, 24-32gb would be ideal for the OS and apps alone. I don’t even have that many apps, they’re just getting bigger in size.

          • Caleb Boerner

            I would love it because I use my phone as a DLNA media server and my unlimited data to dl the content I serve

        • Justin W

          I’ll take what your having, but I’m not as picky about the microSD slot as long as I get 32GB of storage.. Ideally, I want a 5.5″ or so phone made by Moto using similar features as the Moto X. Is that too much to ask? 🙁

    • mustbepbs

      Exactly. This is also a big reason why people buy iDevices. It doesn’t matter how much horsepower you throw at TouchWiz, it’s a bloated, overbearing piece of trash and sullies Android’s name. Sense 5 isn’t this slow, stock Android surely isn’t. Why can’t Samsung figure it out?

      • Asimoalex

        Maybe they are saving it for tizen so
        Or kit kat touch wiz ? But I agree it looks like they haven’t touched it since gingerbread

        • Chris Schmucker

          I wouldnt be surprised if, within the next 2-3 years, that Samsung officially announces it is moving away from android and adopting Tizen on its devices.

          • Asimoalex

            I see it happening but not till they get there own 3rd party apps down like idk if you guys noticed that every new version of touch wiz has a Google Samsunged app s voice, “Internet” , s translate ect

      • Robert Boluyt

        “Sense 5 isn’t this slow”
        Sense 5 on my HTC One is slower than TouchWiz on my Note 8. TW is also more usable in the fact that the user spends less time fighting it to accomplish tasks on the device.

        • mustbepbs

          Sense 5 on my DROID DNA is much faster than TW on my Note 8 lol. Weird.

          • Michael Gillenwalters

            Why are you wasting your time using Sense or TW? Root it already!

        • Justin W

          I’ve had the One since launch, and it’s as fast as my Nexus 4 was (faster, even, at some points). HTC’s done some amazing work with their skin over the past year, and I applaud them for it.

    • Robert Boluyt

      “‘The spec wars are officially over.”

      Lol. Only if you’ve given up as a manufacturer and are content with mediocrity.

      • umbrellacorp

        Best comment on this thread.

      • decidedtochangename

        If you think clock speed and core count are the true test of a good phone you have already accepted mediocrity.

      • Booyah

        Huge difference between innovation and implementing faster processors and more memory when you don’t even know how to utilize it, and can’t utilize it properly.

        Speaking of innovation, see “Active Notifications and Touchless Controls”, which you can find on Moto devices. Just sayin.

    • Richard Yarrell

      The Moto X is useless compared to the Galaxy Note 3. Let’s all remember where we are this id droid-life the land of stock android and Verizon fanboys. Anything NOT STOCK will always be condemned on this site because of the kind of people who do reviews.

      • squiddy20

        Do tell in what ways the Moto X is “useless” against the Note 3. Don’t be a mindless idiot and just make a claim without even bothering to back it up with any kind of truth/facts.

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        useless? oh you mean the moto x is useless when i’m in the car. I can see pen window coming in handy when i’m behind the wheel. Why are you comparing a phablet vs a phone?

        The note 3 is in a class of its own. Should not e compared to until other phablets have pens. It just happens to have touchwiz (which has some cool features for the note, but it’s not exactly smooth).

        • Annette

          But most of the other phabtets made by other companies don’t have a pen and anything bigger than 5″ IMO is entering into Phablet territory the fact that it doesn’t have a pen with it, makes it a very large phone, I couldn’t See myself using a large Phablet without a pen, but then that’s just me.But you still make a valid Point in the end.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    I think there’s poor optimization at play in the gallery/camera. I played with the octa-core variant, took a photo, and it processed it for a couple of seconds, which really made me cringe. But otherwise, the phone certainly runs great, and doesn’t have lag problems like the S4 had out of the box.

  • Ron_Swanson

    probably wait a few months and grab one off Craigslist ….there will always be someone who can’t get use to the size.

  • [email protected]

    Bloatware can be removed with the proper incentive B-). To me the only downer is not getting that sweet Octa-core processor. Really wanted to show off that i had more cores in phone that some laptops out there. Well maybe in a couple of years!!

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Honestly who would care about the Octa core that you think you could show off too? Any tech person would know it’s a facade and any non-tech person just wouldn’t care

      • [email protected]

        Why would i waste my time showing it off to tech people? Tech people know it all. B-)

        • Grizzly Atoms

          How about you just tell them it is an octacore processor? Chances are when you tell non-tech people about this they really don’t care and are just waiting for you to stop talking.

          • [email protected]

            🙁 but then if won’t be true!!

          • Grizzly Atoms

            They honestly don’t care, and are only listening to you to be polite. People who care about these things are a fringe group.

          • [email protected]

            Maybe you are right. Maybe why they all have iphones!! Thanks for the social hint. I feel like i grew up now!

  • ROB

    So if you can get rid of touchwiz and the bloat its a good phone?? I wonder if that can be done?? 🙂

    • [email protected]

      You can like any other android phone. but it will require root access.

    • decidedtochangename

      Once you get rid of TW and the functionality of the SPen I can’t see not looking at a Nexus 5 instead assuming it still costs $300 off contract.

      • A.Miller

        Carriers matter.

        • hkklife

          Correction: carriers, screen size, removable batteries and expandable storage all matter.

      • Big_EZ

        Well, one reason would be that you need service, so the Nexus most likely won’t be an option (Verizon). Another reason this phone with AOSP is a better choice (for some people) is the size. I highly doubt it’ll have working AOSP though, the Note 2 still doesn’t and it’s been almost a year.

        • New_Guy

          AOKP works perfectly… It’s fast as hell in fact on the Note 2

          • Big_EZ

            It still requires work a rounds that fail when you need them most. I may end up running AOKP again, or trying PA, but I’ll have to flash back any time I need GPS.

          • New_Guy

            Care to elaborate?

          • Big_EZ

            Well I had GPS working just fine, then I took a 3 hour trip. GPS had worked in town just fine, and was working while I was on the interstate. As soon as I pull off the interstate I lose GPS and can’t get a GPS lock no matter what I did. I ended up spending around 30 minutes in a sketchy convenient store parking lot trying to get GPS, then ending up restoring a backup.

          • New_Guy

            I can dig it. I’ve not had that issue, but I’m sure we live in different locations so I hear you.

    • New_Guy

      Did it with my Note 2 and it moved so fast it made my head spin. Unfortunately, I lost almost all of the SPen software, MHL support, SNote, visual voicemail (might just be an issue with T-mobile), and Netflix seems to have an issue with an AOSP based Note.

      But, if you plan on using it like a stock device, holy crap it’s insane.

  • MichaelFranz

    all the thing you mentioned as middle of the road and not so good are the reasons i won’t buy a samsung for a while. So much bloatware and touchwiz being a cluttered mess.

  • Dan

    Yeah, I tried the s4 from my note 2 and when back in two days.. I need the screen size.. I love my note 2 and will be getting the 3 when it comes out for Verizon

    • Chris

      Same for me.

  • JimmyHACK

    Great review! Wonder if we could load it’s camera on the S4.