When we first took a look at the Note 3 at IFA, we couldn’t help but be impressed. With killer specs and a brand new look, there’s a lot to love about the Galaxy Note 3.
Whether you are thinking about buying a Note 2 on discount or already have a Note 2 and are considering an upgrade, it’s important to understand that the Note 3 really is a significant update over its predecessor. That said, the Note 2 is still a very nice device.
In September we had the opportunity to do a quick look at how the Galaxy Note 3 compared to the Note 2, and now we’re back with a new video that dives even a little deeper (seen above).
So how do the two handsets compare? Let’s take a closer look:
In one hand, we have Samsung’s all new Galaxy Note 3. Interestingly enough, Samsung actually changed up the design a bit, opting for a faux leather type of plastic, which gives the device a more durable, premium look.
The faux leather plastic also has a very soft feel, which makes for a better grip. Beyond that, you’ve pretty much got the standard button placement.
Despite being better than the Note 2 in just about every way, the Note 3 actually weighs less than the Note 2. Coming in at 168 grams, the Note 3 is 15 grams lighter, and it’s also 1mm narrower.
In the other hand, we have the Galaxy Note 2. The Note 2 rocks Samsung’s older design language, and that means glossy hard plastic. There’s also a volume rocker on the left, power on the right, microUSB port at the bottom, and the 3.5mm headphone jack up top.
Again, it’s all pretty standard, but we’ve heard it before — plastic clad smartphones are getting old. In some respects, they feel cheap when compared to a smartphone made out of metal. HTC showed us that with the One.
Both of these handsets might be plastic, but the Note 3 certainly stands out as a refreshing change – metal or not.
For what it’s worth, plastic is actually pretty durable. For example, I’ve dropped the Note 2 many times, and it’s been able to withstand even some of the most painful drops, such as cold, hard cement and gravel. I can imagine the experience would be similar (or better) for the Note 3.
Verdict: The new material Samsung is using with the Note 3 is an obvious improvement over the glossy plastic featured on most of their smartphones. The Note 3 also looks and feels more durable than its predecessor.
The Galaxy Note 3 is sporting a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display capable of 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, rated at an impressive 386ppi. It goes without saying, this is one beautiful screen. Viewing angles are great and colors really pop thanks to the Super AMOLED panel’s high saturation.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, on the other hand, sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED panel capable of 720 x 1,280 resolution, rated at 267ppi. Viewing angles are great on this smartphone. There is some glare and drop in vibrancy, but it’s hardly noticeable. As for overall color, Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel is very high in saturation, making just about everything very colorful and vibrant.
Of course, some would rather opt for a less colorful display, in search of something more true to reality. It’s one of those you either like it or you don’t kind of things.
Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 obviously takes the trophy home here. With the massive pixel density and the high definition screen, the Note 3′s display is leagues ahead of the Note 2′s.
The Galaxy Note 3, much like the Galaxy S4, features a 13-megapixel rear camera. Megapixels don’t tell the full story here, but it’s pretty much the same camera strapped on the Galaxy S4. That said, pictures are better in overall quality. Even low light shots aren’t bad, though they aren’t exactly fantastic either.
As for the camera app, it has plenty of new additions, as it takes on a lot of the camera features found in the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy Note 2 is last year’s technology, but it still takes some really great photos with its 8-megapixel rear camera. Picture quality is great — a lot of detail is captured and color reproduction is pretty accurate. However, photos aren’t the best in low light shots.
The camera app on the Note 2 is full of goodies. There are tons of settings, scenes, and modes to choose from to help you capture that perfect shot. On the downside, the extra modes in the Note 3 just aren’t available for the Note 2 – yet.
Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3′s 13-megapixel optics is obviously much better than the Note 2′s, producing better quality and low light shots.
The Galaxy Note 3′s 3,200 mAh Li-ion battery actually isn’t much bigger than the Note 2′s, though we’re sure there’s been additional optimizations to make the Note 3 last a bit longer.
As for the Note 2, it’s packing a Li-ion 3,100 mAh battery. It’s a pretty giant battery, but if you use your device regularly for work, it’ll only just get you through about a day’s use.
Verdict: Both the Galaxy Note 3′s and Galaxy Note 2′s batteries are similar in size, so it essentially comes down to optimization. It’s a tie.
Here’s where things begin to get interesting. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 comes in two different configurations. For LTE markets, the device is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU. For 3G markets, the handset features an octa-core 1.9GHz Exynos processor.
Regardless of the model, both versions of the Note 3 come with 3GB RAM, 32 or 64GB internal storage, and a microSD slot that supports up to 64GB of memory.
As you can see, the Galaxy Note 3 is a beast. Everything about is slick, smooth, and fast.
The Galaxy Note 2 is a very impressive device as a well, though a year of technological changes means its not the powerhouse it once was. The Note 2 features a Exynos 4412 quad-core processor clocked in at 1.6GHz, backed by 2GB of RAM. The device comes in 16, 32, and 64GB models. If 64GB just isn’t enough for you, there’s a microSD card slot to expand that storage even further.
It goes without saying, the Note 2 is an impressive smartphone, but it’s hard to compete with the Note 3.
As you know, both the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note 3 feature an S Pen, but it’s worth mentioning that the Note 3′s stylus has been slightly redesigned for easier handling.
Verdict: The Note 2 is an impressive smartphone, but the Galaxy Note 3 is packing some crazy good specs. There’s a noticeable speed difference between the Note 2 and Note 3, with the Note 3 taking the upperhand.
This is another area where things are interesting. This is TouchWiz vs. TouchWiz, but in this case, the Galaxy Note 3 actually has a lot more to offer than the Note 2.
The Galaxy Note 3 has all of the software features found in the Galaxy S4 — S Translator, S Health, and etc. There’s also a few new additions such as Air Command, Pen Window, and My Magazine.
The Note 3 also has the advantage of running on Android 4.3, as opposed to the Note 2′s Android 4.1.2 build.
Photo of Air Command in action.
Turning to the Note 2, you have your standard S Pen features such as Air View, and then you’ve got things like Smart Stay and Smart Alert. Basically, the features here are good, but the Note 3 has many more.
Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 has quite a few useful new features. Sure, that means a bit more bloat, but things still run extremely smoothly and it’s a night-and-day change from the Note 2. In short, the Note 3 wins here too.
As you can see the Galaxy Note 3 is a pretty massive upgrade from the Note 2. This is way more than a minor spec update, and is a much more significant upgrade than what we saw with the Galaxy S4 when compared to the older Galaxy S3. The Note 3′s new look is solid, there’s tons of special software features and really everything we loved about the Note series is now even better.
Bottom-line, the Galaxy Note 3 is a powerhouse. There’s no doubt that fans of larger screen real estate are going to absolutely love this device. For more details about the Note 3, be sure to check out our full review!
What do you think about the Galaxy Note 3, worth the upgrade from the Note 2 or not?
NEXT: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Galaxy S4
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Note 2 for sale :-P
my Aunty Sophia recently got an awesome six
month old Fiat 500 Abarth from only workin on a pc. find here Jam20.ℂom
Note 2 VS Xperia Z is the money shot. I prefer my note 2 over note 3 until z ultra comes out it looks like…
What about the speakers? …
It’s on the side of the USB socket.
Having my Note II for 7 months now it’s not worth the upgrade for me. I’ll wait till the Note IV, if the Note line will make it that far (I sure hope it does).
Yes ir blaster
I recently bought a lightly used Note 2 so I could see if I really liked having a large phone and would use the S Pen. I love the size and have been using the S Pen enough to warrant the Note over other large phones. I will have to check out the Note 3 in person to see if I really want to upgrade. I do like some of the changes they have made but I am happy enough with the Note 2 right now that I don’t see needing to upgrade right away.
shut up and take my money
Note 2 isn’t on Android 4.2, is it? Thought it was 4.1.2 like the s3
yes it is on 4.1.2
S3 is 4.0 but yes the note 2 has 4.1.2
You cannot put a cover on this. It’s just too great looking.
Note 3 has same design like Galaxy 2
Yes. I always loved the S2 design.
wtf? note 3 looks ugly… kind of looks like the note 1
Well someone had to had seen it other than me. Thank you very much.
I don’t understand why people feel note 3 looks great.. boring design, not much changes from note 2, and is still a plastic phone.
i would disagree with the screen saturation thing
i had presviusly used a LCD display samsung device for more than a year, then i switched to the note2
under default settings it has unnaturally vibrant colours but changing the color tone to natural, it looks every bit like the natural tone of the LCD panel
I always used the natural setting, I liked it better than the standard, but now after switching to a lady I am appreciating saturated colors that don’t look fluorescent. I am an art school color snob and there sure is a difference. With the note 2 I had to choose between bisarro bright colors or washed out colors. The droid dna might have 3hours of battery life, but the colors are truly correct and Ican zseethem outside. I also have sharp eyes and the better ppi makes a huge difference to me. If the note 3 gets those things right it would be a deal breaker for me
I didn’t switch to a “lady” but a lcd., love SwiftKey, but it does get the data you autocorrect thing every now and then. I can also ” see the colors outside, as apposed to the nonsense I typed.
Please excuse all the typos! I have had 3 light beers and at 31 the is Evidently enough to make me a dumb dumb.
Jesus, damn you autocorrect, not data autocorrect.
How’s Note 3 Exynos compared to Note 3 Snapdragon?
Heard that many exynos user have complaint about it…
I own a Snapdragon model and it works perfectly smoothly, while a cousin of mine owns its Exynos counterpart and she tells about the slight discolouration of the screen when the display is at low brightness at the top third of the screen. I tried it out on my phone and it didn’t seem to be there. My cousin is sort of really sensitive so I don’t really think this would be a problematic when you’re thinking of getting a Note 3, but for the record, I would recommend you get the Snapdragon, just to be sure. Good day to you.
Meh, I’m still rocking my GNote 1.0 with ICS. The Note 3 looks great but not compelling enough for me to upgrade.
Can i use air view without s-pen like s4? Cheer
Im wondering the exact same thing
yes you can use your fingers for airview.
does it have air view through finger??
I was at IFA Berlin today and tested some functions of both phones. (I own Note2 and S4) . One of the most important function for me is the shutter speed of the camera. There is a huge difference between Note2 and Note3. Note2 is much faster than S4 and Note3 (S4 and Note3 are seemles similar). It’s just a matter of taste but Note2 is more estehtical than Note3. Holding Note2 in the hand is more comfortable than Note3.
Note3 is more functional than Note2 but there is no huge function differences between two phones. I will wait for Nexus5 because the Update Policy of Samsung makes me crazy. Note2 and S4 will be my last Samsung Phones…..
By the way I have also tested the camera function of Sony Xperia Z1. They did hell of a job. I think Z1 is unbeatable as Camera.
i love the Note series, Galaxy is not for me
Note series IS part of the Galaxy family. Samsung GALAXY Note 1/2/3
one feature that EVERY review misses is that the Note 3 camera lacks a LOT of features of the Note 2 (face detection, share shot, buddy photo share, smile shot, low light (in the “shooting modes”) and portrait, backlight, landscape, party/indoor/ beach/snow, sunset, dawn, autumn color, text, candlelight, fireworks, night (in the “scene mode”), while picking up a few gimmicks that are fun for a few times but not very useful (surround shot, eraser, golf, animated, drama, sound & shot). Overall, the features the Note 3 misses in the camera are the ones I used the most in unusual and low lighting/backlighted situations.
Well.. yes. Very cute looking specs.. but do I need a whole PC on my pocket? I bought my Note II exactly a month before the 3 came in, completely aware of this. Only the better screen and the 13mp camera hurt a little bit, but so far, Note II has kept me very happy and doesn’t feel outdated at all.
Note 3 is a great all around phable
People who say that it’s not worth the upgrade are one of the following. They are upset that they can’t upgrade at the moment, regret buying the note 2 and wish they would have waited, or just flat out mad about not having the note 3. Since I’ve owned both, I can tell you there is no way you note 2 owners can honestly say it’s better than the note 3. Not on paper, not in hand, not at all. Because the Note 3 murders the note 2 in every way, hands down.
Totally agree… I have both at the moment and the note 3 is better in every way… I’m my country, Nigeria, the note 2 screen costs US$234 to repair but Samsung is offering two times replacement for damage to the screen or water damage for 24 months… That alone makes the note 3 worth it IMO
wow, they sell these phones in Nigeria? globalization..
Agree in that too… something I miss in my note 3 is the 3d galleries as the spiral gallery. I hope the implement it back with an upgrade.
Note 3 lacks 2 main features: optical stabilization and finger print scanner once Samsung adds these features to a revised model I will buy it in no time, but for now I’ll stick with my note 2.
Again, you are calling out things that are NOT the main things about this phone for selling points and sound like another excuse. But if you say so, keep your note 2. I understand, but the note 3 far exceeds the note 2.
I rather not have a finger print scanner on my phone
J. William, you are right that the Note 3 is a great device over the Note 2. I have the Note 2 on Sprint. I qualify for an upgrade. However, it cost $350 plus $36 for equipment upgrade along with taxes will bring it over $400. I don’t have the money to splurge on it at that price. Maybe when it dips to $200, I will consider. The S4 cost $200 to upgrade. I would like to see the Note 3 close to that ballpark.
Does anyone know what is the cost analysis of the Note 3 and S4?
just because they say it’s not worth the upgrade, doesn’t mean they don’t like the note 3, it just means that the cost of upgrading is greater than the increase in specs
Idk, I have both and it is hard for me to decide which to keep. The display on the note 3 isnt that much better than the II. Side by side the II has more vivid colors, more saturated, better in my opinion. The 3 could be a tad brighter and possibly sharper, but neglectible. Reception is slughly better on the II as well as battery life. Dont get me wrong, the note 3 is better, but not thst muchWh . What really makes the 3 appealing is the software. Mr Williams up here is not being very objective.
It was obvious Note 3> Note2
Really you wasted an article for that? :
All true phone enthusiasts like to see stuff like this. Watched the video and I think he did a great job.
You didn’t happen to actually _read_ the article, huh?
You can get a Note2 for a hefty discount $2-300 vs $6-700 and the article was perfect at comparing the two for those shopping around. It’s quite a bit more than 3>2.
note 3 have problem with many app for os 4.3 v
pls give update
I feel like its a matter of software for the most part with the note 2 being inferior…as soon as Samsung leaks the 4.3 update for LTE note 2′s Iwill be running the same software the note 3 has…at that ppoint it will be a matter of 1080p vs 720p I think I can live with 720p for another year to wait on the note 4
If the Note 2 get the software upgrades then it makes a nice argument if users should pick up the Note 3. If you are already rocking USB 3.0 and a 4K TV, then those are worth taking advantage of.
Both are still technological beasts in this beautiful jungle of tech that we love so much. You can’t lose with either one.
I loved my note 2 soooo much, it was my first smart phone and it lived up to all my expectations. I still had a RAZR flip phone in 2012! I dropped the note from about 1.75 feet of the ground, just the right angle, in a case, cracked the screen and I was broken hearted. I jumped into huge for my first smart phone, so I was curious about big but not huge, so I got a htc dna used as a replacement… Now I feel like I need to live with it for the year, I think I like 5 inches, but I miss so many things about the note. As much as I loved it, I am so crazy about being able to see my screen in sunlight with the dna, are new amoled screens really better in daylight? I also have really good close up vision, better than 20/20, and the pixel density on the dna makes a huge difference to me, a note with a higher pixel density sounds awesome to me, but I have to admit that the size of the dna is fun after starting with a giant phone. I also am very invested in the cloud and I don’t care about expandable storage, I like how solid the dna feels. I am spoiled by the note 2′s battery, I am currently charging my phone 2 to 3 times a day as apposed to just once at night with the note 2… I think I am just so interested in learning about the technology, I am so torn about where to go from here, now that I have learned more, I want the nexus 5, but my husband will give me hell if I pay verizon ‘s early termination fee just to get ANOTHER new phone:-(
i just saw mediatech note 3 version around the net, it has same features, but it screen isn’t bright enough like the snapdragon one
mediatech version of note 3? WTH?
yup i think its a fake, i was so confused with all its same features.
can someone pls tell me galaxy note3 and note2 which one is better
Well its an endless changing process, every time you buy a new phone in 1 month at most you’re out of date.
one month after my purchase of note2, the note3 was released. Are you kidding me, Samsung?
note 2 was released in September of 2012! Samsung didn’t do anything wrong; you just bought a note 2 late
This is the first phone that I’ve seen that looks definitely better in black rather than white. Probably because of the faux leather.
I wish they’d kill Touchwiz, or at least make it light and revamp its design, cause it looks like garbage. Come on Samsung.
honestly. it’s too expensive in Singapore.it costs $1000+ here
After 8 months with Galaxy Note 2 and absolutely loving it I headed to the store to take a look at the Note 3 for a potential next phone. Yes, the specs are amazing, no arguments there, but was hoping for something different from Note 3; metal body, 6 inch screen, fingerprint scanner. Putting the phones side-by-side you’ll be struggling to tell them apart at first glance. The 0.3inch increase is negligible and the faux leather back is just a gimmick specially that I wear my phone in a holster case where I never see the back. Yes, I have used and like the pen but I also was looking for a bigger screen, so before jumping the Note 3 wagon I will wait and see what the HTC 1 Max VZ is all about, despite the inferior specs and lack of the pen.
We’re all entitled to our own opinions and it’s great to see you liking the Note 2 but I have to disagree with you here.
The Note 3 isn’t just marginally better, it’s just galaxies ahead – no pun intended.
The design for example; Yes most people use cases and thus rendering the back design useless but it’s still nice to have there. That’s the case with every phone good looking or not – most people use a case, what’s underneath it is what counts.
It also has less bezel, darker face and a rectangular shape which is a big improvement over the Note 2. The metallic edges are also a beauty in comparison to the glossy plastic of the Note 2.
We already know the Note 3 is way superior with the SD800/Adreno330 as well as 3GB Ram. Upgraded camera, better screen, new software as well as a slightly better battery. Lets not forget the addition of the IR blaster, thermometer, Barometer etc too
You can try the Max but like the HTC one it will still be miles behind the market leader – Samsung – Galaxy Note 3.
I agree with everything you are saying and I am well aware of the technical improvements over Note3 . For me, I have to buy the phone at retail because i will not give up my unlimited data plan with VZW therefore to spend another $750 or so I guess i wanted more. Like I said, aluminum body, 6.1 ” screen, and fingerprint scanner, would have really tempted me to spend the money. With that said I still haven’t heard of the HTC max so i will probably end up buying the Note3 anyways, just wished for those extras!
I’ll wait for note 5 , hopeful it wil be a bigger screen.
Same here, Im waiting for the note 14
My wife needs a operational manual with more detail to it please can anyone send it to her
Well I have Samsung Galaxy Infuse 2!!! hahaha anyone still knows what that is? lags so much, freezes from time to time, shuts down randomly sometimes…. idk why still love it (probably just got attached to this crappy phone) XD the camera is awesome tho!… well having said that I’LL UPGRADE :D!!
The reason I didn’t buy the Note 3 and still have my Note 2 is that the speaker in the Note 2 is much better than the one in the Note 3. The quality of the speaker in the Note 3 is bad and not loud enough. Just compare the two and you will know.
You guys rock! But this isn’t really helping me.
It’s just a review of the Note 3 with the Note 2 somewhere in the back. Not a real VS. I cand see for myself the aspect differences and I know it defenetly packs more power. Most of the features I find them to be an overkill so I have almost all off. Considering i’m a basic user, I don’t have time for state of the art gaming. Just browsing, email, youtube, chats…and I use the s-pen to navigate when dirty hands, photo editing, and actual notes as sometime it really is handy, I write and sketch on screen shots…still nothing to special…but only possible woth Note. So aside from the design difference it worth the upgrade? Is it smoother? Is it faster in day to day use? Consider Note 2 will be getiing 4.3…I want a head on versus, a real life test for ordinary users that don’t care about benchmarks, but appreciate the difference.
well it’s telling you that the note 3 is better on every aspect but you have to see for yourself if the upgrade is worth the money.
Watch On app?
Oh how I love my note 3.& I’ve had every one of them. I thought I loved the note. But the note 3 wow. I’ve had it for a week tomorrow n still haven’t learned all the features. I hear Samsung is coming out with
a note 4. Next year.
I WAS thinking of picking up the Note 3 (my devices: nokias,Samsungs:S1,SII, N1, N2.). Here in Finland its like 699€ without any contracts. I bought my Note 2 in December 2012. Now listen. My GT-N7100 is running a full-featured Note 3 “custom” (although) stock 4.3 ROM with ALL and every of the so-praised-above Note 3 features like air view, and a bunch of new “S this-and-that” bloatware. And samsung is bringing all of this to the official N7100 4.3 update too. So the functionality gap will be much narrower as the update will roll out. Note 2 s Exynos 4412 Is fully capable of running all these gimmicks. SMOOTHLY. At stock clocks. S pen seems to get some better tracking from the device (line comes visible as quickly as you move the tip of the S pen on the glass). Ladies and gentlemen, a matter of OPTIMIZATION! A regular user can stick to his/ her N2 if he/she doesn’t demand completely ultimate specs and hardware based performance from their devices . Because I have to admit that N3 has snappier hardware. l require that top notch performance from my main phone so I’m upgrading anyways. But for those who still doesn’t want to sink $760 into the note 3: Do not worry. you’ll get all these “cool” features with the S pen and gesture-based control I won’t be using anyway on my Note 3. And 1280×720 HD screen resolution is enough. But that’s again if you don’t require that ultimate hardware and the FHD. So think wisely. Next autumn your Note 3 will be shot to the farthermost orbit by the Note 4 with its “64bit octacore @ 3GHz superchipset and 6Gb or RAM + probably a new curved screen!” … top smartphones always becomes obsolete the quickest.
* There’s better optimization for S pen tracking in the note 3 4.3 ROM that my N2 currently runs.
upgrade to note 3 or shut up!
Can you use the same case for a note 2 on a note 3
I had the option of note 2 or 3 and I opted for 2, for the single reason that no reviewer ever tends to mention: the note 2 is the lowest SAR (radiation) phone available. If you don’t have health, you can’t play with your smartphone all day. Better a lower processor speed and unnoticeable lower resolution screen than brain cancer. Note 3 has twice the SAr of 2. Still the note 3 is many times lower than the dirtiest phones like iphone, motorola and blackberry. Don’t believe it’s an issue? It’s covered up, like asbestos and tobacco. see bioinitiative.org for example. Whatever phone it is, use a headset cable and/or speakerphone and keep the thing away from your body, whether phoning or using data modes.