The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has arrived to much fanfare, and it has all of the high end specs to hold back the raging tide of competition that has slowly creeped up onto its turf. So how does it compare to the best of the competition?
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
|Processor||LTE: 2.3 GHz 'Quad core'|
3G: 1.9 GHz Octa Core Processor ( A15 1.9 GHz + A7 1.3 GHz)
|2.3Ghz Snapdragon 800|
Adreno 330 GPU
|2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor Adreno 330 GPU||2.2Ghz Snapdragon 800
Adreno 330 GPU
|Dimensions||151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g||138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm |
|144 x 74 x 8.5mm 170g||179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5 mm
|Display||5.7inch (144.3mm) Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)||5.2-inch IPS LCD,|
Full HD (1920x1080),
|5-inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080 resolution) with TRILUMINOS and X-Reality technology||6.44-inch Triluminos LCD,
Full HD (1920x1080),
|Battery||Li-ion 3,200 mAh (removable)||3000mAh (non-removable)||3000mAh battery (non-removable)||3000mAh (non-removable)|
|Storage||32/ 64 GB User memory ＋ microSD slot (up to 64GB)||16GB, 32GB||16GB, microSD support||16GB (Expandable via MicroSD; up to 64GB)|
|Water resistance||No||No||IP55/IP58 rating – waterproof and dustproof||Yes (IP58 rating)|
|Camera||13 MP rear, BSI Sensor, Auto Focus camera with 'Smart Stabilization',||13 MP rear, OIS, LED Flash, autofocus|
2.1 MP front
|20.7-megapixel Exmor RS CMOS image sensor with G Lens (27mm wide angle and F2.0 aperture)||8 MP rear, autofocus
|Software||Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) Touchwiz Overlay||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with LG Optimus UI on top||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Sony features on top||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Sony Xperia UI on top|
In a spec shootout like this, only the best displays can be considered and all of these smartphones have incredibly sharp Full HD displays. The Sony Xperia Z1 has the smallest display in our comparison, with a Triluminos Full HD 5-inch display with X-Reality technology meaning it has a pixel density of 441 PPI. The LG G2 features a Full HD 5.2-inch IPS display with a pixel density of 424 PPI.
The Galaxy Note 3 also features a Full HD display, but it’s of the Super AMOLED variant, and with a larger 5.7-inch display, its pixel density is 386 PPI. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra dwarfs even the Galaxy Note 3’s display with a massive 6.44-inch display. It’s also a Full HD display and features Sony’s custom X-reality technology from its Bravia TV line and a triluminos display.
Bottom Line: Suffice to say, these are all high-end displays and you’d struggle to find any pixelation with the naked eye. There’s also the little factor called personal preference. While some might like the over the top colors of a Super AMOLED, many prefer the much more natural colors that LCD displays provide. However, based purely on pixel density, we are going to give this round to the Xperia Z1 (just).
All of these smartphones are using top of the line processors. The Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra and the LG G2 are all running the Snapdragon 800, although the Xperia Z Ultra and the Xperia Z1 are both clocked at 2.2GHz, while the LG G2 is clocked at 2.3Ghz. Real world performance, however, should be relatively equal.
The Galaxy Note 3 will have two different chipsets depending on which market you are in. In some markets, the updated version of the Exynos 5 Octa (5420) will be found, while in others the Snapdragon 800 will run the Note 3’s impressive feature set.
The Exynos 5 Octa features four ARM Cortex A15 cores running at up to 1.9Ghz and four ARM Cortex A7 cores running at up to 1.3Ghz. They are in a configuration that’s called Big.little meaning it has the ability to swap between cores in order to conserve battery, using the lower power A7 cores when idle and then quickly switching to the A15 cores when needed to load a webpage or another high power usage case. It’s worth mentioning that this particular variant of the Galaxy Note 3 will not be going to the US or Canada.
The Galaxy Note 3’s Snapdragon 800 is clocked at 2.3Ghz, and like the rest of the Snapdragon 800 smartphones, it’s backed by the Adreno 330 GPU.
Bottom line: Overall performance should be similar from all smartphones, however, the Note 3 nudges them out with 3GB of RAM.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will feature a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera. This camera will probably offer performance which is similar to the Galaxy S4, which we all know has a great camera. The LG G2 also has a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, but it one ups the Note 3 by providing Optical Image Stabilization. Our very own Kristofer Wouk claimed the LG G2 as having one of the best cameras on the market, and it’s easy to see why.
The Xperia Z Ultra is quite literally outclassed here. It features an 8MP rear camera and it lacks an LED flash unit. The Xperia Z1 however, could make a case for being best in class with its 20.7 MP Exmor RS CMOS rear camera featuring G lens technology from Sony’s camera department.
Bottom line: We’ll leave the full judgement of the Xperia Z1 and the Note 3’s cameras till our full reviews, but for now it looks as if it’ll be a shootout between the LG G2 and the Xperia Z1 for the best overall smartphone camera.
The Galaxy Note 3 features the latest version of the TouchWiz Nature UI which runs on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It has the complete feature set from the Galaxy S4 (Smart Pause, Smart Scroll etc.), as well as a few nifty S-Pen features as well. These include Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window. To find out more about the Note 3’s impressive feature set click here.
The LG G2 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with a custom LG UI on top. Features like Knock On, Guest mode and Slide Aside utilize gestures to ensure button-free operation. The Xperia Z Ultra and the Xperia Z1 both run Android 4.2.2 with the latest version of the Xperia UI on top.
Bottom line: While some might prefer the S-Pen features of the Note 3, others won’t find any use for them. We are going to put this round down as a tie.
Editors Note – we’re in the process of uploading our Xperia Z Ultra and Z1 footage, so please bear with us! Thank you for your patience. For more Note 3 videos, see our YouTube!
These smartphones are all top of the range devices, and the bar has been set extremely high. There are very few perceivable differences between the four of them and personal preference might be the biggest factor that makes you prefer one over the other. What we do know is that with such great options from a wide variety of manufacturers, the competition will compel OEMs to make even better devices which is a win for you, the consumer.
It’s a battle royale, and these are the most latest and most advanced smartphones in the world. Which one do you prefer?