This is my Note 3, there are many like it but this one is mine.

This is my Note 3, there are many like it but this one is mine.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been a fairly big deal. In its first month of existence, it’s sold over 5 million units. It’s had positive reviews from tech sites and consumers alike. So what is it like to actually use one everyday? I bought the Note 3 on release day and have been using it for about a month now and I’d like to share my experience with you. It’s important to note that this is not a review. If you’d like to see a review, check out our official review by Josh Vergara.

Galaxy Note 3

I prefer an Aviate-like 2-screen set up to 5 screens.

My Note 3 set up

For the first few weeks I had the Note 3 set up like pretty much every Note 3 owner will. I had divided up my 5 home screens into modules that held certain types of apps. This included my default home screen, games, work related apps, social networking and messaging, and one for root apps. However, about two weeks ago, I got to try out Aviate and loved the premise. The app still needed work so I migrated over to Nova Launcher (which I had purchased for a launcher comparison video I did earlier this year). Using the settings, I cut it down to two home screens and arranged them like Aviate would have. That is, a few favorites and a widget on the main screen, and folders on the second screen arranged in categories like in Aviate.

With this set up I can get to everything I need and it’s actually the first time I’ve ever left the stock launcher with no intention of going back. I don’t think the Touchwiz Launcher is bad, I had just discovered a more efficient way of using my phone. For most, the five home screen set up is just fine.

For the most part, the plethora of Samsung options on my phone remain off. I’ve always adored Smart Stay and that’s on, but the other Smart Screen features are off. Air view and Air gesture are both off. I left Air command on because that’s actually useful. The only option in Motions that I have enabled is Smart alert. I have Palm motion on so I can take quick screen shots and Multi-window is on in full capacity. That’s really it folks. Voice control is off, Hands-free mode is off, and One-handed operation is off.

Since we are talking about my experience here, I’ll go ahead and add that I rooted my device and am running a custom ROM. Unlike most people who look for features and such in their ROMs, I flashed mine because when I remove and insert the S-Pen, it makes light saber noises. This is a serious win for me. I’m aware that you can have these sounds without flashing a specific ROM, but the ROM itself is pretty nice too. You can find it here if you’re interested and there’s a matching one for the Note 2.

Quick stats and thoughts for my set up and the Note 3 software overall

galaxy note 3 feature focus one handed operation aa 04

  • I have 151 applications installed and this includes close to 20 games. I have 18.46GB of space (out of 32GB) remaining. This means that the extra space the OS takes up is completely unimportant and people who complain that so much space is taken have no legs to stand on in my mind’s eye. I could easily double the number of apps installed (300 apps, 40 games) before storage would begin to be a concern.
  • The settings menu would be awesome if you could swipe between tabs. Really.
  • I have Knox entirely removed from the ROM because I broke it when I rooted the device. Since I rooted my device on day one, I have no idea what it actually does or how it works.
  • The S-Pen works just fine as far as I can tell. Haven’t had any weird bugs or glitches with my use so far.
  • My Magazine sucks compared to Blinkfeed. There, I said it.
  • This is the first phone I’ve owned since the original HTC EVO 4G that I decided to store my music on thanks to a 64GB SD card. I now remember why people love SD card slots so much.
  • Compared to Boomsound, the speaker on the Note 3 is not good. I had to buy an external speaker because Boomsound spoiled me.
  • I love that the S-Pen works with the Back and Menu buttons now.

Galaxy Note 3

Admittedly, I leave what I don’t use turned off and that is most things on this phone.

Galaxy Note 3 battery life

After struggling for months to keep my HTC One charged, the 3200mAh battery in the Note 3 was a breath of the freshest air ever. In my first few days, I was doing about six hours of screen on time a day and the phone was taking it all in one charge. On most days, I get 12-16 hours of battery life and that’s with some seriously heavy use. This includes gaming (Clash of Clans, Final Fantasy remakes, console emulators), messaging, social networking, YouTube videos, reading articles, checking email, and pretty much everything else you can do with a phone during the day.

After a few weeks I’ve determined that, at least for my usage, the phone will live until six hours of screen-on time is achieved. Whether this takes 12 hours or 36 hours seems to be irrelevant. Again, this is just my experience so your mileage may vary. The best I’ve done is 36 hours and I had 5 1/2 hours of screen-on time. Considering I spent about 6 of those hours sleeping, that’s really, really good. About the only app that really affects the battery in a big way is Clash of Clans. This is likely due to the multiplayer aspect –which requires a lot of data use– and I can hammer my Note 3 battery into the ground in 8 hours if I’m really into Clash of Clans on a certain day. Otherwise, the Note 3’s battery life is among the best I’ve ever had.

Galaxy Note 3

Performance for games is fantastic.


I have yet to meet a device that never lags. When I shared my experience with the HTC One, I said that it was the closest I’d ever come to owning a device with no lag. The Note 3 challenges that. Even though everyone said that Touchwiz would bog down the phone, I simply haven’t seen a lot of evidence of this. Web pages load and scroll well, pinch to zoom is fluid and smooth, gaming is smooth, the general experience (swiping home screens, navigating settings) are speedy, and even scrolling long lists seems to be faster and smoother.

In terms of gaming, my benchmark is a PlayStation emulator. With all the best settings and OpenGL mode on, the phone has to work somewhat hard to keep everything at a solid frame rate. The first phone I ever owned that could keep it going consistently was the HTC One and now I can add the Galaxy Note 3 to that list. With all the highest settings enabled, the frame rate stays at wherever I put it for hours. Games like Final Fantasy IV, Riptide GP 2, Clash of Clans, Final Fantasy V, and Asphalt 8 Airborne run smooth. There is the occasional hiccup, but I’ll talk more about that in a moment. It’s going to be a long time before game developers make a game that the Note 3 won’t be able to run competently.

The only two places I see lag are scrolling through the widget selection screen and the occasional lag of some games. When games lag, it’s literally for a moment and it doesn’t happen very often. The widget selection screen lags for pretty much everyone at least sometimes and if you give it a moment to “load” up, then it scrolls through the widget selections with buttery smoothness.

Like the HTC One, I wish I had more to discuss here but I simply don’t. Phones that have come out this year are incredible and the Note 3 is no exception. In terms of real world use, it’s as zippy as you can possibly expect it to be. With the exception of the very occasional hiccup, this device simply doesn’t lag.

The Good

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Galaxy S4 aa (30)

Okay, so the above is tl;dr, here’s a list of the things I like about this device.

  • The screen is gigantic and gorgeous. The colors are a little over-saturated but I prefer it that way. I have no problems holding this phone most of the time. The only real issue is typing with one hand.
  • 3GB RAM, 330 Adreno, and the Snapdragon 800 work together brilliantly to kill off all but the most occasional lag. I turn this phone on sometimes just to swipe home screens because it’s fun to watch.
  • Gaming is excellent. I’m talking about actual games, not like fun time wasters like Scramble or Angry Birds.
  • The camera is excellent. You guys said you wanted me to take more photos and such and this time I did. You can view a few pictures I took with the camera here and a video I uploaded here.
  • The design is greatly improved. It’s not as good as the HTC One, but the faux leather back actually feels nice and the ridges on the side look nice. I enjoy looking at and holding this phone more than I did with my Galaxy Note 2.
  • SD card slot for the win. With the 64GB card, I have my entire music library on here now and I’ve come to enjoy not streaming music.
  • Giant battery for the win. Many people like that it’s removable, but frankly I don’t mind either way. I just like that it’s a big battery.
  • S-Pen, even if not always useful, is nice to have.
  • There are some genuinely useful and fun features with the Note 3. These include Smart Stay, Palm Motion, and Multi-Window. I use them all on pretty much a daily basis.
  • The camera bump on the back protects itself. The glass that protects the camera lens is recessed into the bump, so you can set it on your desk without scratching the glass. This is a big deal to me. The metal actually does this on the front too so you can lay your phone on the screen side without the screen touching the surface.
  • USB 3.0 support is awesome.

The Bad

Again for the tl;dr people, here is a list of the thing’s I don’t enjoy so much.

  • The smart stabilization feature is great except in low light. In low light it’s very terrible.
  • Can’t swipe tabs in the Settings. Tsk tsk, Samsung.
  • I got one of the units with the jiggly home button. It’s not bad enough to have it replaced or make a big fuss, but it is there.
  • Rooting this device in the more preferable manner (with custom recovery so you can flash ROMs) breaks Knox permanently. That’s brilliant if you’re Samsung and you don’t want to honor warranties. That sucks if you’re everyone else.
  • While there is less lag on this device than any other device I’ve ever owned, there is still lag and it’s always during an important scene in a game I’m trying to play.
  • Like the HTC One, the worst thing about the Note 3 is trying to objectively come up with things I don’t like about the Note 3.
  • The keyboard is almost there. Almost. I actually like the look and the feel of it, but the auto correct is a little too aggressive for my tastes.

Wrap Up

Beautiful bezels and edges on this device.

Beautiful bezels and edges on this device.

When I had my Note 2, all I could think about was how awesome that phone would be with a little more horsepower. When I had my HTC One, all I could think about was if a phone was released with that much horsepower and more size. Over the course of the month with my Note 3, I realized that this was the device I had been pining for. The giant screen, the amazing specs, the great performance, the add-ons (like S-Pen), and everything put together has made this device the new standard from which I’ll be judging all future devices.

The worst part of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is wishing that other OEMs would put some focus into this form factor. The Note series has sold tens of millions of devices over the past several years and Samsung really is all alone in the phablet space. This is wildly depressing because this form factor deserves serious attention. If this is what Samsung can do with this form factor, imagine what other leading OEM’s could do if they gave it the old college try.

So that’s been my experience over the last four to five weeks with the Galaxy Note 3. My fellow Note 3 owners, if you’d like to share your experience or have a comment about mine, feel free to post them in the comments.

Check out our official Galaxy Note 3 review here, our YouTube videos here, and our other Galaxy Note 3 content, here! 

Joe Hindy
Hi everyone! I'm Joe Hindy the Android Authority app guy!
  • The autocorrect on the Galaxy Note 3 can be totally turned off. i did that when i decided to give it a try because of the handwriting feature, and i really love the keyboard kinda reminds of swiftkey in some ways

    • JosephHindy

      Lol well that was the problem with the keyboard in the Note 2: lack of auto correct. I really, really need autocorrect but it’ll do things like remember that I capitalized Halo (when I refer to the video game) and then insert the capitalized version or the all caps versions of some words.

      SO some sentences Look Like this and IT’S Wildly annoying.

      • lalala

        or just get swiftkey lol

        • JosephHindy

          I do use swiftkey ;) I know it’s very similar but with Swiftkey it feels like I have more control over it and it doesn’t make those same kinds of mistakes.

    • There’s a very good reason for that. I was designed by the SwiftKey peeps.

      • Skander

        It wasn’t, the continuous input was made by Swiftkey, and now in the Note 3 they made their own.

    • Chris Lickorish

      I miss the 3 x 4 keyboard and have told Samsung. 3×4 with swipe, now your moving!

  • Velvetmxo

    I’ll stick with the Z Ultra. note 3 doesn’t do it like the note 2 did for me

    • greeninja

      Hi, I’m considering buying the ultra, after using the horribly specd mega. Does it run smoothly, what version do you have and on what network? I’m considering buying the hspa version because I can get it 200 cheaper, and usually on Wi-Fi. how is battery life, how much screen on time do you get? Thanks

      • Velvetmxo

        I’m using hspa on att in nyc. i don’t miss lte. on wifi 70% of the time. currently im 5hrs on battery 66% screen time watching movies commuted to work and back. and at 50%. on carbon 4.3 custom rom

        • D’Ander McSullivan

          I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to watch movie at work, sir :P

    • patrik

      The Z Ultra is the most overrated device of 2013. So many failures in one device is hard to achieve, but sony made it happen!

      • NeedName

        such as? I’m considering the device. . . what’s wrong with it?

        • patrik

          1. Big bezels on a 6.4″ display. Seriously, 6.4″ is big enough, bezels doesn’t make it any better.
          2. No LED-flash.
          3. Shameless battery life.
          4. Medioker camera.
          5. Speaker is abysmal.
          6. Glasback, some people like this, but you can’t deny the fact that a glasback doubles the chance of a broken phone.
          7. Non-removable battery.
          8. Non-removable back cover makes awesome accessories like s-view covers unusable.
          9. No option for wireless charging.
          10. Not a single app or feature to take advantage of that oversized screen.
          11. Sony are never fast with updates (Z1 and note 3 were released the same day, the note 3 released with 4.3 and Z1 still haven’t gotten it)
          12. Terrible screen. Even with their new technologies implemented, the screens are still the worst 1080p screen on the market. Terrible viewing angles, bad color saturation and so on..

          This is what I came up with from the top of my head, I’m sure there are even more flaws with the device..

          • NeedName

            thx. . . most reviews I checked out were generally positive. will have to reconsider.

          • Fred Chiang

            have you even used it?

          • jasxgamer

            yes you can fxxk off, shanesung fanboy, shame for you LOL

          • Reynaldi Sutrisno

            No, i can tell you that Z ultra screen is amazing! And Note 3 screen is like usual, crappy oversature colours! Thats really disguisting. I’ve been to Sony Store and test Z ultra snd it’s really slim, fast, premium, and has amazing screen. No doubt

          • Box215

            Dude you clearly haven’t even used a Z Ultra so how can you bash it? Why am I certain you’ve never touched a Z Ultra? Because if you had you’d know the screen is actually VERY VERY nice. The viewing angles are great and the colors are very accurate. As for the rest of you ridiculous post, I PERSONALLY would prefer a glass back (such as the back on my Z1) than some removable flimsy plastic cover. Maybe YOU prefer the Note 3 and thats great. Don’t bash the Z Ultra just cause you’re a Sammy fanboy. I all comes down to personal preference. I choose the Z1 over the Note 3 because:
            1. I think its a far better and premium looking device (sorry glass and metal > plastic all day everyday)
            2. The camera is superior
            3. The Note 3 is a mass market device. I prefer to have a more exclusive device so people are like “wow whats that” (I’m dead serious)
            4. I tried the Note 3 and Note 10.1 at Best Buy numerous times. There’s definitely still some lag present in Touch Wiz which is a shame considering the chipset and ram

          • Matts Lindmark

            How funny to see one of the die-hard Note 3 owners attempt to defend their device and bash the Xperia Z Ultra at the same time.

            1. I have not a single problem with the bezels, they make the device more comfortable to use and the screen size is perfect for those looking for a productive device that can replace a 7 inch tablet AND a smartphone. With a Note 3, a tablet can’t be replaced.

            2. It is a drawback that it lacks a flash but the other benefits of the Ultra compensates. The Note 3 isn’t the best camera device either so for good camera, it is necessary to look elsewhere.
            3. The battery life is good, regardless of what Patrik has read at GSMArena. I have absolutely no problems with short battery life on my Ultra and the CP12 cover doubles an already good life.

            4. The camera is a perfectly good 8 MP shooter, the Note 3 isn’t the best camera device either. If you want a really good camera, you must look elsewhere.
            5. The speaker works for speaker phone and ring tones. No problems. If you think that the speaker should be used for music and therefore complain, think again. No phone speaker give an adequate sound quality for music reproduction.
            6. The glass back is certainly to be preferred over the Note 3 faux-leather imitation or the glossy plastic on other Samsung devices. A back made out of metal or textured plastic like on the Nokia E52 would be fine, though. The glass back is appropriate for a water proof device.
            7. It is a drawback that the battery can’t be removed but the Note 3 offers so many drawbacks like TouchWiz etc that it is worth to sacrifice the removable battery in this case.
            8. S-View cover is pretty ugly, there are decent covers available for the Ultra including the CP12 Power Cover. I take it all day long over S-View.
            9. Wireless charging is nice but I wouldn’t dismiss a device because it misses it. There are much more important aspects to look at.
            10. Ultra has a lot of apps that use the screen properly. They run in tablet/phablet mode. All G-apps etc use the screen properly. Note 3 on the other hand is a 480 DPI phone mode device that can’t use a big screen at all. Complaining about the Ultra in this regard and own a Note 3 – believing that it can use the screen estate properly – is anti-logic and very ignorant.
            11. The Ultra has 4.3.1 out and 4.4 are also up and running. I have 4.3.1 on my Ultra including multi-user, try that on your Note 3. Claiming that the Note 3 is “better” because of the heavily TW bloated “4.3” is ignorant. It is interesting that I have 4.3.1 on my device when Patrik strongly claims that it is an “important” benefit for the Note 3…. Hm…
            12. The screen on the Ultra is great, with great realistic color reproduction and adequate viewing angles. That Patrik, Note 3 owner complains about the screen is interesting – I have been unable to notice that the Note 3 would have a “better” screen.

            Now over to some drawbacks with the device of Patrik, the Note 3:

            1. Unstandardized hardware, many different versions of the device and all of them ROM incompatible, which causes a terrible mess for the developers.
            2. Samsung doesn’t provide source code so the Note 3 is complicated when it comes to AOSP based ROMs. All proprietary features are closed source and doesn’t bring Android forward either.
            3. Knox and efuse. Need I say more?
            4. The attempts to implement region locked SIMs on the Note 3 is a failure of epic proportions.
            5. Root secure kernels.
            6. TouchWiz, it adds a lot of bloat.
            7. S-Pen, a nice feature but completely closed source, proprietary and of limited use in AOSP ROMs, unfortunately.
            8. 480 DPI and phone mode means that not a single app can use a big screen properly.

            9. The Samsung apps fail when the DPI is changed to 240 DPI tablet/phablet mode. They must be resized back to 480 DPI.

            Then we can go on with the design and faux leather back, carrier branding etc but I don’t do it this time.

            One thing is for sure: The Note 3, loved by Patrik is not even close to be a “better” device because of those drawbacks. It is therefore funny to see Note 3 owners trying to put their device on a high horse and bash the competition.

          • patrik

            Kul att se vem Mobiltelefon är på flashback iallafall ;)

        • Velvetmxo

          Go to a Sony store and go try it for yourself. Instead of listening to opinions. Go make your own assessment

          • NeedName

            guess I’ll have to find somewhere around here that has it. . . nothing close at this time.

  • kay yon

    I used to get that stupid S Lag when turning off the display. I talked to some other people about it and some say they haven’t gotten it, but it is quite noticeable. AT&T sent out an OTA update that did fix it up, although I can notice it here and there.

    Also: you can reset the Knox counter. Erica Griffin did so in her review (totally in-depth 1 hour one) so go ahead and reset that. :)

    • Maher Salti

      You CAN’T reset the Knox counter (yet). you can root it without tripping the Knox counter. Erica never said you can reset it. She was referring to an old tool called triangle away which is useless on the Note 3

  • Diya Payendee

    Bad Speaker and overheat issue when gaming. Thats only problem am having. Otherwise perfect phone or phablet

    • JosephHindy

      I haven’t experienced the overheating issue. It gets a little warm now and again but no big deal. The speaker isn’t good though.

      • Diya Payendee

        How warm does it get? Mine up to 41 degress celsius

        • Blowntoaster

          what is with the Minus one upvote on your comment? that’s a first…

          I tend to close apps and games n switch the screen off when my phone gets near 45 – 50 degrees. S3 used to get that hot with Internet browsing. My day old Note 3 hasn’t gone over 42 degrees yet, and I did a lot on it in the last 24 hours.

        • JosephHindy

          Noticeably so, but not worryingly so.

    • saakeman

      No android phone has great speakers. (EDIT: The HTC one is an exception) I could be wrong… I think OEM’s are thinking people are just using external speakers via bluethooth or aux cable. Most modern cars have these features build in, so when using GPS it is played on the cars stereo. When playing music, it is easier to throw the thing on a dock or aux cable, or even better Chrome cast or Samsung’s “allshare”.

    • THatch

      Mine does get pretty hot when playing GA, I think the speaker is decent, but it blows the S series out of the water.

  • AlanNexus

    I got rid of touchwiz completely and I’ve never been happier. With Cyanogenmod on my Galaxy S4 I literraly experience NO lag whatsoever. Everything zips and my 1st 3 days on the ROM I was so impressed because coming from an iPhone I had never seen an android phone run so smooth. Amazing experience. The biggest down sides of course would be that the camera for AOSP Roms have terrible image processing when it comes to taking pictures. Enough that I almost decided not to keep my ROM. Another is that because they are based off a vanilla android esque build they lack the features Touchwiz has. Still. I found the trade offs to be so worth it.

  • Richard Spafford

    I’ve had my Note 3 for about a month also, and have many of the same experiences and opinions you have. It’s a great phone, and yes, it’s easier to hold than my Note 2 was.
    I’ve had one problem, but not with the phone. I want to fill up a microSDXC 64GB card with music, and I can’t get Windows 8.1 to recognize the card. Did you have any luck with doing that for your micro card?

    • JosephHindy

      You can use Windows Media Player to sync music directly to the phone (plug the phone in, wait for drivers to install, open WMP, and use the sync option). That’s how I did it. All 35GB of music I own :)

      • Chris Lickorish

        I found syncing with wmp not good as it put music all over the place. I create folders then drag and drop. That way I can search that folder (say I named it ‘Holiday tunes 2013’ ) makes it easy to access just those tunes. And to delete them after.

      • THatch

        I just plugged my phone in, then drag and dropped my music, worked great! Windows 8 though if that matters.

    • Charles Humphries

      Put the card in the phone and plug the phone in. us file expl I rer to get to the card and drop and drag.

    • Peter

      Use Linux for that. I use Poppy linux for that .its really fast just select and drag
      Loads in memory in less that a minute and when done just reboot

  • jasxgamer

    wonder someone would find the shamesung crappy screen acceptable,
    blue hue, OVER-saturated color, I feel disgusting when I first try note 3 on my hand in phone store.

    second the craftsmanship of this phone is totally a garbage, the disgusting metal frame feel like going to tear off sometime.

    overall this crappy phone sell almost USD 750 is crazy, LG G2 and nexus 5 is so much better if you want some Korean shit.

    but Sorry I am happy with my Sony Z1.

    • patrik

      You’re happy with the Z1? You’re happy with the oversized bezels that makes it almost as big as the Note 3 despite a smaller screen? You’re happy with the shitty battery life? You’re happy with the non-removable battery? You’re happy with the crappy Sony UI? You’re happy with 2GB RAM? You’re happy with the shittiest 1080p screen on the market?

      Give me a break sony fanboy, Note 3 is the best device on the market.

      • AsakuraZero

        Sorry but I’m another happy owner of a z1, battery life is excellent, screen is great I don’t suffer from the bad viewin. Angles shit , feels great on the hand, looks premium, stock like UX is a plus for me, bezels well big but they Are handy, waterproofing is something nice to have. And 5 hours of sot and 24 hours of charge without any mods? You souns Like a fanboy, I had a gs2 a note2,2 crappy s4, I don’t miss the gs4, the note 3 have its merits but the z1 is a Great smartphone

        • Velvetmxo

          i think everyone is hating on sony cause sony actually makes premium products. i came from the note2 and with the small upgrades they give you I didn’t bite. Samsung is turning into apple. You guys talk about how awesome the note 3 is and you forget Sony has the same internals. I guess the nexus 5 is garbage too, with same internals, but note 3 is best in their eyes. Sounds like the iphone

        • jasxgamer

          the Sony UI is the best of android I can say,
          because its very smooth compare to HTC one, G2 and the crappy note 3!
          if you want many shiity useless function on Android, then Sony UI isn’t for you!

          • Charles Humphries

            You just dont get it. All thoses “features” win it awards for special needs customers AND validate budgetary costs in R&D for what is necessary to develop the cutting trends in wearable technology. PURE genius in how to fund future products with current offering to have a pricr advantage in new trends.

          • samsucks

            thats only happen to apple inc, not shamesung, touchwiz? NAH thats disgusting, the system will lag A LOT after months, but not happen to other like Sony, admit it fanboy

        • dodz

          i can put aluminium casing on my note 3, if i wanted to feel good. the only advantage the z1 gets is the waterproofing, but i dont intend to swim with my phone anyway

    • lalala

      sorry but sony phones screen is one of the worst in the market.z1 included. horrible viewing angles and color. have you seen the screen review by displaymate? its stated note 3 has 1 of the best screen for mobile devices as good as the iphone.

      • jasxgamer

        people are you tired of judging the viewing angles? who will look the screen in that way? I can tell you it looks like a bravo mini-TV when I use for watching video and photo, its surely not the best, and its attractive and as good as it be!

        and the battery life is good for me, who want to bring another battery when I got recharger?

        • zaza

          After 6 months later, you will only get 3 hours on screen time since the battery will worn out. But you cannot replace the battery by yourself. If you want to have a new battery installed, you might need to spend a hundred dollors and a few weeks for servicing. In case of Note 3, just purchase an extra battery from Amazon or EBay would be enough. That was the reason I did not buy the ultra.

          • samsucks

            worn out? thats only happen to shamesung crap, they admit their battery is garbage already.
            what you think to get extra new battery is a must just because you are using samsung piece of crap. shame on you get ripped by shamesung LOL

      • jasxgamer

        and by the way, the display test Note 3 got horrible and most ridiculous color adjustment on all of the 1080P on the market, accept it and stuck with it Shamesung boy

        • lalala

          do you even know what is display mate?they’re one of the top screen testing company.get your facts right sony fanboy.and i dont hate sony i like them like the ps4. its just their screen you dont always hold your phone in a straight line.and if you have any friends you would know that they watch stuff in your screen too.

        • lalala

          ‘ In a span of just a few years OLED display technology is now challenging and even exceeding the performance of the best LCDs across the board in brightness, contrast, color accuracy, color management, picture quality, screen uniformity, and viewing angles’

        • lalala

          read this and weep. get your facts right before firing off just makes you look like an ass.

  • mav774

    did you lose any S-pen functionality when you rooted your note 3?

    • JosephHindy

      I don’t believe so. I have a tradition where I root the phone before I ever even boot it (going back to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus), so I’ve never seen this phone unrooted/stock before. It works perfectly fine for me right now so I assume not.

    • Skander


      Only thing that Samsung breaks intentionally is Knox

      • THatch

        Now there are easy one click roots that won’t trip Knox, you can even uproot with official status remaining untouched (when rooted it is custom)

  • Ginder

    wish i could have one!

  • Ugslick

    Imo the best devices on the market are the LG G2 and the Note 3.

    • JosephHindy

      Yes it really was a toss up for me. The 5.2″ screen would’ve been more than big enough and LG put some seriously amazing work in to the G2, but when I saw the spec sheet on the Note 3, the size, and everything else, I knew I had to have it. I’m hoping LG puts that much work into the G3 because I plan on picking one of those up. I actually haven’t owned an LG Android device yet so I’m excited to see what they do with it.

      • Ugslick

        I was under the impression they are essentially the same spec wise. The differences being of course in screen size (Note 3 might be unwieldy, I’m a slim guy so pockets are an issue, in winter I could keep the Note 3 in my coat, but I’m not sure how pocketable it is for jeans or dress pants during summer). The 1gb extra ram isn’t available to the system, I believe it’s reserved for the S-pen (I could be wrong on this). I prefer the display technology LG uses, but either way I don’t think is a bad choice :)

        • JosephHindy

          The 3GB is available system wide (you can see it in any RAM Management app), but I also refer to the software and the size ;) I love big phones.

      • Sam

        I have LG G2 for about a month and it is awwwwwesome guys. All this time I was thinking of one thing. What if this baby had a Pen (Stylus)? That is about the only envy I have. Note 3 is also aaaaawesome but it is a little dif to carry, at least for me I guess.

    • mobilemann

      best android phones, absolutely. Not best devices…

  • APai

    although I would not buy a large device like any from the note series – I would never buy anything that has region lock or something like knox

  • Jorell

    So… We went from the Note 3 to viewing angles on a Z1?

    There area bunch of great phones on the market now, I just prefer Samsung. Note 3 imo is best phone on the market but it’s my opinion I’m not gonna try to convince the Sony owners otherwise.

    • jbrandonf

      I’m hijacking your comment, sorry..

      I think the section about lag should be removed. The author is running a custom kernel and thus performance is not indicative of out of the box performance.

  • Allan

    I always find myself drifting towards the Note 3 but then taking a step back because of the retarded tabs in the settings that cannot be swiped nor changed.

    If someone comes up with a fix for this then I will take this over the G2.

  • raj

    Sorry to say….. I have quite a beauty in my hand… The Xperia Z Ultra..
    It beats Note 3 is Screen Quality
    Build Quality
    And Software

    Note 3 can kiss its butt :P :P :P

    • Anotherworld

      Meanwhile your camera is a piece of garbage with no FLASH LED in 2013..Pathetic excuse..And Note 3 stylus is the best…nothing comes close..Oh and good luck with your 10 or 9gb of internal storage..meanwhile I am enjoying 24gb of it.

      • Guest

        you are right about the camera. But in Z Ultra, you can use anything like Pencil, Pen. Not only Stylus. It is really cool. I, given a chance, will always pick Sony Z Ultra over Note3.
        I do not want to get lost in the Grand, Ace, Mega crowd. Till date, people cannot find the difference between S3, S4, Note2, Note3, Mega models, when they see them., It all looks the same. N i am spending a 50k on this mobile.

        • Anotherworld

          So you rather get another device because you don’t want to get stuck in the Samsung crowd? You don’t make sense at all..I always get the high end phones. No mega crap or ACE.

        • Jesus

          Forget about the S Pen. You only get internal storage lol

  • dodz

    never had lag! this is the first phone i had that doesnt lag, even iphones lag a bit in a little while of usage, im not exaggerating, the only lag i experienced is when going to the widgets tab, but its normal cause widgets generally take a lot of memory to load. doesnt heat up too much on gaming, runs all apps smoothly, i only experienced a single crash of an app since i bought it on october 9, but that was real racing 3 when it failed to connect to the network.

  • Anotherworld

    The overheating issues I don’t have..The speaker is not as loud as my old GS4 but I use always a bluetooth ear piece anyway. But yes the speaker could be better.

  • wong mang chung alex

    awesome, thanks!

  • oscar garcia


  • sfasljkas

    Mine is a week old love it

  • lalala

    what ps emulator u use?tx

    • JosephHindy

      FPse, all the other ones are terrible.

  • sfasljkas

    I learned my lesson with the note 2 when I shattered the screen so I’m investing in cases now lol. The sview covers are hard to get a hold of nowadays

    • Nick Tsiotinos

      Tell me about it – I’ve ordered the wireless charging sview cover back in September 20th – still waiting – but I’ve managed to get hold of a white sview cover – and its fantastic! protects the phone and allows limited functionality without having to open the cover.

      • Wayne Smith

        both of you – try logging into which is the British version of ebay – or – Amazon uk – – both of these sites have a few dozen suppliers who post world wide.

  • Nick Tsiotinos

    The stylus implementation on the Note 3 has allowed me to ditch my pen and notebook and laptop for meetings – gives me a lot more space on the table at meetings! I love how I can photograph information that I am given by clients and then annotate the photos. Also I can take my notes in Evernote or QuickOffice and they are automatically synchronised into my client files. I am able to take minutes of the meeting there and then, get the client to read them, edit and sign off and email them directly before the meeting is over!

    In the past, I had to go back to the office – type up my handwritten notes and relate them to the laptop notes, and information provided by the client, then email them, the client would edit them, send them back – I would amend them and then send them back out! The process would work itself out over a few days!

    Now I’m done before the meeting’s over! Absolutely fantastic. I’m actually keen to look at the Note 8 and Note 10.1 for their note taking abilities – but the portability of the Note 3 cannot be beaten.

    Thank you Samsung – great job!!

    • sfasljkas

      Great hope the note series will gain even more popularity with people who wish to increase their productivity

    • lalala

      same! i have the note 8! very useful as i do almost all the stuff like you do and it has a bigger screen to boot!and it is very light and ultra portable!

    • Wayne Smith

      Nice to see a business user giving an opinion. Like you I have used the pen extensively but still haven’t mastered how to turn hand written email addresses into editable data for the contacts app. I video’d outdoors and indoors recently and the quality is stunning. One shot was of a tram going through the city and I panned as it went past me. Not only could you read all the signage on the tram, but the shop signs and window displays were all in sharp focus and readable. I haven’t been outside with my Nikon since I got this and I might even sell it. After a month I think I’ve still just scratched the surface, but my productivity and sense of ‘safety’ for being well organised has more than justified the price I paid for this phone. I gave my Note 2 to my girlfriend, a doctor, and she is now pining for a Note 3 for herself.

  • Chad Nelson

    I really enjoyed the article, but I do have one question, what theme is he using in the picture? Looks really clean and I would like to give it a try

    • JosephHindy

      Nova Launcher, stock theme, Nox icon pack.

    • JosephHindy

      Nova Launcher, stock theme, Nox icon pack.

  • Harsh Patel

    I don’t have that much money

  • Chad Nelson

    What theme is he using in that picture?

    • lalala

      using nova launcher + stark icon pack.

      • JosephHindy

        Nox icon pack ;)

        • lalala

          it really looks similar to stark too lol

  • lalala

    if im not wrong he’s using nova launcher + stark icon pack.

  • Blowntoaster

    the speaker isn’t actually that bad, if you haven’t had a HTC One in your hand. I am hearing sounds and tones that I haven’t heard before on some songs and videos.

    the camera is very decent, and the camera features kick some other high end devices backsides. didn’t think I;d be using the stylus that much, but at work I almost exlusively use the stylus to do everything. handwriting is used to write everything, mail, texts, hangouts, FB, web browser. you name it.

  • lalala

    you really shouldnt be using clash of clans as a pix for saying performance is fantastic lol

  • Gebhard Kruger

    Hello I am looking for a easy way to root my galaxy note 3 but I can not find my model N9005XXUBMJ1 thank you

  • dean clarke

    S hit I’ve not seen sorry read so much hate in post’s b4 Sony are good at what they do! But Sammy did it better with this device! At first I thought I was on andriod apple forum rant! I also had to decide between ultra note3 the s pen is not just a stylus that’s why I chose note3 !

  • Invez

    I want to know what is so smooth on a sony UI? SONY doesnt even spend time in their stupid UI. If ya look at it its only the background that makes it look stable. HTC, Samsung spend time in their UI. Than u can talk about a brand if the manufacture comes with innovation and creativity in their software. Show me something good about the Sony software? They copied al the existing UI options thats already made by Samsung.

    instead of buying a Sony you can also go for a Nexus.

    If ya hold any xperia z model in your hand if feels to big. The corners are not rounded to fit good in your hands.

    Not even a cool option on these phones. Mention me 1 and ill show you what my Note 3 can do. The note 3 is the beast now you like it or not. Samsung is the king of smartphones. Because of samsung now people can have a budget phone. And now sony also tries a budget phone. Htc did one also. And even iphone made a so called cheaper version…. Because they are afraid of samsung. Wake up…. Ask the majority of friends which tv they own… U will hear S… No not Sony but Samsung…


    • Johnny

      Hey man you are right!!!!

  • carherin

    huawei p6 is also a good smartphone. in this price, you can find other smartphone like it?

  • peepz

    like you Joe, I’ve had my note 3 about a month, well 3 weeks actually, and love it. I can’t put it down.
    l use s pen for mail msgs etc… l’m a big fan of the air command features, I could go on.

    I had the note 2 before, again loved it, but note 3 has filled in the missing pieces.

    l bought out my note 2 contract for this Phone it left me skint, but is worth it

  • Elros Mente

    the 31 october he fell down from my hand to the street field with cover and he break a little on to top D: it was still working more than great,but 3 days later,market started not work anymore and made my note 3 literally locked by the lagg,when (after 40 min) i shut down the market and disabled it was all ok,but i leaved in assistance coz i can’t use playstore anymore /: so painful for me lol anyway it’s a fantastic device,i’m a spen addicted for my hobby and that’s great!

  • Mike – Construction Contractor

    20 games??? Wow – you are wasting a lot of time or spending a lot of time on the toilet.

    Either way, this is a great review. I have the Note 2 but will skip the Note 3 so that I can be sure I am eligible for the Note 4 and its 16MP camera.

    • JosephHindy

      I review apps and games for a living ;) it’s usually stuff I’m working on trying to review lol.

      • Wayne Smith

        For a living? Really? No help from Mum and Dad or the government? Not sure I could ‘live’ on the money a reviewer earns. I’m with Mike the Construction Contractor – you know, the people who actually work.

        • JosephHindy

          To answer your questions in order. Yes I do this for a living. Yes, really. Nope, I require no help from the government or my parents. You can take all the swipes at me that you want about whether or not my job is “actual work”, I don’t mind :) I know what I do is important and that I help thousands of people every day. Couldn’t be happier.

          • mobilemann

            lol, “no help from parent’s or the government” guy, i would love to see how you’ll be reacting when a machine takes your mindless job away.

            “actual work” lol. what a man child.

          • Jesus

            Yup. We absolutely need people to review games for us. It’s vital.

            *can’t tell if sarcasm or not*

          • JosephHindy

            I drove over 500,000 people to the Google Play Store in 2013 to download apps and games to improve their Android experience. Is it vital? Nope. Am I helping make Android a better place? Yep. #missionaccomplished

          • unreal

            I’ve read this far so yeah, you’ve helped me. I never make a decision to buy a phone without reading reviews first. As for apps and games, I don’t have time to install each one and try it myself so I often depend on reviews

  • Jason Yuen

    When the note first came out, I thought it was one of the stupidest phones ever. Over the first 2 iterations, I keep hearing how people love it as soon as they use it. I decided to give the note 3 a try and my god what sorcery is this? I have already gotten used to the 5.7 inch screen and actually think could push 6 without much trouble. What I’m really curious about now is what screen the next gen phones will have. 1080p is a comfortable standard and 4k doesn’t seem to be arriving in cell phones any time soon. Spec wars seem to be simmering down for the near future, but focus seems to be shifting towards design now with curved displays, back buttons, and self healing materials. Battery improvement or at least battery consumption should be a included in the mix as well.

  • Haseeb Ahmed

    I tend to agree on all the points except the laggynes,my phone(N3) lags when I am scrolling in the gallery and my phone occasionally freezes up. Being new to both Android and Samsung I was having a lot of inhibitions but now having used it for good 2months,I can proudly suggest my friends to buy Android in particular. P.S here in India the Samsung’s service stations are very irregular and disheartening.

    • JosephHindy

      Well my gallery lags too but it does have to load like 600+ images (all my years of uploading my photos to dropbox lol) so I don’t really blame the phone for that. What doesn’t lag scrolling through 600 photos?

  • Glenn Bolton

    Joe..great article. I’m spec’d out when reading reviews, so it was refreshing to read about real life use and what works, etc. I use NOVA, tried Aviate, and have no intention of rooting my AT&T Note 3. Thanks for the tip on the app/screen setup. Makes perfect sense.

    • JosephHindy

      No problem! I’m still not 100% used to the Nova way of doing it (Aviate does look better in this area but again, not ready for prime time yet) but i do enjoy not having all those home screens anymore.

  • supp

    what should i get, a nexus 5 or a note 3?

  • jack

    Love my Note 3. I have had no issues at all, just like my good old Note 2. I do love stock android the best, but some features that come w/ touchwiz are useful on the Note series.

  • Jean Paul Dumas

    Go on the Play Store and give a try to the Galaxy Note 3. If you are on Android, install Galaxy Note 3 Experience

  • terpski

    Its a great phone. I love it.

  • samsucks

    Shamesung piece of crap, worst craftsmanship, blue-hue, over saturated lousy display, and this crap sell over 750 USD, SHAME

    • Wayne Smith

      Pillock – (look it up!)

    • paul

      and do u know the best part of this stupid, piece of crap Samsung is….so many people bought and continue to buy this crap.
      Its really reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy funnyyyyyyyyyyyy hah samsucks??????????????

  • PiquePique

    You forgot that the Note 3 is also compatible with the Note 2 smart dock. I dock the Note 3 everyday when I get home from work and just use it as a computer, check out the demo:

    • JosephHindy

      I didn’t forget, I just don’t use this feature so I couldn’t really talk about it now could i?

      • PiquePique

        True, just that i found the smart dock to be very useful for me…nice article btw…

        • JosephHindy

          Thank you. I wish I could find docks useful but I really can’t. There’s really nothing a dock offers me I guess :(

  • Peter

    This is without doubt THE best phone on the market.

    The only “fault” for me is the raised home button. After upgrading from the GN1 to the GN3 I find that the home button can sometimes be activated while the phone is in my pocket.

    The recessed button on the GN1 is a much better design/idea

  • Carlo Acetre

    Why are all you Sony shitboys even here? I have an Xperia Z and a Note 3 for work and I only ever use the Z when I am in some crazy pool party.

  • James D RandallNash

    Bitchin PHONE 5 weeks <3 THIS PHAB. Screen is beautiful & vibrant and FAST, almost feels like Full fledged tablet. Decent User interface but speed & phone overall just blew me away and my last phone was a Galaxy S3.

  • John Blair

    Won’t you help us send AT&T a message – over 500 Signatures to date!

    Petitioning: Randall Stephenson AT&T CEO

    Ralph de la Vega; President and CEO – AT&T Mobility

    John Donovan; Senior VP, AT&T Technology and Network Operations

    John T. Stankey; Group President and Chief Strategy Officer

    AT&T: Unlock OUR Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Bootloader!

    Please sign this petition to send a message to AT&T:

    This is not region locking. It’s not SIM locking, its outright DEVICE LOCKING and its a terrible development for the Android Platform. If it continues, it will stifle MOST of the development communities contribution to the platform. And it will cause Android Market Share to significantly decrease

  • hbredneck

    still waiting for them to come out with a rugged waterproof one

  • stop-star

    The plastic has advantages, It does not break like glass, it does not deform like aluminum and the network id better and it’s lighter.. but a genuine leather shell would have been better for the galaxy note 3 : we hope it to Note 4 then!

  • Joey

    It’s a great phone… when it works. It has amazing features, and I love how clear the screen looks.

    However, the phone glitches up so much that it gets unbearable. This has been my experience with all android phones I’ve owned (Note 3, Note 2, and S2). I need to restart it probably every few hours, otherwise it’ll end up lagging and eventually the whole OS freezing altogether. It also randomly changes brightness on me, turns on wifi even if I have it turned off, vibrate randomly, freezes when I want to answer a call, etc.

    It really is an amazing device, but it just needs to not be so buggy.

  • Rana

    Love it! Real racing 3 kills the battery in no time… But overall an awesome experience… Oh and Swype has a major problem… lags big time on my mobile… Don’t know if the problem is with the Mobile or with App itself!

    • VJ

      Try the swift key… Its brilliant and works superb on my Note 3

  • Brandon

    clash of clans! yes!

  • Joshua Sumner

    Got mine on release day too, yet i too find my self still just turning it on to have a look at how lovely everything is on it…

  • Mihai Adrian Ţ

    Nice review but still you did a mistake, the front edge is not metallic is plastic painted as metal, i just dropped my note 3 down and after making a small bump on the right corner you can see. Also my battery lasts only 6 -8 hours with no game , medium usage but wifi on. I don’t think this is normal, anybody else ?

  • Kc

    I have had the Note 3 and all around it is the best device i have ever owned. It can do anything you ask of it as long as you give it the internet it so readily deserves. This phone will not let you down if a phablet is the thing youre looking into. Note 3 all day.

  • jemelio

    what weather wallpaper is he using?

  • jemelio

    what weather wallpaper is that on your home screen

  • Wayne Smith

    Not a sausage in this article about productivity. And most of the comments seem to be from people who have more time to play games than to actually do any work. So, from someone who works for a living, this phone has been a real boost to my productivity. I installed Buzz Launcher, and after one stuffed up attempt I now can do just about everything I want in a BUSINESS environment without having to search and lose time finding things. I remember some years ago seeing a news report of an English Lord who used his Rolls Royce to go and collect the coal. It seems to me that the ‘never grew up adults’ rabbitting on about games and frame rates etc is akin to the Lord, his Roller and the coal. I’m sure Samsung and their shareholders couldn’t give a bugger who buys their phones and for what reason, but I’m sure that the target market at the design stage was probably the business user. It’d be nice to hear from them.

  • paulobao

    Sorry to post here but I’m for a new android phone and google send me here :-)

    I saw many reviews about my potential new phone and it seems someone is allways try to sell something (sorry but this is just my perspective). When I started reading this article at the first pic legend you state “This is my Note 3, there are many like it but this one is mine.”. So you have a white Note3 right? But then it became black…?
    This is the kind of things that put me allways in a defense state!
    paulo @ portugal

    • Steve

      Just wanted to tell u i was looking for information about new Android phones about 2 years before i made the leap.Found Android Athority by luck found out tons of helpful information in this site! I found reliable and honest comments + video .Bought my new phone and love it,seemed had already had my phone for a long time because I watched sooo many videos and read all the articles and all the response from all over the world. Hope this helps you! By the way the phone I bought is not important but i bought it because i relying on this site and i love my phone!

  • Reza A.

    I love my note 3. The one and only problem I have that many other owners share (see AT&T blogs) is that while using the navigation Apps regardless of which you use ( Google, waze, etc) the GPS cuts off and you have to restart the navigation app again and after few minutes it happens again. Erased few so called ” culprit” apps and programs as discussed in the forums to no avail. I wish someone would get in touch with Samsung tech people and find a solurion. I yet to hear from them.

  • Josue

    I would like to know what is that custom ROM you are running on your Note 3.

  • Josue

    With the Jedi Elite Rom, all S-Features got erased by the Rom????

  • disappointed

    Do any phablet sized phones not have a garbage screen? The viewing angle on this note 3 is pretty pathetic imo compared to my gt-i9000, p1000-gt(tft with better color angles? LOL!) , note tablet 10.1 (forget the model) ..

    turn the screen 7 degrees either way on this n3 and say goodbye to red, and hello to orange!

    the resolution is nice, but pucky colours displayed at high resolutions is just high resolution pucky.

    Yes I realize I am pickier than others. I kept my CRT until I could at least get an IPS screen.

    Terrible sound quality (can we not have stereo sound in 2014?)

    Whats this about menu buttons being “loose and jiggly”

    90% of the multiview apps are unusable, (think browser text squishing)

    sometimes i’ll get 11.5 hours of screen on and 3 days on time, other charges i’ll get 5 hours. exact same settings. exact same movie on loop.

    This kind of sucks because its the only phablet with a removable battery and microsd card. Why do all other phone manufacturers force me to be a samsung fanboy with this fact?

    Dear android phone manufacturers, include removable batteries and microSD card slots so I don’t have to buy a Samsung device for once.

  • Leviathan Black

    Apple dismissed the idea of a phablet with stylus: but I really dig the stylus and size of the phone — as a regular user of taking notes at sch (or anywhere really). The S-Pen features are really seductive

  • THatch

    Joe, I know this question is way late. But in the wake of Google i/o and Cyanogenmod 11, I am strongly considering rooting and flashing my note 3. My concern has always been, what happens to the S Pen? How has rooting and flashing your note 3 effected the S Pen?

  • Pamela J

    Hello, I am just a user of my note 3. It has many bells and whistles i don’t understand. I would appreciate if someone could just answer a few questions about the craziest stuff my note does. The questions are prob easy fixes .but for me their very bothersome . HELP?