Samsung Galaxy Note 3 aa 9

The Galaxy Note 3 is here. After weeks of intense anticipation, fans of the imposing smartphone can finally get their hands on it.

The Note 3 went on sale last week in many countries from around the world as a contract-free, unlocked device. Controversy erupted when stickers on retail packages revealed the smartphone is region-locked, though Samsung was quick to clarify that the restrictions are not as severe as we first feared.

With the regional lockout controversy behind, on Saturday we gauged the Note 3’s physical endurance in one of our trademark drop tests. Suffice to say that the Note 3 that we tested is going to a service center soon.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 drop test aa 22

The Note 3 is not the hardiest phone that we ever tested, but it sure is one of the best performing. Thanks to a spec sheet that includes the best processor currently available to Android devices and 3GB of RAM, the Note 3 is ready to handle any task you throw at it, for business or for fun.

Galaxy Note 3 Specs

Network2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz, 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz, 4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market), region locked
ProcessorLTE 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
3G 1.9 GHz Octa Core Processor ( A15 1.9 GHz + A7 1.3 GHz)
Display5.7inch (144.3mm) Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
OSAndroid 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
CameraRear 13MP BSI Sensor, Auto Focus, 'Smart Stabilization', LED Flash(High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag, Front 2 Mega-pixel BSI sensor with Smart Stabilization,
RecordingRecording: UHD 30fps, Smooth motion (FHD 60fps), Slow motion (HD 120fps)
VideoCodec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8, HEVC, Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p), UHD (*may differ by market)
AudioCodec: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*), WAV(*)
(*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support
ConnectivityWiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE)
SensorGesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB, Proximity, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor
Memory32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB), 3GB RAM
Dimension151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g
BatteryStandard battery, Li-ion 3,200 mAh

With that said, the Note 3 is pricier than most other smartphones. In the United States, carriers offer the Galaxy Note 3 for $200 to $350 with a new contract:

Even with the new texturized back plate, the Note 3 is still made of plastic, at a time when competitors talk metal and glass. And this year, the Note 3 has some worthy competitors in the smartphone-tablet hybrid space, such as the Xperia Z Ultra, the Oppo N1, and the upcoming HTC One Max.

Are you buying a Galaxy Note 3 once it becomes available? If so, what’s the main reason for getting one? Specs? Features? New design? The S Pen?

If the Note 3 isn’t for you, what puts you off?

Note 3: yea or nay? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments.

[poll id=”372″]

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