Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Initial Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 3   Initial Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 arrived on my desk a few days ago. The Note 3 marks the third generation of the Galaxy Note range, it also marks the third Galaxy Note that I’ve owned. So as is often the case with a new device here at Coolsmartphone I’m going to post my initial impressions, starting with my good and bad my points.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3   Initial Impressions

Good Points

  • Amazing screen
  • Good camera
  • IR Blaster
  • Some genuinely useful software additions

Bad Points

  • Backplate isn’t for everyone
  • Shear amount of settings is a minefield
  • Wireless charging is an additional accessory
  • USB 3 port is unsightly


A few years ago there was a phone called the Samsung Galaxy S2, the Galaxy Note 3 seems to take its design from last year’s Note, the S2 and a whole load of inspiration from the Galaxy S4.

Previous generations have been rather plasticy and gloss finished, this year the white glass on the front has an interesting triangular effect under the glass and the super shiny hyperglaze backplate has been replaced with a leather look panel instead, complete with pretend white stitching. The backplate is the one thing about the design that I’m just not sure about.

Other differences are the new position for the speaker, which is on the bottom edge. There is now an IR Blaster on the top edge of the device. Also there is now a rather large USB 3 Port on the bottom edge.

Compared to the Note 2 the Note 3 feels like a thinner, lighter and much more refined device. The fact that this thinner and lighter device comes with a vastly superior spec is amazing.


Every year when the latest Galaxy Note is released Samsung always trump the spec of the current “S” device. This year is no different, it’s almost like Samsung release the “S” devices as a test device to see if the latest version of TouchWiz can cope with the spec.

The spec of the Galaxy Note 3 is as follows:

  • Processor – LTE 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Display – 5.7inch (144.3mm)  Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
  • Memory – 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • RAM – 3 GB
  • OS – Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera – Rear – 13 Mega-pixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus camera with Smart Stabilization, LED Flash(High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag
  • Camera – Front – 2 Mega-pixel BSI sensor with Smart Stabilization, Full HD recording @30fps
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC,  Bluetooth® v 4.0, IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
  • Sensors – Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB, Proximity, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor
  • Battery – Standard battery, Li-ion 3,200 mAh
  • Dimension – 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g

There are so many highlights to the spec, there really isn’t much I’d improve upon. Possibly add wireless charging out of the box as opposed to being an additional accessory.


Samsung this year have added a lot of additional software. Just like the Galaxy S4 the Note 3 contains a lot of settings and apps out of the box. To be honest I found it too much, luckily half of them seem to be turned off but the Note 3 sure took a lot of fiddling with on that first day with it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3   Initial Impressions
Samsung Galaxy Note 3   Initial Impressions

Initial Conclusion

The Note 3 seems like a great device, so far I’ve found nothing wrong. So much so that I really struggled to complete the “bad points” section at the top of the article. I’m basically going to be spending the next few weeks testing out all of the different apps and settings.

As this is only my initial impressions the full review will be coming soon, if you’ve got any questions or anything you want testing out just leave a comment below.

Lastly a big thanks to Clove who sent us this Note 3 to review. You can get the Note 3 from them here.

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  • Diane Costello

    It looks like a great product. I own an iPhone 5 and since the release of the iOS7 I’m getting annoying issues so I’m thinking of switching to Android and I’m undecided between the S4 and the Note3, I’m quite keen on the second one since it comes with a larger screen. I change my gadgets often and I tried to add them on to manage their documentations and their lifecycle better and this is quite useful considering that technology products become obsolete so fast.

  • Runadumb

    I had a wee play with a Note 3 over the weekend and I would really like one. I just can’t justify the expense as I like to buy my phone unlocked, which was fine when they were around £400 but nearly £600? I just can’t do it.

    I see me (reluctantly) moving over to the Nexus line if they keep their amazing pricing. I’ll miss the removable battery and expandable memory options though. My GS3 is good for a while yet but maybe in 6 months these will drop to a more reasonable price point.