Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review: The Phablet Refined

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: With all of the recent talk about benchmark cheating on Android devices, we’re not going to dwell too much on the benchmarks numbers alone in this performance summary. We did use updated versions of the apps where possible, to mitigate the app detection schemes currently being employed, so our numbers should be indicative of relative performance at this point, but there’s more to the story.

While the Note 3 did put up some of the best numbers we’ve seen from any smartphone we’ve tested to date, in real-world use, it was also noticeably faster and more fluid than many other devices we’ve used. The speedy Snapdragon 800 SoC with Adreno 330 graphics, relatively fast internal storage, 3GB of system memory and Android 4.3 team up to produce an experience that’s currently among the best in the Android-based smartphone market. No matter what we threw at the Note 3, its performance was great in light of competing devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in Black With S-View Flip Cover
Find it For Around $169 on Contract

Anyone in the market for an oversized smartphone really should check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. There are a multitude of other options available on the market currently, like the LG G2 we looked at here. But Samsung has been blazing the trail in the “phablet” space from the get go and it shows with the Note 3. Not only is the hardware noticeably more refined over previous generations, but the software is better too. Admittedly, not everyone will be pleased with Samsung’s TouchWiz over a more pure Android experience, but we’re indifferent. TouchWiz looks good to us and the additional features it brings to the Note 3 are welcomed ones as far as we’re concerned. The additional S-Pen related features alone are worth giving TouchWiz an honest shot in our opinion.

At about $169 - $289 (on-contract), the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn’t cheap. If you want one of the best smartphone on the market, that just so happens to have a huge screen and wealth of accessories available for it—including the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch—you’ve got to pay to play. Just be prepared to shell out that coin if you give the Note 3 a try, because once you’ve experienced its large screen and performance, it’s hard to go back to using smaller, lower-performing devices.


  • Great Performance
  • Large, Bright Screen
  • Good Camera
  • Tons of Accessories
  • Somewhat Pricey
  • Not "Pure" Android
  • Screen Somewhat Over-Saturated

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