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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Announced: Premium Design, Better S Pen Integration

by Carlo Ople  September 5, 2013

The New Galaxy Note 3!
The New Galaxy Note 3!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is OFFICIAL

Samsung just took the wraps off the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at their press event in IFA Berlin, Germany. Based on what we’ve seen from the product announcement, the Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung’s response to the criticisms and feedback thrown at the previous two generations of the Samsung Galaxy Note. It has a lot of improvements both on the hardware and the software sides which makes it a truly compelling product. Let’s go through those improvements and key features one by one.

Faux-leather back and stitching on the sides

Thinner, lighter, and less plastic
Thinner, lighter, and less plastic

Unfortunately the device is still dominantly made of plastic but Samsung did make some big changes with the back cover and the sides. Instead of the usual glossy plastic they put in a faux-leather covered back plate with stitchings on the side to resemble the spin of a notebook. I would have actually preferred metal but at least it’s not just plastic so we have to give Samsung some props for that one!

Other than the materials, they also improved the form factor. While the Note 3 has a 5.7-inch display, it still looks manageable since they made it really thin and ergonomic to hold. Lastly, we have to point out that they also reduced the bezel making it almost all screen at the front (woohoo).

Deeper Integration with the S Pen Using Air Command

Air Command looks so cool!
Air Command looks so cool!

One of the biggest criticisms thrown towards the first two Galaxy Notes is that the S Pen was more of a gimmick. We kinda felt this ourselves since we rarely used the S Pen since the software that supported it (S Note) kinda sucked. This can potentially change with the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung gave the S Pen a bigger role by letting it activate Air Command, a rather innovative way to navigate and use your device. What happens is you use the S Pen on the screen (by tapping on a circle or something) and a cool fan-like pop-up appears with different icons.

Air Command FTW~
Air Command FTW~

Here are the different commands:

Action: Lets you scribble down notes that Samsung’s handwriting recognition software will recognize and translate to different apps. For example, jot down a phone number and a name and with a few taps it can get saved on your contacts.
Scrap Book: Draw a circle on various content on your screen and it will get saved to a scrapbook app. You can go to the source links if you want with a tap.
S Finder: Universal search.
S Note: The new S Note has a different UI. Very similar to the Paper app on iOS.
Pen Window: Draw a box and pick an app and it will appear as a pop-up. Different way of doing multi-window.

Monstrous Specifications

Very powerful device
Very powerful device

The Galaxy Note 3 comes in two variants, kinda like how they did the Galaxy S4. There’s the Octa-core model which has a 6-core Mali GPU. The other model runs on the new quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU supported by the Adreno 330 GPU. Both models have 3GB of RAM (that’s a lot ). The primary camera can also record 4k video which is just wow. Lastly they were still able to stuff in a 3,200mAh battery and Samsung claimed that it would outlast the Galaxy Note 2.

It has a lot of accessories!

Woooo!
Woooo!

Finally we have the accessories. Samsung went all out on this one. They showcased a variety of cases and back covers including S View, Flip, Wallet, and even a metallic set. Pretty cool.

And that’s the Galaxy Note 3. It will be available in 149 countries by September 25 (we’re hoping the PH is included) and the rest of the world by October. We’ll definitely get our hands on one of these babies.

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