Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Unboxing: A Mesmerizing Leather Affair

by Carlo Ople  September 24, 2013

It's our unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! Woot!
It’s our unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3! Woot!

Samsung Galaxy Note 3… Unboxed!

Several weeks ago, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was announced alongside the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. We’re happy to report that we now have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 here at the Unbox HQ (review unit) courtesy of the very awesome folks from Samsung Philippines! This is just one of their promotional units and it actually came in a very different box. To keep up with our tradition thought we decided to still do an unboxing post. Just keep in mind that the box here will be different for the final commercial unit.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Spec Sheet

  • 2.3GHz Quad-core Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Chipset
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB Internal Storage, Expandable via microSD Card up to 64GB
  • 5.7-inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution, 386 pixels per inch
  • 13.0-megapixels primary camera, autofocus, LED flash, smart camera features
  • Can record 2160p@ 30fps
  • 2.0-megapixels secondary camera
  • Can record 1080p@30fps
  • 3G, HSPA+, LTE, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS/aGPS, NFC
  • 3,200mAh Removable Battery
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.3

As you can see this is one specced out monster of a gadget. Everything you need is there and the internal storage is just ridiculously huge at 32GB (considering you can still expand it via microSD card up to 64GB). It also has 3GB of RAM which is the biggest we’ve seen on a smartphone. No wonder it’s being sold for over Php36,990! Hehehe.

Helping us out for this unboxing is one of our super cool minions… Kevin!

Special Box for a Special Review Unit

Note that this IS NOT the commercial box.
Note that this IS NOT the commercial box.

The review unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 came in a nice big black rectangular hard carton box. There were no product details or images on it. The only thing on the box was an embossed Samsung logo at the center of the top lid. We actually love this kind of packaging and prefer it to the usual rectangular carton box that we’ve seen with other mobile devices. Then again it’s not really practical to mass produce this, hehe. Note that this isn’t the final packaging for the Note 3. We only got it in this box because we got a review unit from Samsung Mobile PH.

So what’s in the box? Minion Kevin kindly do the honors…

What's inside? Ta-daaa!
What’s inside? Ta-daaa!

Ta-daaaa! It’s the Galaxy Note 3, USB to micro USB cable, and the wall charger. That’s it! Hehehe. We did say it was a review unit right? The final box will definitely have the manuals, certificates, and earphones.

Usual Samsung charger and cable.
Usual Samsung charger and cable.

Initial Impressions: Loving the Leather and the S Pen Integration

Seeing as there was nothing else in the box we picked up the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and held it in our hands for the very first time. We’ll say it right now — the photos on the web do not do justice to how awesome and premium the Galaxy Note 3 feels. It is incredibly mesmerizing both on the front and at the back.

Absolutely gorgeous.
Absolutely gorgeous.

When we turned it on we were greeted with the glorious Super AMOLED Full HD display. Icons looked extremely crisp and detailed. Colors were vivid, sharp, and bright! The lock screen image looks like a real painting when you look at it, lol. It’s also good to point out that Samsung made an effort to reduce the bezel size so we have more screen on the front and less metal/plastic. Gotta give major props to Samsung for this.

Now let’s take a look at the back.

That's leather baby!
That’s leather baby!

We’re not sure what kind of leather they used here but based on our observations it’s very similar to the ones you have in your car dashboard or steering wheel, lol. Regardless of what kind it’s just awesome to look at and even much better to hold. In your hands the Galaxy Note 3 feels like the price you paid for it (unlike the previous Samsung dominantly plastic devices).

At the bottom of the back there’s the S Pen slot. Samsung definitely made the right move in coming up with more uses for the S Pen with the Galaxy Note 3. For the previous Note devices the S Pen was more of an extra and most people probably used it only 5% of the time they used their Notes.

S Pen
S Pen

We were only able to play around with it for a couple of minutes so far but we were able to test Air Command. To activate it you need to let the S Pen hover over the screen (not touch) and then press the button on the pen. The Air Command panel (or fan) will appear on the screen with a very nice animation. Definitely feeling high tech each time we do this, lol. Makes for a great conversation piece too.

Air Command
Air Command

However only time will tell if we will really use the S Pen more than how we used it with the previous Galaxy Notes. One thing is for sure though, Samsung heard everyone loud and clear when people started criticizing them for their use of only plastic with their devices. The Galaxy Note 3 is a big and nice step forward for the Korean tech company and we look forward to seeing more devices roll out with this level of aesthetic and build.

Full Review Coming Soon!

We’ll be putting the Galaxy Note 3 through the paces and hopefully we can have the review by next week. We actually have a trip to Hong Kong this weekend so we’ll use the Note 3 to document everything with it.

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