Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Android Smartphone/Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 GT-N9000 review


We take a look at the huge Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and our review aims to discover exactly what you get for the large wad of cash you are going to have to part with if you want one.


Our rating
91

Available on these networks O2 mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk 3 network mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk EE network mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

  1. £38 a month
  2. O2 Network UK
  3. UNLIMITED minutes
  4. UNLIMITED texts
  5. 1 GB data
  6. £9.99 upfront cost


Latest offers Get this deal

Looking for sim free Pay As You Go?

Buy now securely with PayPal accepted at 1stMobile.co.uk


  1. FREE insured UK mainland postage
  2. Just £13 worldwide shipping (outside UK)
  3. FREE O2 Prepay sim included
  4. NO monthly contract
  5. Full 1 year warranty

IMPORTANT: Customers outside the UK MAINLAND MUST select the "worldwide" option from the drop-down list.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 3

£549.99


IN STOCK

Choose shipping option:
Colour (subject to availability)
Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.

Main features

  1. Huge 5.7 inch Full HD 1080p screen
  2. S-Pen digital stylus
  3. 4G handset
  4. 13 megapixel camera
  5. Aluminium chassis


Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader

The latest behemoth from the South Korean electronics giant boasts a huge 5.7 inch screen (not 6 inch as reported in many reviews) but this is again up in size from the Note 2 which was 5.5 inches.

That itself also came in at 0.2 inches larger than the original Samsung Galaxy Note. The device itself though is actually a fraction smaller than the previous model and a little lighter too.

It has been dubbed a 'phablet' by much of the media because it lies somewhere between tablet and phone. We think that's a silly name and as far as we're concerned just think it's a giant smartphone. You can call it what you like of course!

Huge handset

What you get is a huge handset which because of it's size is going to need two hands to use it most of the time; one to operate it and one to hold it. We feel it is only fair to mention that it's awkward size means it is very droppable.

The chrome trim around the sides might look good but doesn't help as much as it should for grip levels even though it is ribbed.

And in our opinion you are going to look a little daft walking down the street while chatting away (yes you can actually use it as a phone), so much so that you might want to stash it in a pocket - if you have one large enough - and use a Bluetooth headset instead.

You are going to look even more dippy if you drop it. But to be fair, the smartphone market is probably not what it is aimed at.

Incidentally as we write this the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has just been announced which is a massive 6.4 inches.

Since the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 was considered to be a 7 inch tablet rather than a phone the new Sony monolith is definitely edging towards not being a phone - or phablet.

But enough of that nonsense. Let's take a look at what the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has to offer.

First of all this is a mostly well built smartphone with Gorilla Glass 2 covering the entire front of the device this and the rear cover are contained in an aluminium chassis, but Samsung still insist on including a flimsy plastic rear cover which you will have to remove to insert your sim card and, more often, to swap your MicroSD memory cards.

The usual Samsung format of speaker grille at the top and physical Home button at the bottom of the screen are the only breaks in the glass front on a device measuring just 8.3mm deep.

Full HD Display

That enormous 5.7 inch screen has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 which means that it's a full HD (1080p) screen with 386 pixels per inch. It needs to be as sharp as a pin on a device this size of course and it is. That said, the slightly smaller Samsung Galaxy S4 has the same resolution and because of the smaller screen it is even sharper.

The point here is that means the S4 actually has a better screen so unless you really, really want the extra screen real estate that the Note 3 offers you should also consider the S4 and it's Android rivals such as the Sony Xperia Z1 and the HTC One M8.

But again this is an electronic notepad first and foremost, albeit a very sophisticated one, not just a smartphone.

The screen is without a doubt at it best when used for surfing the web and watching video or playing games in high definition, and like all Samsung's AMOLED screens it is razor sharp and colours are intensely bright.

Some might argue that the screens are a little too vivid yet it seems wrong to want to dull the screen down a little because it looks that good. Nevertheless you might find yourself doing exactly that.

S-Pen and S-Notes

Samsung have improved the electronic pen they call the S-Pen that comes in tucked into the chassis of the Note 3 for use with their S-Notes app.

With the included handwriting recognition software, which does an excellent job of converting your writing into text, you can easily handwrite your notes and draw too.

The irony is that with a screen so big it is perhaps almost unnecessary.

It is so much easier to use a larger keyboard on a larger screen than it would be with something much smaller that the pen seems almost redundant. Of course you don't have to use it if you don't want to.

Stunning performance

Performance will be important to most people when spending this amount of money of course and the Note 3 delivers in spades.

This is taken care of by a scorching 2.3Ghz Qualcomm quad core processor which is actually considerably more powerful than the majority of us will find in our laptops. This is coupled with 3GB of RAM. As you can imagine then, this smartphone is blisteringly fast.

If you are expecting the rest of the specifications to be top notch then you will be delighted to hear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 delivers.

You will get a stunning 13 megapixel camera which also records video in full HD at 30 frames per second with stereo sound and continuous autofocus.

There is also a front facing 2 megapixel camera which also records HD video. You can even use both cameras together with Dual Shot and Dual Video.

Connectivity abounds!

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi and assisted GPS with support for GLONASS, Russia's own satellite system which improves accuracy and can even detect satellites indoors. The latest, fastest version of stereo Bluetooth, v4.0, is also present as is NFC for contactless payments.

There's much more too. You get DLNA for transferring content to a Smart TV, an Infra Red programmable remote control app, a MicroSD card slot which accepts memory cards up to 64GB to compliment the onboard 32GB of memory, USB port and a 3.5mm headphone socket.

You will need plenty of battery power of course and Samsung duly oblige with a large 3,200mAh battery which does last well though in true smartphone style medium to heavy use will mean you are charging the Note 3 overnight.

Our summary

Ultimately then this beast of a smartphone truly is the fully loaded king of smartphones in terms of size and specifications and you are not sold short for the most part.

Our only real reservations are the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has an even better screen which doesn't seem right, though of course you don't get the stylus-friendly digitizer screen and this functionality is what will attract most buyers.

We're a bit troubled that the makers insist on persisting with the cheap and nasty feeling plastic rear covers which feels even more fragile on something this size, but Samsung fans seem happy enough with this arrangement.

It gets worse though. Samsung have given it a leather look complete with edge stitching, but unfortunately it's still just plastic and if anything it makes it look even more tasteless. We're not sure what the idea was but it just doesn't work.

We believe that if you are buying a smartphone/tablet at this price level - and there is no getting away from the fact that it is expensive - you may feel that you deserve a little better.

Still, you will probably buy a case anyway so if you can ignore that fact then there is little else to fault and it really is a stunning, if not unexpectedly expensive, piece of kit


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 UK Price Comparison

(Don't worry, you can change price plans and options such as colours before you decide to buy. Other plans are available)


Latest UK offers O2 mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk O2 network UK

Popular
£43 a month
UNLIMITED mins
UNLIMITED texts
5 GB data
NO upfront cost
4G ready
Premium
£48 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
8 GB data
NO upfront cost
4G ready
Affordable
£33 a month
500 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
500 MB data
£29.99 handset
4G ready

Latest UK deals EE network mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk EE 4G network UK

Affordable
£34.99 a month
500 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
1GB data
£79.99 handset
4G
Popular
£39.99 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
2 GB data
£39.99 handset
4G
10 GB SPECIAL
£42.99 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
10 GB data
£39.99 handset
Double Speed 4G
UNLIMITED
£47.99 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
20 GB data
£39.99 handset
Double Speed 4G

Latest UK deals 3 network mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk 3 Network UK

RECOMMENDED
£35 a month
600 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
2 GB data
£29 handset
Affordable
£35 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
1GB data
£29 handset
Popular
£38 a month
600 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
UNLIMITED data
£29 handset
UNLIMITED
£41 a month
UNLIMITED minutes
UNLIMITED texts
UNLIMITED data
£29 handset

Looking for sim free Pay As You Go?

Buy now securely with PayPal accepted at 1stMobile.co.uk


  1. FREE insured UK mainland postage
  2. Just £13 worldwide shipping (outside UK)
  3. FREE O2 Prepay sim included
  4. NO monthly contract
  5. Full 1 year warranty

IMPORTANT: Customers outside the UK MAINLAND MUST select the "worldwide" option from the drop-down list.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 3

£549.99


IN STOCK

Choose shipping option:
Colour (subject to availability)
Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.