Disclosure- I received a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as part of Verizon Wireless’s Ambassador Program. I received no other compensation and all opinions are 100% my own.
I love my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 so much I don’t even know where to begin. Let me start off by saying that this WILL NOT be a review of the technical numbers and features of this awesome smartphone. I am a 30 something mom (well almost a 40 something) and most of my readers are women. I am going to write this as I would like to read a review to learn more about a phone in my own language.
Ok, so now that I got that out of the way, on with the show! When I first received my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 the first thing I noticed was it’s size. It is larger than most if not all smartphones with it’s 5.7–inch, full HD screen. My husband tells me all the time how big my phone is but I like that about it. While it might be big in screen size, it is quite thin in depth and surprisingly light weight. I love the look of the back Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It is made of plastic but looks like leather for a classier style. I have mine in an OtterBox for protection so it is bigger and heavier and I still don’t think it is too big or too heavy. It only has 3 buttons so it isn’t very complicated for basic use- volume control, power, and home. It also has 2 soft keys on either side of the home button for the menu button and back button.
I choose my previous smartphone because it was supposed to have a longer battery life which was important to me because I was always running down the battery of my previous phones. I was so disappointed with my last smartphone because it not only didn’t really have a long battery life but it didn’t take very good pictures either. As a blogger I was looking for a camera that takes great pictures and that is why I choose the Note 3. I bought several external battery chargers to use with my old smartphone so this time I chose a phone to meet my camera needs. I figured I could just use my extra battery chargers if I needed to. I have to say that with my Note 3 I have been VERY pleasantly surprised that it’s 3200 mAh battery holds a charge well and doesn’t run down in the middle of the day like my previous phone. I have forgotten to put it on the charger a few nights and I have been able to use it a second day without charging it. That would never have happened with my old phone. When I do charge my Note 3 it charges super fast! It has a combination Micro-USB connector along with a USB 3.0 jacks. USB 3.0 offers faster charging times and data transfer rates (up to 10 times faster!) over older USB 2.0 jacks. I like that if I don’t have the power cord that came with my Note 3, I can still use a regular micro-USB charger to charge it (although not as fast).
I’m a busy mom so I love the convenience of many of the features of my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The S Pen™ is so convenient. Pull it out of the bottom of the Note 3 and several useful Air Command features pop up on a menu- Action Memo, Scrap Booker, Screen Write, S Finder, and Pen Window. One of my favorites is the Action Memo feature in which you can take handwritten notes with the S Pen such as names, phone numbers, compose an e-mail message, or my favorite- a to do list. (Sometimes I add things to my to do lists just to be able to cross them off. I know, I’m strange.) Then you can have it turn your handwriting into text to save it as a contact, in an email, or as a text message. You just have to make sure you write neatly. 😉
You can also activate the S Pen menu by clicking the S Pen™ button while hovering over the screen. I love Pinterest and my Note 3 has something similar for my own, personal use. I can build a Scrapbook of things that catch my eye to save for later. I can easily clip the image with my S Pen and pin it to my virtual scrapbook bulletin board. Planning a birthday party or shopping for holiday gifts? Make a scrapbook to store your ideas! With Pen Window you can draw a rectangle window on your screen and open your choice of apps in that window. The S Finder feature lets you search for content on your device and find more on the web. You can search for words, symbols, formulas, and more in your camera files, text messages, e-mails, and other files. Want to take a screen shot of what you’re looking at on your phone? Click the Screen Write feature and you can take a screen shot, write on it, crop it, share it and more. (That’s how I was able to easily take some of the photos for this review!)
Like to multitask like I do? You can resize and overlay one app over another so you can be working in two apps at once. Drag and drop content between them. This is great for reading an e-mail and then adding a meeting, event, etc. to your calendar in the other window.
You can even turn your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as a universal remote control with WatchON™. Find out what’s good on TV with WatchON’s TV guide. It will even learn your favorite shows and remind you when they’re on. We’re always losing the TV remotes in our house so I like that I now have them programed on my Note 3 so I can change channels and more right from my phone.
Multiple home page screens make it easy for me to have all the apps I need right at hand. While there are many cool apps and features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it is first and foremost a phone so I didn’t want to forget to mention that the call quality on it is excellent. It even has a noise reduction setting as well as a setting to raise the volume during the call. I love that I can answer an incoming call simply by saying “answer” which is great when I am busy cooking dinner and my hands are dirty. It answers the incoming call and puts the phone on speaker so I can easily continue making dinner and still have my conversation. I also love that I can still read incoming e-mails, text messages, etc. while I am on a call. It is such a convenient feature to have.
I could go on for days about all the features I love about my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but for now I will just tell you about the feature that I chose this smartphone for- the camera! The Note 3 has a 13–megapixel camera for taking amazing photos and videos as well as a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for self portraits and video chatting. I was pleasantly surprised that while it doesn’t have a flash for the front-facing camera (which is good because the flash would be so close to your face if it did) it does compensate for low light to still take good lower light self portraits. There are so many built in settings and modes on the Note 3’s camera. There is an auto mode for when you just want to snap a picture. The Beauty Face feature enhances facial features automatically when taking portrait pictures, the Best Photo mode takes a series of pictures and you can choose the best on to save. The Sound and Shot mode is fun. It takes a photo but also captures a little bit of audio, too. Imagine taking pictures of your kids playing in the waves at the beach and being able to also capture a little snippet of the sounds of the ocean waves crashing and your kids giggling. The Drama mode takes multiple pictures of a moving subject and merges them into one dramatic picture. Capture your child kicking the soccer ball into the goal in a series of shots that is all in one dramatic picture. In Animated Photo mode you can animate a part of a photo while the rest is still. I was able to animate my cat’s tail moving while the rest of her stayed still. There is even a Golf mode to watch your golf swings. Rich Tone (HDR) mode enhances intensity and contrast of light and color. Eraser mode allows you to delete moving objects from 5 consecutive pictures so no more photo-bombers! Panorama mode takes pictures in either horizontal or vertical direction to create a linear panorama photo. It guides you to line up each shot properly to make one seamless picture. Surround Shot captures a 360 degree spherical panorama. Sports mode is great for keeping moving subjects from being blurry.
I saved my favorite camera feature for last. My girls are terrible picture takers when they are together. I have a hard time getting them to both smile nicely at the same time. And I only have 2 children. I don’t know how moms with large families do it with a regular camera. With my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, taking pictures of my girls that have them both looking and smiling is a breeze. It has a Best Face mode that takes 5 consecutive pictures. Then you get to click on each subject’s face to pick the best of the 5 shots of their face. Once you choose the best shot of each subject the Note 3 combines them into one great merged group photo. I was even able to take pictures of a group of 8 kids at a playdate and with this feature I created a photo that had EVERYONE looking and smiling. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has become this blogger’s favorite electronic device.