Samsung has unveiled the latest in its line-up of Note devices, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It's the original phablet, the larger than life smartphone that sparked this raging firestorm of large-screened phones back in 2011.
But has Samsung's Note burnt out? Does the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 bring anything that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 doesn't already have? In short, what's the difference?
We're talking phablets, so we're talking inches on the display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 gives you a larger 5.7-inch display, with 0.2 of an inch more than 2012's model. But more critically, it bumps the resolution to Full HD. That means the Galaxy Note 3 has a 386ppi to the Note 2's 267ppi so things will be sharper and more detailed.
The Note is a great productivity device thanks to the size and the innovative features it offers. But something has to drive it. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with a whopping 3GB of RAM (for the 4G LTE version). The Note 2 sounds rather average by comparison with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Power is on the side of the new model.
There's a slightly larger 3200mAh battery as well as wider support for 4G LTE networks.
The camera has taken a spec bump too, with the Galaxy Note 3 offering a 13-megapxiel sensor, to the Note 2's 8 megapixels. But these are just numbers: Samsung is promising better low-light performance, stabilisation and more powerful flash. But wait, the Note 3 also boasts Ultra High Definition video capture at 30fps.
Designed to be different
Despite bringing a larger display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has lost weight: it's just 168g compared to the Note 2's 182.5g. It's smaller too: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 measures 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, whereas the Galaxy Note 2 is 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4mm. The back now features a textured leather finish with stitching around the edges to give it a notebook feel. The Note 3 will come in black, white and pink, but there's a wide range of addition back covers available in all sorts of colours.
Of course much of the Samsung Galaxy Note experience comes down to software: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 introduces Air Command, which will brings up a range of functions with the new S Pen, to make simple tasks faster - action memos, advanced searching, and so on. There's better multitasking, increased security in Samsung Knox, and it's launching on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Of course, in the past, we've seen Samsung roll many software features back to older devices, so it might not be a difference for long.
To upgrade or not?
This is a simple call. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a different device, there are plenty of reasons to opt for this larger, more powerful device with its new slicker design and array of features. Of course, there's also the Samsung Galaxy Gear companion to consider.