The tech announcements continue this week with Samsung introducing its next smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. This next-generation phablet tries to prove that good things come in big packages.
Samsung has enhanced many features of the Note 2 and introduces many new features in the Note 3. The phone seems to take its name seriously and position itself as a fit for the heavy mobile user who doesn’t want to carry both a smartphone and a tablet. Even the design of the Note 3 resembles its moniker with its ridged rim resembling the papers of a notebook.
Note 3 — Bigger Is Smaller
If you thought the Note 2 was big, you were right. With a 5.5″ screen, the Note 2 was massive for a phone, with some people complaining that it was too big for their paws.
The Note 3 is both bigger and smaller than the Note 2. With a 5.7″ screen, the Note 3 provides plenty of viewing real estate, but the overall size of the phone has been reduced. This magic trick has been accomplished by making the phone thinner and by narrowing the bezel around the screen, shaving width off of the phone. The phone also is lighter and longer than the Note 2, increasing screen space without straining your hand more than before.
The Note 3 is 1.3mm narrower, 1.1mm thinner and 0.1mm taller than the Note 2. The Note 3 weighs in at 168g, 12g lighter than the Note 2. How long before phones achieve zero gravity?
The Note 3 doesn’t just give more screen quantity, it promises more quality as well. The specs show the Note 3’s HD screen to be significantly sharper and brighter than the Note 2.
The Note 3 comes with your choice of 32 or 64 GB of storage space and will run Android 4. 3, Jelly Bean. The back of the phone is leather with faux stitching, though you can switch out the leather back for plastic covers in many colors and designs. Time will tell how well a leather-backed phone will hold up to wear and tear and the rigors of life in pockets and purses.
The improved screen means more thirst for power and the Note 3 will come with a stronger battery than the Note 2, 3400 vs. 3100mAh. The Note 3 also has improved cameras — 13 MP rear and 2 MP front.
Note 3 Notes
The phone’s S Pen stylus packs more features, enhancing your ability to take notes, use apps and surf the web. The S Pen activates Air Command, a menu of five task icons including:
- Action Memo
- Scrap Booker
- Screen Write
- S Finder
- Pen Window
These tasks help you take notes using handwriting, drawing, typing and screen clips so you can be creative with your notes. Once your notes are created, you can edit, share and store them by dragging and dropping them where you want them to be.
The S Finder helps you find your notes, and other content on the phone, similar to Spotlight search on the iPhone, but S Finder will even search your handwriting.
The handwriting recognition capabilities of the Note 3 extend to recognizing phone numbers. When you handwrite a phone number on your Note 3, you can call that number and add it to contacts directly from the handwritten note. Not only will the phone recognize your handwriting, the phone will know that the series of numbers is a phone number.
I am curious how accurately the phone will be able to recognize phone numbers. Does neatness count? Will it recognize phone numbers in other countries? The US phone number format is quite different from those in many other countries. Count on this feature being put to the test after launch.
The Note 3 also takes advantage of its screen space by allowing you to open multiple windows at once. You can resize the windows and drag and drop items between the two open windows. You can even open an app in both windows at once, handy for people who have multiple Twitter accounts or want to play against themselves in Words with Friends.
Backing Up Your Notes
With all those important notes on your phone, you will want to have an easy backup option. Losing or breaking your phone shouldn’t mean that both your notes and your Note 3 are gone.
Samsung anticipated this issue so your notes on your Note 3 can be synced to either a Samsung account or Evernote. Choosing Evernote means your notes are available online, while the Samsung backups are only available on Samsung devices.
Another feature of the Note 3 is its integration with Samsung’s new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. Stay tuned to The Wonder of Tech for a preview of the Gear.
The Note 3 is available for pre-order beginning today and will ship in 140 countries beginning September 25. In the US, the Note 3 will be available on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Pricing has not yet been announced.
Here’s the introductory Note 3 video from Samsung:
The Note 3 looks very promising for those who want a large screen phone with a high quality build and plenty of features. Each of these features has the potential to make note taking more powerful and the phone more functional, but each one involves a learning curve.
If you enjoy making the most of your tech and are willing to put in a bit of time and effort to learn the ropes, you may relish these features. If you’re the type who likes simplicity with tech, then the Note’s features might be overload for you.
What do you think of the Note 3? Do you like phones with larger screens? Are you excited about the note taking features of the phone? Would you like to multitask on this phone? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Pennsylvania Conference for Women
November 1 is the date for this year’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia, celebrating its 10th year of bringing information and inspiration to women. This year’s Conference features keynote speakers: former Secretaries of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright, Judge Glenda Hatchett, and Sallie Krawcheck, former head of Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.
The theme of this year’s Conference, ““The Power of Possibilities: Define Your Own Success,” will be the focus of hundreds of speakers providing opportunities for inspiration, reinvention and networking. Topics for the speakers and breakout sessions include leadership, career advancement, money management, health and wellness, small business and entrepreneurship, social media, branding and more.
Having attended this Conference last year, I look forward to attending this year as well. You can find out more at The Pennsylvania Conference for Women website.