I’ve been using an iPhone for 5 years now, and I was ready for a change. It took me a month of browsing and researching, and asking around for opinions before I narrowed my options down to the Samsung Galaxy note 3. Before shopping, I made a list of things that I needed (and still need) my new phone to do.
In order of importance:
1. A phone that’s big.
This is probably my main criteria. I’m an avid online shopper. Every other day, I’m browsing through blog shops, online stores and forums for product reviews. On top of that, I do a lot of reading: e-books, daily news, wikipedia, movie reviews and more.
On the iPhone, I found myself constantly squinting at the screen, pinching and adjusting the browsers so that I would be able to see the little details, or read tiny texts that gave me headaches. Tapping on little navigational buttons was a nightmare. I don’t know how many times I’ve mistapped, and had to click the back button, wait for the page to load again, and the list goes on.
The Note 3 has a screen dimension of 7.1cm x 12.6cm (I measured) and I no longer have to go through the problems that the small iPhone screen was giving me. I’m now able to navigate through pages with greater ease, and the huge screen means that browsing, reading and watching videos is now much more pleasurable.
2. A phone that’s light.
It has to be lightweight, so that I don’t feel like I’m carrying a brick around, obviously. And at 168g, although about 40g heavier than the iPhone 5s which is 112g, it’s still amazingly light and feels very comfortable in my hands.
Some people have commented that the Note 3 is way too large for small hands. Well look. I didn’t buy a phone just to it carry around. That’s what a bag is for, right?
Taking into consideration that the main purpose of having a phone is to surf the net, read, do some work done, play games and text other people, the large screen size of the Note 3 has made all that a breeze to carry out and cancels out the inconvenience of the large size of the Note 3.
2. A phone that’s fast.
I multitask a lot. When I’m sending out emails to clients or co-workers, I’m also doing some last minute editing for my design mockups and briefs. When I’m texting friends and family, I also throw in a game or two (currently Clash of Clans!). I edit my blog posts on the phone, while doing research, and reading other blogs at the same time. With all that going on, my phone HAS to be able to handle the dozen browsers and apps that I have opened at the same time. Even a split second lag would feel like infinity when the waiting time is multiplied by 10. On top of that, 4G is a must. 3G is no longer acceptable. ‘Nuff said.
With its quad-core processor and 3GB ram, the Note 3 is capable of meeting all these requirements and more. It also has a multi-window feature that’s a godsend to multitaskers (which, unfortunately, only works for select apps). I wouldn’t say that it’s lightning fast, because after several months of usage and hundreds of apps later, it’s bound to slow down. Still, it’s a huge improvement from the iPhone 4.
3. A phone that’s pretty.
None of the other phones held much appeal to me. They’re all too generic, and look like duplicates of each other. It eventually boiled down to the Note 3, and the Nokia Lumia 1520 which is stunning, but eventually struck out because of its many limitations (which makes it no different from the control-freakish iPhone).
At the back is a faux leather detachable casing with plastic stitching that has garnered plenty of mixed reactions, ranging from anti-skeumorphic sentiments to those who have taken delight in the sense of luxury it evokes. I belong to the latter, and I think the black version looks particularly expensive and posh. The other colours available are black with rose gold, white with rose gold (very, very pretty), white with silver trimming, and dark red.
The only thing that grates me is that tacky 4G printed below, as if we didn’t already know that this is a 4G phone…?
The Note 3 is sleek. So sleek, it almost feels like I’m holding an extra large credit card in my hand. It also has a very well balanced weight distribution, and I’m able to swivel it without having it slip from my fingers accidentally. Together with the well proportioned rounded corners, this phone is truly gorgeous.
4. A phone that is versatile and has a customizable interface.
Above are screen grabs of my current Note 3 layout. Yup, you saw that right. These were taken right out of my phone. It isn’t some new, fancy interface, neither did it require much effort (well it does, but it’s also a ton of fun). If you’re into customizing and personalizing your possessions (I know I am!) so that no one else has the exact same replica as you do, you NEED to have this. For those who’re interested, I’ll also be putting up a sort of tutorial on how to customize your own layout, so stay tuned (:
5. A phone that actually LIBERATES me.
And finally, I wanted to take back ALL the features that I was deprived of for so long.
To begin with, it has to be something that’s iTune-less. Honestly, that shit is just a waste of time. I’m not ashamed to admit that over the last 5 years, I have probably used iTunes a grand total of 10 times, only because I desperately needed to stop listening to the same 60 songs over and over again.
With the Note3, I can now say goodbye to the accidental overwriting (or disappearing) of songs just because I made a syncing booboo, and fiddling around with the complex and LAGGY iTunes. It’s just pure and simple drag and drop.
And because Android allows open-source apps, there are TONS of things for me to download, for free! It’s like a candy store for grownups – and I feel like I just died and went to heaven, seriously. There’s just such a huge plentitude of apps, I’m having so much fun downloading apps and testing them out, all for free.
If all that isn’t enough, the Note3 has a removable back case. This means that the battery, memory card and simcard are easily accessible. Do you know how liberating it is to be able to fiddle with that stuff? :D
Lastly – and this one’s really just self-explanatory – the Note3 has 32GB (or 64GB) storage space, with up to 64GB of expendable storage. Can a girl ask for anything MORE? (:
With all 5 points in mind, it didn’t take me long to conclude that the Note 3 is going to be THE phone for me.
2 months in with the Note 3 and the user experience I’ve had with it is amazing. And I’ve barely even begun exploring the other functionalities that the phone offers.
In my next few series, I will be covering some more in-depth reviews about these functionalities, along with apps that I’ve found to be very useful and more.
Do you own or are planning to get a Note 3 yourself, and how are your experiences with the phone?