Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Australian Hands-On: Not Your Average Note


Ready to meet the most powerful Android smartphone Samsung has ever made? We’ve gone hands-on, and it’s as amazing as it reads on paper.

Also: Samsung Unpacked IFA 2013 Live Blog: All The News As It Happened

The Galaxy Note 3 is a huge uppercut to the competition. It packs a huge hardware punch with a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, super-fast Category 4 LTE/4G capabilities, all hiding beneath a beautiful 5.7-inch Full-HD Super-AMOLED display. The battery is more juiced than ever with 3200mAh taking you from pillar to post, as well as a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera to shoot your life along the way.

All this power and beauty has been packed into a smaller footprint than ever, with the device measuring in at a svelte 8.3mm case, weighing just 168 grams.

Samsung has also overhauled the S-Pen to take it from a novelty gadget into something you’re probably going to use now, and in-fact, the Air Command feature will turn the S-Pen into something you need, rather than something you can use only sometimes. Air Command is a radial menu featuring a few new features designed to leverage the Note 3′s giant screen and handy power

Air Command is fast, fluid and incredibly functional. Air Window allows you to drop funky widgets on your existing multi-window layouts, bringing the power of three tasks at once onto the single, 5.7-inch screen. You don’t notice any slow-down the more you throw at the device: it welcomes the challenge and excels.

Likewise with Scrapbook, Action Memo and S-Finder. These are three incredibly useful features that can only be accessed with the S-Pen. It’s now something you need everyday.

Click the home button once from your landing screen and you get access to My Magazine, which is a beautiful take on your content and the perfect hybrid of Flipboard and HTC’s BlinkFeed, both of which we love.

The other killer feature is compatibility with the beautiful Galaxy Gear. For more info on that fantastic gadget, check out our other hands-on.

Finally, the Note 3 is the best looking handset Samsung has ever released. Cheap, flimsy plastics have been swapped out for premium leather-feel material, which is stitched and embossed to the device beautifully.


The design of the Note II informed the design of the Galaxy S4, so hopefully these premium materials will carry over to the next generation of Samsung gadgets: we’re a little tired of plastic devices at premium prices.

The Note 3 will be out in late-September on Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. We’ll bring you a more detailed review of the device shortly.


Samsung is telling us that the Note 3 goes on sale around the world on 25 September.

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin have all confirmed they’ll stock the Galaxy Note 3.
Pricing will be announced before pre-orders in coming weeks.

Also: Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Unveiled Overnight

Product Finder

Find more great products at