Features & Controls

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Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The Galaxy Note 3 does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the display screen.

front view.jpg
The front of the Galaxy Note 3 features the large and bright 5.7-inch AMOLED screen. The display screen occupies most of the front of the smartphone and offers full HD resolution (2.07 million pixels). This is an outstanding touchscreen.display.

In the upper right corner of the front of the device (the small circle in the upper left corner of this photo), you'll see the secondary camera which offers 2-megapixels of resolution. Along the edge of the smartphone, just below the display screen, you'll see a Menu button on the left, the Home button in the middle, and the Back button on the right. The Menu and Back buttons light up when your finger touches them, otherwise they're difficult to see when they're unlit.
Back view with stylus.jpgThe back panel of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a faux leather finish, which actually makes it much easier to hold this extremely thin device comfortably. The included S Pen stylus is shown here as well, and it unlocks a few different smartphone related features. You likely won't use the S Pen much when using this device's primary camera or when looking at stored photos though.


Lens close up.jpgThe top portion of the back of the smartphone features the primary 13-megapixel camera (shown as the squarish black lens on the far left of this photo). The LED flash is the yellow bulb (shown here to the right of the lens). 

Top view.jpg
The top panel of the Galaxy Note 3 features the headphone jack (shown on the right side of this photo), as well as the IR LED light (on the left).

Bottom view with ports.jpg
The bottom panel of the smartphone has a tiny microphone (far left), a USB port (middle left), a speaker (middle right), and a slot containing the stylus (far right). 

Power button.jpgAs you're holding the Galaxy Note 3 and looking at the screen, the power button (shown here) is on the right side of the device.

Volume button.jpg
When holding the smartphone and looking at the screen, the volume button (shown here) is on the left side of the device. Pressing either end of this button also will control the Galaxy Note 3's 4x digital zoom setting. As with most smartphones, there is no optical zoom lens with this device.

Back off.jpg
The back cover must be removed to access the battery and memory card compartments. The smartphone's primary antenna is just below the battery, and the GPS antenna is to the left of the main camera lens (as shown in this photo). 

The battery is the large rectangular object in the middle of the back of the camera. You don't have to remove the back cover to charge the battery, which occurs through the USB jack at the bottom of the device.

Memory card slot.jpg
Samsung included 32GB of internal memory with the Galaxy Note 3, which is great for storing the photographs you shoot. You can add up to another 32GB of storage space through the microSD memory card slot shown here. No memory card is included.

Back view with battery.jpg
When charging the Galaxy Note 3, you'll plug one end of the included USB cable into the USB jack on the bottom panel of the device. The other end of the cable plugs into the white adapter, which plugs into an outlet. You'll use the USB cable to download photos to a computer as well.


Record - main screen.jpg
The main camera shooting touchscreen includes control icons across the top and right side of the screen as shown here.

You can begin recording movies by pressing the movie camera button in the upper right corner of the main screen. The oval shaped camera button on the right allows you to record a still image. The Mode button on the bottom right provides access to the camera's various scene modes.

Samsung did not include any advanced shooting modes with the Galaxy Note 3, such as a Program Auto or Manual mode, although you can adjust settings such as white balance and EV through the icons across the top of the main shooting screen, which we'll discuss later.


Record - front camera insert.jpg
To control the secondary 2MP camera you will use the two icons in the upper left corner. (If you cannot see these icons, press the left facing chevron along the top of the screen.)

To activate the secondary camera, touch the camera icon with two arrows. The secondary camera's image then will occupy the entire screen. To return to the primary 13MP camera, touch the icon again.

To create a picture-in-picture look with the primary camera's image occupying the majority of the screen and the secondary camera's image inserted in the upper left corner in what looks like a postage stamp frame (as shown in the image above), touch the icon showing the front and back of a camera. Both cameras will be active as you move the camera around. Then press the camera button on the far right to record the picture-in-picture photo, which will look the same as it appears on the Galaxy Note 3's display. To switch back to the primary camera only, press the front and back camera icon in the upper left again.


Record - scene mode GIF.gifWhen you touch the Mode button, 13 scene modes become available with the Galaxy Note 3, including:

  • Auto
  • Sports
  • Surround Shot
  • Panorama
  • Eraser
  • Rich Tone (HDR)
  • Golf
  • Animated Photo
  • Drama
  • Sound & Shot
  • Best Face
  • Best Photo
  • Beauty Face
As you drag your finger across the right side of the screen to scroll through the different scene modes, an explanation appears on the screen to provide more information.


Record - popup icons GIF.gif
The icons across the top of the screen allow you to make minor changes to the camera's settings. The 15 options include:

  • Flash - On, Off, Auto
  • Smart Stabilization - On, Off
  • Voice Control - On, Off
  • Movie Recording - Normal, Limit for MMS, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Smooth Motion
  • Share - Off, Share Shot, Buddy Photo Share, ChatON Photo Share, Remote Viewfinder
  • Volume Key - The Zoom Key, The Camera Key, The Record Key
  • Metering - Center-weighted, Matrix, Spot
  • ISO - Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800
  • Video Stabilization - On, Off
  • Location Tag (GPS) - On, Off
  • Review - On, Off
  • Self-Timer - Off, 2 Sec, 5 Sec, 10 Sec
  • White Balance - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent
  • Exposure Value - +2, +1.5, +1, +0.5, 0, -0.5, -1, -1.5, -2
  • Gridlines - On, Off

Record - quick settings GIF.gifTo clarify to what's listed above, you won't see icons for each of the camera's 15 settings across the top of the screen at one time. The Galaxy Note 3 can only display a limited number of icons (five) across the top of the screen at one time when you touch the gear icon with the right pointing chevron. The default set of icons is: Flash, Smart Stabilization, Voice Control, Movie Recording, and Share.

To access the other 10 settings, you have to press the Edit button on the edge of the camera near the Home button. Then select Edit Quick Settings to bring a grid of icons to the screen through which you can access the other 10 settings. Touch one of the icons and drag it upward to the string of icons across the top of the screen. (Some of the icons in the grid may be grayed out, depending on which scene mode you've chosen.)

Each time you drag an icon to the top of the screen, you must use it to replace one of the icons that's currently displayed there. The Share and Movie Recording icons cannot be swapped out. Once an icon is swapped out, it will appear in the grid. You cannot make changes to a particular setting until its icon is displayed across the top of the screen. 

Even after you've dragged an icon back to the Edit Quick Settings grid, the last setting that you've picked will remain active. So if you were shooting at ISO 800 and then replaced the ISO icon across the top of the screen, the ISO setting will remain at 800 until the next time you drag the ISO icon to the top of the screen, so its setting can be changed.

Although this system does limit the number of icons that are on the screen at one time, it's a significant hassle to try to access multiple settings during a single photography session. This system for changing the settings certainly could be better designed, although you do have the option of working through the camera's menus to make changes to some settings.


Record - special effects GIF.gifSamsung did include quite a few special effects with the Galaxy Note 3. You can access them by touching the upward pointing chevron at the bottom of the screen. The special effect options are: 

  • No Effect
  • Cartoon
  • Faded Color
  • Fisheye
  • Grayscale
  • Moody
  • Oil Pastel
  • Rugged
  • Sepia
  • Tint
  • Turquoise
  • Vignette
  • Vintage


As you pick a special effect, the image on the screen will change to show you what the effect will look like if you choose to record a photo with it.

Record - movie 2.jpg
Recording movies with the Galaxy Note 3 is as easy as touching the movie camera button in the upper right corner. You then can stop or pause the recording by pressing the buttons along the right side of the screen. You also can record a still image while recording a video by pressing the camera icon button in the lower right corner.

The amount of time elapsed in the video recording is in the upper left corner, while the amount of storage space required for this video stream is in the upper right corner.



Record - help GIF.gifSamsung included help screens with the Galaxy Note 3, and the screens all deal with using the smartphone's cameras. Press the Menu button along the edge of the camera near the Home button and then touch Help on the screen.


Record - shooting menu.jpg
To open the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's menu window, just press the gear icon with the right pointing chevron in the upper left corner of the shooting window and then press the gear icon. The menu window is split into three tabs. 

The camera icon is on the far left and offers control over the main camera's photography features, duplicating some of the same commands found under the Quick Settings grid discussed earlier. The camera menu options are:

  • Photo Size - 13M (4:3), 9.6M (16:9), 8M (4:3), 6M (16:9), 2.4M (16:9)
  • Burst Shot - Off, On
  • Tap to Take Pics - Off, On
  • Face Detection - Off, On
  • Metering - Center-weighted, Matrix, Spot
  • ISO - Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800
  • Smart Stabilization - Off, On
  • Save As - Rich Tone and Original, Rich Tone Only

Some of the options in the menus may be grayed out, depending on which shooting mode you're using.

Record - movie menu.jpg
The movie camera menu includes:

  • Video Size - 3840x2160 (16:9), 1920x1080 (16:9), 1440x1080 (4:3), 1280x720 (16:9), 320x240 (4:3)
  • Video Stabilization - Off, On
  • Audio Zoom - Off, On

Record - settings menu.jpg
Some of the options contained in the Settings menu (gear icon) match what's found in the Quick Settings grid. The Settings menu includes:

  • Location Tag (GPS) - Off, On
  • Review - Off, On
  • Volume Key - The Zoom Key, The Camera Key, The Record Key
  • Timer - Off, 2 Sec, 5 Sec, 10 Sec
  • White Balance - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent
  • Exposure Value - +2, +1.5, +1, +0.5, 0, -0.5, -1, -1.5, -2
  • Guidelines - Off, On
  • Flash - Off, On, Auto
  • Voice Control - Off, On
  • Contextual Filename - Off, On

Record - main phone menu GIF.gif
To access the smartphone's main menu, press the Home button. From the Home screen press the Apps button and then the Settings button. While most of these menu options are related to using the Galaxy Note 3 as a smartphone, you also can control items that may be handy for using the camera, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC through this menu.


Playback - main.jpg
The Galaxy Note 3's Playback mode is available by touching the tiny thumbnail photo icon that's usually in the lower left corner of the shooting screen. 

In Playback mode the last photo shot will appear on the screen first. Touch the screen anywhere, and you'll see a set of control icons across the top of the screen and a set of thumbnail photos and videos that are stored in memory across the bottom of the screen. 

Touch the thumbnail image in the upper left corner and then the Camera button to return to shooting mode.

Playback - menu.jpg
To access the primary Playback menu, touch the Edit button to the right of the Home button on the edge of the camera. You then can pick from the following commands:

  • Favorite/Unfavorite
  • Slideshow - Effect (Flow, Fade, Zoom in, Drop, Zoom in on Faces, Cube, Perspective Shuffle, Random), Music (Off, On (Slideshow Music 1, Slideshow Music 2, Slideshow Music 3)), More (Speed (1 Sec, 3 Secs, 5 Secs), Playing Order (Playing from Oldest, Playing from Newest))
  • Photo Frame
  • Photo Note
  • Signature - Text, Handwriting, Image, My Signature, Reset
  • Copy to Clipboard
  • Print
  • Rename
  • Buddy Photo Share
  • Rotate Left
  • Rotate Right
  • Crop
  • Set As - Contact Photo, Home Screen, Lock Screen, Home and Lock Screens
  • Details
  • Settings - Sync Only Via Wi-Fi (Off, On), Tag Buddy (Off, On), Face Tag (Off, On), Auto Play Sound (Off, On)

Playback - info GIF.gif
When you select Details from the Playback menu, you'll see a set of shooting settings for the photo that's displayed on the screen. The settings included in the Details window are: ISO, exposure value, aperture, shutter speed, flash, file name, image type, date and time, storage folder, storage size, resolution, orientation, camera manufacturer and model, focal length, white balance, and storage path.


Playback - effects GIF.gif
Touch the Edit button at the top right of the Playback screen, and you'll gain access to a variety of in-camera editing options, including:

  • Rotate
  • Crop
  • Color - Auto Adjustment, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Adjust RGB, Temperature, Exposure, Hue
  • Effect - Vignette, Grey-scale, Sepia, Vintage, Faded Color, Turquoise, Tint, Cartoon, Moody, Fisheye, Negative, Nostalgia, Engraving, Sketch Art, Downlight, Blue Wash, Yellow Glow, Sharpen, Blur, Soft Glow
  • Portrait
  • Sticker - Brush (19 options), Comic (20 options), Paper (20 options), Icon (20 options)
  • Drawing - Pen, Eraser
  • Frame - (10 options)

Playback - folders GIF.gif
Samsung organizes images stored on the Galaxy Note 3 by albums (similar to a folder in computer storage). To see the albums you have currently stored on the smartphone/camera, touch the thumbnail photo in the upper left corner on the Playback main screen. You'll see the albums listed on the left side and the images contained in the currently selected album on the right side.

Touch Create Album to make a new album, and use the on-screen keyboard to name your album.


Playback - movie.jpg
When playing back a stored movie on the Galaxy Note 3, just touch the large play icon that will be in the middle of the screen when a movie is displayed in Playback mode. When the movie starts you won't see any icons or data on the screen. Touch the screen anywhere to show control buttons along the bottom of the screen and the file name across the top.


Galaxy Note with DVD.jpg
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 compared in size to a DVD.

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