Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

Review posted 1/22/2014

Quick Take
  • Image quality compares favorably to other smartphone cameras and beginner-level point-n-shoot cameras
  • Large touchscreen display is sharp and bright
  • Touchscreen is very responsive
  • Samsung designed the camera's operational buttons and menus to work with touchscreen interface
  • Both front- and rear-facing cameras
  • Battery life is outstanding
  • Camera responds quickly with very little shutter lag
  • LED flash works well for low light photos
  • Large camera body makes it easier to hold and use camera
  • Good smartphone features too
  • Extremely large device to allow for 5.7-inch touchscreen
  • May not fit in a pocket comfortably
  • No optical zoom option
  • No shutter button, other than an on-screen button
  • No manual control shooting mode
  • Process of changing camera's settings is a little awkward
  • Options for controlling movies could be better
Bottom Line
Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 offers a very nice combination of camera and smartphone features, and its primary camera produces image quality that's above average when compared to other smartphones and beginner level point-n-shoot cameras. Its 5.7-inch full HD display touchscreen is very impressive, and Samsung did a great job in designing the camera's menus and buttons to take advantage of the touchscreen. But the large screen requires this device to be larger than most smartphones, which may disappoint some users. And the Galaxy Note 3's lack of an optical zoom lens will make it tough for many photographers to use this device as their only camera. Read more in our Full Conclusion.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone combines a large full HD resolution touchscreen display with all of the latest smartphone features and a very nice 13-megapixel primary camera.

The attention grabbing 5.7-inch touchscreen AMOLED display contains more than 2 million pixels of resolution and is perfect for watching HD movies. Thanks to a very strong battery life, you'll be able to use this sharp display screen for long periods of time.

As with other smartphone cameras, the 13-megapixel primary camera on the Galaxy Note 3 doesn't offer an optical zoom lens. A second opposite-facing 2-megapixel camera is also included. Many special effect features are included with the Galaxy Note 3's primary camera, and photographers can control settings such as ISO, white balance, and exposure value. An LED flash will provide good low light results.

The Galaxy Note 3 runs the Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It features a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor and 32GB of internal memory. You can add up to another 32GB of memory through a microSD memory card.

The Galaxy Note 3 smartphone has a faux leather finish that is available in black, pink, red, or white, and the Stylus S Pen is included to unlock some of the smartphone's advanced features or for handwriting recognition. Beyond connecting to a cell network, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity are available.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features:
  • Full HD 5.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen
  • 13-megapixel primary camera
  • 2-megapixel secondary screen-facing camera
  • LED flash
  • Several special effect control settings available
  • Full HD and 4K video recording
  • Measures only 0.33 inches in thickness
  • Runs Android 4.3 operating system
  • Offers 2.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • 32GB of internal memory included
  • Use of microSD memory card adds up to another 32GB of storage
  • Stylus S Pen included
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC wireless connectivity all built in
  • Removable Li-ion battery pack

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has an MSRP of $299.99 with a 2-year contract at most cell phone service providers. You can also purchase at online retailers like, or visit your local service provider.

What's in the box?:

  • Galaxy Note 3 handset
  • Battery
  • Wall charger
  • USB cable
  • Getting started guide

Additional product views:

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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.