Samsung Galaxy Note 3 officially announced: specs, software, and availability revealed


Talk about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at AndroidForums.com!

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Unpacked 2013

And there it is, folks. Samsung has just unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at IFA Berlin. This S-Pen equipped device is the biggest departure yet from Samsung’s typical design language, with the back of the device being covered with a leather-like material. It looks like a nice change of pace from the fantastic plastic we’ve been seeing so much of.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 front back.jpg

Taking a look at the Note 3 specs (below), you’ll notice that although it’s bigger than the Note 2 display, Samsung said they were able to keep the width the exact same:

  • 5.7-inch 1080p HD display
  • 13MP camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 2.3GHz quad-core processor or 1.9GHz Octa Core Exynos processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB storage options
  • MicroSD slot
  • 3200 mAh battery
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • Wi-FI a/b/g/n/ac

You’ll notice we list two processors: whether you get the 2.3GHz version (made by Qualcomm) or 1.9GHz version (made by Samsung) will depend on your local market. Samsung’s homemade variety contains one set of four Cortex-A15 cores @ 1.9GHz with another set of low-powered Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.3GHz).

The 13 megapixel backside-illuminated rear camera with “smart stabilization” is an upgrade over the Note 2’s 8MP camera. Both the primary camera and 2MP front facing camera can record full 1080p HD video. The ridiculous 3GB of RAM is a huge boost over the 2GB of RAM found on the previous Note and it’s a number we’re not used to seeing for mobile devices- in fact, this is the first smartphone (to our knowledge) that has ever contained 3GB of RAM.

That 3GB of RAM will come in handy when powering Android 4.3, the version the Note 3 will ship with on launch.


For the other side of the equation — software — we’ve got Android 4.3 out of the box, and that will obviously come with Samsung’s own custom user interface. One of the bigger changes Samsung has made in comparison to the Galaxy S4 is an updated version of multi-view.

It’s multi-view as we’ve always known it, except know you can run two different instances of the same application at the same time. This will allow you to, say, chat with two different people at once in Samsung ChatOn, or check out two different emails at the same time.

Of course, Samsung has also added some cross-functionality with their newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch. You’ll be able to see incoming texts, emails and more without having to reach for your phone, and can even act on several of these right from the watch. You can read more about the Galaxy Gear and all that it’s promised to bring in our announcement post here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 view covers colors

Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Gear would be launching starting this September, and that all major US carriers will get a crack at it before too long. Let us know what you think — is this a homerun or a bit of a yawn fest? We’ll see you in the comments section!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Is it me or does the new S pen look like a doobie?

    1. Biggest thing I love about this new pen is that it’s symmetrical. I’ll be able to just remove and replace it without having to turn it like with my older Note One.

  2. The magic and excitement I used to feel during Apple events is back with Samsung. I can’t help smiling during this event. Fun days!

  3. Come on come on!

  4. I think Pen S would be a better name for it.

    1. I like S Pen.

    2. H’bout the iPen S….? You can rearrange the letters if you want. The pen is thicker and better

  5. Tha Menno dude sounds like elmo

  6. The leather feel on the back, beautiful.

    1. Yup. My one gripe with the note 2, the thing is big and slippery (I hate putting a case on my phones). I have big hands, but even so it can still be hard to operate one handed in colder weather. This leathery back will help that a lot.

      1. Not real leather but the texture looks nice and easy to handle. Big or small hands.

  7. Leather on the back ?

    1. Faux leather, though the back may be replaceable. Hide it in a case.

      1. Im sure you can get aftermarket battery doors that aren’t leather. Just like you can get aluminum backs for the Note 2

  8. Flip cover window robbed form LG G2

    1. Think S4 already had it before the G2 release.

      1. As far as originality yes but functionality, no.

        1. That’s debatable.

          1. How so?

          2. We should list the features and capabilities of both flip covers and see how similar or not they are. Which one is better and more useful. Wouldn’t mine seeing Quentyn or Chris write an article on that.

          3. Agreed.

    2. Nice try… LG stole it from Samsung Galaxy S4

  9. Thicker is better (with the S Pen). That’s what she said…

    1. Not sure how you picked up on this but missed the Pen S reference.

      1. Don’t think the Note 3’s S Pen is thicker than the Note 2 but I wouldn’t mind if it was thicker. Easier to hold especially with the larger screen.

  10. Keeping the width of the device the same was the obvious but smart thing to do. Keep chipping away at that bezel.

  11. Just can’t help but think if Apple was revealing ANY of these Note 3 features on an iPad or iPhone their supporters would be gouging their eyes out from excitement.

  12. Awesome phone.

  13. Leather? No thanks. I’ll stick with the plastic before I go to leather on a phone.

    1. better than plastic.


  15. UHD video recording? Geeze…

    1. ik, i was like ohhhh yeah

  16. 3GB RAM, so much for that 2.5 rumor

  17. you got to hand it to samsung for coming out with a beast of a phablet

  18. Shut up and take my money

    1. Keep throwing your money at the screen and see if anything happens!

      1. All I have is a bag of Kit Kats. And it’s not working

        1. Keep eating through them and see if there’s a golden ticket for a free Note 3!

          1. nom nom nom

    2. Methinks the Tidy Bowl Man will have an apocalyptic ending because of these dire proceedings.

  19. Anybody catch the full dimensions of the device when they showed them early on in the presentation? I just want to see what the overall size comparison is to the Note 2.

    1. Width is the same. I forget the other size specs.

      1. Yeah, I remember them mentioning same width. I saw a quick clip of someone doing a size comparison to the Note 2 w/ a flip cover and it looked virtually the same. I just hope that it’s not too much taller, if at all.

        1. Looks manageable enough. Not using a case with this thing.

          1. Yeah, it does look very manageable. That was my 1st concern because the Note 2 is truly the biggest I could go, when it comes to overall physical dimensions.

          2. And yes, my phone has been one of my biggest investments so far. Actually since getting the Note, I have barely used my lappy. I am in Afghanistan at the moment and earlier I had to communicate with some locals and I didn’t have my translator. So, pulled out the ol Pen S and started drawing out what I needed and the translate apps I have. I literally conduct almost all of my business on my phone these days. Taking solicitations to writing and modifying bids. Saved me more time than I can calculate.

    2. The screen is 5.7 inches, weight is 168g.

  20. Still doesn’t do it for me. Nothing special here to me but 3GB of RAM. I think the G2 stole some of the steam, if not most of it. 1080p displays are becoming more common, and the whole improvement on the s-pen and multitasking isn’t but a small step. The screen is a little bigger, and the processor is more powerful, but other then that whats new? Two things……3GB RAM…..1080p display……..oh and 4k video that’s useless to anyone who cant afford a $6 – $8000 TV. Bring on the down votes, I’m just stating facts.

    1. Facts with the actual specs yes but not with the opinion that this device is somehow worse than the G2. I don’t put them in the same league myself. Opinion, not fact.

      The applications of the S Pen and how it interacts with the device and apps is what makes this device stand out above the G2. In my opinion.

      1. I never said it was worse then the G2, I’m saying that most of the features in the Note III are rehashed from the Note II. The S Pen is great, but is it enough to make a Note II owner spend the extra cash for a phone when you already have 90% of the features?

        1. Same legitimate question S3 users asked themselves when the S4 was revealed. It’s a personal question really, all depends on the user’s needs/wants. For Note one users, of course. Same with the S2 users pondering about the S4.

          I believe what we saw today is a worthy upgrade from the Note 2. It’s up to each Note 2 user to figure out if they want to invest in the upgrade which I think it is worth it.

          1. Agreed. I for one will probably be going for the Note 3 although I have a Note 2 but financially it really isn’t an issue. If it was then I would not see very much point in the upgrade short of losing or breaking the current phone.

            But I also have been considering the Moto X with black and orange and a wood back. Mostly because I am a huge Orioles fan and I do from what I hear it is a pleasant experience. Ultimately will stay with the Note lineup though.

          2. Yes, it’s an investment in my opinion. Orioles huh? Real fan there. I’ve been suffering with my beloved Astros since I was a baby. Ugh… my poor ‘Stros…

          3. Yeah, I stuck with them through all the years of being the laughing stock of the MLB. I feel you on the Astros thing as well. Lol, Davis has more homeruns than Astros have wins. But I was that guy at all the Boston and Yankees games when it was a rarity to even see another Orioles fan in my section. Still represented and talked smack.

          4. I can’t wait to do the same thing when we start getting more wins than people sleeping at the games.

          5. I want to see the wood backing for the Moto X, if I can get the Orioles logo burned into it somehow then I think I am sold.

          6. I’m sure there’s some third party stuff out there than can do it. Or maybe some DIY techniques. Possibilities are plentiful when it comes to mobile phone accessories.

          7. Just going to take it to a wood shop or something, screw it.

          8. Get-R-Done!

        2. these things arent meant for people to upgrade every year. Most people are in 2 year contracts so a note 1 to a note 3 would be a tremendous jump.

    2. 4k video will only take twice (not 4X) the space as 1080p, so why not use it for your special videos (kids, etc)? In a year or two 4K TVs will have dropped a ton in price, and you’ll have awesome homevideo to feed it.

      1. Not only that, it’ll look fantastic on the Nexus 10/other tablets/Macbook Pro Retina.

    3. If you can’t be impressed by those hardware specs, then I don’t know what’ll do it for ya.

      As far as 4K video recording, this will come in handy when watching video on “Retina” devices (1080p+) like a Nexus 10 or Macbook Pro. I thought it was overkill too at first, until all these devices started going above 1080p.

      1. The hardware specs were to be expected. The software is what is the let for me. Not to mention that with Samsung’s reputation, they’ll bring as many features as hardware will allow to the Note II.

    4. Have to agree Steve. Sammy just trying to compete, and it’s only defense is bigger screen and a pinch of additives..lol

  21. So it’s an updated GS4 in a phablet. Cool. However when will Verizon ACTUALLY release it? Probably NOT “Sept 25th”. Too big for me, but my wife and her suitcase purse might be good for since she’s already considering a GS4.

    1. VZW cause it’s the only carrier that REALLY works in my area!

  22. Anyone else think Sony did a better launch today than Samsung!

    1. I didnt even see the sony launch but that damn tv screen for samsung was freakin amazing. i was like what da hell!

  23. AWESOME.

    With a 6″ display would have been “RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME” but still, it’s awesome.
    Will upgrade from my Note II as soon as I can find one here in Europe.

    For those who don’t like it, go play with those useless toys on the market…

  24. Full of gimmicks. Samsung’s going down the hill in my oppinion. Though the masses suggest otherwise.

    1. Umm.. ok.

      1. : D yeah

    2. So what aren’t gimmicks? A fingerprint scanner?

      1. Anything Apple decides to finally add after 2 years

        1. No, apple is boring

          1. Apple is the most innovative company. Watch them put a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S and watch all other companies add one to their phone after their previous phone didn’t have one. You should go back years to find a phone with a fingerprint seonsor and they wouldn’t even work lol.

      2. The always listening moto x sounds quite innovative and futuristic, if you ask me.

        1. That sounds super big brother esque to me. Right up there next to the ‘always’ monitoring Kinect for Xbox One.

    3. If by gimmicks you mean usable features, then sure. But I wouldn’t consider it going downhill. I like what they’ve added.

      1. Tastes may vary

    4. If the masses say otherwise then what does that tell you about your opinion?

      1. Genuine? ; )

    5. Gimmicks=innovation, improvements, and genuine creative effort in your universe, then? :-)

      Look, just like Apple fans, some people are just going to criticize something when it becomes too big or popular. You shouldn’t feel threatened.

      1. I don’t

    6. the ilove is strong with this one.

      1. Wow, that got down voted quickly. Didnt mean any offense people. Yeah, ilove… Been rocking my HTC Desire HD for 3 years and planning to change it for a nexus 5 ; ) Oh and I just encouraged my Dad to get the Samsung Galaxy S4 over the iPhone. Real iLover. What I’m saying is that I don’t like the fact, that Samsung reinvents the note taking app that – let’s face it – has been around since feature phones, brands it S notes then blows fanfares over what an awesome thing it is. If you ask me, it’s a basic feature of a smartphone. Okay, apart from the stylus. Sorry, S Pen. It just feels like they’re trying to cram as many of their own apps in as possible which makes the feeling of their software sort of crowded. Like their trying to shove their own way down your mouth. I don’t like it, but hey, suit yourself. Just sayin’ ; )

  25. Looks like it’s time to for me to research a good a/c/n/g dualband router that’ll run DD-WRT. My NetGear WNDR3700 isn’t exactly old, but it doesn’t sport a/c (and I need an AP in another room anyway)

    1. Nerd. ;)

      1. This.

    2. Check out the Asus RT-AC66U. I have the N66U version and it is freaking fantastic. It’s a bit pricey though, but I get almost as fast download speeds on Wifi that my PC gets via ethernet.

      1. Thanks – it’s on my shortlist.

        $177 and Amazon’s #2 best-selling soho router. And, it runs DD-WRT(!)

  26. Is there a thermometer? and is there an IR blaster?

    1. As per sammobile, the answer to my questions are yes and yes!

      “In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Note 3 offers WiFi 802.11ac support
      on top of the usual a/b/g/n, and an IR blaster is included for remote
      control access using Samsung’s WatchON service. NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 + LE
      are included, and it’s got MHL 2.0 and is able to use a standard MHL
      connector. There are a ton of sensors on the device too,
      including: Accelerometer, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro,
      Barometer, Gesture, Temperature & Humidity sensor, Hall Sensor.”

      1. So it can give you the temperature of the room or location you’re in without just looking it up on the internet?

        1. I think all smartphones have sensors for monitoring CPU temp. Maybe that’s what it’s referring to?

          1. he wants ambient room temp and this phone has it. I mean it’s the note 3… it has everything.. and more.

          2. Maybe, would be nice if it did both though.

        2. Yes, it can give you the temperature of where you are at. Not the city, you’ll need to look at a weather app for that. So if you are in doors, in the shade, on the deck now you can know the temp.

  27. Hopefully the Note 3 will not be laggy like the Note 2, especially with 3G of RAM, but I’m guessing it will still have this issue.

    I was super excited about getting my Note 2, but to me it is too laggy. I’m actually getting rid of it and going back to Nexus. Also, I have not received any noteworthy software updates from Samsung…I thought this was coming after the S4 release?? The software on my old Galaxy Nexus is still ahead of the Note 2.

    1. I have yet to really ever feel lag on mine, and use and abuse it. What carrier do you have and is the lag issues you have data intense or run of the mill on phone stuff?

      1. I am on T-Mobile’s network. I would say more run of the mill type stuff is where I see the lag and to me it is a very subtle issue; little too long of a delay when trying to activate the camera, entering Hangouts or my SMS app, unlocking phone, etc.

        Like you I use this thing all day long, heavy on data as well; stream music, ,listen to podcast, listen to audiobooks, email, blogs, news, online shopping.

        Aside from the Nexus 4, I have had all of the Nexus phones and I can feel the difference. My wife uses my old Galaxy Nexus and that phone is still pretty snappy for being just about two years old. Also, the Note 2 still does not handle group SMS messaging (you can send to a group, but cannot stay in a group on the receiving end), whereas, I was doing that on my G Nex almost a year ago, maybe longer.

        That said, the battery life is better than any other smartphone I have had and I love the stylus and will miss that fine point stylus when I get rid of the phone.

        1. OK, yeah, I was on T-Mo also. Actually the other day was the first hiccup I have run into. I downloaded a few pictures from the internet but they didn’t show up in my downloads folder until I restarted the phone. Not sure what that was about or why but whatever.

          Haven’t tried almost any of the messaging features on mine since I use Google Voice. That app is notoriously buggy though. Randomly crashes and freezes. But that is with whatever device.

    2. I don’t know what kind of bootleg Note 2 you have, but I do not experience any lag whatsoever on mine with normal to heavy usage

      1. Bought it brand new from T-mo, right here in sunny AZ. When I say “lag” I”m not talking about the same kind of big huge long lag you might see on a computer, or when trying to do 10,000 things at once while downloading a 10G file.

        I am talking about a subtle lag when activating different functions/apps and maybe I am splitting hairs here because I am talking about that extra half a second I have to wait when trying to, let’s say, activate my camera and then…the moment is gone, no longer need the camera. My (nearly) 2 year old G Nex easily keeps up with this and can do group messaging.

        BTW, my phone is all stock, no root. Also, my Note 2 at times will just turn off for no apparent reason and I cannot get it to turn back on unless I remove/reinsert the battery – this seems to have just started happening…

        1. The shutting off sort of concerns me, maybe try to data factory reset. Also in the menu go to some option that I forget and turn windows animations to .5x or 0x. That helps speed some things up. Well not speed them up but feels that way.

          1. Thanks, I’ll have to try that out.

        2. Yes. That .3 seconds we save is golden.

    3. what da hell kinda kirf from china are you using.. lag with note 2? rofl.. if you’re talking about random hiccups all computers have yes. my note 2, ipad 3 pc macpro they all stutter sometime.

    4. have you filled up your phone’s memory or even come close? when memory starts to get maxed out, you can have all the RAm in the world, but the phone will slow down. If you aren’t even close to maxing memory out, then I’d say you got a faulty device

    5. And you are a troll,not one thing laggy of the note2….. You would know if you actually owned one and of course the nexus would have the update first idiot

  28. This thing should have rockin’ battery life up to like 3 hours!…..

    1. yea cause the note series always sucked with the batteries…

      1. note series has also never had 8 cores and a 1080 screen to power either

        1. the battery life will be roughly the same. The s600 did just fine on battery life and so will the s800.

  29. 5.7″ in not going to cut it and here I was thinking I’m getting the note 3. Not!

    1. It’s cool, the Note 8 has phone functionality.

    2. What? I got rid of my note 2 bc I thought it was way too big. Made one handed stuff hard like when driving.

      1. You should not be using your phone when driving anyways you trying to kill someone?

        1. I HATE it when people call me back to back. Especially when I send the reject message,

          “I’m driving.
          -Auto Sent”

          Like WTF!? Why would you call back if I JUST told you I’m driving? =.=

          1. Most of time you dont get the message until after they have redailed

  30. CAN YOU SAY PHABULOUS I dig that new backcover!

  31. oh ok, so the HTC One Max is about to take over…

    1. Can you explain why?

      1. I guess he can’t lol

  32. Honestly after watching the release I came to the resolution that I don’t want to upgrade my Note 2 to a Note 3. I NEED TO THO!!!! xD

  33. Actually the only bummer for me is that they didn’t improve Touchwizz that much. In fact I think touchwizz is looking already outdated and juvenile put it next to stock android and even next to Sony and LG devices… and Moto X. When it comes to software looks less is more. Sleek is fundamental and minimalist is the new order. I love the Note 3 but im convinced that Samsung needs to do a total software make over in its flagship devices. Sooner rather than later.

    1. Eh, if you want minimalism (esp in functionality), go buy an iPhone :P

      1. LoL!! No you didn’t.

        1. Actually, he did. His punctuation just sucks.

          1. I’ve put the damn coma now lol

      2. I said when it comes to LOOKS not functionality.

  34. What, no KitKat?….next….er…Nexus 5.

    1. Did you really expect it to launch with KitKat before the nexus? LMAO

  35. And the rear speaker is where now?

    1. No more rear speaker, it’s on the bottom of the device now.

  36. “It’s multi-view as we’ve always known it, except know you can run two
    different instances of the same application at the same time. This will
    allow you to, say, chat with two different people at once in Samsung
    ChatOn, or check out two different emails at the same time.”

    yay this is the multitasking that makes a difference

  37. This might just be the first phone in a while I use without a case.

  38. Sorry, but LG’s case looks better. I don’t need ALL that information. I just want the full current time and weather.

    Oh, and did I mention how I HATE leather? Oh my gosh!! I can see me not getting this. =.S
    Though I do agree with the nice change in materials.

  39. And that quick samsung put an end to the colorful moto x

  40. Does anyone know if the Note 3 had an infrared emitter like the GS4 and HTC One?

  41. It’s over. Forget the Fat Lady. Sam has sung.

    1. that Fat Lady’s name is Sam(antha)!

  42. and now I know I don’t need to upgrade my Note 2. Always nice to know you made a smart purchase and bought a future proof phone that will last you the 2 year contract :)

    1. 2 year contract? Does that still exist? O.o

    2. The note2 can’t compete with this beast dude

  43. I wish it had a wood back cover over leather. I’m sure something will be released, I’ve just been a big fan of the wood appearance lately, since the moto x unveiled.

  44. According to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review, it is taller, narrower and thinner than the first two of its kind. This note also uses a S-Pen, enhances its functionality and adds better hardware and components to ensure that it is able to handle everything.

  45. Very disappointed. Same phone, just in a cheaper sardine can. gnote 3.

    1. Hmm, so bigger FULL HD screen, 3GB of RAM, 4K video recording and 13MP camera all put inside a prettier, smaller and lighter body don’t do anything for you? What else were u expecting that they didnt put in the Note 3?

    2. Least it isn’t a huge disappointment like the iphone

  46. Not worth the money…. Same as note 2 just with a faster processor and more Ram….SPen Note based features would be easily available for other galaxy devices via CUSTOM ROMs and other solutions

    1. Hmm, so bigger FULL HD screen, 3GB of RAM, 4K video recording and 13MP camera all put inside a prettier, smaller and lighter body don’t do anything for you?

      1. A Full HD Screen, 2-3GB RAM, 4K Video recording, and other Hardware features r not the concern… as they r available in the Rival phones too like XPERIA Z ULTRA, Upcoming Lumia 1520(with 20MP Camera) .
        The USP of the device Lies in the software, specifically S Pen features and that too would eventually arrive on other android devices (Galaxies) via Custom ROMs. So, NOTE 3 is nothing to be too excited for.
        Its everyone’s opinion, so lets just not create a debate here :)

  47. Is that back removable?

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