The Galaxy Note 3

note3Just over 2 years ago, Samsung gambled and took the market by surprise when it came out with a phone that expanded the limits of the smartphone category. The phone was called The Note, and contrary the popular belief at the time, the phone came an instant success. Last year, Samsung followed its Note with a successor, the Galaxy Note 2. The phone was bigger, better, and brighter than its predecessor and went down as one of the best phones the Korean manufacturer had ever produced. But Samsung is not the one to sit on its laurels, coming up with an even bigger, more advanced version of its masterpiece phone. Now we have in the market the red-hot Galaxy Note 3. Here we review this phone and assess whether it fits the big shoes it has to fill.

Design

When I put together the Galaxy Note 3 and its predecessor, the first thing I realized is the decrease in the bezel, which gives it a much more refined look than the Note 2. With dimensions5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33-inch, it comes out slightly bigger and slimmer than the Note 2, but Samsung has ensured that the phone does not become cumbersome, a result of which is a decrease in weight from 6.3 ounces to 5.9. Coming to the make of the phone, there are not many surprises here. Samsung, yet again, packs its latest flagship phone with a polycarbonate body. However, to the delight of many Samsung enthusiasts across the globe, this phone has something different – it comes with faux-metal sides and a leather-like back, which adds a sense of elegance that the previous Samsung flagship phones dearly missed. In addition, the Note 3 is the first phone to flaunt a 3.0 microUSB port for charging and data transfer.

CPU

Going to the engine of this masterpiece phone, we come across an astounding powerhouse. Yes, this phone has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, along with a massive 3GB RAM, which allows for a dreamy smartphone experience. If you have used its predecessor, you must realize the impeccable performance it allows for. Now when you consider that the Note 2 was only 1.6 GHz, compared to the 2.3 of the new Note 3, the rest becomes quite obvious. It does not matter what your primary motivation behind having this phone is, it will not just stand up to your expectations, but exceed and leave you ever so smiley.

Screen

Samsung has, in the past, impressed the world with some of the finest touchscreens. With the Note 3, it absolutely nails it. Equipping its latest with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED1920 x 1080 display, Samsung has packed a screen which eclipses any of the competition, offering remarkable color contrasts, sharpness, and detail. Even if the sun is shining directly on it, you will not be troubled. This screen is quite easily THE most impressive smartphone touchscreen out there. An absolute delight to use.

Camera

Armed with 13-megapixel with LED flash at the rear and 2-megapixel at the front, this phone has no areas of weakness. The features that come alongside the amazing photo quality makes this camera an absolute goliath. It has a unique blend of high quality images and creative features, and is quite similar to the Galaxy S4 in this aspect. If you use your smartphone camera instead of having a separate one, this camera will come as a delight to you. Arguably one of the best around and why wouldn’t it be?

Software

This phone has a stockpile of impressive software features, many of which are inherited from the Galaxy S4. These features involve the new functionalities that come with an improved S-Pen, Air View, Gesture, Eye Control, Air Command, and other such features which picks up your smartphone experience and put it on a whole new level. Add to that the amazing features that come with the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and you have a gem of a phone.

Battery

I had absolutely no concerns regarding the battery and I was right not to. This phone comes with a 3,200mAh battery that just does not die. On several battery tests, it outshines its competition by a mile, averaging about twice that of Samsung’s last flagship introduction, the Galaxy S4.

Conclusion

If size is not a problem for you, there is hardly any phone out there that can compete with the Galaxy Note 3. We may see more advanced and impressive phones in the future, and but at this moment, Apple, HTC, and other companies have a phone to beat in form of the Note 3. It is not just another good-looking, big screen smartphone, but a phone that has it all. On a personal level, I had hefty expectations from this much-awaited phone, and even I was blown away. Samsung sure knows how to make a statement.

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Galaxy Note 2

samsung-galaxy-note-2_1346316413Before the introduction of the Note series, there were doubts as to whether or not it is pragmatic to introduce a phone so big. However, after the successful introduction of the Note, Samsung knew it had a market, but to come up with something even bigger was still something to get used to. For me, using the Note was a unique experience and contrary to popular opinion, it did not bother me much. However, to hear about a phone that would eclipse the size of its already gigantic predecessor was a bit surprising, yet exciting. Here, we take a look at this gigantic phone, and assess whether it is worth the effort it requires to carry it around.

Design

While its predecessor came with a squarer look, the new Galaxy Note 2 has rounded edges, which makes it look like an enlarged Galaxy S3 in many ways. The size is both, its USP and its weakness, depending on the person in context. The phone seems quite compact to hold, and does not encumber you when it is in your pocket. However, to the surprise of many, Samsung has stood by its polycarbonate bodies. However, Samsung deserves Kudos for flaunting such plastic bodies without any traces of flimsiness.

CPU

Considering the hoard of different features this phone comes with, it only makes sense to put a powerhouse at the heart of this phone, and the Korean manufacturer does just that, equipping it with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor. This made it the fastest phone, at the time of its release. With a 2GB RAM and up to 64GB built-in internal storage, this phone is an absolute workhorse, which refuses to be daunted by the heaviest of usage. It does not matter how many apps you have opened or how long the phone is turned on for, your Note 2 will keep on going and going and going. Try it for yourself.

Screen

It is equipped with a HD Super AMOLED 5.5 inch display, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This means that not only is the screen amazingly big, but also sharp, and perfectly contrasted. Given the mighty size of the screen, you will find it interesting how this phone can replace your TV and laptop, becoming the perfect platform for playing games, watching videos, and just about everything.

Camera

As I expected from a new Samsung device, the phone comes with an 8 megapixel camera, along with features like LED flash, digital zoom, and shots like panorama and smile shot. The photos come out with adequate color contrasts, with a sense of unique life-like feeling. Since the screen is so big, you should not worry as to how the pictures would look on your computer. In addition, the camera allows video recording to be done at 1080 HD quality. I was fairly complacent with the camera quality, but still hope to see further modes and other features in the new Android update.

S-Pen

One of the primary selling points of the Note series is its pressure-sensitive stylus, named the S-Pen. It does not just act as the device that allows you to write on the screen, as it comes with a hoard of different functionalities. For instance, a simple double tap opens the S-Note application, while pushing the button down and putting the phone on the screen captures a screenshot. This is how Samsung takes your smartphone experience to new levels.

Battery

With a phone so big, Samsung ensures that the charm is not affected by the battery life, and consequently, it puts in a huge 3,100mAh battery. The mere size of the battery is equal to that of an iPhone screen. Need I say more?

Conclusion

Having used this phone for quite some time, I admit that carrying it around takes some effort, although it is far from being problematic. However, what this phone offers in one place is something that is beyond compare. This phone is an absolute goliath and is one of the most unique and amazing phones in the market today. If size is not a problem for you, there is barely any phone that you will love as much as the Note 2. Finally if you like this review you may check out MobilePhoneOffers101 to get this smartphone for yourself.

The Galaxy S4

galaxyHaving dethroned Apple right off the crown by introducing the Galaxy S3, and following the domination up with another masterpiece phone, the Galaxy Note 2, the expectations for the Galaxy S4 were as hefty as they come. There were all types of rumors in the market, with different people having different ideas as to what Samsung has up its sleeve. The phone finally came out in mid-2013.  Here we take a look at how well it does and whether or not it is a worthy successor of the S series.

Design

Putting together the S4 and its predecessor the S3 instantly illuminates the obvious design changes between the two. Samsung has really toned up its new flagship phone by cutting down on the bezel and making room for a bigger screen, while at the same time, slimmed the phone down to 7.9mm. While this makes the S4 extremely attractive, Samsung is yet to distance itself from its plastic bodies. Holding the phone makes you realize that while the body is not flimsy by any means, in competition with aluminum and steel bodies, we all expected better.

Screen

Overtime, Samsung has really taken the battle to its competitors when it comes to producing amazing quality touchscreens. With its new phone, Samsung retains the tradition, equipping its latest flagship phone with a 1080p 5 inch Super AMOLED screen, with 441ppi, made of Gorilla Class 3. To further its appeal, there is a robust graphics chip which ensures that the quality, detail and sharpness of this phone is of the highest quality. This enhancement becomes visible as soon as you turn on your phone. I was quite blown off by the quality of the screen, which is arguably the best in the industry.

CPU

While I expected Samsung to launch its octa-core processor with the S4, to my disappointment, it was not there. However, Samsung backed it up by showing how it has much more to offer before it makes the switch to the octa-core processor. It does so by fortifying its new flagship phone with a Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.9 GHz processor, and 2GB RAM. With such an engine, this phone is a powerhouse, allowing smooth functioning of games, videos, browsing and just about everything.

Camera

Equipped with a gigantic 13 MP back camera, and a 2 MP front camera, Samsung’s latest allow for HD video recording of 1080p. But is this camera just another pixel size enhancement on the previous Samsung 8 MP cameras? Modes like Dual-Shot, Drama Mode, Best Face, Eraser Mode, and others certainly do not think so, coming together and allowing you a camera experience which is not just about high quality images, but with a blend of unique creativity. Your camera is app is no longer a requirement but an app to have fun with.

Software

While it comes with a hoard of software improvements, its sensors were what caught my eye. These include sensors like Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air Gestures, Smart Call Accept, and Air View. These sensors allow for a touchscreen experience like never before, allowing the phone to be operated without any touch at all. Whether you want to scroll up and down, pause a video, accept a call, or change songs, all of it could be done with a wave of your hand.

Conclusion

Before it was introduced, we all recognized the fact that any successor of a phone like the Galaxy S3 would have enormous shoes to fill and expectations to live up to. When Samsung finally introduced its latest masterpiece, I was more than satisfied and can confidently say that this smartphone is amongst the very best in the industry, not just standing up to the legacy of its predecessor but expanding boundaries. For those considering switching to Samsung, there is no better starting point.

The iPhone 5S

iphone-5s-shop-le-monde-editIf you know anything about smartphones you would know that Apple has a trend of offering improved versions of its flagship phones. Following this trend, we have ourselves the latest iteration in the iPhone series, the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S is to iPhone 5, what iPhone 4S was to iPhone 4. I certainly did not expect to see any groundbreaking changes but considering the quality Apple has brought over the years, I had significant expectations from the phone. Here we assess whether or not this phone is worthy of being a part of arguably the most successful mobile phone series to date.

Design

From a distance, it is fairly difficult to discern between the iPhone 5 and 5S. The basic look is quite the same, with Apple using aluminum and glass for its make. The only significant change between the two phones is the home button, which sees itself move to a more refined design surrounded in a metallic ring. Apple has added two new colors for its latest – gold and space gray. While many would stick to the usual white or black, I think this move is worth welcoming as it shows Apple’s intent to experiment. All in all, it looks and feels quite the same as the iPhone 5, and thus, is still very difficult to rival on the looks.

Screen

Although I did not expect much improvement in this section, I was still quite let down to see how Apple did not make any effort in improving its screen. I do acknowledge the fact that overtime the American manufacturer has made remarkable improvements when it comes to the touchscreens, but in the smartphone industry, there is always room for improvement, which is what Apple fails to grab. This phone comes with an 1136×640 326ppi display, which is the same as the iPhone 5. It is by no means substandard, allowing for great color contrasts and detail. This can be attributed to the relatively small screen of the iPhone series.

CPU

Powered by Apple A7 system-on-chip, the American manufacturer has made an already smooth iPhone experience even smoother. It claims that this is the first time that an iPhone is powered by a 64-bit processor. Upon use, I was quite impressed as this enhancement is more evident than the last improvement from iPhone 4 to 4S. Whether you want to play HD videos or play games, this phone is made to withstand any usage and offer utmost performance.

Camera

Apple has never disappointed when it comes to quality cameras and this instance is no different. Although it packs an 8 MP camera, which is the same as the iPhone 5, the lens has a larger aperture (f/2.2), while the pixel size in its image sensor also see an increase. Adding to this ‘True Tone’ dual flashes, we have ourselves a camera that does not fail to impress. These two flash options can be used depending on the surrounding, as it allows for better color temperature of the photos. The camera also comes equipped with automatic image stabilization, dynamic tone mapping, 10 fps burst mode, and other impressive features. In short, a noteworthy and laudable improvement.

Software

The American manufacturer puts in its latest flagship phone the latest iteration of its operating system, iOS 7. This translates into much improved typography, newly introduced icons, translucency, and a hoard of different features, which certainly adds to the iPhone experience.

While the above mentioned improvements are worth mentioning, they do not take anything away from the highlight of all the features – finger print recognition. While we have discussed quite a few improvements so far, what Apple chose to market the most was the inclusion of this software. Through this, users are able to secure their phones by a password, only this time their fingertips would be used as the password and not for typing a password.

Battery

It has a 1570 mAh battery, which like all other iPhone batteries is not user replaceable. On average, the battery allows for 10 hours of talk time, which is not very different from the last two iterations of the series.

Conclusion

In total honesty, the improvement and difference you feel in your hand outshines what you see on paper. Apple has stood up to the real definition of improvement, bringing to us a phone which makes its previous iterations look quite outdated. The phone is not just good-looking and fast, but bring along a plethora of different features and improvements which make this phone an ultimate must-have. For me, it is the best iPhone to date and a very difficult phone for the competition to outshine.