Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Smarter, longer, faster, something else-er... this is an evolution and a half

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
The next step in the Note family?

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Battery life

Battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is impressive. Part of that is down to the Snapdragon 800 processor which provides various power saving capabilities and the other part is down to the 3200mAh battery Samsung has squashed inside the slender frame.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

There's more good news in the battery department with the rear cover coming off the Note 3, giving you access to the removable power pack. This means you can carry fully charged spares with you if you know you'll be away from a plug for a while.

We feared battery life might not be up to much thanks to the full HD, 5.7-inch display which adorns the front of the Note 3, but we were pleasantly surprised.

An hour of music playback while playing a game for 20 minutes and a bit of social media and emailing saw the battery drop by just 7% on our morning commute.

We even tethered our Galaxy Note 3 to our laptop to benefit from its mobile internet connection, and even that didn't drain the battery greatly.

With average usage - emailing, texting, a few calls, a bit of gaming, some social media fun and web surfing - the Galaxy Note 3 was able to comfortably see out the whole day without wailing for a charger.

Of course as soon as you turn the brightness up to full and settle down to watch a movie the battery life starts to suffer, but it certainly isn't anything to worry about.

We ran our 90 minute video text, with screen brightness on full and various accounts syncing in the background and the Galaxy Note 3 only lost 13%

This makes it far superior to the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z which all lost at least 19% of battery life during the same test. Impressive stuff Samsung.

If you find you're struggling with battery life then turn on Power Saving Mode - there's a toggle in the quick settings of the notification bar - to eek out some precious extra life from the Galaxy Note 3.


There's a wealth of connectivity options at your fingertips with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with all the usual suspects such as Wi-Fi, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0 low energy all present and correct.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

As well as the standard Wi-Fi a/b/g/n support you can also turn the Galaxy Note 3 into a wireless hotspot, allowing you to share your network's internet connection with other devices such as laptops and tablets.

If you're lucky enough to have a 4G SIM-card inside the Note 3 you'll be able to get some pretty descent speeds through the hotspot connection, just make sure you keep an eye on your usage so you don't rack up a huge bill.

Near field communication (or NFC as it's better known) hides below the plastic rear of the Note 3, and you'll need to use it to pair the handset with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

You can also use NFC to share data such as contact details, photos and videos with other enabled handsets as well as pair your Note 3 to NFC capable accessories such as home entertainment systems and headphones.

GPS is on board ensuring the Galaxy Note 3 can pinpoint your location on Google maps as well as attach your location to any Facebook status or Tweet you post to the world.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Thanks to the quick settings panel in the notifications bar you can easily toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, mobile date, NFC and the wireless hotspot at pretty much anytime without having to dive into the full blown settings menu.

To complement the 32GB/64GB of internal storage housed inside the Galaxy Note 3 you can expand on it by up to 64GB with a microSD - just pull the cover off the back of the handset and slot your card in on top of the microSIM.

DLNA support also features on the Galaxy Note 3, allowing you to stream video, photos and music to other enabled devices such as SmartTVs and laptops.

This means you can watch a film on your Note 3 on your big TV at home without having to dig out a cable - handy.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.