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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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Samsung's TouchWiz interface has always done a pretty good job of managing contacts and that continues with the Galaxy Note 3.

All your best buds, colleagues, vague acquaintances and doting family members can be found in the Contacts app, which has the same design as previous TouchWiz incarnations.

You can sign in to all manner of accounts from email to social networks and the Galaxy Note 3 will pull contacts from all sources into one contact list, doing its best to match people up with their various profiles.

The Galaxy Note 3 will pull through profile pictures from the likes of Facebook and Google+ (there's no Twitter tie-in though) to brighten up your contact list, and it also shows you which accounts have been linked to each person by the way of little icons next to their name.

This makes it easy to check that your buddies are linked up to all their various accounts, or if some manual joining is required.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

There will be some manual linking that needs to take place if you want your contact list in ship shape condition, especially is your friends use different names on their social accounts. This is easy to do, just tap on the contact you want to join and hit the chain icon to select the accounts to link together.

If you're blessed with a lengthy list of contacts you can quickly jump to the person you wish to speak to by typing in their name in the search bar, or by sliding your finger down the right hand side of the Note 3 display to jump to a particular lettered section.

You can directly call or text someone from the contacts list without having to tap through to their card - a simple swipe across their name from left to right will jump you straight into the dialler, while moving your finger in the opposite direction will see you transported to the new text message screen.

This is a feature which has long been a staple in Samsung's TouchWiz interface and although it's simple we always find it incredibly useful.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Tap through to a particular person's contact card and you'll see all the contact information the Galaxy Note 3 has managed to pull in for them from the various networks you've signed into.

A swipe sideways with a finger will see these details replace by a stream of that person's social media updates - allowing you to find out what they've been up to without launching a separate application.

You can star contacts to mark them as a favourite, and you'll see that they will also be displayed under the "Favourites" tab in the contact app, letting you get to the people you contact most regularly faster.

Adding a new contact is simple, just hit the plus button at the top of your contact list and you'll be shown a form where you can enter all the vital details on your new found friend.


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Unsurprisingly your main port of call when it comes to physically speaking to someone is the Phone application on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

There's nothing really new within the application, with the dialler being the default screen displayed when you open it up.

Smart dialling is enabled on the Galaxy Note 3, meaning the phone will offer up contact suggestions as you start typing in a number, plus it will also recognise names - e.g "323" is seen as Dad.

If you want to call someone back quickly tap the "logs" tab at the top of the screen and you'll be able to view a list of your most recent communications - both texts and calls - and with a swipe left to right you can call them immediately.

The favourites we mentioned in the contacts section are also available in the Phone app, allowing you once again to easily reach the people you speak to or message the most.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Lastly there's a link to the Contacts app, if you realise the person you wish to speak to is not one of your favourites and hasn't been in contact recently.

We found call quality on the Galaxy Note 3 to be very good, with crisp clear audio on both ends of the line, even when we were in nosier surroundings.

Calls made and received with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch however were less impressive, with the person on the other end complaining about the poor audio quality.

The Galaxy Note 3 also did a good job of holding onto signal and we didn't experience any connection issues or dropped calls during our review period.

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.