note 3

It's been just over two years since Samsung introduced the capacious Galaxy Note to an intrigued press corps at IFA in Berlin. Who'd have thought that it would turn out to be nothing less than a phenomenon, spawning a new sub-category in smartphones and innumerable flattering attempts at imitation? The original Note sold 10 million units by August 2012, but according to Samsung, the Note 3 has reached the same lofty goal in just two months.


That's units sold, not units shipped, according to this rather self-congratulatory post on Samsung Tomorrow, though I suppose they could be including Galaxy Note 3 phones "sold" to carriers and retailers. Either way, it's a lot of phones, probably only matched by singular iPhone models and Samsung's own Galaxy S4 by sales pace. It's even more impressive when you consider that it's one of the most expensive smartphones on the market, usually going for $700 retail or $200-300 with two-year contractual strings attached.

It's no wonder, then, that rivals like LG and HTC have given chase with "phablets" like the Optimus G Pro and One Max, respectively, though no one seems capable of catching up to Samsung in its own segment. Samsung is so far ahead of its competition (at least in the Android space) that it's introduced the even larger Galaxy Mega series, ostensibly to catch a little bit of big-screen lust in the mid range. The Note family is spilling over into tablets as well, where it has taken up position as the premium line in contrast with increasingly cheap Galaxy Tabs.

In any case, the Note series isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and you can expect a Galaxy Note 4 in the pipeline for sometime in the latter half of 2014. At this point, the real question is what more Samsung can do to make its plus-sized flagship stand out against its own progenitors. It's already got a gigantic, high-resolution screen and stylus, an embarrassingly high megapixel count, some of the best internal hardware available, and more software bells and whistles than most users know what to do with. Here's a thought: maybe wrap it all up in something other than plastic.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • troph

    "At this point, the real question is what more Samsung can do to make its plus-sized flagship stand out against its own progenitors."
    Hmm... how about rewriting Touchwiz? Hardware is great, and the features for S-Pen are great too, but the overall experience of Touchwiz is it's biggest weakness.

    I have a Nexus 4 (running Paranoid Android) and a stock/debloated S4 Active, but the Nexus 4 smokes my S4A even with much lower specs.

    • TheSparks

      Yeah I agree with you. Touchwiz is the one of the main reasons I'm keeping away from Samsung phones. It has great features, but things need to be focused more on performance, UI and overall user experience.

    • Simon Belmont

      You hit the nail on the head. TouchWiz, while hugely feature-filled (some features are quite decent), is a bloat monster.

      There's a reason that the Note 3 (and likely the SGS5) needs 3GB of RAM. TouchWiz.

      • GryphKid44

        Speaking of the S5, how long after the announcement before Apple sues since it's current phone is the 5S?

      • Brian Stewart

        I dont find touchwiz bloated - its the extra apps samsung installs that causes the problem.

    • PhoenixPath

      Kill the buttons. Put decent speakers on the front. Sold.

      • jibust

        you have just described an HTC One, LOL

        • PhoenixPath

          Not sure how you'd even begin to come to such a conclusion...

          I described the Note 3 without buttons and with speakers on the front. It would be quite a bit larger than the One (probably even larger than the Note3 to make room for the speakers without taking away screen), with a pen...and no buttons. It would look nothing like the One....?

          ....are you thinking of some other HTC One that I perhaps haven't heard of?

          (FWIW: my Nexus 10 has no buttons and front speakers...it also looks nothing like the HTC One...)

          • Ivan Myring

            One Max?
            That's the closest I can get to that description

          • PhoenixPath

            A little bigger yet, and with a pen would be pretty good. Not so sure the 'finish' of the One would translate to a 'phablet' very well though...

      • Brian Stewart

        Yep i'm ready for the buttons to be gone too...

    • TY

      Just want to correct that the Nexus 4 doesn't have much lower specs. Snapdragon 600 is only an optimized version of S4 Pro. Worse yes, much worse no.

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

    Buy a Samsung phone then root and flash a custom ROM = a fantastic device.

    • TY

      But Samsung does not properly support custom ROM development for its Exynos devices. Lack of binaries, source etc. makes the custom ROMs worse than they should be.

      • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

        Only Exynos devices suffer a little but not a lot the others are fine.

    • duse

      Things like KNOX are going to make this an increasingly uphill battle. Not worth it - just ditch them.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Plain and simple nothing beats Samsung period or the Galaxy Note products period. It's pretty clear that at 63% market share of the entire android platform Samsung is android period nothing else matters.

    • ltredbeard

      android period....lol

    • squiddy20

      It's also pretty clear that you are nothing more than an ignorant Samsung fanboy. You have posted literally this same crap on at least 4 other tech websites in a period of an hour.

  • Godspoken

    I have an OG Note, and probably the only thing stopping me from switching to a Nexus is the screen size. I just can't give it up!

  • sounder

    Sammy needs to dump KNOX big time.

    • mgamerz


    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      No, they don't - KNOX is an enterprise feature most normal mortals will never even see. Or maybe you're only complaining about tripping the KNOX flag when rooted wrt to warranty/insurance hassles?

      • Brian Stewart


      • jesuguru

        Valid complaint - I have a (bootloader-crippled) Chinese Note 2, only way to get Gapps/Services is rooting then flashing another country's stock ROM. Since Knox, that's *much* more of a hassle than it needs to be, I couldn't care less about flag-tripping.

        "Root" is not a four-letter w.... oh nevermind.

  • Ravo

    10 million units sold, yet no mainstream rom support or one-click rooting.

  • redsnowfox

    I had to choose between Note 3 and LG G2, went with the G2 and couldn't be happier. The ugly skin argument is a bit exaggerated and when you consider the fact that it doesn't stress out the processor like other OEM skins, its not bad at all. All the S Pen features are nice and all but Note series is too much of a stretch in terms of body and screen size.
    Note 3 is a beast no doubt but it saddens me that really good phones like G2 are undervalued and have very poor sales.

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    Samsung Galaxy S2 GT-i9100 - it was such a disappointment it seems

  • EH101

    Unless someone releases a good Note competitor around the Note 4 release, it will be my next phone. (Looking at you, Motorola)

  • dude

    10mi Galaxy Note 3s like they "sold" 800,000 Galaxy Gears? I'm calling bullshit on Samsung's reports, fake just like their phone's benchmarks.

    • Andrei

      In some countries they give you a free Galaxy Gear when you purchase a Note3. So therefore they count them as : Gears Sold! :)
      So yeah, that figure may be accurate if you count thouse in.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

    Wrap it all up in an HTC One body or something like that.

  • smeddy

    I'm a massive phone freak, but common sense/money dictates I only change phones every 2.5 years. The Note 3 may last me three years. Love it like I loved the HD2.

  • Brian Stewart

    Well done Samsung.. Note 3 is a fantastic device - yes its big but you do get used to the size - once u go big its very hard to go back ... I've not rooted and got rid of touchwiz yet as i do find myselve using the s-pen now and then. its one of those nice to have features but not required.

    The other big feature of the note 3 is the 4k recording...

    not sure about you guys/gals but i've only ever used it once!!! (again nice to have ..)

    If you dont mind the size then note 3 is easily the best phone on the market.

    otherwise the g2 , moto x , s4, nexus 5 will be fine

  • pops

    Great step up from my Dell Streak 5 the first phablet, now to order the ZeroLemon Battery and Case seen on here and only charge my phone once a week.

  • Nex

    It would have sold more if it didn't had Touchwiz and Knox anti-flashing.

    Not that I hate Touchwiz per se, but if they really Samsung wants people to use it over stock Android then it should be better than the latter so people would CHOOSE to use it, not being forced to use it.

    As for Knox why are they even doing it for? With integrated thermal throttling on the SoC itself its impossible to destroy the hardware by overclocking let alone custom roms. Don't tell me Samsung finds it hard to flash back the original ROM even after a brick, that's just bullshit.