Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo review: Neoclassic

Neoclassic

GSMArena team, 31 January 2014.

Controls

Above the 5.5" display you'll spot the earpiece, a 2MP front-facing camera capable of 1080p video recording, the proximity sensor, and the ambient light sensor. There is no motion sensor, which means no Air Gestures on the Note 3 Neo.

Under the display, we find the typical Samsung three button layout consisting of a physical Home button with capacitive Back and Menu keys each side. As usual the home button has an aluminum frame for a subtle accent.

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Above and under the screen

The sides of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo has a bunch of familiar controls placed exactly where we found them on the Note 3. There's the power/lock button on the right hand side on which the thumb nicely rests and the volume rocker on the left.

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Around the sides

The top features another mic and the 3.5mm audio jack, plus the IR blaster that Samsung has been putting on lots of Galaxy devices lately.

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The top and bottom

The bottom has the microUSB 2.0 port for connectivity and charging purposes, the primary microphone, the loudspeaker grille and the S-Pen compartment. The Galaxy Note 3 Neo will do without microUSB 3.0, which is obviously flagship-grade equipment.

The faux-leather finish has made its way into the entire new tablet lineup. We like it way more than any glossy alternative. The Note 3 Neo's back features the 8MP camera lens and a single LED flash.

You can pop the back cover open to reveal the 3,100mAh battery (just 100 mAh less capacity compared to the Galaxy Note 3) along with the microSIM and microSD card slots. The slots are stacked on top of each other like they are on the Galaxy Note 3.

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The back panel emulates leather

The bottom slot holds the microSIM card, which is blocked by the battery, while the top slot is for the microSD card, which can be removed even with the battery in place.

Display

The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo is just 0.2" smaller than the Galaxy Note 3's, keeps the Super AMOLED matrix but takes the resolution down to 720 x 1280. The 267ppi is below Retina quality, but we can confirm the screen still looks pretty good.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
The Galaxy Note 3 Neo display

The matrix has the full number of sub-pixels in the same unorthodox arrangement as the screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note II. This means that the screen is exactly as sharp as the ppi number suggests with no PenTile to bring down the perceivable sharpness further.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
The display matrix under a microscope

The good news is that, much like the other recent Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo comes with four different screen mode presets, so you can tune the saturation to your liking. You can either go for the full AMOLED bang or opt for realistic color representation. This really is the best of both worlds and we can't imagine anyone being unhappy with the presets available.

The contrast is, as is the norm for AMOLED panels, virtually infinite and the viewing angles are excellent. There's some contrast loss at an angle, but everything remains perfectly legible.

The Super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy Note 3 Neo isn't the brightest around, but unless you plan to use the screen as a torch (and you better stick to the LED flash for that), that's hardly a big deal. The surface over the display is pretty low on reflections, so contrast remains high.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0 149 0 379
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo 0 142 0 389
Samsung Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
Apple iPhone 5s 0.14 163 1145 0.49 596 1219
Nokia Lumia 1520 0.22 263 1174 0.43 522 1207
Sony Xperia Z Ultra - - - 0.47 467 1001
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 0.12 160 1364 0.32 440 1379
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - - - 0.34 626 1819
Sony Xperia Z1 - - - 0.38 580 1513
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541

Under direct sunlight the Galaxy Note 3 Note is able to retain excellent contrast and stay legible even in the most brightly lit environments.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.790
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.470
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

You can find all about our display testing routines here.

Battery life

The Galaxy Note 3 Neo battery has the reasonably big capacity of 3,100mAh, just 100mAh less than the original Note 3 phablet. This is the first time we see in action Samsung's hexa-core Exynos 5260 chipset though, so we didn't know what to expect. Fortunately Note 3 Neo's battery life turned out to be great.

The lightweight Cortex-A7 cores and the energy-efficient Super AMOLED HD screen surely helped the Note 3 Neo to achieve indeed an impressive result even though it isn't on par with the Note 3 flagship. The endurance rating of 74 hours means the Galaxy Note 3 Neo should manage just over three days on a single charge if used for one hour each of calls, web browsing and video playback daily.



You can find the complete test breakdown over here in our blog.

S Pen

The S Pen is the signatory feature of any Note device, phablet or tablet, and the on the Galaxy Note 3 Neo is basically identical to the one found on the regular Galaxy Note 3. It can be placed back into its compartment either side up, the button facing up or down. The stylus is made of matte plastic, with a finely grooved top part. Its sides are flattened for better grip, while the button is positioned on one of those flat sides and is easy to reach.

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The S Pen

Reader comments

  • bob

nice mate

  • Beakal Tsegaye

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