Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo review: Neoclassic

GSMArena team, 31 January 2014.

Gallery is alive

The gallery on the Galaxy Note 3 Neo has the same layout as the one on the Galaxy Note 3. It can be sorted into albums, all photos and videos, time, location, etc.

You can pinch to zoom in the gallery and thus manage the size of the thumbnails. Air view works in the gallery as well. You can hover your finger above an image and you'll get a bigger thumbnail preview of the image or you can use it to peek inside folders.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Air view

Upon choosing an album (for instance Camera) you're taken into that albums' stack of photos but a swipe to the right will reveal a bar on the left with all the albums. This means you can change albums without going through the gallery homescreen every time.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Gallery

When a press and hold on a picture the gallery gives you the option to select multiple images, which you can then mass delete, share, copy or move.

Viewing photos on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo is a joy. The screen is ample and the Super AMOLED can give you colors punchier than anything else on the market. If you know what "color profile" is you can enable the Adobe RGB screen mode for accurate color rendering, if not you can just enjoy the vibrant colors of the default setting.

When viewing a single photo, you'll find several sharing shortcuts and a delete button above the photo, while below is a line of small thumbnails of all other photos in the album. You can tap those small thumbnails to move to other images or you can just swipe to the side.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Viewing image Sharing options

You can easily retouch photos right in the Gallery itself. The photo editor gives you options like crop, rotate, color and effects. You can also make a memo on top of the picture.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Editing

The Gallery also supports highly customizable slideshows with several effects to choose from, customizable music and speed. You can also highlight specific images to be included in the slideshow.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Slideshow

File manager

The My Files app hasn't changed a great deal - it is an efficient and simple to use file manager. It can move, copy, lock and rename files in bulk, even send multiple files to another phone. My files will only browse the memory card and the large internal storage (it can't access the system drive).

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
File manager

Music player

The TouchWiz music player on the Galaxy Note 3 Neo is jam-packed with features and supports a wide variety of file formats, including FLAC and Wave.

Music is sorted by the usual Artist, Album and Playlist criteria but there's also Folder support (which is more often found on third party players) - it's quite handy as it saves you the need to sort songs into playlists like on many of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo competitors.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Samsung Music Soundalive feature

Then there's Music square - it's quite similar to the SensMe feature of Sony smartphones. It automatically rates a song as exciting or calm, passionate or joyful and plots those songs on a square (hence the name).

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Music square

Samsung has enabled equalizer presets that simulate the environment that you're in. Unlike earlier versions of the music player, on the Galaxy Note 3 Neo you can choose only the effect that you wish to be simulated (Tube amp effect, Virtual 7.1 channel, Concert Hall, etc.)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
SoundAlive options

The Now playing screen gives you the usual options - a timescroll of the song, play/pause and back/forth controls, repeat and shuffle, volume control but it also adds lyrics support, AllShare shortcut and a direct sound settings shortcut.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Now playing

While listening to a song you can find music controls in the notification area and the lockscreen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Music player in the notification area and on the lockscreen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo has a couple of features that will improve your listening experience further. One is Smart Sound, which equalizes the volume between tracks. The other is Adapt Sound - it plays a series of beeps (both high and low frequency) and asks if you can hear them. This way the phone can map the capacities of your specific headset and fine-tune its output for optimal sonic experience.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Adapt Sound

After the calibration is complete, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo shows you the kind of gain you're receiving by keeping Adapt Sound on.

Video player lacks DivX and AC3 codec support

The video player, found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, has the last watched video on top for quick access. Under it there are three tabs - personal (showing you the videos on your local storage), Download (which lets into the Videos store) and Nearby devices, which shows the PCs and players on your local Wi-Fi network.

The grid view is here, showing you previews of your library so you can easily locate a specific video.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Video player

The video player lets you choose between three crop modes for how the video fits the screen. The same SoundAlive audio-enhancing technology is available here too. The video player lets you squeeze the best viewing experience out of the large, high-res screen. You can adjust video brightness, color tone and enable outdoor visibility too.

The chapter preview detects chapters in the video and shows a rectangular grid, with live thumbnails (just like the grid view above).

Hovering your finger over the timescroll lets you preview part of the video in a small thumbnail - just like YouTube videos do when you hover the mouse of your computer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Video player

Pop up play is here too - it moves the video in a small floating window and you can use other apps on the phone while still watching the video. You can use pinch zoom to adjust the size of the video are move it around, too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Pop up play

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo offered a list of subtitles and let us pick. It scans for all subtitles, so the file doesn't have to have the same name as the video file.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo ReviewSamsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Review
Subtitles support

Impressive audio output

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo audio output is every bit as impressive as that of its more premium namesake. The phablet aced the first part of our test, posting perfect scores top to bottom. The volume levels were about average.

There's next to no degradation when you plug in a pair of headphones. Outside of the little extra stereo crosstalk, the Note 3 Neo is as perfect as in the first test. And its volume levels are even better for the scenario, making this a great overall performance.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo+0.01, -0.03-96.192.40.0091 0.013-94.9
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo (headphones attached)+0.02, -0.04-95.892.40.014 0.024-57.2
Samsung Galaxy Note 3+0.02, -0.07-96.592.80.0035 0.0099-96.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.09-96.292.70.017 0.017-62.1
Oppo N1+0.14, -0.11-93.793.40.0036 0.076-83.7
Oppo N1 (headphones attached)+0.31, -0.26-93.292.40.0081 0.349-55.5
HTC One Max+0.14, -0.14-93.893.80.0009 0.015-94.1
HTC One Max (headphones attached)+0.26, -0.02-93.693.60.026 0.080-80.4
HTC One+0.11, -0.14-92.491.20.0012 0.013-92.4
HTC One (headphones attached)+0.16, -0.07-92.190.90.014 0.055-70.8
LG Optimus G Pro+0.48, -0.11-81.782.00.010 0.028-80.7
LG Optimus G Pro (headphones attached)+0.31, -0.27-81.181.10.0097 0.052-66.2
Sony Xperia Z Ultra+0.02, -0.08-92.592.50.00580.011-90.7
Sony Xperia Z Ultra (headphones attached)+0.48, -0.11-87.887.00.0470.168-51.9

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo frequency response
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

.