The Galaxy Note 3 has a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and it shows, especially with 3GB of RAM. Because of this, you can launch several applications without noticing any lag whatsoever. You will definitely notice the power of the Note 3 when browsing the Internet; there is no lag when zooming in and out. The processor will play just about any video you throw at it without any stuttering whatsoever. You may have video sound issues, but can fix that by downloading the appropriate codec.
The most distinguishing feature of the Galaxy Note has always been the S-Pen, which is more than a stylus. The S-Pen really comes into life on the Galaxy Note 3 with special features.
When you take the S-Pen out of its slot, a menu pops up that allows you to enable different tasks. The Action Memo feature allows you to do things such as write down a phone number. Once you draw a blue square around it, the phone number is dialed. You can also write down a street address and have Maps navigate you to it. There are other useful things Action Memo does as well.
The Scrapbook feature allows you to draw around an area with the S-Pen so you can collect a variety of content such as Web pages, YouTube videos, etc. It is more of a gimmick than a real useful feature. Screen Write allows you to write on a web page or other document, then save it. Pen Window allows you to draw in an area on your screen with the stylus and then launch a program in that space. There are only a limited amount of programs that are available for this.
The Galaxy Note 3 is definitely a multimedia powerhouse. Watching HD movies on the 5.7-inch screen is a wonderful experience. We found that the sound wouldn't play on a few of our videos. But once we downloaded a codec, they played perfectly.
Android devices have never been quite as good as the iPhone or iPod for playing music. The Galaxy Note 3 is no exception, but is good enough so you won't have to spend extra cash on a separate MP3 player. The Equalizer settings give you more options in the stock music player, but the device still plays music slightly too low.
Samsung has increased the camera to 13MP and it works fine, for the most part. We found that like all Samsung cameras, low-light shots are a little grainy. The camera isn't as good for still pictures as it is on the iPhone 5S, but it is still good for taking pictures in most situations.
We are surprised that more news outlets haven't talked about the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 is capable of taking 4K videos. You won't notice the extra resolution on the 1080p display, but you will if you connect the device to your 4K television set. Most people don't have 4K television sets right now, but the technology looks promising and will most likely take off when the prices are brought down.
The Galaxy S3 also shoots videos with stereo sound -- this is something that is absent on the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S4. The wide and crisp stereo sound definitely adds to the excitement of shooting and watching videos.