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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Galaxy Note 2: Is it worth upgrading?

Galaxy Note 2 owners may be considering if upgrading to the Galaxy Note 3 is worth it
Galaxy Note 2 owners may be considering if upgrading to the Galaxy Note 3 is worth itSamsung Mobile

New smartphones are landing in retail stores this Spring and that means it’s cell phone upgrade season for some of us. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 owner looking to jump to the Galaxy Note 3, now is a great time to save money while you make the change.

Verizon is currently selling the 32GB Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for $199 with a 2-year contract.. According to a Verizon rep Wednesday (May 15) the promotional sale ends on May 19. The Galaxy Note 3 price-drop is significant at $100 off the regular $299 contract price.

Having hands-on experience with both devices, I can say that upgrading from the Galaxy Note 2 to the Galaxy Note 3 is well worth it. During everyday use, noticeable enhancements include the phone’s form factor, display, camera and convenient features.

Aside from feeling lighter and more svelte than the Note 2, the Note 3’s screen is sharper and more vibrant than its predecessor. While both devices feature a Super AMOLED display, the 5.7-inch display of the Note 3 has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and a pixel density of 386 ppi.

Looking at the Note 3, you’ll immediately notice that the screen is more mesmerizing than that of the 5.5-inch 720p, 226 ppi display of the Note 2. It’s worth mentioning that the user interface (UI) of the Note 3 feels more fluid and snappier than its sibling, thanks to the 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and 3GB of RAM on board.

Not a discredit to the Note 2, which also offers seamless UI navigation with its 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos 4 SoC internal hardware alongside 2GB of RAM. The bumped up hardware specs on the Galaxy Note 3 makes it an ideal, powerful device to handle multitasking with the Multi Window feature and heavy gaming.

From the moment you take your first photo with the Galaxy Note 3, you’ll notice improvements in the camera’s focus speed and image quality. Whether you’re a photo enthusiast, selfie addict, Instagramer or casual image taker, you’ll see a huge difference in the camera.

The Galaxy Note 2 camera specs include an 8MP autofocus shooter with an aperture of F2.6 and sensor size of 1/3.2”. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 3 has a 13MP autofocus camera on board, with an aperture of F2.2 and a larger sensor size of 1/3.06". The sensor upgrade makes all the difference, allowing more light into the Note 3’s camera lens for clearer, sharper pictures, even in low-light settings.

Samsung made a slight change to the design of the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 3 and if you’re a heavy S Pen user on your Note 2, this small detail that will change your life. The new S Pen on the Galaxy Note 3 has a sleeker shape with flat edges that lets you slide the pen back into its holster in one of two ways. On the Note 2, the S Pen is bigger and features more of a round shape that requires the S pen to be stored in a specific way.

The Galaxy Note 3’s new Air Command window makes it easier to access the device’s most useful features. Air Command pops up on the screen as a pie-chart style menu when you pull out the S Pen. Menu options include apps that are familiar to Samsung’s Galaxy Note series devices such as Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window.

Another Air Command menu option is the Note 3’s new Action Memo feature that lets you take a note and perform a task. For example, you can write down a phone number in Action Memo and then call, text or save the number to your contacts. You can also use action memo to send an email, find an address via Google Maps or search the Web.

Air Command and Action Memo are exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition tablet. These features are not found on the Galaxy Note 2, even after installing the latest Android 4.4 KitKat software update.

The Galaxy Note 3 runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean fresh out of the box, but is also eligible the recent Android OS update. The Android 4.4 KitKat software update brings improvements to the Galaxy Note 3’s multitasking performance and screen responsiveness. It also adds built-in printing support, an updated Multi Window and Emojis to the Samsung keyboard.

From my own review comparison of both the Note 2 and Note 3, the Galaxy Note 3 is worth the money no matter what device you’re upgrading from. If you happen to be a Galaxy Note 2 owner who is still on the fence about upgrading to the Note 3, what are you waiting for? Let us know in the comments.