Samsung Galaxy Note III: A Little Bigger Screen, a Lot Better Guts (Updated: Hands-On Video)

By Eric Limer on at

Surprise surprise, there's a new Galaxy Note. Whodathunkit? But with the Mega on the scene, the new Note III isn't the leader of the pack when it comes to screen-size anymore. It's getting just the tiniest bump in screen size. But don't worry; it's bigger on the inside.

The increase in screen size doesn't come at the cost of a bigger body. Instead, the bezels are down to almost non-existant to get that "bigger screen without being bigger" effect. Among the Galaxy Note III's features, you'll find compatibility with Samsung's Knox security, and the Note III's LTE radio is 4 band, so it can handle any flavour of LTE out there. It comes in black, white, and a whole bunch of other colours.

And of course, there's S pen news. This is a Galaxy Note after all. The new S pen comes with some kind of feature called "Smart Freedom" which is probably about as clever as it sounds, but we only get a (delicious?) tease for now. The keyboard is also powered by SwiftKey, which is music to our ears.

In the mean time, just like you can wave your hands over a Galaxy S4 to do stuff, you can wave your S Pen over your Galaxy Note III to do stuff with "Air Command," like a magician.

And among the more useful features, "Action Notes" will now let you write notes that link to actions, like a note of a phone number with a link that lets you dial it. Admittedly, these sort of S Pen features are exactly what the Galaxy Note III needs to make a case for itself as a phablet with a stylus, so the more the merrier really.

There's also a new, built-in Scrapbook and a companion service cleverly-named S-Note, for those of you afraid of Evernote and in the mood for something with a lot more Touchwiz on it. In fact, S note actually hooks into Evernote and plays nice with it. You even get a free year of premium.

And the software features only get wackier from there. You can put two Note III's next to each other to Voltron together into a larger screen, for instance.

Oh and there's also a new, 7.9mm thick Galaxy Note 10.1 joining the family, complete with stereo speakers, and it's lighter than its predecessor. Inside, the 10.1 has a big ol' 8,220mAh battery to keep it kicking. It'll come with all the software features the Note 3 has, of course.

The Note 3, the Note 10.1, and the Samsung Galaxy Gear will all be available for purchase starting September 25th.

When all is said and done, Samsung is leaning very, very hard on a lot of wacky software features here, ones that practically feel like they're being made up on the spot. Samsung even went so far as to leave the Note 3's actual specs to the very end of the presentation in favor of these features. Actual specs that include being able to shoot 4K video.

We had time for a very quick hands on and all we can say is that it's like the Note II but bigger, thinner, and weird in leather. We'll have a full hands-on coming up shortly.

Updated: Hands-on video!

To get creative guides, app tips and the full lowdown on Samsung’s GALAXY S4, Note 8.0 and Note 3, check out Samsung’s Your Mobile Life over here.