Monday 7 October 2013

Technology: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Hands-on Review & Tips


Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Image from Locky's English Playground
Actually, I have already written a detailed blog post on the new Galaxy Note 3, so if you have not read it then I will highly recommend that you do.

What I want to talk about today is the hands-on experience and offer you some personal tips on how you can make your Note 3 perform better.

Let's start with what I like about this phablet.

Ultra High Speed Boot-Up
My first impression of this phone is that it is lightning fast at start! Booting up the phone takes only about 8 seconds! Whether this has to do with the improved CPU, 3Gb RAM or the streamlined Android 4.3, I have no idea, but I am genuinely in love with this speed.

Hard to describe this with words, but upon selection and button press, you get your apps launched and displayed on the screen much more faster than in the Note 2. Note 2 loads fast, but it was nothing as compared to this. Will the speed drops when Note 3 gets older? I don't know, but my 1-year-old Note 2 is still performing reasonably faster than many other phones.

TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0
Image from Locky's English Playground
Putting the Note 2 side-by-side with the Note 3, I can see that there is a huge difference in colour and sharpness. Again, not a fair judgement considering the Note 2 is already 1 year old and the pixels might have begun to 'burn'. I hope someone who has a brand new Note 2 can do a comparison in this aspect.

Side Metal Strip 
Apart from the screen, I really like the straight metal strips. I think it will still be easily scratched though, which is why I will recommend that you leave those plastic stickers on if you are planning to resell your phone in the future.

Black Premium-Looking Pleather Back
Image from Locky's English Playground
Back Pleather Cover
First heard of this term Pleather from Zedomax, which is obviously a portmanteau of 'plastic + leather', and I like it! Previously I was afraid that it will get dirty easily, but lucky that I was wrong. It was a leathery plastic cover and it looks absolutely premium! However, Zedomax says that there is a difference between the pleather in the white and the black phones, watch the video below:

This could be the reason why the black version is selling about HK$300 / US$38.5 more expensive in Hong Kong.

Cutting Edge Case
Image from Locky's English Playground

The problem with the Note 3 is that it doesn't come with a case. Even though the pleather back is a good protection, you don't want to scratch any parts of the phone, right? Because this phone is still very new, there aren't too many phone case available just yet. Since I am a person who will only go for a complete transparent phone case, I decided to cut the Note 2 case so that it can fit the Note 3 for temporary sake. I have ordered new cases from Taobao but that will take around 6 days to arrive.

Severe Battery Drain
S Voice
Image from Locky's English Playground

Application Manager
Image from Locky's English Playground
No joke, I had about 30% drain in less than 3 hours! Going this rate, my phone will be powerless in 10 hours or less. But panic not, because the same happened to Galaxy Note 2 and S4 and I have managed to solve the problem. After fixing the problem, my phone has lost 20% in just 6 hours.

What is wrong with it then? Well, the culprit is ... S Voice!

I like this voice assistant function so maybe when my battery is full I will use it, but for now, I will disable it for good.

To disable it, simply head to Settings--> General--> Application manager.

Swipe 3 times to the left and find ALL. Under ALL, find S Voice and select.

You will see a Disable button, press that and your battery will be as long-lasting as ever!
Disable S Voice here
Image from Locky's English Playground


  1. Get the black version for a better leathery feel.
  2. Leave the side stickers on the metal strips for better protection.
  3. Get a case ASAP, a completely transparent one will keep the original look visible.
  4. Cut an old Note 2 case and fit your Note 3 in it for temporary protection.
  5. Disable S Voice for much much much better battery life.
  6. Download App Ops (see below)

We often talk about the seriousness of apps asking for permissions which are really unnecessary. Doing so, the app developing companies will gain access to your phone's data and even control of your phone entirely, stealing everything they want.

On smartphones such as the Note 3 running Android 4.3, you can now have a say in which app should gain what permissions after installation. All you have to do is download App Ops from the XDA-Developers website. This app works on both unrooted and rooted phones because it is in fact a hidden app from the Google Android 4.3. This app is just a shortcut that brings it back up.

App Ops
Image from Locky's English Playground
After installation, run the app, then choose the app you want to control its permission. For example, if I don't want the Facebook app to read my contacts, I simply switch off the button of Read contacts.

If you have time, look into those social apps and you'll find a bunch of permissions which are potentially dangerous for hackers. Play around with this App Ops and have a safe Note 3 experience!

Technology: Welcome! Samsung Galaxy Note 3!! @ Locky's English Playground

Galaxy Note 3 White vs. Black Pleather Feel Test! @ YouTube

Galaxy Note 3 White vs. Black Pleather Feel Test! @ YouTube

【DoubleX】Onekey open android4.3 App-Ops-Control all Access(work whitout root)@ XDA-Developers

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