Thursday 5 September 2013

Technology: Welcome! Samsung Galaxy Note 3!!

It's finally here!
Image from phandroid.s3.amazonaws

Hurray! The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has finally been announced and unveiled yesterday in Berlin! Has it been a long wait? Well not really, since I am quite happy with my Note 2 LTE, but after seeing what the S4 can do: Air Gestures and Smart Scroll in particular, I am kind of looking forward to this moment.

As usual, Locky's English Playground always bring to you the best compilation of the best information out there, and here it is.


Note 2 VS Note 3 Comparison
Image from GSMArena
For me, the most interesting change from the Note 2 to the Note 3 is that the overall size of the Note 3 has actually gone smaller, lighter, but the screen size has grown bigger with a higher pixel density (from 267 ppi to 386 ppi)! To achieve that, the bezel has to be trimmed and the screen has to be completely redesigned.

Though in terms of pixel density, the 5.7" Note 3 (386 ppi) is still lower than the 4.7" HTC One (469 ppi), but it is already a very good upgrade from the Note 2 in terms of AMOLED technology. For better understanding of the LCD and AMOLED technology, do visit Technology: Samsung Galaxy S4 VS HTC One.

Samsung Galaxy Note III's back cover
Image from GSMArena
"Do not judge a book by its cover" is a good line, but sorry to say, the reality is we all judge a book by its cover, especially the phone cover. One of the most intriguing updates about the Note 3 is the leather-like back cover. Does it feel like real leather? Can't tell until I get hold of it, but it has definitely received a lot of praises from various tech websites.
Note 3 (left) VS Note 2 (right)
Image from Android Authority
The advantage is that it should leave no fingerprints at the back cover, and because the leather back already looks pretty nice and is quite protective, users need not purposely get a new phone case.

Back cover on Galaxy S4
Image from brokemycell
With that said, I actually hope that they will have an optional S4 back cover to come with the phone, because I really like the hard polycarbonated dotted-ness. Also, a leather back texture means that if your hands are dirty then you will have a tougher time cleaning your phone. A smooth, glossy cover may be fingerprintingly boring for some, but all it takes is a small piece of alcohol wipe.

Note 3 (left) VS Note 2 (right)
Image from Android Authority
Another aspect that I love about the Note 3 is the groovy metal-looking strip on the side which is brought over from the S4. It's flat, it's straight, it's simple. Yeah, it's masculine. I don't like too many round corners.


Note 3's 3,200mAh battery with
Image from GSMArena
For those of you who knows your Note 2 battery compartment well, you will see a huge difference when you look at the Note 3 photo above.

Erica showing the O-ring on the Galaxy S4 Active
Image from Erica Griffin
The Note 3 actually has a tiny little version of the o-ring which the Galaxy S4 Active has, so I guess the Note 3 is going to be a tad more water-resistant than the Note 2, but then of course, it is NOT an S4 Active, so don't try to dump it into the water.


S Pen on Note 3
Image from TechnoBuffalo
The S Pen is said to be smaller than the one of the Note 2, but it's really hard to see the actual difference from photos.


Image from GSMArena
Onto the hardware, the Note 3 has 100 mAh more than  the Note 2 tallying at 3200 mAh, it's quite a lot still as compared with other phones but not much of an upgrade considering that the phablet is now paired up with 3Gb RAM, a faster processor and 3 extra sensors.


Image from GSMArena
The camera is an obvious upgrade, looking at the numbers, Note 3 has a 13MP camera just like the S4 with the exception that the 3G model will have the ability to take 2160p videos at 30fps.


S4 features on Note 3
Image from Android Authority
There are always some surprises when it comes to the Galaxy Note series as it needs to work with an S Pen, so other than having most, if not all, of the software features which the S4 has (see above). Here are 4 of the best videos I have found this morning.


After taking a closer look at the camera app I noticed that the Dual Shot mode is missing!!! That means Samsung still wants S4 to be unique in some ways, but that's bad news for people like me who really want to be able to play with that feature, taking a "selfie" while simultaneously talking family photos. Guess I will have to look into some 3rd party app for this, or wait a hack.

Finally, the benchmarks, whether you believe them or not, are crazy great! All but one hitting top of all benchmarks, for more details, do visit GSMArena.

Benchmark results
Image from GSMArena
Last but not least, if you ask me if it is worth upgrading from the Note 2 to the Note 3, I will definitely say "yes", because there are just too many aspects of improvement which I like. But that doesn't mean the Note 2 isn't good enough for another year. It all boils down to the resell price. Since the release of Galaxy S3, the resell price of the Samsung flagship phones have drastically improved.

Going back in time, when the Galaxy Note 2 LTE was first released, it cost HK$5688, the trade-in price as of today is about HK$3100-$3300, meaning if I sell my Note 2 LTE today, I can get back

HK$3100 / 5688 * 100% = 54.5% of the original money I spent,
losing HK$2588

Scenario 1: Upgrade to Note 3 then Note 4
If I upgrade to Note 3 LTE and then upgrade to Note 4 LTE the year after, assuming that the original selling price is still HK$5688 for both versions, I will cumulatively lose 

HK$2588 x 2 = $5176

Scenario 2: Skip Note 3 and Upgrade to Note 4
If I don't upgrade to Note 3 LTE and wait for Note 4 LTE, then by 2014 September, my Note 2 LTE should be worth less than or equal to
HK$3100 * 54.5% = HK$1689.5

If by then Note 4 LTE is sold at HK$5688, I will need to pay an extra of

HK$5688-$1689.5 = HK$3998.5

From my math, Scenario 2 saves me around HK$1200 as compared to Scenario 1, but you will have to stick with an older phone for 2 years.

Bear in mind, I have made a lot of assumptions in my calculations.
  1. Note 3 LTE and Note 4 LTE will be sold at HK$5688
  2. The drop in trade-in price is constant instead of slowing down
  3. The trade-in price doesn't vary from shop to shop
  4. The trade-in price remains the same by the time the new phone are available in the market

So whether you think that HK$1200 is worth spending or saving, really depends on yourself.

phabletious -- (adj) please see Technology: Phabletious!! Samsung Galaxy Note II
bezel -- (n) the area between the screen and the edge of the phone
polycarbonate -- (n) please see Polycarbonate
glossy -- (adj) smooth and shiny:
groovy -- (adj) old-fashioned slang very fashionable and interesting:
tad -- (adj) informal a little, slightly:
boil down to sth -- (idiom) Fig. [for a complex situation] to be reduced to its essentials.
selfie -- (n)[C] slang short for self-portrait

Technology: Samsung Galaxy S4 VS HTC One @ Locky's English Playground

Technology: Phabletious!! Samsung Galaxy Note II @ Locky's English Playground

IFA 2013: Samsung overview @

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Hands On @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Hands on! @ YouTube

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 2: Quick Look @ YouTube

First Look: The leather-look Samsung Galaxy Note 3 multitasking marvel @ YouTube

HTC One vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 @

Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 @

Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 @

Polycarbonate @ Wikipedia