Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Make room for Samsung's Galaxy Note 3


I finally figured out what I'm supposed to put in those square thigh pockets on cargo pants. An iPhone gets lost in those pockets and they're too small for an iPad Mini or Google Nexus tablet. But Samsung's new Galaxy 3 Note seems to be right at home.

The third generation of Samsung's popular Note targets the sweet spot between a large mobile phone and a small tablet. Yes, it can make calls on the major carrier networks, if you don't mind being seen with a outsized slab held to your ear. But it also delivers a welcoming platform for movies and TV shows on a 5.7-inch screen that tops the quality of Apple's best mobile displays.  

If you liked the previous Note - or any of the oversized "phablet" phones, the new Note will please you even more. It has a paster processor, more memory and longer battery life. 

And, Samsung continues to improve its stylus and note-writing software. I thought I was done with stylus writing when I moved on from my Palm V PDA. But Samsung's S Pen system could win me back. The stylus tucks into the bottom of the phone and when you remove it, you get a block of commands that take you to various pen functions. You can tap a selection or let the pen hover over the icons to review your options.

Scribble a note and the software lets you do something with it, like file it in a scrapbook, send it to Evernote or add it to a to-do list. I wrote a phone number in my ugly scrawl. The program turned it into text and asked if I wanted to dial it or create a new contact. It all worked smoothly.

I don't know if I'm ready for an oversized phone (I may need more cargo pants). But when I am, this looks like the one to get. Verizon sells the Note 3 for $299 with a two-year contract.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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