Samsung’s Note 3 is competing with Motorola’s Moto X and you’ll probably wonder why we’ve chosen to compare a phablet with a smaller phone. Yes, the Note 3 is more powerful, has a better camera and bigger battery, but the Moto X isn’t a mediocre phone and it really has some software features that make this phone worth the money.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Note 3 is not exactly one of the most comfortable to hold smartphones because of its large size, so it’s a real struggle to operate on the display with the fingers of only one hand. Fortunately, there’s the one-hand mode which shrinks the icons from the display for an easier access. Unless you are an experienced phablet user, the Note 3 isn’t for you.
Display, design and dimensions
Unlike other phablets, this device has a unique design invented by Samsung and the faux leather on the back with fake stitches on the edges look amazing. On the top left side you’ll find the volume buttons, and you can reach them easily because they’re placed exactly under our left thumb.
The big 5.7inches Super AMOLED display supports a resolution of 1920x1080pixels and 386ppi. The phone measures 151.2×79.2×8.3mm and it’s actually taller than its predecessor, which has a display of 5.9inches. The drawback of its display is that, despite of the fact that it can be used for watching movies or writing notes, the Super AMOLED technology doesn’t offer the best viewing experienced under direct sunlight.
Hardware and OS
This is a very powerful device, being powered either by a quad core 2.3GHz Krait 400, in combination with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and Adreno 330 GPU, or by a quad core 1.9GHz Cortex A17 & quad core 1.3GHz Cortex A7 with Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chipset and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU.
The internal memory is available in three variants – 16 and 32GB, expendable up to 64GB + a 64GB option and the RAM capacity is 3GB. The phone comes loaded with Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and you can upgrade it to 4.4.2 (KitKat), and has the TouchWiz interface on top of it, with many controls similar to those on the Galaxy S4. You can turn on Multi Window, Smart Stay, Reading Mode, but if you’re not fond of a exaggerated colorful user experience, then you should stick with Jelly Bean.
Let’s talk about this tool and what can it do for you. The slot is located on the lower right side of the phone where the S Pen is introduced. It has a command named S Voice which competes with Siri, but it’s mediocre because when reading a message, it enunciates the periods as “dot”. The Air Command launches itself automatically when you remove the S Pen and you can use it to create a scrapbook, an Action Memo or open a Pen Window, to activate the S Finder etc.
The 13MP camera on the rear panel shoots 4K UHD videos and the maximum supported resolution is 3,840×2,160pixels. The disadvantage is that you’re now able to play the video back in this resolution on the Note 3 and you also can’t take pictures while recording videos in this mode. Luckily, there are plenty features that you can use to obtain accurate pictures. Plus, there’s a 2Mp camera on the front for video calling.
The battery is user replaceable, Li-Ion with a capacity of 3200mAh, which withstands up to 21hours when talking on 3G.
The 32GB 4G variant can be purchased from amazon.com at the price of 589 dollars.
This is a mid-tier phone, very intelligent thanks to the Active Display which fades in/out. Motorola tried something new and brought a phone with lots of onboard sensors which anticipate your move and come to your aid.
Display, design and dimensions
The Moto X feels premium, although it’s not the slimmest and lightest smartphone of its generation. Its shell is created from a rubberized, soft-touch plastic material and has the Motorola logo under the camera. Its dimensions are 129.3×65.3×10.4mm and it weights 130grams, and it allows you to customize the rear shell, power and volume buttons and these customization combinations won’t affect the final price.
The phone has a 4.7inches AMOLED display with 720x1280pixels and 312ppi and it’s protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Hardware and OS
This device is powered by a dual core 1.7GHz Krait processor, based on a Qualcomm MSM8960Pro Snapdragon chipset and it uses an Adreno 320 GPU, but many consider this combination inferior, compared to other smartphones. The internal memory is fixed at 16/32/64 GB, the RAM capacity is 2GB and the operating system is Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), which is upgradable to v4.4.4 (KitKat). As we already said, the Moto X has a unique feature – Active Display, but it’s not perfect because to check the recent notifications or the weather, you have to press the power button all the time, to “wake up” the display. There are other features called Touchless Control with which you can trigger some actions when saying “OK Google Now”, and Motorola Assist, which controls your device when sleeping or driving and it puts it to silence.
The 10MP ClearPixel camera on the back isn’t as great as expected. In theory, if you twist your wrist, the phone opens the camera and you can take a picture by touching the screen. Unfortunately, this app doesn’t work all the time.
The battery is Li-Ion 2200mAh, user replaceable and it lasts only 13 hours when talking on 3G.
The 16GB variant of this phone is priced at 390 dollars.
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