After much waiting, Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy Note 3 in India and it promises to be one humdinger of a smartphone. The Note 3 is priced at Rs 49,900 and will go on sale from September 25 onwards. Samsung will let users experience the Note 3 at special kiosks in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, but we managed to snag some time with the device at the launch.

Here is a quick video before we proceed to our first impressions:

The Note 3 has a larger display than the Note 2 but it has a similar sized body, thanks to a reduction in bezel size. It is surprisingly comfortable to hold despite the bigger display, but the chrome sides look a bit tacky. Overall, the handset is handsome looking and strikes a very good impression. No doubt that Samsung has put some effort into designing the Note 3. This is more apparent when comparing it to the Galaxy S4, which has a very 2012 Samsung look. The Note 3’s textured back with exposed seams is a far cry from the generic plastic build. The faux leather back is nice and plush.

Faux-leather back

Faux-leather back

The S-Pen too has received major improvements and is more powerful than ever before. The S-Pen functionality enables several ways of multi-tasking on the Note 3. Samsung has improved the multi-window feature and you can now use the same app on two windows to copy and paste text seamlessly. Air View now works from a greater distance, so fewer accidental touches can be expected.

The S-Pen menu

The S-Pen menu

In addition, the S-Pen gets Action Memo which lets users execute actions such as making calls, navigating through maps and sending emails based on a doodle or a note. In addition, the Note 3 gets a Scrapbook feature which is a collection of all your clippings and doodles. You can arrange them in different groups for easy sorting. Samsung is hoping artists and the likes catch on to the Note experience and Scrapbooks are a way to infuse some productivity into the S-Pen use.

Excellent viewing angles

Excellent viewing angles

When it comes to the display, the brightness level is pretty crazy and can compete with the best out there. But the colours look very oversaturated. There’s no doubt that the Exynos 5 Octa comes good here. The phone is super fast without any hint of lag. Sadly, the Exynos chipset means no 4K video support for the Indian version.

The camera has a similar UI to the Galaxy S4 and gets all the features from that firmware. Here’s a sample image we managed to click with the Note 3. What do you think?

A resized sample image from the Note 3

A resized sample image from the Note 3

From the little time we had with the phone, we can say that the Note 3 is definitely a worthy successor to the Note 2. Here's a closer look at the hands-on images of the Note 3. [@galleryid:347336]

We must say that the launch price is a bit too steep, even if money is no object. Anything close to Rs 40,000 would have been really good. Although it's intended target audience is niche, the Note is the most common branded phablet in India today. This means when people are looking for a flagship handset , they will inevitably compare it with the Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 and we have a feeling those are going to be a lot cheaper.

Tags: , , , , , , ,