The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 the talk of IFA 2013, but how does it measure up to its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 2? We've taken to the IFA 2013 show floor to compare the new and old Note, and you'll find a full hardware rundown in the video above.

From the front, the Galaxy Note series hasn't changed a whole lot. We're still dealing with an exceptionally large smartphone, though it's clear to see there's more screen to go around on the Note 3, made possible by its smaller bezels. The new Note is also a little more squared-off than its predecessor, likely part of the push to make it resemble a real paper notebook. Nowhere else is that more obvious than on the phone's back panel, which now sports a faux-leather effect, complete with stitching.

And then there are the obvious spec improvements — Snapdragon 800 compared to the year-old Exynos 4 Quad, 3GB up from 2GB and 1080p from 720. Hit the video above for the full lowdown.

And check out our Galaxy Note 3 hands-on feature for more on Samsung's latest handset.


Reader comments

Video: Galaxy Note 3 versus Galaxy Note 2


Bottom line here if you own the current Galaxy Note 2 such as I do you can't legitimately say you shouldn't have the Note 3.

The Galaxy Note 3 is far more than some basic upgrade which exist with other handsets. This is the best productivity/business/multitasking handset ever since the inception of android.

The Note 2 with it's Exynos 4412 chipset clocked at 1.6 ghz and 2gb of ram was cool but it's far from the Note 3 and it's Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3 ghz and 3gb of ram. Note 2 had 8 megapixel camera compared to Note 3 13 megapixel it's no contest.

More importantly the new WiFi standard inside the Note 3 as well as the future of having an LTE Advance enabled handset makes the Note 3 far more than some basic upgrade.

1080p at 386ppi vs 720p at 266ppi case closed in my mind. More importantly the first NON NEXUS PRODUCT with android 4.3 straight out of the box. Definitely the first handset after the Nexus 5, Nexus 4 that will get Android 4.4 Kit Kat.

Say goodbye Galaxy Note 2. I will be purchasing the Galaxy Note 3 October 2nd. Plain and simple nothing beats Samsung.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 2 via Android Central App.

1. Yeah... You want "the best productivity/business/multitasking" in a device? Get a laptop. They've had the ability to multitask for at least 1.5 decades. Want a browser open with 40+ windows/tabs while doing video encoding? No problem. Not to mention the native support of Microsoft Office, which is the de facto standard when it comes to "business" software.
2.. I'd love to see where you got the idea that Android 4.4 would be on the Note 3 "out of the box". KitKat was announced only a week ago. Samsung is probably only now getting their hands on it, and it's several months later that an OS update would even be possible. Not to mention the fact that Samsung has stated many times that 4.3 will be on it. Stupid fanboy can't even get facts about his most beloved phone correct.

1. We're talking phones here not laptops. Completely different scenarios.
2. He clearly stated that it would have 4.3 out of the box, and most likely be the first phone (after the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5(?) to get Android 4.4 (once it's released).

Try reading before commenting. And if that's too hard, stick to your multi-tasking Microsoft laptop.

Well said I shall be joining you ...but on September 25th ....loved my note 2....
Love my HTC one as well...I lost faith when the one max will be arriving ....never at this rate ...

Posted via Android Central App

Thanks for going into look and feel instead of going into features and specs since they cannot really compare.

I certainly and going with the black one since it will go better with most of the s-view cases (and I just do not like white phones anyway) but it sounds like it will feel better anyway.

Looking forward to giving it a go, Sprint hurry up, I have my money all laid out and ready to give to you dammit

Haha I like the last part of that. What do you feel about the physical home button? I'm coming from a Gnex and feel this will be my best upgrade option on Verizon. (I love the on screen button) never used a phone with physical.

Posted via Android Central App

I have a SGS3 so I am used to it but, it was a little bit of an adjustment coming from HTC devices without it.

It didn't take all that long though, and I actually find it quite useful. Lots of people hate it, but that hate is unwarranted.

You will get used to it fast, and the rest of the phone will make you forget it is there I believe

When I pull it out of my pocket it's the first thing I always press, because it wakes the phone up. I almost never press the power button to wake it up anymore I'm so used to using the home button.

@no nexus I can't tell I'd tie being sarcastic or sincere. I'm hoping you're being sarcastic cause any fool can tell the difference between the two physically

As to the question of the physical button , it's a personal preference thing but you get use to it. Me personally I do not like the button on my note. It's another thing that can break and it's feature is important to the usability of the device. I'd rather it be a virtual button. My real issue with the button is the home button turns on the screen, and at times the phone will turn on in my pocket because the button is pressed accidentally.

Posted via Android Central App

I have never had that happen, and I mean that sincerely. Like the other poster said, I do not hit the power button any more, I just hit the home button and unlock.

As far as it breaking, since the sgs3 was released, we have had 5 of them. Two on Verizon, then we switched to sprint and my wife got one. Out of those five--0-- issues. Could it happen? Sure. Will it? Doubtful

Posted via Android Central App

I have the GS3 and while I wouldn't go as far as saying I hate it, I certainly don't like it. They should either make all the buttons physical or all logical. The amount of pressure you have to use on the physical button is more and it still throws me off after a year of using it.

I currently have an HTC one after switching over from the note 2. I played with it yesterday for a little bit and now I really miss the bigger screen:/ Samsung's ui is getting a little stale but there are some nice features on there...the note lineup is also so much nicer than the s lineup. My girlfriend has the s4 and I was not blown away at all. If you're gonna have features like muti window, you might as well have a larger screen for it. I was trying so hard not to want the new note but I kind of do now:/ although I'm not as blown away by it as I was the note 2.

Posted via Android Central App

That square look to it and faux leather is kinda gauche. I currently have the Note 2 and I don't think it's worth spending hundreds of dollars for an upgrade to the Note 3.

I would agree with you about the back, if you are going to go that far Sammy, step a little further over the line and offer REAL leather.

I have the Note 2 in white with a Gray flip case, or a Trident Case..

As for the other poster, why not root the Note 2 and get rid of the UI and the Bloatware and that way your phone is stable and clean.

I am running Jedi & CleanROMs on my Note 2.. I'll wait for the Nexus phone, I'm intrigued, the S-pen isn't that useful anymore.

Imagine the outrage if the phone went from 700 to 750 because of the leather. They went a different route from HTC but not a bad one if it feels better

Posted via Android Central App

Or how about a nice soft touch backing sans the crappy faux stitching. That stitching is super cheesy IMO. Who ever green lighted that should be fired! I don't want my naked uncased phone to look like some faux leather stitched paper notebook. Ugh! :(

My concern is the faux leather back. Handling my phone now every day, I can't imagine how dirty and funky a faux leather back would be around the stitching. I am thinking what my leather wrapped steering wheel looks like in my car. I wonder if it will show wear like leather over time also. Unless there is a tight fitting case that would not be bulky or loose, but i prefer going naked with my phones.

Posted via Android Central App

I have a faux leather back on my note 2. Been on there for months and hasn't shown any wear...of course there's no stitching on it either.

Posted via Android Central App

Ya I would not worry so much about it showing wear, that was more of a last minute thought. More so about dirt and keeping it clean.

Posted via Android Central App

I like the note 2. That is what I'm currently using. The note 3 doesn't give me that much of a change. Don't get me wrong the specs are bumped up and you can do some other things with the s pen and the screen is better but that is it. For those coming from another phone the change may be exciting. For me I'm going to give the 2013 samsung company a shot, LG G2, and see how that wows me.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, I have the Note 2 also. I just got it about four months ago. I'm still debating on if I should get the Note 3 or not. I ditched Motorola phones after an unlucky string of crappy phones with them and was really impressed with Samsung.

I currently have the Note 2... I upgraded from my GNex and fell in love instantly! The screen real estate is awesome and the pen comes in handy for quick numbers to remember but don't need to add to contact list. I have not found a real reason to upgrade to the 3, I might just wait on the 4. My oldest has the S4 and it's okay, I wasn't impressed, my youngest has the S3 and she loves it and my middle has the S2 and she is happy as well. The Note 3 reminds me of the S2, a step back instead of forward! A person can be happy with either the Note 2 or 3! The battery life is awesome on the Note 2, I can go 13 hours of constant use before charging it.

Posted via Android Central App

The S2 was a step backward? How so? When it came out it was hands down the most powerful phone on the market, so much so that AC banned it device of the year even though the device had been out for at least nine months. It was that far ahead of its time.

I will definitely be upgrading. I am looking forward to that Screen, RAM, and CPU! Did I say that Screen? I just hope it's not "pentile," although, with this level of PPI im not sure it matters. I bought my chick the S4 and it looks good--real good. I think it's just a mental thing at this point.

Posted via the Android Central App on my Note 2

It won't. It's always been a niche device, just a slightly popular one.

Posted via Android Central App

Your joking right?
They sold over 5 Million units in 2 months
They set a sales target of 20 Million units total

I would say that is a bit more than slightly popular and a niche device.

When you had the two phones side by side was there a noticeable difference with the bump in the screen resolution compared to the note 2?

Posted via Android Central App

I haven't seen them side by side, but I almost guarantee that you can't see a big difference between 720p & 1080p at a foot or so away.

I'd like a phone this size with top notch hardware, but TouchWiz is a dealbreaker. Android is beginning to become Nexus or nothing for me.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't like the look of Touchwiz (I have a Note 2), but I can easily hide it with Nova Launcher.

Touchwiz is just too useful for me to ever flash an AOSP ROM on my device (Multiwindow, S-pen, Smart Rotation, Smart Stay, & gesture control). When a Nexus device can do everything that my Note 2 has been able to for the last 9mo, I may agree with you, but my money is on that the Nexus 5 won't even be able to do what Touchwiz has done for Android.

I have the original Note (GT-N7000) and I'm ready to upgrade. Not sure if I should go with the Note 2 and wait for the update or just get the 3.

I really like what I'm seeing, reading, etc. about the Note 3, but don't think I can swing $300 on an upgrade. And these no down payment plans they just rolled out, I'm not too sure about.

So I may just get the Note 2 when it has a price drop and rock that for awhile. Oh decisions!

Posted via The DARK Android Central App

That Note 3 just looks great and I can imagine a much higher ppi on that large screen. Great appeal, I had the Note 2 but the issue was the lower ppi on such a beautiful bright screen.

Posted from Galaxy S4 via Android Central App