It's the device that started the trend for oversized handsets and now in its third iteration the Galaxy Note is still head and shoulders above the rest of a rapidly growing phablet crowd.
Samsung is often accused of being a "fast follower", i.e., taking an existing idea and adopting it faster than its competition, but when it comes to the phablet - a smartphone with a screen size greater than five inches from corner to corner - the South Korean firm can lay claim to its creation and as such has pulled out all of the stops with its latest oversized handset, the Galaxy Note III to make sure it retains its number-one position.
At 5.7 inches, the new device, unveiled to the press alongside its latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear at a special event in Berlin, offers 0.2 inches more visual real estate than its current flagship phablet (the Note II) but this time the screen is full HD. So it's going to be excellent for gaming and watching videos.
The power to do more
A bigger screen also means more space for running apps side by side and therefore for productivity as well as play. However, without some serious performance behind the screen a phablet can lag behind in responding to user's commands. With 3GB, it has 50% more RAM than the Note II and an equally huge 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor plus a bigger battery so power users will not be disappointed.
Focusing on photography
As predicted, the Note III is able to record video in ultra high definition and can do so at 30 frames per second. The stills camera has also had a serious upgrade and can snap 13 megapixel shots compared with the Note II's 8-megapixel unit.
Despite having a bigger screen, the new device is 14 g lighter and is ever so slightly narrower and thinner than the old one. It is also easier to hold in one hand thanks to a textured rear panel and is available in a choice of black, white and pink. One nice touch is that its stylus (the Samsung S Pen) can be used on the device through its protective cover for quicker note-taking and access to certain apps and functions.
And last, but not least, unlike the Galaxy Note II, or any existing Samsung phone or phablet for that matter, the Note III is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch because it runs Android 4.3 straight out of the box. All of which means that as a package, Samsung's latest phablet is still the best on the market, until HTC releases its HTC One Max handset, that is.