Few smartphone makers are brave enough to venture beyond the 5-inch comfort zone when it comes to screen size, but Samsung is no stranger to the phablet territory. With two successful smartphone-tablet hybrids under its belt, Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy Note 3 has a big legacy to live up to.
The Note 3 comes with all the physical improvements you’d expect from a next-generation handset. Its processor is clocked notably faster than that of the Note 2, it comes equipped with a slightly larger 3,200 battery, and the camera has been bumped up from 8-megapixels to 13 megapixels.
Samsung has outfitted the Note 3 with a roomier 5.7-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, all while making the phablet even lighter than its predecessor at 5.9 ounces. It comes with Android 4.3 out of the box, which means it will be one of the few devices compatible with the Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch when it launches.
But Samsung isn’t the only vendor to dip into the phablet genre. LG ‘s 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro was set to go head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 when it launched earlier this year. Acer’s newly announced 6-inch Liquid S2 phablet comes with a speedy 2.2-GHz quad-core processor and high-end camera that could give the Note 3 some stiff competition.
But while these phablets may sport similar specs and design, they have a number of key differences. For instance, the Acer Liquid S2 is among the first smartphones to shoot video in 4K, although there’s a slim chance we’ll see it hit the US market.
The Note 3 and Note 2 come with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus that’s compatible with its suite of optimized apps. Samsung handsets also come with the company’s proprietary features such as Multi-Window Mode, which lets you view two apps at once in separate windows on the home screen. LG’s software allows you to run up to four applications at the same time thanks to its QSlide feature.
In terms of sheer horsepower, it looks like the Acer Liquid S2 and Galaxy Note 3 may reign supreme, although Acer’s phablet may weigh down your purse at 8 ounces. We look forward to seeing just how well the Galaxy Note 3 performs during our review.