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Samsung at its annual tech event, Samsung Forum 2014 observing the requirements of Indian market launched plenty of new products in India. One of the offering was the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo which is a ‘lite’ version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Samsung introduced their Neo series of smartphones this year at the Samsung Forum 2014 itself which is basically a lighter version of flagship or popular products. We fortunately got the Galaxy Note 3 Neo for review all thanks to Samsung. Want to know what do we think of this smartphone? Read below to know more.

Design

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo as you might have seen in press renders before is an actual replica of the Note 3 in looks but not in power. Obviously, the Note 3 Neo has to be different from the Note 3 right?

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The design language is absolutely the same as Note 3. It has a faux leather back too with the front having the display, a physical home button, two capacitive touch buttons and a Samsung branding on the top. The left edge houses the volume rocker and right the power/standby button. On top we have the 3.5mm audio out, secondary microphone and IR sensor whereas on bottom there is a primary microphone, speaker grill, S-Pen and a microUSB port for charging and data synchronization.

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We shot an unboxing video which can be viewed below. It shall let you know whats all is there inside the box.

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo sports a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED capacitive display with 720×1280 pixels resolution and 267 ppi pixel density. It weighs 162 grams and has 8.6mm thickness. Alike the Note 3, it too has an S-Pen with all the advance features. The Indian variant of the Note 3 Neo does not support LTE hence it comes with a Exynos 5260 chipset with hexa core processor having a 1.3GHz Quad-core Cortex A7 and a 1.7GHz Dual-core Cortex A15 processor with Mali T264 GPU. It comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory which can further be expanded up to 64GB using an external microSD card. It packs a 3100mAh battery and supports, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0, 3G, NFC, and Infrared radio for connectivity.

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Camera

The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 13MP camera which is known to feature one of the best camera on a smartphone. Note 3 Neo being a stripped down variant comes with a 8MP BSI sensor with the same camera UI and shooting modes. In fact any Samsung Galaxy smartphone will have the same UI but some might differ in the shooting modes though. It also has a 2MP front-facing camera which we all know what to use for. Sample Pictures are uploaded at this link in full resolution.

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Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and have received some OTA updates for stability fixes. It runs the TouchWiz custom UI which no matter being kiddish or too colorful yet is a very functional android skin. Samsung also have bundled with some of the applications like Evernote, Dropbox etc. that come preloaded on the smartphone. It also has some of Samsung’s inhouse built applications included too which are quite loved by the users. Being a part of the Note series, it features a S-PEN and the bundled software apps with it. The S-PEN features are exactly the same as that on the Note 3 which we had even explained in a video which can be viewed at the url :

Performance

Samsung has been boasting its latest hexa-core processor on the Note 3 Neo which do perform pretty well. We ran Atuntu Benchmark test and it gave is a score of and an amazing rating. The screenshot of the result has been attached below. Using 2GB of RAM and hexa-core processor, it definitely satisfies multi-tasking capabilities one would wish for. With Mali-T264 GPU playing heavy graphic intense games was a pleasant experience, tried and tested with Injustice: Gods Among Us and Asphalt 8.

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Cellular connectivity works just fine, once connected on call could easily handle network coverage fluctuations.

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Camera performance was decent in daylight while in lowlight we observed some noise. The display definitely is a low down when you compare it with Note 3 but good that it is from Samsung because the color levels and brightness makes it usable though outdoor visibility is an issue.
The 3100 mAh battery could easily last for about 12-13 hours of heavy usage with quick chareg using the supplied adapter.

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Verdict

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a stellar device but quite expensive. Samsung couldn’t make it more affordable hence it launched the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo which is selling for ₹33,900 in India. Though being 7k cheaper it strips down display and camera keeping the same faux leather feel. Performance is not a complaint on the hexa-core processor with 2GB RAM. If you are looking for a big screen Android with S-PEN kinda stuff, this is what you should buy but in case not so much love for the S-PEN have a look for Sony Xperia Z1 and the LG G2 which can perform better.

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