I have just laid my hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and already I cannot wait for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Because my old iPhone of three years is finally kaput, I had no choice but to get a new phone. What this means is for the next few months, I am going to interrogate friends about their hygiene habits (“Did you wash your hands? You were gone 20 minutes; I know what you were doing.”) before I let them touch my phone.
Samsung is the new black. Converted users have this annoying holier-than-thou attitude and they narrow their eyes at you when you tell them you’re [still] an iPhone user. So, what makes Samsung phones so revolutionary and why do early adopters wear their phones like a badge of honour? Let’s find out.
Bigger But Somehow Lighter
Even though its screen comes in at 5.7 inch, Note 3 is surprisingly lightweight (168g). It measures 151.2 mm by 79.2mmm. Any math whiz will tell you that its BMI is 7.4, just 0.1 higher than iPhone 5S’s.
Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
The phone boasts a 13MP camera. That’s right. 13. Couple that with the fact it has a HD display… that means every flaw of yours is going to be magnified. No amount of concealer will hide that pimple. Triple layers of clothes will not camouflage that tummy. You might also want to check your surroundings for any reflective surfaces the next time you pose in nothing but your drawers.
One of the salient features of the newest iteration is the ‘Smart Switch’. Simply tap your phone with someone else’s and you can easily transfer data between the two gadgets. Though he was never named as a stakeholder, this design has James Cameron written all over it.
Remember that scene in Avatar, where the two leads, you know, consummated their relationship by intertwining their tendrils and then they shared their essence or something icky —whatever it was? Yep, it’s the same mechanic.
Siri, is that you?
For all the trailblazing albeit not always useful technologies we have been introduced to, the voice command technology is the best thing that has happened to mankind. Whoever said that smartphones are the reason why human connections are the pits these days obviously had not engaged in a conversation with S Voice.
She does like to play hard to get, though. I asked, “What is your name?” and she replied, “The same it has always been.” When I asked, “Are you Siri?” she said, “I think you’re just teasing me.” She also did not get any of my Lord of the Rings references and that was a huge, huge bummer.
But S Voice is quite, dare I say it, docile. Speak to her and she would do anything —literally anything. Perhaps that is why Samsung’s main buying audience is males. Get S Voice to post your Facebook status for you. Just say the words and your Facebook status will be updated in real time.
Because we have all degenerated to a state where we are too lazy to raise our fingers and type a few sentences.
Scrapbooking is cool again
Remember scrapbooking? When you take cutouts and consolidate them in a fancy book that is bedecked with glitter and stickers? Yeah, I never did that. Growing up I did not have a lot of fond memories.
But now… Samsung has given people like me a chance to get in the action. When you are scouring the Internet and you see a photo you really like, all you have to do is to activate the Air Command, use your S Pen, draw a circle and poof, the photo will automatically appear in your digital scrapbook.
It is a repository of all the things you want to do in life. Me… I’ll be using it as an evidence board… and photos of my ex crushes shall adorn it. Hey, the mystery of why I’m still single is not going to solve itself and if there’s anyone in this world who can help me crack the code, it’s S Voice.
For users like me who have butter I mean fat I mean thickset I mean muscular fingers, using the touch screen keyboard is not always easy. “I love U” “becomes “I love J” and that is the precursor to a very tiring fight. When I exchange numbers with someone I try to pick up at the club, I know I sometimes key in ‘2’ instead of ‘5’ —which explains why I never get a reply, not even after trying all the possible permutations.
So, the handwriting function is quite the nifty one. You can scrawl on the screen and link it to an action memo. Then, you could call the number immediately and make sure you did not just get fake-numbered or you could save it as a contact.
But… … well, you know how when you go to the store or shop online, the clothes look so wonderful on the models? And then you try them on at home and the reality is anything but: you look nothing like the models. There is no sartorial elegance to speak of… no windswept hair effect… the clothes don’t just flow off your body… no nothing.
The same is true here. In the promotional video for Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the user had excellent penmanship. Mine was more of a four-year-old right-hander trying to be ambidextrous. At the back of my head I could already hear my English teacher berating me.
“Write ON the line! Write INSIDE the box! What are you, on an airplane? Your words are flying upwards!”
And always, in my best ghetto accent I’d retort: “Dun ya gon go crampin’ ma style, beeotch.’
What is it doing in there?
Much as the new Samsung phone is innovative, I do have one grouse.
An app that comes preinstalled is the ‘Walking Mate’. It is an app that allows you to keep track of how many steps you take each day. It also doubles up as a health monitor of sorts. No prize for guessing which app would definitely go unused by me. Whoever created this app must have been a HR personnel, because before you can start using this app, you need to fill in an entire form and answer very personal questions.
And by personal, I do mean incriminating. They ask about your weight. I swear to God I am never losing this phone. Or lend it to anyone. Don’t you just miss the time when phones only came preinstalled with ‘Snake’ or ‘Bounce’ and manufacturers did not foist their ‘live healthy!’ beliefs on you? Aaa, let us keep Nokia in our thoughts.
Superhero, you are.
Accompanying the release of the Note 3 is the Galaxy Gear. This is a smartwatch; a camera phone you wear on your wrist. It comes with apps like eBay, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper… yada yada. I want to talk about one really cool thing about this gadget.
You get to be a Power Ranger. You can actually talk to your watch (again, thanks to the incomparable S Voice). “Yes Zordon, another monster is attacking Angel Grove, you say?”
IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME.
So am I impressed? Well, I’d say the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is worth the money.
But if you are vacillating between Samsung and Apple, I’d say go with the former. It’s always amusing to hear how people of different ethnicities and nationalities pronounce the brand name. “Some-shawn”… “Same-sawng”… “Sam-sung (as in ‘Sam had sung a song’ —yes I’m an English teacher I know all about past participle)”… you’re in for some great laughter.
And that I must applaud the great minds at Samsung —being able to offer entertainment with just the sound of its brand name is a real feat. The only other company that has managed to do that is Mitsubishi (sushi?).
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