Galaxy Note 3

Device- Samsung Galaxy Note III

 

The Galaxy  Note 3 is an amazing phablet, with a 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.7 inch (~386 ppi pixel density) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen and 16/32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM. Running as always TouchWiz and as of right now 4.4.2 Android KitKat OS. With a 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm (5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 in) 168 g (5.93 oz) body, that feels good in one hand but does call for two handed use more than not. I’m running the Google’s GEL launcher with Home2ShortCut and PieControl for ease of use due to the size of the screen and it feels natural as if this is how TouchWiz should be out of the box. The Note3 has an amazing camera @ 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash & Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama, HDR, LED flash 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps  (front) 2 MP, 1080p@30fps, personally I only use Smooth Motion when recording and HDR for any outdoor photos, everything just looks more beautiful that way. Its battery is a Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery, with stand by @ (2G) / Up to 420 h (3G) and talk time @ (2G) / Up to 21 h (3G) and i find myself charging it about 1/2 times a day but i also have root and many background apps like tasker, piecontrol, home2shortcut and autovice. Since owning the Note3 i’v noticed that I no longer use my tablet, at all. (My Tablet is the Acer A500 but thats another story.) Using my Amazon Fire TV Game Via Bluetooth to my Note3 and the Chromecast screen mirroring to TV, my Note3 is an all in one gaming device. Running every Emulator I can find from NES to DS from PS1 to PSP from Sega to Gamecube and much more I never find myself bored with this device. My non-emulator games of choice are Dead Trigger 1 & 2, Shadow Gun DeadZone and Modern Combat 5, some of the best first / third person shooters out on the market. The Note3 is a power house jam packed with RAM for a smooth gaming experience. If your in the market for a phone/tablet/a big ole phone or just a tiny ole tablet the Note3 will fill almost any device void in your life. With a repairability of 5 out of 5, meaning all parts are easily replaceable including the glass only repairs at this time are $174.99 which ain’t bad when the lcd digi is $274.99 and the micro usb 3.0 dock is $64.99. I recommend using an Otterbox defender with Gadget’s temper glass screen protectors which is about $99.00 worth of protection, an obviously good investment.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-32

Launcher

As I said above my Launcher of choice is Google’s GEL Launcher. I don’t use Google Now or Google Now Cards what I use it for is its “Okay Google” feature and its clean interface. GEL will now run on many Android devices running 4.0 and up, even on tablets. The GEL Launcher is simple and its nothing like Go EX or Nova, theres no cool or flashy transitions or actions but with Xposed mods that can all be changed, but for RAM sake stock is best. With the new Google Search you can trigger Google Now by saying “okay google” on the home screen or when the phones screen is on while locked. I even modded the Google Now API with an Xposed mod for AutoVoice to trigger events and profiles in tasker with Google Now searches for Ex: “okay google” “selfie” :opens camera takes photo with front camera, closes camera: GEL is perfect for the Google Now user, I find myself asking “what’s the weather” or “how did the Phillies do” and listening for the answers more than I actually look at my phone after asking. If you want a taste of hands free automations try out the Google GEL Launcher today!

 

Theme

Google’s GEL Launcher comes with its own theme called google now. Google now has what Google calls “Cards”, with Cards you can set reminder like notifications for specific interests like Sports, Stocks, Weather and more. I use Google Now Cards to keep me up to the minute up to date with ly local sports teams and weather, as well as apple and google stocks just for kicks. There are two ways you receive Card updates, one is in the notification tray like normal. You’ll see the notification alert and just drag down the bar and swipe away to the side or tap to interact  and open to read more or share the information. Google Now Cards are nice convenient personal notifications similar to RSS updates. The other way to see your Cards in the GEL launcher is while at the home screen just swipe to the right and drag open the Google Now section to the launcher. All your Card updates will be here, and if its something old or you no longer care to see a notification imperfectly just swipe it away and it won’t appear till its more up to date with information. Warning from user experience, I swiped away my weather card once by accident and I couldn’t force it back into the card list. Dont worry, it does come back when the weather widget refreshes, which is normally every hour.

 

Apps  

The Note 3 is equipped with an awesome infrared blaster that can be used to send IR commands to TVs and other devices that use IR remotes. The stock samsung remote app works, but only for one device at a time and it lacks buttons. When you have a surround sound system, cable box, dvd or ect, connected to your tv only being able to control one at a time can dull the experience of using a phone as an ultimate universal remote. The app i’ve found to be more useful was Smart IR Remote on the Google Play Store. This app allows you to build widgets with multiple IR commands for multiple devices and more button options. For example, my widget has a power button that sends an IR command to the cable box which turns the tv on automatically via Consumer Electronics Control’s (CEC) and the volume buttons on the same widget control my surround sound. Since I have more then one HDMI media device plugged into my tv at a time i really need an input button which the stock remote failed to have making it pointless to use. Also Smart IR Remote has a built in Tasker Plugin for tasker commands. Making it possible for me to use my Google Now API mod with AutoVoice and Tasker to control my IR devices without even touching my phone. For example, I can trigger google now by saying “okay google” then ill do a voice search i predestined to a tasker event, like “tv on” , or “Netflix play “whatever”, and watch the magic happen. Simply the best IR remote app on the market and the easiest to setup.

 

Utilization

Using the Note 3 to the fullest with GEL, Google Now and Smart IR Remote could be considered advanced android tweaking so ill try to keep it basic. With the Note 3’s IR blaster and the Smart IR Remote app you can use your phone to control any IR device. Using a phone as a remote for everything in your life is so natural since its the one thing that spends the most time in your hand and odds are when you want to change the channel or power off/on the tv your phones not much farther than your pocket, when the remote is almost always a treasure hunt. It gets even more convenient when you add GEL and Google Now API app into the mix. Using GEL’s “okay google” feature and the Google Now API mods you can set google now searches to trigger events. So all you’ll have to do after the setup with tasker and smart ir remote to turn on/off your tv is say “ok google” , “TV on/off” or whatever you want the command to be. Google’s GEL also lets you use google now from the lock screen so if you have daydream mode on and your phones charging you can just speak and control, otherwise you’ll have to make sure the screens on to get google to listen. I can’t express enough how awesome it is to just speak out loud at any given time and my commands are met by google thanks to tasker. If you want to use your phone to its fullest I suggest you start here.

 

By Kenn

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1 thought on “Galaxy Note 3”

  1. Can you tell me if after rooting and installing a rom if there is a way to wipe and reinstall original OS much like Matt’s Batman utility for the older Droid Razr? I’ve been searching off and on for days with no luck . Thanks!

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