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Many noteworthy upgrades

Last year's Note 2 this isn't. Indeed, the Galaxy Note 3 comes with a bigger 5.7-inch 1080p AMOLED screen, better S Pen software, blazing Snapdragon 800 processor, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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This screen is scrumptious

The most noticeable feature of the Note 3 is the device's massive 5.7-inch AMOLED screen. Its 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution renders images sharply and in vibrant colors.

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The look and feel of leather

You may not completely dig the Note 3's faux-leather backing ringed by fake stitching. Still, offering a sure grip and repelling fingerprints, you have to admit it's a big improvement over the Galaxy S4 and Note 2's glossy plastic chassis.

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Slim, trim, with chrome edges

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is very thin despite its large footprint. It also sports faux-chrome edges for a retro look. The right side of the device holds a trim volume bar.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Hardwire your headphones

On the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's top edge sits a 3.5mm headphone jack for physically connecting audio devices.

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S Pen to go

Tucked away inside the Note's bottom lip is its S Pen sheathe.

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Leather-like texture and stitching

Though the Note 3's back is crafted from plastic, Samsung does its best to convince you it's leather, right down to putting fake stitching around the edges.

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Not quite comical to hold

There's no getting around the Note 3's large size. Still, its streamlined and sophisticated design makes it less conspicuous than previous Note phones.

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Not all apps are created equal

The Multi Window feature lets you view two applications at once on the Note 3's big screen. Only some apps qualify, though, listed in a tool bar on the left side of the screen.

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See two apps at once

To take full advantage of the Note 3's screen, the phone lets you open two applications at the same time. For instance you can read your browser while watching YouTube videos, if that's your thing.

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Power and storage options

Under the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's battery door is a removable 3,200mAh battery along with a microSD slot.

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A competent camera

On the back of the Note 3 is the same quality 13-megapixel camera used by the Samsung Galaxy S4.

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Loaded with imaging extras

Just like the Galaxy S4, the Note 3's camera app comes brimming with extra shooting modes and settings.

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Note-taking

The Note 3's Action Memo feature gives you the option of e-mailing, texting, or converting handwritten scribbles into to-do lists.

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Mark it up

The Screen Write function in the new S Pen Air Command lets you take a screenshot, mark it with notes, then save it for later.

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Sift for data

Another component of the Air Command S Pen interface is S Finder. It allows you to search the Note 3's memory banks for info that lives in e-mails or handwritten notes.

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Another view to an app

The Pen Window feature lets you use the S Pen to draw a window, then fill it with a view of an application.

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