POST A COMMENT

304 Comments

Back to Article

  • shaolin95 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "Whereas the Note 3 felt and looked a lot like a blown up SGS3, the Note 4 is likewise a bit like a larger SGS4, although I honestly see bits of SGS2 in it."

    Awesome so where can I get this new Note 4? LOL
    Reply
  • speconomist - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Yep, scrolled down here to let Brian know about the Note numeration Reply
  • sfaerew - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    All Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 devices didn't have GLbenchmark 2.5.1 battery life testing :-) why?
    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7335/58195...
    Reply
  • xhanku - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Note 3(T-mo) has 8mp cam? Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 platform which seems to manage power a lot better than the outgoing Snapdragon 600."

    One thing I didn't realise until someone told me y'day was the S800 has the LTE modem integrated onto it (presumably on-die?) - similar to the 400 but different from the 600 which uses a discrete modem.

    This must def be a nice help to batt life.

    J
    Reply
  • Jaseemxx91 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Typo in the first Page

    Camera :

    Galaxy Note 3 is listed as 8mp and Galaxy Note as 13mp
    Reply
  • shaolin95 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Yeah guess someone was a bit sleepy...check my Quote too ...NOTE 4! :D Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Brian, I am suprized you didn't go as in depth as Ars did with regards to Samsung's benchmark cheating. This is typical Samsung, and I think this should be clearly noted in your review.
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/galaxy-note...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    We've been struggling with how to deal with this one for a little while now. Unfortunately this optimization is far more widespread among Android OEMs and not limited to Samsung or the Galaxy Note 3. We hinted at it in our original international SGS4 investigation and tried to get other OEMs to stop back then as well but with little success. Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You can deal with it by calling it what is is. Cheating. Reply
  • Nathillien - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You whine too much LOL (as many others posting here). Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I agree that it's cheating.

    The results don't represent real-world use. Benchmarks are supposed to represent real-world use.

    Geekbench actually runs real programs, for example.
    Reply
  • Che - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Since when do canned benchmarks really represent real world use?

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but benchmarks are very controlled, tightly scripted, and only give you details on the one thing they are measuring. The only way to define real world performance is by..... Using said device in the real world for a period of time.

    I care more for his comments on the actual use of the phone, this will tell you more than any benchmark.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    They are meant to be a way of measuring the relative performance that you'll get with real world use.

    Whatever the actual benchmark, provided some element of that benchmark is similar to something you'll do on the device, the relative performance of different phones should give you a reasonable indication how they will relatively perform in real world use.

    The problem is when companies specifically enable 'benchmark boosters' to artificially boost the phone above what is normally possible for real world use, and thus the relative scores of the benchmark which were previously useful are not.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    So you are a kid that owns a Samsung phone. Yes, it really is that obvious. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Handbag. Reply
  • runner50783 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Why is this cheating?, is not that they are swapping CPUs or anything, the SoC is still running under specification, so, get over it.

    What this make is benchmarks irrelevant, because Manufactures can tweak their kernels to just get better scores that do not reflect daily use.
    Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    No, it is not running under the specification that the consumer will get.

    They raise the thermal headroom, lock the speed to 2.3 ghz (which would normally kill battery time and cause heat issues). Now if Anand would test the battery life while looping the benchmark tests, then it would be fine as the discrepancy would show up. However, he uses a completely different metric to measure battery life.

    Thus, Samsung is able to artificially inflate only their benchmark scores (the only time the "boost" runs is during specific benchmark programs) while hiding said power usage to get those scores.
    Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It's cheating because the resuts can't be reproduced in the real world for real users.

    Geekbench uses real-world tests, and they need to represent real use.

    Samsung artificially raises the speed of Geekbench so that, for example it's BZip2 compress speeds can't be reproduced when I run BZip2 compress.

    Samsung doesn't allow me to run BZip2 as fast as they run it in benchmarks. Samsung gives the benchmarks a cheat to make them run faster than what the regular user would see.
    Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    You know, you'd think benchmark authors would figure this stuff out and provide a tool to be used with their benchmark to obfuscate the program so that it can't be recognized by cheats like this. Whatever values the cheaters are keying off of when analyzing the program, just make those things totally alterable by the installation tool. If the benchmark program ends up with a randomized name, it is still usable for benchmarking purposes and the cheaters cannot tell its the benchmark they are trying to cheat on.

    Seriously why do I have to be the one to always think of all of the obvious solutions to these problems!??! Same thing happens at work! lol
    Reply
  • cupholder - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    How is it cheating if everyone does it? Considering phone benchmarks should be used as a comparative rather than an absolute, it really should not matter in the end. Reply
  • PeterBe - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Is it cheating? If you had bought one of these with your own money -- being an Android fan, gadget hound and hoping to get the best -- would you not feel a little cheated? No? Wow! Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You can ask Ben Johnson or Lance Armstrong the same thing. In the end, they were still cheating even though everyone else was as well. Reply
  • DERSS - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Obviously, not "everyone".

    LG does not do it, and this is the only reason why LG G2 "lags" in tests, while in reality the SoC and the frequency are IDENTICAL.
    Reply
  • shadowofthesun - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7384/state-of-cheati...

    Misinformed indignation is always adorable...
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    You can't be serious. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Biscuit. Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    It would still be cheating even if everyone did it.

    But everyone DOESN'T do it.

    So it's an irrelevant question.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    And you can only use them as a comparative measure accurately if the manufacturers aren't cheating. Reply
  • bigpics - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    In education it's called "teaching to the test"... ...for the standardized ones the kids take once a year. Even a bigger scandal. By far. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Cheesecake. Reply
  • Talks - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    Hmmm… it seems to me that almost all of the commenters here, are Americans; thus, a certified Apple Fanboys!, and this certainly includes Ars Technica, AnandTech and many others! That, is the very reason why, all product that is needed to be reviewed (as the market demands), those are which directly competitors of Apple, especially Samsung, for sure; all possible types of professionally conjured praises shall certainly be provided just to pelt there most hidden agenda of wanting the very downfall of Samsung, believing that by doing so, Apple products specially iPhone 5S and beyond, will go up again to the top, hoping to become again the number one selling Smartphone of 2013 and beyond! Oh come-on…, don’t be too obvious, and envious!!! Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    Dude you're the only one on here who seems to have issues. And Anandtech is a fully international site with an international audience. Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - link

    You should get a first name....'Stop'....and maybe add an 'ing' to the end of your handle here. Where did this completely off the wall comment come from? Left field anyone?
    Anyway...sorry to let you in, the 5s isn't hoping....it's happened. 'Again'. Number one selling smartphone of 2013. Doesn't mean much. There's a LOT of choice outside of the limited iOS world....which with choice and expanded options will always make it tough for even the largest and most successful OEMs ala Samsung to best them with a single product to product comparison.
    It's a good, no.....a GREAT thing to have such phenomenal competition between vendors. We're the beneficiary....seems like overnight we were able to put the power of yesterday's laptop in our pocket! These things SCREAM! The 5, 5s, Note3, G2, S4---it's funny to me ANYone that appreciates and enjoys technology so much could be against one or anti the 'other'. Between the pair....or in each the Play Store and the App Store have more software available than anytime in history for ANY computing platform....and comparing the Note 3 to it's older, two year old sibling....improvements I'm computing and graphics are in the neighborhood of 1500-2000% increases! That's blowing Moore's law out of the water man!
    Enjoy them all. Buy what you can. But don't spew bullshit on websites beyond your comprehension and knowledge. Just kinda 'outs' ya as a dumbass....at worst, ignorant at best. ;)

    J
    Reply
  • Dribble - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Name and shame - once the PR for getting caught doing this has more impact then the positive PR you gain from cheating it'll stop. Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anand, as it stands, this review is a farce. All it is doing is encouraging Samsung to continue it's deception. If reputable sites such as your own don't call this out and make a big fuss about it, then why would they stop? We all know Samsung's ethics are rather questionable as it is. Let's not encourage them. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    We did call it out in the review. The problem with only circumventing it on the Note 3 is that other devices do it as well. We can work towards circumventing it everywhere, but we can't selectively choose when to enable/disable it. Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Then don't bother benchmarking it then. If you can't come out and say that the numbers listed in the benchmarks reflect the Device's User Experience, then don't bother benchmarking them. Just leave the page blank.

    What you are doing is condoning fraud. This is like the manufacturer of a car giving you a car to test, just that when the GPS detects that you go o the racetrack to test the speed of the vehicle, it switches to a brief higher power mode that would never be presented otherwise to the consumer and is unsustainable long term. (you get the drift)

    By publishing the benchmarks, you have only condoned the practice you claim to disdain.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I agree. Frankly, the attempt to minimize/brush aside the blatant cheating Samsung is doing has me questioning Anandtech's objectivity. Even if it's not possible to catch the cheaters every single time, that's no excuse for letting them get away with it when it's a major impact and doing so is trivial to do. Reply
  • bubblesmoney - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    surely they will tread carefully on pointing out the bad points, thats the quid pro quo for getting access to devices before they are released to the public. Their reasons for treading softly on this issue and the region locking issue is obvious.

    I know they briefly mentioned region locking, but isnt a hardware site actually meant to mention that a phone meant for power business uers actually being gimped and a so called business phone wont work abroad as it will ask for an unlock code when a foreign sim which is in the MCC list wont work for making calls. only way it will work is using costly roaming. Nice way for samsung to shaft its end users and get nice kick backs from networks to samsung so that their network gets preference as to what is blocked and what is not. see proof of region blocks with links on my posts on the trustedreviews article http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/galaxy-note...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    We definitely didn't minimize/brush aside blatant cheating. We were the first to report this story back in July: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7187/looking-at-cpug... The story is nothing new, it's the same thing (minus the GPU max clock manipulation). Reply
  • klagermkii - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    That article makes it sound like it's a Samsung specific thing that was a problem, but now Brian makes it sound like it's across the whole smartphone industry. I never saw any article about that. Is it all of the manufacturers? Does iOS do it as well and does it impact 3DMark there when we're comparing offscreen rendering to Android? When we have benchmarks that include old and new devices, did the old devices not include the optimisations and thus the real world improvement you'd see with an upgrade isn't as big? When did this application targeting start? Reply
  • equals42 - Friday, October 11, 2013 - link

    I think Chillin1248 was correct. If you know that the results are compromised do not publish them. I don't know that reviewers from other market segments would continue to quote results if they knew them to be wrong.

    Think of Consumer Reports reporting efficiency numbers on cars or dishwashers if they knew the results were skewed. They just wouldn't and they'd be beating the manufacturer over the head until the practice stopped. Major news outlets would catch on and cause a furor.

    The apparent resignation to the practice that many of these sites promote is part of the problem.
    Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anandtech definitely lost a lot of credibility by even allowing these cheat results to be published. Reply
  • cupholder - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Apple fanboy detected. Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Moron alert. Reply
  • Talks - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    hmmm. want a real-world benchmark? see this, and comment afterwards:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXX_35xy8Rc

    then, enjoy your iPhone 5S......
    Reply
  • PC Perv - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Think hard about what those "other OEMs" might be.

    Perhaps a certain fruit-named corporation this site gave ravishing reviews very recently?
    Or how about the almighty that this site and some of its staffs admire/worship. I thought I'd heard something about the almighty cheating on Antutu or something.

    Hard to keep a straight face when you are already in the deep. You reap what you sow.
    Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    So why keep using the benchmark if they're invalid by cheats? Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    Why would you spend A) Time to read the article, understand it and come to your own 'conclusions' ....and B) take the time to comment after the fact....an an article written, on a site 'taken over' by the mighty 'fruit-named corporation'?
    Man...another DBag alert. I take total exception to your wisdom, age and/or maturity. Find a site you trust. Read that one. Respond to that one. Go away. As an iPhone 5s and Note 3 owner, this review....as well as the 5s review echo my near six month experiences with both products. Just happened across your silky comment. Cheating is cheating. Anand was the first to find AND exploit/expose it. Initially it was during testing of a Samsung handset. Since August, he's now learned (and edited the review to reflect this) Snapdragon equipped sets from several OEMs are exploiting the same 'cheat'. IOW, this isn't inherent to Samsung. iOS he's also made extremely clear that he doesn't 'believe' it's being done...Apple denies any tinkering but he/they (Anand & Brian) aren't able to 'guarantee with confidence' if they are or not. iOS is locked down. As is the A7. Different system and sounds like it's an extremely secure chip and tough to reach the 'root' in order to absolutely confirm or deny with certainty. It's in all recent reviews. They've done more than any other....Ars took Anand's original post as a 'link back' article when discovered. Doesn't matter. Neither is the NY times, Chicago tribune or Brian Williams's nightly NBC newscast. It's a tech site. Of Sammy's billion customers and Apple's half billion....there's an extremely small percentage that will hear, know or but none the wiser of these benchmarks. That they've 'cheated'. Or that they even EXIST. The iPhone 5s and Note 3 are marvels in engineering. Their app and software selections these days are astounding. As a 42 year old avid fan if technology....and growing up with an Apple IIe as my first computer in the early 80s....I'm astounded by the power, speed, displays, battery life....connectivity and LTE speeds, media, mags and music and movies and photography manipulation, motion picture creation...cameras being used by Nat Geo on world shoots. A few ounces. In our pocket...faster than computers a half decade ago, more reliable and faster 'internet access', email download and sends, SMS and Skype/FaceTime. All genuine and powerful apps. GarageBand. The entire productivity suite....both OSx'ea iOS version and a half dozen options in the Play store with excellent editing and creation options for the MS office suite, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. And again, all that in your pocket
    What amazes me more....dbags jumping in claiming someone else is an iOS (or Android) 'fanboy' because he or she disagrees with this scandal. That is SILLY! These speeds can't be replicated in a game or number crunching and extended CPU load times with the battery life anything but an hour, maybe 75 minutes. It's a sham. Should be stopped. Anand's done his job. You should A) apologize or B) leave. Don't comment. Find a hobby and site you enjoy and 'trust'
    J
    Reply
  • barry spock - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I don't usually bother to comment here but I agree with the above comment. It doesn't matter if it's samsung or android that's playing funny buggers. The fact that the benchmarks are being tampered with it should be clearly stated in every review involved. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    It was. Several times. Your comment is *utterly* pointless. Reply
  • bigpics - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Actually thanks to Anand Lal Shimpi and Brian Klug on this site we do know that it's almost everyone in Android world who matters at least (the article mentions LG, Asus and HTC): http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/02/asus-htc...

    As for others, the AppleInsider article quotes Andandtech as saying, "With the exception of Apple and Motorola literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device" that similarly fudges benchmarks."

    That being said, I think it should be CLEARLY pointed out in every review of every such device if unfudgeable benchmarks can't be easily created (or until they are).
    Reply
  • ESC2000 - Sunday, October 06, 2013 - link

    In addition to running the benchmarks, Brian also commented extensively on his real world experience using the phone. So instead of getting your panties in a twist about unscrupulous approaches to benchmarks, why don't you focus on the real world performance that is much more informative and not affected by the benchmark issues? I'm betting that most of the panty-twisted people don't even use Samsung products but just feel the need to take them down a notch. Reply
  • Geronemo3 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    He called it cheating more than a few times. Yes manufactures should stop this stupidity. Plus the benchmarks are for reference and we can maybe minus 10% performance from it. I don't remember the last time I purchased a smartphone just on benchmarks alone. Reply
  • Aenean144 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anand,

    As soon as you published the benchmark charts with the Note 3 sitting at the top, as the highest performant Android device, you've willingly assisted in Samsung's aims with their benchmark boosting processes. This is their goal. Even though you mention it in words, it's the charts that are important as the charts are linked and displayed far and wide across the Internet. The words will be quickly forgotten or are just unread as is typical in the attention deficit addled Internet.

    It's unfair to the LG G2, the Sony Z1, likely to the Nexus 5, and to any other Snapdragon S800 device out there that don't employ the same tactics. There's no magic to Samsung's use of the S800 here. It should perform about the same as any other S800 device.

    But by publishing the charts as you did in this review, you are being nothing but a sop to Samsung. Call it what it is. Cheating. Don't publish the benchmark comparison charts if you *know* that Samsung is cheating. Don't publish the charts if you know that others are cheating. Your customers are your readers, not Samsung, not LG, not Qualcomm, not Apple or whoever.
    Reply
  • uvaman20 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Aenean144 and others,

    I don't care about Samsung and their cheating and if Anandtech didnt bring the story YOU and prolly 98% of the people on the Earth wouldn't know about this so stop blaming them. Blame Engadet, Phonearena, GSMarena and others for that...They presented the idea and they published that (even they knew that Samsung will be pissed). We know they are "cheating" now and LIVE WITH THAT. Its the same shit with with car manufactures and consumption? Ask them why they cheating and go that long that you dont want to buy cheating car and I can bet you did... Look at browser games, they are all cheating and? Government is cheating us on a daily base and what we did? We know to Whine only...
    Reply
  • Aenean144 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Nobody here is blaming Anandtech. We're trying to push them to up their game, be consumer advocates, and not try to be a mouthpiece for these companies. Report the truth.

    Btw, it wasn't Anandtech that revealed the SGS4 benchmark boosting business. It was some dude working on SGS4 overclocking and who reported it on Beyond3D forums. Anandtech let it sit for month. It was Anandtech who made it part of the news cycle demonstrating the power of their platform. Now for the Note 3, it's Ars Technica who've really done the best benchmarking; while it seems that Anandtech is playing footsie with Samsung.

    At times, Anandtech is entirely too politic about it. Call it what it is. If they want it to stop, call it what it is. Playing nicely or doing stuff behind the scenes isn't doing consumers any favors. If they see there are problems, run application benchmarks, look a video transcode.
    Reply
  • dugbug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anand, why don't you just do what ARS did and attempt to create renamed benchmarks that sidestep their silly string matching game. Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Are you implying that Apple uses benchmark cheats like Samsung does? Reply
  • cupholder - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Why wouldn't they? They haven't been able to truly innovate since Jobs left, and no one in their right mind would actually believe at 1.3 dual core beats 2.3 quads in a whole lot. Reply
  • testcss - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Yeah, those 2.3 GHz Athlon X4s sure are faster than dual 1.3 GHz i7s. Reply
  • dugbug - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Huh no... samsung uses string matching to determine if the app is a benchmark app or not. Just create a suite of tools that use gibberish names. Reply
  • itpromike - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anand, can we see the non-inflated benches for this device vs. the iPhone 5S? Reply
  • ciparis - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    What stuck out to me was the speculation that the results were likely to be minor, while the Ars article demonstrated them to be anything but.

    This sort of cheating is far from new, but usually it is met with abject rejection. If you recall, when PC GPU vendors have been caught doing this, they were raked over the coals -- and it stopped, immediately. We have to hold these newcomers to competitive metrics to the same standards.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Here, I shortened your comment:
    BLAH BLAH BLAH DIDN'T READ THE REVIEW BLAH.
    Reply
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    That's not a good enough answer Anand. Samsung and whoever else are blatantly cheating and you guys just post the false numbers in your reviews while basically saying "oh well they all do it". That's not good enough. Ars doesn't let it go at that and they show how they disabled the boosting to give real numbers. If you guys can't be bothered to do what's necessary to give your readers accurate info then why should people bother to come here? Reply
  • Talks - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    @Jumangi: "That's not a good enough answer Anand. Samsung and whoever else are blatantly cheating and you guys just post the false numbers in your reviews while basically saying "oh well they all do it". That's not good enough. Ars doesn't let it go at that and they show how they disabled the boosting to give real numbers. If you guys can't be bothered to do what's necessary to give your readers accurate info then why should people bother to come here?" oh really?!, then why are you here anyway! you, are just like the iPhone 5C that you are favoring with…, full of plastic!!! why can't you just humbly admit that by this time, Apple and its was once awesome iPhone now 5S, just like the first; and by far the truest of the true great innovator Nokia, has now being surpassed by the mighty Samsung! first in its Galaxy S3; S4; and now, the true awesome mighty Galaxy Note 3!!! Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - link

    I'm not so sure I saw or read the same review as you....nor did I see the same charts. The n3 and 5s are top of the heap (I own both). The reviews of each are reflective of their performance. And these two absolutely SMOKE the S3,S4, ANY Nokia...as I believe do the year old 5--& 5c? You might wanna take another 'look'. And then think....if Apple didn't exist, would we have an S4? A Note 3? In their present form factor, speed and reliability, capability and Eco system (software and apps)? Or vice versa. No Android? We might still be playing with a 3GS and lacking LTE demand. Competition is awesome....for everyone. It keeps the innovation going....Apple's 5s is an absolutely unbelievable phone. As are the new iPad. The Note 3 is phenomenal. I. LOVE it. If half you bozos defending one company or the other would give the opposite a 'try' you might just see what the 'truth' is. So many strengths to both OSes. The flagships are mothas. Neither are anything but top shelf. The software and 'app' development community is behind both....but iOS tends to get 'some' types of apps faster, with better performance...and a significant 'choice' of whatever it is your interest is. OS updates on time. Significant resale value. Android on the flip side is amazing when it comes to 'power' user, business and professional work---tinkering, display size choice and customization....ICS completely changed the 'lag' while the hardware caught up. Both amazing systems. If justifiable, buy a pair:-). Everyone needs a 'bat-phone'! Reply
  • alovell83 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I'm more disappointed in your battery charge time metric. We fully charge our phones at night, time until full isn't as important as 2 hours display and 10 hours standby, enough to get you through a night. Or how much life you can get from a 30 minute charge. That's the use-case. Reply
  • smartthanyou - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Struggling? I don't understand. They are cheating, it seems simply enough of a concept to me. The fact that others are doing seem irrelevant.

    If you a review a product that is doing this shine a big bright light on it. You might also consider calling out other reviews of the same product that ignore the problem.
    Reply
  • vFunct - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    A simple repackaging of benchmark tests so that they can't be detected by Samsung would do. At this point just assume that all vendors cheat, and set up your benchmark suites so they aren't detected.

    We want to know how these products act in the real world, and benchmarks are supposed to represent that.

    We don't want fake results.
    Reply
  • itpromike - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anand, what Ars did to circumvent the benchmark fluffing was recompile the application with different package names... could you do something similar, then re-run your benchmarks and update this article? Or are your benchmarks already circumventing the fluff? Reply
  • DERSS - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Do not struggle over this. Put an asterisk at SGN3 results with note that in reality (versus overdrive mode for test) this device is not any faster than LG G2. It would be fair; problem solved. Reply
  • dugbug - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Yeah I've wondered if geekbench will respond similar to the juicing debate among baseball statistics nerds. Do they purge the benchmarks... or placing an asterisk.... or just nothing. Let specs chasers live in a weird little unaware lie. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "We've been struggling with how to deal with this one for a little while now."

    Easy. Rename article headline to:
    "Shamesung Galaxy Note 3. Cheaters Never Prosper".

    Also, put a strikethrough on all the Samsung benchmarks.
    Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    You should ask that the benchmark authors make their tools harder to cheat on. The should randomize the name of the benchmark program at installation time or something, similarly with whatever values are necessary to be randomized to prevent the benchmark from being detected as a benchmark by the cheaters. Reply
  • Obsoleet - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I've seen a lot of unprofessional stuff going on at AT, regarding Nvidia and Intel for years. I have no skin in the game regarding Samsung, the Note3 or anything else but I really find this to be the last straw. I actually use a GS3.
    I'm done reading your site, Anand.

    Call it cheating. That's what it is, you know it. What is your problem? How can we trust you or your staff??? Wake up and stop taking bribes, or whatever is causing you to do this kind of crap.
    Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I agree.

    As an extremely long time Anandtech reader, I am very disappointed that they decided to run the benchmarks with the "boost" in place instead of trying to figure out how to disable them (like ARSTech) or waiting for a workaround.

    These benchmark results should be re-run with ARSTechnica's method in place of the artificially inflated scores we have now here.
    Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    +1. You are essentially offering a more favorable review with inflated benchmarks and actively encouraging this deception. It's no wonder Samsung continue to cheat. Reply
  • identity - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anandtech said every Android device does it but keep ignoring that ok? Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    And because several (he never said all) manufacturers are cheating, the rest have to suffer?

    At the very least he could be fair and run the battery tests with the browser renamed as one of the "boost" apps. Let's see how Samsung (and others) will like how their results show up then compared to the manufacturers that aren't doing such blatant cheating.
    Reply
  • identity - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Samsung still beat the G2 without the boost according to Arstechnica anyways. I doubt people will care if the HTC One uses the same boost(which it does and nobody cares) because it's not a threat to Apple and it's not Samsung, Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    But barely, not with the huge margin that we currently see in Anand's benchmarks.

    Anand, for the sake of your site's integrity; I plead with you to take down the current benchmarks and re-run them with ARSTechnica's workaround. Either that, or run the WiFi battery benchmarks while renaming the browser to one of the "boost" applications. That way, it will be a fair comparison of the Device's User Experience.
    Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Does that make it ok then? Benchmarks are used to compare cross platform devices. Pretty sure Apple and Microsoft don't inflate their benchmarks.
    Would you condone drug taking in sports if everyone doped?
    Reply
  • stajcer - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I too am disappointed in Anandtech's coverage of this issue. I think that this is usually one of the best written and most in depth hardware review sites out there, but to (seemingly) gloss over this issue with one or two lines in the review and then state that the Note 3 has the fastest s800 chipset is just absolutely false. You know that its cheating, and you mention it in the review, but then coming to the conclusion that this is the 'fastest android device' based on benchmark info that you know to be misleading is a huge error IMO.

    Just because other companies do it does not excuse this behaviour. unless more people are made aware that they're cheating (one or two lines buried in the middle of a review dont matter) they'll keep doing it. The only way to end it is to blatantly call out the manufacturers that are doing it. Which means that you cant conclude something is 'the fastest' if you know that the benchmarks are run in a way on the device that it cant be replicated by the end user - end of story.
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    I too am disappointed in the way Anandtech is choosing to deal with benchmark cheating. Either find a way to circumvent the cheating, or do not post benchmark results. It really is that simple. Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    I completely agree. If you know a phone is boosting a benchmark - the point on the graph should be labelled as 'artificially boosted' or words to that effect. Then a non-boosted benchmark should be run. Reply
  • 2disbetter - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I don't know... I'm not that bothered by Samsung's attempt to get higher scores. Their "cheating" as it were, is simply overclocking the chipset. The chipset IS in fact performing as the benchmark indicates. It's misleading, sure, but not really lying. We have long since surpassed the need for hardware speed improvements on any mobile OS, so bickering about performance seems kind of redundant. None of the premier phones today can actually really use their horsepower so ultimately what does it really matter? Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    It matters because it makes the damn benchmarks useless. What help are performance graphs if they have to come with an asterisk and "Well, not that any performance difference seen herr matters anyway, cause we're too fucking lazy to put in the work and do a proper comparison." Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    'The chipset IS in fact performing as the benchmark indicates'

    No, it isn't. The chipset CAN'T reach the same speeds for any non-benchmark application, for reasons such as battery life and heat.

    Your argument that bickering about performance is redundant is also stupid, because if it was, Samsung wouldn't feel the need to cheat them.
    Reply
  • esterhasz - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    I would be much in favor of standardized qualitative testing. Have a set five people panel use the phone for a day in their normal workflow and use a questionnaire for performance rating. Sure it's subjective, but users are subjects last time I looked. Reply
  • Demigod79 - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    Although I too would like to a cheat vs non-cheat result in benchmarks (perhaps mark out cheat results in a different color or something), Anand did state clearly that this was cheating. There was no glossing over this fact, he laid it out explicitly and said that he wanted this practice to stop (for all OEMs that do it).

    He also mentioned that it's unlikely that OEMs will stop doing this. It's easy for the OEMs to do and makes their products look better (and frankly, it's only technical geeks who care about things like this, and we only represent a tiny segment of smartphone buyers). If it sells more products, then they will do it (although I find it about as frivolous as the Nvidia and then-ATI battle to have the fastest GPU, simply for the sake of wearing the performance crown for a couple of months).

    That being said though, this is benchmarks we're talking about here. Benchmarks do not represent real-world usage, and never have. All you have to do is look at 3DMark, which was criticized for some time as being too artificial (CPU speeds hardly mattered, whereas in real life CPU speed matters greatly). Benchmarks are, by nature, highly artificial tests meant to measure performance in a specific area. Although you can complain that cheating in benchmarks give a false impression of performance compared to other devices, you cannot say that such cheating misrepresents real-world usage since it doesn't represent real-world usage in the first place.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "The impact is likely small since most of these tests should drive CPU frequencies to their max state regardless (at least on the CPU side), but I'm going to make it a point to call out this behavior whenever I see it from now on."

    Unfortunately this isn't the case. By decompiling benchmarks and changing package names to disable the cheat function Ars Technica discovered that the GN3 is inflating benchmark scores by 20-50%. Most got a 20% boost; Linpack was an outlier at 50%.

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/galaxy-note...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    This is unfortunately something we've seen on a lot of devices, not just Samsung. Google Experience devices aren't affected, but we've seen it on the SGS4 and HTC One among others.

    Linpack isn't a very consistent test and it's too short to drive frequencies up consistently, which is why I'm guessing it's an outlier. The 20% end is higher than expected, it's entirely possible that Samsung is lifting a thermal limit as well as driving CPU frequencies up.

    I don't like any of it and I do want to see companies stop doing it. I was hoping we would see an end to it with the Note 3 but it looks like that was wishful thinking.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Wojciech - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Have you thought about doing an article about 'fixing' benchmark scores by other OEM's?
    If you're saying that HTC is doing the same with One then maybe LG is doing something similar and maybe even Sony.
    Normal behavior by Google experience devices would explain often lower scores than customized devices running on the same hardware platform.

    Don't you think that would be an interesting topic to examine?
    Right now I fear that more and more OEM's are going to start doing the same thing and the whole 'benchmark to determine real life performance' will be completely lost.
    Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    You don't like any of it? But you still put up the graphs and numbers with an "Oh my."? People come here because AnandTech has a reputation of providing in-depth, honest reviews. Most people scan the text and go right to the graphs. Their takeaway will be a marketing lie that you didn't bother to correct because "A lot of companies do that."? Seriously? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    If you skim the text and go to the graphs you will never, EVER get a representative review of anything. People come to Anandtech for analysis and they got that with this review. If they missed that then they might as well have gone to any of the other sites. Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 19, 2013 - link

    Na, most people come to Anandtech because they know the graphics will have been performed in an objective and logical way. I would bet that the vast majority of readers don't read the text associated with such images.

    And that doesn't mean that they should go to other sites.
    Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "It's also interesting to note that the Galaxy Note 3 appears to outperform all other Snapdragon 800 smartphones we've tested thus far. There's a couple of potential explanations here."
    You missed an explanation: Samsung cheat.
    From Ars:
    "The two functions applied to this list seem to be "PACKAGES_FOR_BOOST_ALL_ADJUSTMENT" which is no doubt the CPU booster, and "PACKAGES_FOR_LCD_FRAME_RATE_ADJUSTMENT" which makes it sound like they are also changing the display frame rate."
    Reply
  • Scipio Africanus - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Got to hand it to Apple's newest SoC for its phenomenal single core performance. It looks to be ahead of everyone. Non-ARM designed CPUs will be the way forward for phones here. While A15 is nice, it's power envelope is just not that great for phones. So we have Qualcomm and Apple and Samsung only using ARM designed cores. So for Android's sake, hopefully Project Denver will actually pan out so we have some more competition in this space.

    And I have to get this off my chest but I love my Note 2, its nearly perfect. EXCEPT for the GPU. It was at best low to midrange when it came out and now its just low end. They put in what was a really fast CPU at the time and not so great GPU.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It is no more than ~20% (at best, limited case scenarios) better with native code, the BS JS benchmarks should be disregarded because they use completely different engine implementations, plus everybody cheats at those like there is no tomorrow. And if for some reason you really need CPU performance on a mobile, the note 3 will actually trounce the 5s considering it has twice the cores and number-crunching tasks scale pretty much perfectly. Considering the snapdragon 800 has the same NEON width as A7, I expect the note 3 to be a good 50% better at number crunching - software rendering, audio/video editing, multiphysics and whatnot.

    While some might look at the snapdragon 800 for being "inferior" since it is based on arm v7, it is not like the note 4 will come with a quad core v8 chip at 2.3 Ghz, even with a v8 chip it will only be incrementally faster. No consumer device manufacturer will shoot himself in the foot by releasing something better than the bareincremental minimum needed.

    That is the reason I'll be getting the note 3, here it is 25% cheaper, has a pressure sensitive stylus, huge screen, 4k video, usb 3, better GPU and all the bells and whistles of latest contemporary tech... The 5s better single thread performance is nowhere nearly enough to make up for all the advantages of the note 3.
    Reply
  • Scipio Africanus - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I never said the 5S was superior in any way except for its single threaded performance. The Note 2 that I own today is a phenomenal device and the only thing I'd replace it with is another phablet type such as a Note 3 (or 4) or maybe an Optimus G Pro or Xperia Z. I still love having an SD card and removable battery so it looks like the Note series is it for me.

    The 64-bit move is just getting ready for the future IMHO in terms of memory addressing. Using that particular stat as a "feature" is just marketing. The larger number of registers in ARM V8 is nice and does help the Iphone in 64-bit application benchmarks. But most people don't have a clue what 64-bit means except that its bigger than 32.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    The point is that Apple optimized the hardware and software for its intended purpose. No one is running a Monte Carlo analysis on a smartphone. Mobile software isn't really optimized for quad-core processors, and heat concerns limit their usefulness right now. For the purpose of running mobile software, a well-optimized dual-core processor running at a lower clock speed appears to be better than a less optimized quad-core running at a higher clock speed. It's like the Pentium 4 vs. the Pentium M and Core2 architectures. The latter two were superior even though they ran at lower clock speeds. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Why do you trumpet things like "USB 3" when this very review shows it offers no benefits? Does reading out spec lists impress your friends or something? Reply
  • PxNZone - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Maybe you should check that section again about USB 3. There is an updated part. It states that the connection transfer speed is faster with Windows PC that has USB 3.0. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    5.7" Grrr, if Apple isn't going to release a larger phone, I wish they'd turn say the iPad mini INTO a phone. The mini seems to be pocketable, and it's obviously already very close to being a phone as it is...

    I'm sick of having to drool over awesome sized screens on the Android devices.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Seriously, all the apple fanboys b1tch about how the note series is "ridiculously, embarrassingly big" and you want to use the ipad mini as a phone :D

    Well, it makes sense, just like with plastic, plastic was lame and cheap-ass until the iphone 5c, and suddenly plastic became great. The ridiculous review at engadget b1tching about the note 3 plastic while praising the 5c plastic...
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You realize not all plastic is the same right? And you can't even see the hole in your own example - Apple released a plastic phone as the lower end model to their metal device (something they've been doing on and off for well over a decade now). Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Lower end? It is more expensive than 99% of the phones on the market. And in this particular case, the plastic is exactly the same - POLYCARBONATE. Naturally, in the mind of an apple fanboy, the plastic on the 5c is special and magic and full of awesome... Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Android fanboy here... Personally I think the plastic and finish/design used for both the 5c and the Note 3 both suck. Glossy finish on the 5c = yuck and if it wasn't Apple they'd be getting called out for it more. Faux stitching on the Note 3 = beyond yuck. Seriously, why does Samsung keep trying to masquerade their plastics (faux leather, faux metal band on the SGS4, etc). Just use something like what the Nokias, Moto X, One X, etc use. Feels just fine, I guess it can be harder to implement soft touch when you don't have a unibody design but still... Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Well, the big problem of samsung was the glossy finish, the faux leather fixes that. And faux leather with faux stitches is not all that bad, certainly better than real leather and real stitches (considering they are purely cosmetic and serve no actual purpose). Faux leather without the faux stitches would actually look a tad worse.

    The note 2 was mighty ugly, I agree, but the note 3 looks significantly better.

    Aluminum is not really all that better, it is not expensive, it is not hard, it is not durable or scratch resistant, engineering-wise it offers no advantage to polycarbonate, except it is a good heatsink, which apple might be interested in considering how tiny their phones are.

    I don't think Moto X looks any better than the note 3, and I've been a professional designer for 9 years. But hey, let's not forget samsung is a Korean company, people there are quite wacky in lots of ways. That may be the reason samsung is doing all that stuff with plastic, which other cultures perceive in a very different way than the native market.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Last but certainly not least, since the back cover is actually replaceable you can just wait a few weeks and get whatever finish you want. If faux leather with faux stitches is really such a downer for you, you are not out of choice (unlike with the direct competition).

    I don't mind the faux leather when it comes to its looks, however, I feel the white one will get quite dirty quite fast, and overall it will capture dirt in the "pores" and "folds" of the "leather" and it will be harder to clean.
    Reply
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You realize repeating stuff like "fanboy" makes you sound even less intelligent than your conclusions suggest? This is a tech discussion site, you might want to start acting like it instead of out of childish anger. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    So you fanboy are out of any actual arguments, clutching to the straw that is your ridiculous claim that the use of the word fanboy dictates poor intellect. Fanboy is a very descriptive term, that is the reason I prefer it because it is indicative of stupidity, but not of the one who uses the term but the one, targeted by it.

    Or maybe it was officially accepted that only dumb people use "fanboy" and I missed it?

    As you can plainly see, I am not absent of argumentation, you said "not all plastic is the same" but the plastic of the 5c and all the samsung devices IS the same, you said the 5c is low-end but its price certainly isn't. You on the other hand seem to have nothing on me, so ... make the conclusion if you can ;)
    Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    It's officially accepted that only dumb people use "fanboy". You missed it. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    The feel of the plastic on a 5C or Lumia is not at all the same and Anand and Brian agree on this. You are BY FAR the outlier here!

    Both of those devices have essentially plastic unibodies while the Samsung devices always have a rinky dink shell that feels like something from a happy meal toy.
    Reply
  • imaletufinish - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Now you sound like Billy Mays. "BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE...THIS PHONE IS MADE FROM SPACE-AGE PLASTIC POLYMERS!!!" Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Giant screen Windows Phones are just around the corner. Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Another hunk of derivative plastic junk from Samsung. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    And we should care about an idiotic comment from someone with Apple fanboi written all over their username because...? Reply
  • dugbug - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    because its another hunk of derivative plastic junk from Samsung? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Derivative of what? Their own previous products? :) Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Cabbage. Reply
  • budabellyx - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Reviews like this are why I started coming back to Anandtech. I'm glad to see such a thorough review on a mobile device. Thank you for your hard work. Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Ugh, did you read any of the comments before posting that?
    While I'd normally wholeheartedly agree with you, this review is the worst I've seen Anandtech post. I'm bitterly disappointed to be honest.
    Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I read all of them, and it doesn't really matter to me at all. I still think it was an excellent review. I think Anand could call them out but you're blowing it out of proportion. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Ugh, do you realise some people read reviews before the comments section?
    /swipes hair out of face
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Benchmark shenanigans aside, the Note 3 does seem to be an excellent device. It'll be popular in Asia, but not in the US, where Apple's "you need to buy an ipad with your small iphone" brainwashing prevails. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Well, even though pretty much every US website is heavily biased toward apple and skews reviews as well as conclusions in its favor (especially against a foreign direct competitor to apple like samsung), no amount of bias can make up for the tremendous difference between the two products. The way I see it, the only advantage the 5s has is slightly better single threaded performance, and not by all that much in native benches, in every other aspect the note 3 is superior. The note 3 can do pretty much everything the 5s can do, besides making up for poor self-esteem as much as apple products, but it is not the same the other way around, the 5s is small, has no stylus and so on. Reply
  • DukeN - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Anandtech is a prime example of this.

    The Apple products and news are covered in vast, but others are neglected based on personal opinion of some of the contributors IMO.

    BB is a prime example. As much as I dislike Blackberry's last few products, Anand could have given them them the courtesy of a single BB OS 6 or OS 7 device review. Blackberry did have a 10 or 15% market share a couple of years back when the 9900 launched, but no writeups to be found here.
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I've started to checking to see if I'm reading an American review. Even the British and Aussie reviews are not so ridiculously biased. I remember reading a comment a few days ago that it's because all American journalists use Apple stuff, hence the inherent bias. Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Wait... "Anandtech is a prime example of this".

    Anandtech? the same site that has been bashed in the previous comments, for not being harsh enough on Samsung for artificially inflating benchmark scores? What are you talking about.
    Reply
  • identity - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    A lot of these clones are from other sites, infiltrating it with their garbage. They trash whatever sites their own and will hop on anybody's at the moment. A couple months ago when Eric Snowden came out as the NSA leaker, the whole Ars community was pissed at Ars for releasing info on Snowden's past Ars history. Now, they're the toast of the internet world today. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Historically there have been a lot of instances where devices are criticised simply for being different from Apple in an objectively benign way (see any conversation about how notebook keyboards feel). Similarly, anything the devices do well tends to be referenced in comparison to Apple as well. It's nice to see that approach being phased out. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Bear in mind that you're also comparing the reaction to an article released in the last week to historical judgements of a site built up over years. So your comparison is inherently disingenuous at best... Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Yeah it only beats the Note 3 in all 4 CPU benchmarks tested here. This is also the Note 3 which is artificially inflating benchmarks. Objectivity prevails, maybe you should try it sometime instead of drinking the kool-aid. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    There is no cheating here, it is nothing like the intel compiler "preferential" compilation, nothing like the image quality cheats of ATI and NVIDIA, it is just a quick hack to make sure the CPU runs at its top frequency while a particular test is running, because this way you can get clear idea of the actual performance when not obstructed by power-saving features.

    This hack doesn't make the CPU appear faster than it is. This is just as much cheating if you go to your bios and disable power saving features and run a benchmark. No test result database rejects results obtained by such means.
    Reply
  • klagermkii - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    People minded it a lot less on desktop benchmarks because an average user could legitimately turn those power saving options off for their everyday PC usage, and enjoy that same speedup across all applications. The Samsung cheat only applies to benchmarks. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I thought benchmarks didn't matter? Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The 5s has iOS, and some of us simply prefer it over Android. I've used both and have both Jailbroken iOS devices and rooted Android devices. I prefer iOS for devices I use the most, like my phone. Although a larger screen is nice, I'm not sure it's enough to get me to buy it over a 5S. I still have another 3-4 weeks to decide before I can upgrade. SD card, the pen, and removable battery don't matter and I won't use them, so it's really just screen size vs iOS for me. Reply
  • dugbug - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Oh please. Apple more than deserves reviews, as do the new intel chips. As does Android. The intense interest around the A7 was that it gets that performance at significantly lower clock rates. It is a vastly better chip, and fits the smaller handheld where battery space is a premium.

    What, are you guys begging for more power supply reviews?
    Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    It can do everything except fit comfortably in your pocket while walking, sitting down, climbing stairs, etc. I wouldn't carry an iPad Mini around with me for the same reason. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    As a Note 2 owner, I do all of those things with my phone in my jeans pocket. Regular fit. The Note phones are significantly smaller than the iPad Mini. Thus yur argument is invalid. Now if you'd said kneeling down... Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    No test of black levels and contrast ratio? Why Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    AMOLED provides the perfect black(I'm personally always impressed by it every time). Everyone knows that by now and perhaps Anandtech reckoned it's pointless providing a chart with no bar next to the Note3. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    White levels are good on the iphone - they are included in the review. Black levels are inferior on the iphone - no need to include those in the review...

    Not to mention once again not a single native and multi-threaded CPU bench compares the note 3 to the 5s, probably because it will reveal the note 3 significantly faster than the 5s, which won't sit well with the "myth" about its performance apple PR created and websites like anand helped reinforce.

    Come on anand...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    We've never included black levels for AMOLED phones as you're not actually measuring anything. We also obviously can't do contrast ratio thanks to the whole division by zero thing. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    There are still ambient factors, screen material properties and whatnot, even on amoled the black is not a perfect black and therefore contrast won't be infinite. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I mean, just because a "black pixel" on amoled devices is not emitting light, it still has its physical properties and still reflects light, I doubt there will be exactly ZERO photos coming out of a black amoled screen. So, contrast ratio and black levels are still determinable. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    *photons Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    GSMArena has "successfully" divided by zero and posts infinity next to an OLED display's contrast rating. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    They don't include a "usability in the sun" column where AMOLED continues to fail either. Why? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Because it doesn't "continue to fail". The display is usable in the sun. Not optimal, but usable. Reply
  • biassj - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Samsung's Touchwiz UI needs a remake, god it looks awful. I guess what saves the Galaxy series is that there's a lot of XDA support. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Word. Reply
  • dawetbandit - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I don't know about LTE bands and what not but, I saw how apple was saying how the iPhone 5s has several types of bands that takes advantage of all the towers if I'm not mistaken. If so, does the note 3 have as many LTE bands? Reply
  • TrevorH - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I don't see any mention here of the region locking issue that's being discussed in Europe. More details http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/27/samsung_ga... Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    There is no issue, once you buy your phone and put in a sim from the same region it is purchased, it is unlocked and works with all sims from all providers internationally. This was clarified days ago and was a part of negative PR aiming to damage the sells of this amazing device. Reply
  • Squuiid - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Huh? I think you'll find it is fairly common for people to buy unlocked phones to take back to their home country. All other 'unlocked' devices work by inserting ANY SIM at any point after purchase, hence unlocked.
    This is just another deceptive practice by Samsung IMO.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    No, samsung want to shun the "gray market" resellers. This is a move against them, but I doubt they will have a hard time, considering all they need to do is insert a local sim to activate the phone, so don't worry, you will most likely be able to get your note 3 from a gray market if you want it that badly.

    I don't think traveling abroad to get a phone is common practice, if anything, you won't save any money. Why traveling abroad to get something you can get at your local store?
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Squuiid doesn't like facts. Reply
  • TrevorH - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Did you read the article I linked to, the one that says "clear as mud" where they tested this claim about inserting a native-region sim and found that it was still impossible to use it with one from another region afterwards. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Maybe a bug that needs fixing. Samsung made their intent perfectly clear. Plus they are not really in the position to afford such a scheme. Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The guy has zero sense of objectivity, I wouldn't bother offering him any tested claims. Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I think all the people on this thread would disagree: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=5...

    These are reports from people who have brought unlocked Note 3's, used a local sim to activate and make calls for a few days and then had problems when traveling abroad.

    So no the region lock still is a big issue, even with Samsung's denial. Also see the responses from Samsung that have been all over the place as to what customer should expect. They deserve the sales hit, as this is a fiasco, coming to older devices via the 4.3 update in the near future....
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Your link is broken. At any rate, I'd abstain from spreading FUD if I were you (unless you are guided by brand loyalty to a particular rotten fruit) - the matter will become clear in a few days. Reply
  • bubblesmoney - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    not everyone who criticises this region block is an iOS fan. all my devices are android and several are samsung. stop accusing others of brand loyalty to a rotten fruit. Let anyone use any device that suits them, i prefer my android but i hate the new region lock feature in the note 3 which is coming to all existing note2, s3, s4, mini devices in kitkat update retroactively screwing all existing customers of samsung devices like me. I have the note and an s4 and was about to buy the note 3 till i heard about the region locking.

    i have posted most of the relavant links in my comments on the trusted reviews article http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/galaxy-note... so wont bother reposting them again and will instead link that article where you can see my comments which link to youtube video proof, various users spread around the world commenting about region locks on their phones on xda and some links to the mcc lists on Eu and middle east versions of the phones.

    also see amazon reviews where i have posted links to the region lock photos of the usa, eu and middle east versions among many other things. please see the comments too where i have posted extracts of many users who are affected commenting on xda. http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1JZ99ICG57AY3/ref=...
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Not everyone, but what about one with such dedication as yours? To me it seems that you actually hope the issue is real and are eager for samsung to suffer consequences. As I said, the issue will be cleared the following days, don't forget the note 3 is a brand new product, and as such might come with immature software and potential bugs. It's not like the 5s software was perfect at launch too, there was the lock bypass bug, which is pretty serious flaw, easily eclipsing a regional lock bug in some cases. Software updates fix this, the same applies to an eventual regional lock bug.

    Maybe the issue is real, I am not claiming it is not, if you were under similar impression. If so, I guess people who do a lot of travel and talk won't be getting that particular phone. But again, I don't think samsung is in the position to make such moves.
    Reply
  • bubblesmoney - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    they are the biggest seller of android phones by a large margin and have a commanding presence to be able to make deals with networks as to who gets on the mcc blacklist and who does not, guess based on how much back handers they get from the networks for forcings its users to use that networks roaming charges instead of local sims. its only a matter of time samsung gets screwed by the regulators everywhere for colluding in managing the roaming preferences in this manner. even more irritating as i cant get kitkat update unless i accept the region lock applied by samsung. see pocketnow report about that. yes i am pissed off that my present s4 and note will get region lock reducing its resale value. I was planning on selling one of them to get the note3. hence me being pissed off as i am directly affected. I would like all my sim free fully paid for phones to work anywhere in the world when i visit my family in the usa, asia and not be gimped by samsung. yes the issue is real and i just want more publicity so that samsung is forced to retract from this anti consumer policy of region locking new phones and also region locking old phones already sold with new software updates. read the T&C of any new software update from samsung carefully from now on Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Stupid copy and paste function, here's the correct link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=c...

    And I confess it is brand loyalty that made me post the above. But rather that being a fan of a certain fruit, I am a fan and owner of all the note device's up until now and about to buy the latest one. So shows what you know. The link has many cases of people doing what Samsung says should work fine and finding it does not and then finding that even Samsung's customer service dept do not know what should and should not be working.

    It is because I am a fan of Samsung and their devices, that I believe they need to wake up and realize that this very anti consumer tactic is going to cost them. And they should change course very quickly.

    The only person spreading FUD around here is you. I am looking to spending £599 on an 'un-locked' phone. For that price I expect to get one that is un-locked, not this travesty. My advise for anyone, is holding off purchasing until there is an official update from Samsung on this whole situation. And before you say there has been, there hasn't.....
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Just hold your pants on - the note 3 looks like it is fairly buggy, probably the release has been rushed, plus as much testing as you do in the lab, it is nowhere as thorough as millions of consumers using the device daily. I expect the lock issue will be fixed soon enough. Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You could be right. But until Samsung come out and confirm, that what numerous people are reporting, is not expected behavior and it is a bug, I for one will not be buying and I hope others do the same.

    I don't see the reason for your comments. One minute it is, there is not problem, then that is not as bad as all that, then oh it must be a bug and will surely get fixed soon. I don't get it.

    I am not saying don't buy the product. It looks awesome, which is why these revelations have been a real disappointment. I am just saying wait until the situtation is resolved one way or another before purchasing and then decide whether to buy or not. It will not hurt if Samsung see a temporary drop in sales, in order to give them the needed message that they need to pay attention to this issue.

    Also I wish review sites like this would better inform their readers of this, rather then a one liner in the otherwise very good review. Other sites can maybe get away with this, but this is anandtech. Informing their readership of things like this is anandtech's bread and butter. Remember the articles on iphone signal issues, explaining the need for the trim feature on SSD's, AMD frame pacing issues and micro-stutter. This is what I come here for...
    Reply
  • bubblesmoney - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    One more post just blurting out what some 'anonymous samsung employee reportedly told a blog'. why is there no official statement on a samsung website... guess because it can be used as proof in a subsequent lawsuit while third party websites writing some gossip with some anonymous samsung person cant be used in court.

    Just head out to the enormous xda thread on this issue and read the numerous reports of people affected by this region lock even though they first used their phone in the region it was bought in with a same region sim and could not use foreign sims that were in the MCC block list. yes there are videos on youtube of people using foreign sims but they dont mention that those sims are NOT IN THE MCC black list on the csc of the phone. btw the MCC black list and csc varies depending upon where you bought the phone to make matters more interesting.

    see xda thread here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2...

    if you cant be bothered with that massive thread then see some posts selected by me on the comments of the trusted reviews article http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/galaxy-note...

    and see samungmobileuk twitter channel replying to me that foreign sims wont work https://twitter.com/bubblesmoney/status/3830427989...
    Reply
  • toboev - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    Actually, the truth about region unlocking is far from clear. The only words from Samsung on this are an unsourced statement from a 'spokesperson' emailed to UKMobileReview:
    http://ukmobilereview.com/2013/09/samsung-statemen...

    Meanwhile a highly respected UK retailer, Clove, has been doing its best to get to the bottom of it:
    http://blog.clove.co.uk/2013/09/25/samsung-galaxy-...

    Android Authority has also come to the conclusion that the "use your home SIM first to unlock" theory doesn not hold water:
    http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-note-3-regi...

    And whilst you digest all that, consider this - it seems that Samsung plan to roll out region-lock to all their recent mobiles, like the Note 2, GS3 etc. Maybe then people will smell the coffee.
    Reply
  • ruzveh - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    My region doesnt come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 platform but Samsung own processor. Sadly you have not reviewed that model and compared it with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 platform. Secondly yes i am happy about the USB3 port but whats the use if we dont get to use its benefits. I mean not only speed but we could also get faster charging of this port and also better accessories supported in future Reply
  • DougFrippon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I posted a comment about this, I think they might have forgot to enable USB 3.0.

    Quoting Myself:
    "There is a number of youtube video showcasing USB3.0 vs USB2.0 with the note3, and wether they test it againt itself (USB3.0 ON or OFF, btw did you guys just forget to enable USB 3.0 all together? because it's not enabled by default as it warns the user it might cause problems with the phone while activated). USB 3.0 is always about TWICE as fast.

    While USB 3.0 has a theoratical speed of around 10times more than USB 2.0, doubling transfer speed is pretty significant!"
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Nope, no USB 3.0 toggle on my Note 3: http://cl.ly/image/2j1U2b2D2S2i

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Evil804 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    was hoping to get some info on the supposed 24 bit DAC. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The DAC is pretty good, -96.3 dB noise level, about 92-93 dB dynamic range, THD is very low and so is crosstalk. It is incrementally better than other devices in the same price range already on the market. Reply
  • Evil804 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Thanks for that info! I have read the GSM arena bit on the audio output, but was hoping Anand would really break down the sound through the 3.5mm output. i have a 2012 Nexus 7 i plan to install in the dash of a 2006 acura TSX, and was planning to flash a rom for USB DAC support. Once i saw a few mobile devices this year bringing a quality DAC natively i am eyeing something like the Note 3 for the sake of simplicity. the SD card also makes this device very appealing for such a use. Reply
  • 1ndian - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "Note 3 is the new flagship from Samsung" That's what I thought. S series is now redundant. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    S5 will come out with a tiny big faster processor, 16 mpix camera with OIS, plus not everyone wants or needs huge screen and stylus. Surely, the S series sells much more, which is atypical for flagship products, so considering the note is more expensive and less frequently purchased, it can technically pass for the flagship, at least until samsung release their new line, which looks like it will happen before 2014 is over.

    But the S series is far from redundant, considering it undoubtedly makes more money for samsung. Considering samsung's primary goal is making money, I don't see how the S series can be redundant.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It's hilarious seeing all the angry comments about the benchmarks being misleading due to OEMs cheating and Anandtech not doing enough about it. Benchmarks get gamed as soon as they become popular, and have since the dawn of time. The real solution here is to never put too much stock in benchmarks.

    If you're the type of person that buys a device solely because it has the longest bars in all the pretty charts on some website, you're probably gonna end up with the device you deserve.
    Reply
  • djboxbaba - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Whats even more funny is people who follow-up by bashing Anandtech for their apple bias! Reply
  • Che - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I agree, and frankly am amazed at the anger over benchmarks. Did we not learn years ago with this same thing and video card benchmarks? I skip those graphs for that very reason.

    Real world performance is not a benchmark, never was, and never will be.
    Reply
  • Diorarat - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Anandtech is known for being objective and technical in making their reviews. I wonder how much more bash would anandtech would receive for not including a benchmark test as many suggested. Reply
  • Gadgety - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The Note 3 was on my shopping list until I learned that Samsung has disabled the functionality of the SIM-free versions. The SIM free European Note 3's only work with European SIM cards. So when travelling, sometimes for months, I won't be able to use local SIM cards, and will be forced to carry exhorbitant roaming fees. No way, Samsung, no Note 3 for me. Reply
  • smartthanyou - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I would encourage others to go read the Ars Technica review, AT has dropped the ball on this one. Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I think all the people on this thread would disagree: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=5...

    These are reports from people who have brought unlocked Note 3's, used a local sim to activate and make calls for a few days and then had problems when traveling abroad.

    So no the region lock still is a big issue, even with Samsung's denial. Also see the responses from Samsung that have been all over the place as to what customer should expect. They deserve the sales hit, as this is a fiasco, coming to older devices via the 4.3 update in the near future....
    Reply
  • darkich - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    ..according to just published analysis on Display mate site, Note 3 pretty much has THE BEST DISPLAY on the market right now, with excellent readings across the board.
    And the performance!
    Both the processing ability and memory speed are alongnthe lines of a high end ultrabook from just a couple of years ago!

    All in all, gadget of the year imho.
    One that I'll be very happy to spend my money on.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "3.0 at present should give you faster transfer rate (it doesn't in practice as you'll soon see), and eventually faster charging, but the Note 3 continues to use Samsung’s 2.0 amp charging spec and rate, but more on that later."

    I thought USB 3.0 only specced up to 900 mA, and Battery Charging 1.2 Specification (which is applicable to both USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices) went up to a max of 1.5 A for "PDs" or portable devices. That would make Sammy's 2.0 A spec proprietary, just like Apple's 2.1 A mode, so they really could have gone wherever they wanted with it up to the 3.0 A safety limit for Micro-B/AB connectors.

    USB Power Delivery Specification 1.0 defines new modes up to 5V @ 2A, or 20V @ 3A for Micro-B/AB, but it requires new detectable cables for > 5 V or 1.5 A.
    Reply
  • WhitneyLand - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Another vote for taking a stronger stance against benchmark manipulation. Yes, AT called it out first, but more can be done. It needs to gain a dedicated subheading in future reviews and ideally dedicated pipeline articles.

    Someone commented this practice is no different that turning off power savings in a PCs bios and running a benchmark, but that is a bad analogy. The problems here are:

    1). Benchmarks become incomparable between devices.

    2). The practice is a deliberate move to make benchmarks more artificial while the best benchmarks try to move closer to approximating real world use.

    3). The lack of full disclosure is disingenuous on the part of manufactures and weakens trust in the industry.

    Call it cheating or not, the results are not good for anyone. Of all the people on the planet who can improve this situation AT may be in the best position to do so. Situations like these are the highest calling of journalism. We think this is important and respectfully ask for your help.
    Reply
  • dawheat - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I think there's a big difference between running your hardware at over 100% in a benchmark and running it at 100%. There needs to be clarity on what exactly Samsung is doing here (unlike the S4).

    If they are truly only running it at 100%, then I have to wonder why the benchmark isn't doing so by default? I'd be concerned then in software variation between devices where the benchmark runs one device closer to 100% than another. There should be validation that a CPU benchmark is stressing the CPUs at 100% across all the devices it's being tested across. If not, you're testing the benchmark software as much as the device, instead of just the device.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Blame power saving features implementation - if you ask me it makes no difference whether you explicitly hint the CPU to go full frequency for a particular task, or the CPU analyzes load and applies the clocking accordingly. The latter takes time, thus the scores are a little lower, because the CPU doesn't run at full frequency for the duration of the test.

    As I already mentioned, this hack doesn't really make the CPU any better than it is, it just ensures the benchmark is ran at the processor peak capabilities and no performance is lost due to underclocking and adjusting the frequency dynamically.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Benchmarks are ALREADY incompatible between OS vendors, measuring CPU performance with JS code that runs on fundamentally different JS engine implementations is pointless to say the least. Reply
  • dawheat - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Brian - your brightness results are in line with the DisplayMate review (http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note3_ShootOut_1... but could you also see if you can replicate the auto-brightness "overdrive" for lack of a better term in bright ambient light? Reply
  • tanyet - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Just wanted to fix the link

    http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note3_ShootOut_1...
    Reply
  • tanyet - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I'm may be reading this wrong but the impression I got from DisplayMate was that the Note 3 was much brighter.

    "Up until the Galaxy Note 3, OLED displays have been somewhat to significantly dimmer than competing LCD displays. The Note 3 has changed that in a big way…it’s an impressive 55 percent brighter than the Note II and a solid 25 percent brighter than the Galaxy S4. For most image content it provides over 400 cd/m2, comparable or higher than most LCD displays in this size class. Even more impressive is that when Automatic Brightness is turned on, the Note 3 hits an incredible 660 cd/m2 in high ambient light, where it’s needed (85 percent brighter than the Note II and 40 percent brighter than the Galaxy S4 with Automatic Brightness) – the brightest mobile display we have ever tested in the Shoot-Out series. An impressive achievement for OLEDs!"
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I consider the ambient light boost method almost along the same lines as benchmarkboost – it isn't something that's there all the time, and it's not accessible unless you're in certain circumstances. Other OEMs have done this, and I continue to measure in a dark room with the slider at 100%.

    That said, the fact that AMOLED can go to 600+ nits is old, even back with SGS2 you could modify the kernel and drive the panel that high.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    That seems a little bit harsh - it only appears where it's actually required, unlike the benchmark boost which is restricted to pointless scenarios. It might also do something to quell the "AMOLED is unusable in sunlight" FUD. Reply
  • JShamoon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    What DAC is included in the Note 3? I know the LG has Wolfson's latest and greatest WM5110 included, audio performance is a huge factor for me. Thanks! Reply
  • RoninX - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Same here. It would be nice to have an audio/music section added to these reviews.

    (It would also be nice to not have to carry around my iPod classic in addition to my Android phone of choice...)
    Reply
  • Nacho - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    What app is used in page 7 to view GPS data? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    GPS Test Plus: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com....

    -Brian
    Reply
  • tanyet - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Was USB 3.0 enabled on this device in the software settings?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34p3YYeWwes
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I have no such setting on my Note 3 plugged into USB 3.0, hence the statement that it is broken (T-Mobile unit here)

    http://cl.ly/image/2j1U2b2D2S2i

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    4k video but no VP9 codec support. Disappoint. Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It has HEVC, and it looks like it is in hardware, since the octa core version of the note 3 doesn't support 4k (no hardware encoder to handle it?) Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It isn't, it's software decode support.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    You really think the snapdragon can encode 4k on the go? Heck, desktop systems are not capable of doing that and they are CONSIDERABLY more powerful. Also, considering the octa core is pretty much the same performance, it should support 4k recording as well if it was in software. It does smell like hardware encoding. Reply
  • TheNotQuiteSilentBob - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't LTE actually has a lower peak-to-average power ratio on the device side versus 3G?
    LTE uses SC-FDMA on the uplink channel which has a lower PAPR than CDMA (which is used in both the uplink and downlink channel in most 3G technologies). OFDMA is used in the downlink only, meaning its high PAPR and its problematic infulences are affecting the base station and not the user equipment.
    I'm sure the ET still has a beneficial effect on power consumption, but I'm assuming the effect is less significant, as LTE was designed with full awareness to the PAPR issue.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Versus WCDMA the PAPR on LTE is higher

    -Brian
    Reply
  • TheNotQuiteSilentBob - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Your'e talking about the OFDMA used in the downlink, but what about the SC-FDMA in the uplink? I'm positive its PAPR is lower than the CDMA used in both channels of WCDMA and its evolutions. Reply
  • DougFrippon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The statement saying USB3.0 doesn't make any difference is so FALSE. There is a number of youtube video showcasing USB3.0 vs USB2.0 with the note3, and wether they test it againt itself (USB3.0 ON or OFF, btw did you guys just forget to enable USB 3.0 all together? because it's not enabled by default as it warns the user it might cause problems with the phone while activated). USB 3.0 is always about TWICE as fast.

    While USB 3.0 has a theoratical speed of around 10times more than USB 2.0, doubling transfer speed is pretty significant!

    Anand you should edit that part ASAP IMO.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    As stated above, I have no USB 3.0 toggle on my Note 3, hence the statement that it is broken.

    http://cl.ly/image/2j1U2b2D2S2i

    -Brian
    Reply
  • DougFrippon - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I don't understand. Look at this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34p3YYeWwes#t=1m45s

    Somethings wrong..
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    If I had the money to spend, I'd get this. But it is still a device of compromises. I'm interested in a 6.5" 1200p device (IPS or Super AMOLED+). I'm heavily thinking about the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, but I think I'll stick with a Galaxy Nexus as my phone and a Nexus 7 2013 as a tablet, since I already have a 5GB data plan card for 18 more months and 7" is small enough to get put into anything I waer in winter. :D Reply
  • aeeroO - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Hello, is there any chances to review SD Card speeds through system/usb/
    There are "80 mb/s+" on the market but as far i remember sgs4 wont support these speeds.
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s4...

    http://www.sandisk.com/products/memory-cards/micro...
    Reply
  • Voldenuit - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    "CPU performance is honestly excellent."

    Considering the benchmark shenanigans Samsung was found to be using by ars technica, the use of the word "honestly" will come to be seen as ironic in the future.

    Since Samsung has been repeatedly caught cheating in benchmarks on the products, why did Anandtech accept the performance figures prima facie?
    Reply
  • Puddlejumper - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I too am very disappointed with AnandTech. To know that the benchmarks are "fudged" but then to continue on and show many benchmarks and draw conclusions on the phones performance just rewards the manufactures for cheating. Samsung got what it wanted. Pity the poor manufacture that played it straight. They just got taken.

    Congratulations to Ars Technica for playing it straight. Too bad AnandTech willingly chose to play along.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Ensuring the CPU runs at its peak stock frequency is not cheating. It is just an effort to get realistic performance figures. The problem is that those tests are really short, so the time it takes for the chip to ramp up its frequency to react to an intense workload is big enough to give unrealistic results with such short tests (most of which less than half a second).

    In an actual, real world performance intensive scenario the chip would continuously work at its peak, so the hit won't be anywhere as significant.

    It is the anti-samsung PR from its competitors that is blowing this out of proportion in an ill attempt to hamper a product that pretty much annihilates everything else on the market.
    Reply
  • Puddlejumper - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Really. Did you read Ars Technica's review? It only runs that way for specific "named" benchmarks. It doesn't run that way for any other program. No one who buys the phone will get that performance (for good reasons, battery life, thermal issues) running any other program. How does that help me compare the performance of phones? How does that help me judge the different implementations of the same of different processors? What it does is make all the benchmarks AnandTech ran pretty meaningless.

    What is really disappointing to me is AnandaTech knew this was going on and after blowing it off with a sentence went ahead and presented all the fake benchmarks anyway. As a long time reader I expected much better from them.
    Reply
  • ScorpionRaY - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Benchmarking is the way to compare peak performance (whole potential). On your PC, the CPU
    will rarely run at 100% but it's still a good indicator when your CPU runs at 100%
    Reply
  • Puddlejumper - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Very different. Phones (and Tablets) have much more stringent thermal and battery limitations than PC's. The point here is that the behavior of the Note's processor is never seen except in the benchmarks. Reply
  • ScorpionRaY - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Unless there is evidence that the smartphone would break at that frequency. Battery-wise, it may lose but performance is another thing. Reply
  • Deelron - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    No, it's a way to compare whatever you want to benchmark, otherwise why would there even be a benchmark suite that's designed to measure real world usage? Whether it does so or not is debatable, but if that's the goal it surely isn't trying to measure just pure peak performance. Reply
  • ScorpionRaY - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    There are suites to benchmark daily use. But the scores mentioned here are purely about (peak) performance. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Can you double check the USB connection? I've seen many evidences that using USB3 cable boosted the transfer speed almost 2x. Reply
  • shorty lickens - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Jesus Christ! My note 2 looks like a little bitch. Reply
  • cdomigan - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Extremely disappointed in AnandTech for their passive stance on benchmark cheating. Please live up to the high expectations you have set for tech journalism and call this out for what it is! Reply
  • Wade_Jensen - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I would've liked a bit more depth on subjective UX in terms of responsiveness and lag/stuttering. I'm sorry, but I'm starting to think that Touchwiz is just so inefficient and poorly coded that galaxy devices lag no matter how much ram and compute you throw at them.

    After all S600 was seen as crazy fast at the start of this year but at the end of the day the GS4 still feels slow and heavy for basic operations compared to any other ROM (except motoblur haha).
    Reply
  • tanyet - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. Touch responsiveness and a lag free experience is what I want most in mobile devices. I can say that I haven't noticed any lag or "micro stutters" with my Note 3 and I'm really obsessed with these things. It's still not as smooth as iOS but I feel that's more to do with Android than Samsung. It took me awhile to get used to not having the bounce back effect and it also took awhile to get used to the speed of scrolling (or the abruptness of the scroll stopping) I chalk this up to patent issues. Mine definitely doesn't display the choppiness I've seen with some friends S4's. Who know though. It's early days.

    I would really love the TouchMarks benchmark to be added to the list of reviewer tools because I feel that it is a much better gauge of user experience than some others.
    Reply
  • Dentons - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Come on Brian. We know you don't care about two of Samsung phone's biggest selling points, user replaceable batteries and MicroSd expansion, but not giving those real, actual features any appreciation or credit at all? That's a bit much.
    Unlike Brian, some of us really, really, really care that Samsung allows us to carry extra batteries and store our ever growing media libraries on MIcroSD. We know you don't care. You dismiss those features in nearly every Anandtech Podcast, but should your personal use habits so prominently factor into a review this comprehensive?

    Apple doesn't have these features.
    Google Nexus doesn't have these features.
    HTC don't have these features.

    It's a major differentiator. For many of us, it's a big deal, perhaps one of the primary reasons many will buy this phone over its competitors.
    Reply
  • ScorpionRaY - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Agree! Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Totally agree. Nowadays micro SD memories are dirt cheap and apple is still charging $100 for extra 16GB... Reply
  • Davidjan - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    Agree with you. Meanwhile we can use this Meenova MicroSD reader to add storage: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Entirely agreed. I'd have happily bought a Nexus 4 for a lot less money were it not utterly impossible to store my (modest!) media collection and photos downloaded from my camera on there.

    Similarly I refuse to pay Apple ~£160 extra just to get slightly less capacity with their flagship phone than I got for my Note 2 by paying £40 for a 64GB MicroSD card. Were it not for this option I would have to submit to the blatant scam that is NAND upgrade pricing.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Whoa, what's going on with the G2 in the 4G tests? It was far and away the best at 3G and I thought the current AT reasoning was that 4G only improved the browsing time over 3G by racing to idle? Is the Qualcomm 4G baseband that bad? Reply
  • ithinkux - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    To me, the benchmarks presented above prove, beyond any doubt, that Apple did the right thing switching to 64-bit architecture. Reply
  • Puddlejumper - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    The disappointment here on this site isn't that Samsung is cheating, the problem is that AnandTech, which some of us considered the site with the most in depth and objective analysis, is aiding and abetting Samsung.

    Read the review. "More or less the fastest Android smartphone we have tested". "Isn't quite as fast as the iPhone 5s but in same cases it comes close". "Note 3 manages to get the edge over the powerVR G6430 in the iPhone 5s." And worst of all many screen of benchmark date that AnandTech knew was corrupted by Samsung but couldn't be bothered to even put an asterisk bedside the phones that they knew cheated on benchmarks. Instead, the explanation in the comments is that lots of phones are doing it so we will ignore it. Pity LG, Apple, and the rest of the manufactures who tried to play straight. AnandTech is telling them to bad, you should have cheated too.

    It's clear why Samsung did it. I'm just extremely disappointed with AnandTech and their defense of their actions.
    Reply
  • golemite - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    It's a sad day when Anandtech condones cheating, and let's be honest- publishing poisoned benchmark results is exactly what that is.

    It used to be that I trusted Anandtech to deliver straight forward and honest reviews, but apparently everyone has their price.
    Reply
  • fusoyaii - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - link

    Thanks to whoever mentioned the Ars review. I've never really gone to their site before, but after reading their REAL review of the Note 3, I think I'm switching to them as my main review site. I've been surfing AnandTech for years upon years and always looked forward to reviews here. I read entire articles for tech I'm interested in and knew about the "optimizations" that Samsung does, but it still makes a difference when you post charts/graphs showing unrealistic "tweaked" benchmarks.

    You guys should look at the Ars review of the Note 3 and learn from what they're doing. Including that video showing the real world lag of the software. Waiting for the Nexus 5 now...
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Why not read both and make your decisions that way..? Reply
  • tabascosauz - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    The G2 came close to the iPhone 5S's results; it's nice to see the Note 3 take the prize for Qualcomm.

    I guess the 5S should really get some higher clocks.
    Reply
  • ciparis - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Brian & Anand,

    I suppose it's obvious from the comments: people expect you to take a stand against cheating.

    Unlike you guys, HardOCP was never known for their journalistic prowess. But I have to give them credit: when someone cooked the books, these guys would come unglued. Every aspect of the cheat would be laid bare for all to see, with the community in witness. The results speak for themselves: cheating on benchmarks by altering performance characteristics is not acceptable.

    The industry will only do this as long as you let it. Sometimes you have to draw a line, and take a risk. There's no guaranteed outcome. But as a reader, I have come to expect that from you. It's a compliment (I hope).
    Reply
  • ciparis - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    One more note, in case it isn't obvious: these published benchmarks on Anandtech are taken as a statement of record.

    As such, it seems to me that the only thing people should be seeing here are results with no performance adjustments, or where you have defeated the measures -- since the entire point is to establish the relative performance people can expect in actual use.
    Reply
  • Blairware - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    I didn't have time to read 18 pages of comments, so I hope that I'm not being redundant in mentioning a mistake in the review. There are only 2 microphones for noise cancelation. the third small hole is for temperature / humidity sensor, just like the 3rd hole on the GS4. I was surprised to see this type of error on Anandtech of all places. Reply
  • jgrnt1 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Though I rarely comment, I've been coming to AnandTech for years for objective, in-depth reviews. I have to say I was concerned when AMD "bought into" the site a few weeks ago. It seemed sort of like the big donor who backs a political candidate. The candidate will always claim that no influence was bought by the donation, but it will always be in the back of your mind. Integrity and trust suffer. The minimizing of Samsung's benchmark cheating is a sign that we need to question the integrity of the reviews presented here.

    Anand, I realize you need to monetize the site. It is your business. You have to pay the bills. However, people have come to your site over the years only partially because of the depth of your reviews and analysis. They have also come because they believed in your integrity. They trusted you. As others have said, by posting the benchmark results in your review without strongly calling out Samsung for cheating, you have rewarded the behavior. People who read the review, but who do not read the comments, will have a much more favorable opinion of the device and of Samsung's business practices than those who go to Ars and read their article. You have let down the people who trust you to be objective.

    This morning, I read the Ars article. I was then on Gizmodo and, after reading their review of the Note 3, pointed to the Ars article in my comment. Then I came here, looking forward to seeing the review doing what I knew it would do. I expected an article with a lot more depth than the Ars review, but with the same tone. Cheating is unacceptable and must be called out loudly when it occurs. Instead, there was a brief mention and then the benchmarks were presented with the inflated numbers.

    I think you should redo the review with corrected benchmark results and call out Samsung for cheating. Trust in your integrity built this site. Distrust will ruin it.
    Reply
  • Squuiid - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    +1 Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure how anyone could consider the body of work on this site and conclude that it is biased in favor of Samsung. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    They couldn't. But these guys are all weighing in after one single review that they did not read correctly. Reply
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Anand, could you please hurry up and post your review of the new iMacs so I can read 150 comments about how this site is so Apple biased? I'm really tired of reading all these comments about how this is obviously no longer the best review site on the Internet because Ars Technica has uncovered something you've been reporting about continuously for 2 months now.

    Maybe all the long time readers who are so outraged by Brian's misrepresentation missed the past couple podcasts, or the article that really broke the whole story: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7187/looking-at-cpug...
    Reply
  • 1ndian - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    "whose awkward double lobed shape gives it forwards compatibility with microUSB 2.0" it should be "backward compatibility" Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I think they meant what they said. The MicroUSB 2 cable is forwards-compatible with the MicroUSB 3 socket, whereas the MicroUSB 3 cable is not backwards-compatible with MicroUSB 2. Ir's a slightly different way of saying something similar. Reply
  • Truth.lover - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Dear Anand. I Loved your site with their deep insightful reviews until today. You are hurting yourself so much by not explicitly stating who commits benchmark fraud and who doesn't. You should take down these benchmark numbers or replace them by accurate ones that arstechnica shows how to get. If not you shouldn't be surprised why samsung et al are not stopping the benchmark doping. You also should not be surprised why readers will leave you. We need journalism. The fourth pillar of democracy. Consider me gone. Reply
  • BMNify - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Disappointed by Anandtech's decision of showing cooked benchmarks in the benchmark table which will be posted everywhere on the web as reality. Reply
  • wrkingclass_hero - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    People, quit bitching about the benchmarks and harassing Brian and Anand. Keep in mind who originally broke the story. In short order there will be an article on Anandtech discussing boosting in Android, and you will see that Samsung is not alone.
    I personally admire the tact that they have shown.
    Reply
  • katherine0james - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link


    my parents in-law recently got an awesome red Lincoln MKS Sedan just by part time work online. site here..... http://CuttR.it/tvtmbce
    Reply
  • JMFL - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Anand and Brian,

    I am so disappointed that you have apparently passed given Samsung a pass on their benchmark shenanigans. Simply stating that other manufactures do the same without pointing out which manufacturers do so is trite. It also encourages future shenanigans.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'm hoping that you both are simply preparing for a story that sheds light on the phone industry as a whole in terms of benchmark tweaking. If this is not the case, I think that your site has lost it's status as the premier site for technical reviews.
    At the very least, on the benchmark charts, results for the Note 3 should be amended with a star noting that there is a tweak involved. Or better yet, also run the benchmarks in a manner that Arstechnica did and show both results. In fact, I can't see any credible reason why your wouldn't do this!
    Reply
  • Squuiid - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    "I'm hoping that you both are simply preparing for a story that sheds light on the phone industry as a whole in terms of benchmark tweaking. If this is not the case, I think that your site has lost it's status as the premier site for technical reviews."

    Exactly my thoughts. I was hoping for the same, but it's almost as if Anand has pressed a self destruct button for his site. This sham review has done irreparable damage to Anandtech's reputation, and given the many comments backing this up, I cannot understand why Anand hasn't come out and clarified the situation by doing as you suggest. In fact, his comments have only made things worse by suggesting that 'everyone is doing it' and so it is ok not to flag it. Wha?!
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Says you. Reply
  • kapg - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    I really respect Anandtech and consider it to be the top benchmark for all tech related stuff.

    That said I am not sure of a couple of the following things and would really appreciate if someone can please throw some light on these to help me understand these better:
    - Browsing benchmarks like Sunspider Javascript Benchmark 1.0, Google Octane Benchmark v1, Mozilla Kraken Benchmark – 1.1 & Browsermark 2.0...are these dependenton/affected by the screen resolution, if so then should they not be run on the same resolution for different devices to provide an ideal representation of the CPU??
    - Why is it that all benchmarks that Anantech runs are not run with the same set of devices, some benchmarks are with a certain set and with other benchmarks devices are added. I can understand that not all devices support the same set of benchmark tools but as that is the case should we not test only on those benchmarks that are common to all devices (or on which all devices can be made to run/simulated).....this is just coz it is pretty confusing for a non-expert as me to compare two devices (say Apple iPhone 5s vs Nokia 925 vs Samsung S4)

    Am sorry if these querries are noobish as I do not understand the in-depth details of these benchmarks and hope someone can clarify.

    peace,
    ~kg
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    JavaScript and browser benchmarks are not dependent on screen resolution Reply
  • Samunosuke - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    In the pc world, if it was discovered that Sager's GT780m consistently benched higher than equivalent Alienware/MSI/Asus etc 780m but yet performed the same in games, what would be the reaction? I was surprised when the galaxy s4's benchmark boost was glossed over just because some of samsung's apps were included. That doesn't make it acceptable. The cpu/gpu is a known factor and should be the same for all apps regardless of origin or use. Boosting benchmarks is wrong, plain and simple. All manufacturers who do it should be called out. There are several ways to curb this:
    1. Do what arstechnica did and circumvent the benchmark boost by renaming the benchmark software (you can keep that and use on all devices from here on out and updating when necessary).
    2. Run battery life tests in the boosted state (by renaming the browser/media player/whatever you use to run the battery life tests to a boosted app).
    Its not fair if other devices either have lower battery life due to increased performance or higher battery life due to reduced performance and yet others find a way to inflate their scores and get the best of both worlds.
    Reply
  • kapg - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    "2. Run battery life tests in the boosted state (by renaming the browser/media player/whatever you use to run the battery life tests to a boosted app)."

    I do not agree with running battery life test in the boosted state as that is not the regular mode in which any of those apps will function and thus the results obtained will not be realistic. In my view battery tests should be run with the device(s) in standard state and having the same set of apps across all devices and the same activity being performed (in a loop if needed) across all devices.

    peace,
    ~kg
    Reply
  • Origin64 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Sitting here looking at my SGS (1) all I can think is how little has changed in over 3 years. Screens got a little bigger, resolutions went up, so did the prices, but functionality is just the same as it ever was. Really disappointing, but I guess I can blame the extremely limited data plans for that. Bandwidth-intensive mobile applications cost a lot to use, so we're not even doing half of what our mobile computing could do.

    Good news is that there's still no incentive to upgrade whatsoever. I can wait a second or 2 for an app to open, and I can spend time opening apps because I dont have to work long hours to spend 600 dollars a year on a phone. See how that all comes back together?
    Reply
  • Kathrine647 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    like Gregory said I am alarmed that a stay at home mom able to earn $5886 in 1 month on the internet. visit their website............ Reply
  • Kathrine647 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    like Gregory said I am alarmed that a stay at home mom able to earn $5886 in 1 month on the internet. visit their website............B u z z 5 5 . com Reply
  • Kathrine647 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    like Gregory said I am alarmed that a stay at home mom able to earn $5886 in 1 month on the internet. visit their website............B u z z 5 5 . com open the link without spaces Reply
  • zoob - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Am I missing something? I see a paragraph describing the IR port and headphone jack, but I do not see an accompanying photo. Reply
  • jerry_carter - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Making a mockery of "The Most Trusted in Tech Since 1997"

    Anand:

    I appreciate your site and reviews and have read religiously for several years now. That stated, the most recent Samsung review [1] falls significantly below your traditional journalistic standards. I use the word 'journalistic' because you've earned it -- working independently when possible and calling out limitations when forced to work within them. You've historically identified significant issues in several products and revised articles or reviewed products when these issues were corrected.

    With the Samsung review, you have failed to meet these standards. I accept your comments that benchmarks from several products are suspicious. That is no reason to not take a harder line with each and every case that you encounter. I have no problem with posting the 'manufacture optimized' numbers provided that they are presented in parallel with numbers for with the optimizations are disabled (or believed to be disabled). I do appreciate that this is more work, but your site, Ars Technica, and others can expose corruption (or as least bad behavior) where it occurs and motivate manufactures to 'do the right thing. And really, isn't that what journalism is about?

    Thanks for your work over the last several years. I trust that the review will be corrected soon and look forward to that and future work in the months and years ahead.

    Best Wishes,
    Jerry Carter

    [1] http://www.anandtech.com/show/7376/samsung-galaxy-...
    Reply
  • ccd2 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    The popularity of the new iPhone is really amazing. With the maturity of the phone market, the trend seems (to me at least) to be away from a one phone does all to a number of segments. The Note 3 represents one of those segments (I own the Note 2). If I were in the market for a phone, the Note 3 would be my phone. My guess is that, in time, phones like the S4 which I would consider a kitchen sink phone where everything is thrown in, will give way to more phones like the Note 3, which are designed for market segments. My guess is that most people who buy a phone like the Note 3 would not give the iPhone or Galaxy S4 a second look. That is no knock against Apple before the fanboys jump on me. It's just that with a bigger screen, S pen, etc., the Note has a different focus and appeal. You can already see other potential segments like where the phone is more camera than phone. To me, this seems where the phone market is headed as it continues to mature. Reply
  • SeriousTodd - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Brian, if you could comment on the subject of legitimacy of this website, it would be great.

    http://www.displaymate.com/OLED_Galaxy_S123_ShootO...
    Reply
  • SeriousTodd - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Brian, it would be great if you could comment on the subject of legitimacy of this website.

    http://www.displaymate.com/OLED_Galaxy_S123_ShootO...
    Reply
  • ChrisMars - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Great review, thanks!
    May I propose to adapt the CalMan results graph in a way it's more easy to grasp at a glance?

    Just putting the best on top would be a improvement already.
    Adding a line at 6505K for white-point deviation would also be good to improve readability,
    Reply
  • SpacedCowboy - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Just one more voice added to the cacophony.

    I started reading anandtech a long time ago - so long that I don't remember exactly when. The nature of the reviews here caught my eye, and I became a fan. What I liked was how things were made bare, with intelligent guesses (always noted as such) and astute observations leading to conclusions that other sites just didn't provide. Over time, the track record was excellent and trending better.

    Now, though, you've just taken a huge step back. Some points:

    1) It's not an insignificant difference between the cheating and non-cheating modes as you suggest in the review. Perhaps there's something else going on rather than just locking the clock to fMax - perhaps they're relaxing the thermal envelope as well. Who knows ? It's all very dodgy.

    2) It's all very well to say that benchmarks don't mean anything, but a lot of people who don't really know what they want, but just "want the best phone" are going to look up a review on the internet, see which phone is at the top of the graphs, and assume that's the best one, then go out and buy it. Tech-savvy customers are the exception, not the rule, and you've just given Samsung everything they wanted.

    3) You say you're struggling with how to react. I'm struggling to see why you're struggling. If someone cheats, you call them on it; simple as that, and you make the cheating the major point of any review. Naming and shaming manufacturers, and the commensurate bad PR is the only way we'll stop them (and by 'we' I mean sites like your good selves).

    The only reasons I can see why you wouldn't do this is that you're afraid that you'll lose access to new products in future, or you're being paid to shill their products. If it's the former, well, that's a story in its own right; if the latter (which FYI, I don't believe to be the case), then a sad day has dawned and I'll go somewhere else for my tech reviews.

    4) I don't care who does it, be it Apple, Samsung, HTC, whatever - name them and shame them. Cheats should never prosper.

    You're in a privileged position. You've gained that position because of your reputation and hard work, by doing the journalistic version of speaking truth to power. It just seems so ... sad ... that you didn't hold yourselves to your previous high standards this time, and I guess we're all just a bit shell-shocked and asking "why ?"

    TL;DR: Such a shame.
    Reply
  • cozmot - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    Very good points, and that sums my thoughts up perfectly. Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    "How is it cheating if everyone does it?" -- First off, it's cheating because it's intentionally misleading; and secondly because not everyone does it. The companies who are not cheating are being shown in a falsely bad light. And I wouldn't have known that from reading this Anandtech article.

    So Anandtech really needs to highlight the fact in the same chart that presents the results. Or better yet, omit Samsung scores on that parameter and say why.
    Reply
  • Samwise - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    Anandtech, please review the Droid MAXX. Reply
  • apljack80 - Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - link

    I think I have read enough of these posts to feel like many of your words are an unwarranted attack of the writers of Anandtech. Let me be perfectly clear, Samsung and other OEMs DID NOT CHEAT, and ANANDTECH DID NOT LET THESE COMPANIES OFF THE HOOK. Let me articulate why this is the case.
    1) First you must look at the device and it’s intended purpose. These are phones not laptops or desktops, that for the most part enjoy an unending stream of power. These phones are designed to sip power with extreme efficiency. As a result, they do this at the cost of unleashing the full potential of the hardware of the phone, in order to optimize the full potential of the battery. Consider all of the effort they have taken to make more powerful CPU’s, GPUs, and bright huge screens use so much less power than their predecessors, think about how much they have accomplished with all this AND make a phone last almost all day.
    2) All of these phones are also very efficient crushing the full potential of the hardware, however, a benchmark is testing the efficiency of the hardware not the battery. And this causes benchmarks to become ARTIFICIALLY LOW. So when faced with this issue the OEM’s have made provisions, to allow the device to fully unleash it’s full potential in the code. Try thinking of it like this, Samsung did not improve its scores by adding that code, but let us see what the actual power of the processor is. Other implementations of the same hardware are lower, because the software and power saving devices are forcing it to be slower. That is why you are seeing these ‘special’ cases, because you could not see what the real ability of the phone is without the code.
    3) I believe the writers of Anandtech understand this at some level, and lack the ability to truly communicate that message to the masses. If you read their articles, they do feel it is a form of cheating, but have not called it in any way a lie. They walk a fine line between being honest with themselves, and offending a company that sends them devices for review. So they have to be careful in how they word things, and in this case I felt their response was diplomatic to say the least. They did not ignore what is happening like other tech sites, they acknowledged it and reported their raw numbers. The raw numbers that the phone can actually do outside of it’s limitations.
    I am embarrassed at what I have seen here today, and I am embarrassed by all of you who have failed to engage you minds on this topic. Think before you speak, you will find more doors will open to you that way. And be grateful they have even replied to any of us during this tirade.
    Reply
  • risus - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    I agree with apiljack80. I would actually like to see this supported with options to run with different loads, throttles, and tasks to simulate different types of real work and then also a boosted all out top score.
    What I don't care for is that Samsung was not forthcoming with this. Had they given the user to choose profiles they would have received a whole different,and I believe, more positive response. It's the whole reason why this is being labeled a "cheat" because the technical action is not a cheat at all.
    But alas this is getting so much publicity and with some other phones adopting this I think we are headed for a profile labeled benchmark anyways. Scrutiny in the mainstream tends to have it's audiences aware and vocal. But for my OC'ing (when avail for n3) I'm flipping on all cores, disable all power save, keep the thermal conservative and lets see how high we can get that bar!
    Reply
  • AngryCTO - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    Besides the reviewer, how many people here actually played a bit with a Galaxy Note 3, before issuing opinions? I would advise anyone against purchasing a $650 phone without playing with it for a while. I have owned a Note 2 and felt reasonably certain to order a Note 3 without trying it in a shop before.
    30 minutes after I opened the box, I repackaged it and sent it back, because I find it very unpleasant to hold. Not because of the size, as some might say, but because the plastic/rubbery back feels dusty and I get the feeling I am getting my hands dirty just by holding it. The rim also feels edgy and looks like a very cheap third rate Chinese thingy. Same for the pen. People do have the touch sense too, you know. But to see what terrible crap packaging Samsung is selling, you have to open the battery compartment, at which moment all pretensions of class disappear.
    The phone does feel very fast and the image quality is pretty good. The software is so bloated it is confusing to use. If they could only fix their packaging attitude to use some premium materials and streamline the software.
    Until then I am buying an Xperia Z Ultra, which is cheaper but has a much better display and looks. I will be much more careful with buying Samsung from now on.
    Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    You do know that you can replace the back of the note III, right? You arent stuck with the fake leather back. Reply
  • AngryCTO - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    This review bothered me so much, that it looks almost like paid advertising. It is abnormal to compare the specs of Note 3 vs older Samsung phones (page 1), and not include other competing phablets, such as Sony Xperia Z Ultra, HTC Max, Nokia 1520 (which is going coming out this October). Of course, Xperia Z Ultra would wipe the floor with Note 3 with its build quality and superb glass covering, not to forget that Triluminos is the best screen technology on the market right now (and larger). This while Lumia 1520 would provide a much better and saner software experience to the overbloated TouchWiz GUI. Of course, the reviewer totally skipped the Software and User Experience part of the review, but he did compare the CPU and luminosity of such "stalwarts" like HTC One X, which is 18 months old. I could not discover in the entire review any negative comments, neither any suggestions for improvements. This phone looks perfect in the review, which is not, as I very well know after returning one. Having done my shopping research as well as possible for purchasing such an expensive phone, I would not compare a phablet with anything else but a phablet. This review is lacking competitive comparisons and relevancy. Reply
  • alison_lenihan - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link


    what Eric said I am shocked that some people can profit $4550 in one month on the computer. see post....... CuttR.it/tvtmbce
    Reply
  • wales - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    Brightness Question.

    I've been looking for comments on this and became exhausted by the repetitive cheating discussion and gave up, so forgive me if I missed it. Brightness (or lack thereof) has always been a concern with Samsung and AMOLED displays when compared to LCDs like the HTC One, LG and IPhones. The lack of visibility outdoors in particular has been a dealbreaker for some. So I was surprised that it wasn't even mentioned in the review. Only a chart was given, showing the Note 3 well down the list at 326 nits, making it one of the only specs that may steer you away from the phone.

    If that was it I'd just conclude, "ok, brightness still sucks," but a detailed display review from Displaymate comes to the opposite conclusion and touts the far superior brightness of the Note 3 compared to the Note 2. (link: http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note3_ShootOut_1... It even gets measurements of 628 nits in movie mode(!). That is a "peak brightness" measurement that Anand does not perform and may be meaningless, but the Displaymate review does note that by checking the automatic brightness box the display is capable of far higher brightness in high ambient light (i.e., sunny outdoors) environments. If true, this would largely dispel the concern with using the Note 3 outdoors, a concern reinforced by the low brightness measurement in the Anandtech review.

    Anand or Brian, can you repeat the brightness measurement using automatic brightness? That would seem to be key information and potentially much more relevant than a measurement without automatic brightness checked. I understand why you would not generally take this approach, because checking auto brightness will often cap the brightness level rather than unleash it, but in this case Samsung may have reversed the approach.

    If I'm off on this and Displaymate's data is wrong, my apologies.
    Reply
  • diendanforex - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    The success of the Galaxy Note has increased our belief that consumers want to experience the high-quality features on the devices more intelligent and that their lives become better . Dien dan forex: http://fxvnol.com Reply
  • Davidjan - Thursday, October 03, 2013 - link

    Cool! it must support Meenova reader to add storage like other Galaxy phone: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • meliketrolls - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    Apple does better things than Samsung.
    iOS is soooo much better than Android.
    Reply
  • josephandrews222 - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    ...all of these comments by in-hiding Apple guys are (unintentionally) revealing--the Note 3 must be, in their minds, a really good phone.

    Full disclosure: I do not own either an Android phone or an Apple phone
    Reply
  • rampantarmadillo - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    Anyone have one of these and know whether it has opengl es3 support? Reply
  • yvn - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    I was so close to getting this note 3 today but after playing with it i see this that display quality still not as accurate as I hoped to be. Even in the movie mode it gets fairly acceptable in terms of color accuracy but then the black and white photos look very very warm more like sepia toned and the white pages have a yellow tint. In dynamic mode the black and white photos look fantastic but then photos in color look awful, so disappointed i really liked the phone otherwise Reply
  • questgraves - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    Thank you so much for such an informative review. I am never let down by the work you guys do here at AnandTech. You have consistently fed me the information I so crave with a non-bias, facts are facts, specs are specs perspective. Your conclusions are based in reality with sound logic. I am grateful for the hard work you do to keep us brand-loyal techies rational. Reply
  • Davidjan - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    Really love it. I would use it to see movies with Meenova MicroSD Reader: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, October 07, 2013 - link

    Okay anyone else think Ars Technica employees (or people Ars Technica hired) are posting over and over about the benchmark issue and how the Ars Technica's review is so great for publicity for their website? There must be 30 comments that not just raise the benchmark issue but also mention how great the Ars Technica review is...given how many note III reviews there are out there, why would every person mention the same one? Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    They mention the one article that deals most thoroughly with the benchmarking issues. There's no reason whatsoever to assume that they're employees, but there are almost certainly a few devotees of the site. The rest all appear to be idiots who enjoy overreaction. Reply
  • Optimummind - Friday, October 11, 2013 - link

    Pretty good & decent review. I picked up a black Note 3 from AT&T and I really like its back texture. Feels like leather. The white one was my original choice but didn't like the texture at all. Reply
  • Gondalf - Sunday, October 13, 2013 - link

    A little question to Brian Klug.
    Your reviews are very nice, still your power consumption pages are pointless .
    Tell me the reason to measure the battery life running a web browser....and don't tell me that this is the more common usage because this is not true.
    The real story is that you do not give the power consumption figure of this device (and many others) with the soc under stress. This Note 3 has a Snapdragon 800, that is famous to be power hungry, so stress it with a Game please, or stress the cpus with an online game client.
    It is absurd your comparison, you can not compare Note 3 with other devices running the Qualcomm Soc at idle most time or at a low clock speed.
    Please....you need to give the real figure of a product, beacuse this is useful for customer that do not want a device that shuts down after a little session of gaming.
    Face it, the more common usage in handset is Gaming not web surfing.
    Reply
  • aryanraj - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    What do u think about Exynos Octa core variant of Note 3 and also why samsung is not able to integrate both the cores in the present note 3 . Only the A15 core works... Reply
  • loopybear - Thursday, November 14, 2013 - link

    USB 3 connections.: Just purchased a SGNote 3 and everything seems fine except for the USB3 connection. Having found a suitable cable and connector I am unable to connect any of my 16gb usb 2 external memory chips to the phone. The phone does not even recognise their existence. Samsung blame the connector but I have my doubts. Can anyone else verify this? By the way the phone connects perfectly to my laptop. Reply
  • fareed0694 - Thursday, December 05, 2013 - link

    Here is a complete guide to root and install clockworkmod recovery on Galaxy Note 3 of all versions. Visit here - goo(dot)gl/DojHhL Reply
  • coexistence is bliss - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    I ran across this review from a different article. All of the belly aching about the cheating on benchmarks is ridiculous. I bought a Note 3 and until I read this article, I didn't know about any of this. Does it change my mind about the phone? No. I don't buy my phones based on numbers from a benchmark. Call me ignorant or uninformed or what have you. I used to be a numbers junky way back to the days of 3DFX and the Diamond video cards, but i got over the numbers obssession. I buy my phones and computers based on whether it does what I want it to do. You guys keep shouting for them to take off a percentage of their scores and then compare it to this phone and that, is it really going to make that much of a difference? Do you really need a higher score on a benchmark to make yourself feel better about your purchase? If your G2, One or 5s works for you, great, enjoy it. None of this makes me enjoy my phone less. Do I care if the G2 or the 5s is faster in a benchmark? I'll just say I'm not losing any sleep over it. Reply
  • fareed0694 - Monday, January 13, 2014 - link

    Hey friends, Android 4.4 update for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rolling now. Here is a easy procedure to update your Note 3 to pre release 4.4 Kitkat firmware without any problem. See here - goo(dot)gl/aerGfS Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now