Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 has exceptional hardware and some very cool features, but you can’t appreciate this smartphone without digging into its software. The phablet, its stylus, and Samsung’s Touchwiz flavour of Android combine to form an impressive matrix of tools that is practically unrivalled in the smartphone world (although admittedly, that depends on the exact features you are looking for).
In the three videos below I’m going to run through some scenarios that will better acquaint you with the Galaxy Note 3 you just bought, or that will give you some insight into the smartphone if you are considering picking one up.
Basically, to summarise everything covered in the videos: The S Pen is a powerful tool and one of the main reasons to buy the Galaxy Note 3, so you should make sure you are getting the most out of it.
This first video walks through how to use the Galaxy Note 3’s stylus. “How to use a stylus” might not sound like something that had to be made into a video, but the little plastic pointing rod (the S Pen) actually has some features.
These include a few cool customisations which control what happens when the S Pen is removed from the handset, as well as more advanced features such as an alert for when you walk away from the phone without putting the stylus back into its silo.
The second video (below) explains how to use the Galaxy Note 3’s One Handed mode. This feature is counterintuitive but surprisingly logical once you think about it. Basically, the Note 3 is a huge phone, too big to use with just one hand. But what happens when you need to use it while you are carrying a bag or walking the dog? Samsung’s solution is One Handed mode, which shrinks the UI down to a window that is just a fraction of the size of the full display, meaning someone with normal-sized hands will be able to, say, dial a number with just a single hand.
In One Handed mode (also known as “tiny screen mode”) the window that the screen shrinks down into is in the 3.5in range, which we know is just right for single-handed use. You can move this window around the display, depending on if you prefer to use your left or right hand, as well as resize it.
The final video explains how to use Air Command’s most powerful feature, Pen Window. With Pen Window you use the stylus to draw a box over an area of the Galaxy Note 3’s screen. That box becomes a window – in a true Windows sense of the word – that floats above the rest of the UI. The window is populated with an app of your choosing – the calculator, clock, YouTube, contacts, phone, ChatOn, Hangouts, or your browser.
It’s worth noting that the Note 3 does have another multi-window mode, triggered by holding the back button. This will trigger the Multi Window menu, which lets you run apps of your choosing at the same time. This mode won’t work with every app, but it’s a full enough list that you’ll be able to get some use out of the mode.
With the tips and tricks encompassed in these videos you’ll be well on the way to Galaxy Note 3 mastery. This smartphone is capable of a lot, so it’s going to take some time to figure out what you need from it. With tools like Pen Window and One Handed mode you’ll be able to get the most out of the Galaxy Note and its wonderfully massive 5.7in display.
For more on this Samsung phablet, check out our Galaxy Note 3 review in which the handset scoops an award, and our hands-on video showing the Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch in action together.