When scoring products we don't just look at specs, but also other factors including market, price, and more. As it stands, large phones like the Note 3 are still for a very specific market and not everyone may need a phone of this size; this is even indicated in a few of the reviews for the Note 3. The Note 3 also starts at $299 while the 5s, One, and S4 start at $199.
Android phones have been steadily improving and this is clear in scores for our other Android phones. The One sits at a 96 and the S4 sits at a 92 as we speak. If you were to look at the lineage of Galaxy Note phones you'd also see a trending upwards score as the Note was a 76, Note II an 85, and the Note 3 sitting at an 88.
I have a problem with this reply. This seems to be the common trend with "review" sites on the net. First off consistency is a major issue, with no guidelines for an unbiased review. Now as to what you said about market, you said: "Note 3 are still for a very specific market and not everyone may need a phone of this size". The same could be said for the iPhone, some people may not need a small screen phone, fact is most phones on the market have larger screens than the iPhone. It's a 4" screen which is small compared to most other phones, so then there lies the dilemma. How could you point of the Note 3 as being meant for a "very specific market" when the iPhone line has been lacking in screen size for years now. One could make an argument that the iPhone is for a specific market, as with any phone. So with all that said, why isn't the Note 3 reviewed, within it's market (being that there are other phones with similar screen sizes as the Note line between 5-6" over 100). I feel in order to best review a product you have to compare it to similar products. As for your price difference your comparing products, as you said in different markets with different prices. BUT if you buy a 32GB iPhone 5S 32GB model you have to fork 299 dollars, there is no 16GB model so you can't use price as a hit either. Just goes to show the lack of thought that is put into the reviews on this page and the fact that you can't rely on user reviews. We don't even know if the user reviewers even own the phone in question. In the end every review has a touch of bias involved. The iPhone 5S scored 8.8 in critic reviews yet gdgt gave it a 97 and the Note 3 scored a 8.5 and gdgt gave it a 88. They even say they argue for a while and take critic reviews and user reviews into account when coming up with a gdgt score. Which is stupid. Critic reviews only, the Note would be a 85 and the iPhone 5S would be an 88 in my opinion. User reviews aren't up for debate nor are the corrected. On top of that user reviews have no base to test against. A reviewer from CNET might review 40 phones in a year where a user may own 2 in a year. I have been checking this site out for a while but am consistently disappointed with the mistakes made here at gdgt.
None of these phones come close to the power and functionality of the Note 3 out of the box.
What's even more aggravating is that, in your summary of the Note 3 reviews, you don't cite a single factor that would lead to a lower rating than the phones I listed above. These are some of the things that were stated:
"elegant and sophisticated"
"The display is "lovely" and "nice and sharp,"
"Battery life is still a strong point with the Note 3" "The Galaxy Note 3 remains the phone to beat in the larger "phablet" category"
As justification for the low rating, you say that "not everyone may need a phone of this size". Ok...so, what does that have to do with whether the phone is a great device? Does the fact that some people can't stand the small size of the iPhone screen mean that you will take away points from that phone? I doubt it.
If that's the way you calculate these scores, then you guys need to seriously rethink the criteria you use.
Finally, you are incorrect when you say that you can only get the Note 3 for $299. T-Mobile has it for $199.
There is a small but vehement anti-phablet sentiment among some of the tech sites. When the Note came out they lambasted its size and the trend continues. In my biased view, its the New York 20 something hipsters who hate the Note range due to the size (you know the latte sipping skinny jean type). They drive the score down due to their biases. They also hate that there prediction that the Note would fail due to its size. Finally, they worship at the Jobs alter, and it was Jobs who said that 3.5" is the perfect sized screen for a phone.
I'm also confused about the rating for this phone. I'm not comparing it specifically to the iPhone (even though I think without question that this phone is a beast compared to the iPhone).
An 88 seems low. Forget the hardware. There are other phones with similar specs (except I think it's the only phone with 3GB of RAM). It's the software and the S-Pen that I think sets the Note 3 apart from the rest.
If I were rating this phone, I'd probably go no lower than a 90. It's interesting as well that the Galaxy S4 is rated higher than the Note 3. Can't figure that one out.
If you all feel strongly about the phone, you should write a user review based on your own experience! User reviews are important because they reflect how an actual person who has to use the phone over a long period of time as their sole device would enjoy it.
It wouldn't change much. The writers of this website constantly reference us to their scoring reasoning all the while it makes no sense. In the phablet arena this phone riegns supreme. Even as they say, yet the score is low. Go to the laptop section and witness the bias involved with that. Their market is small but even withing markets with no Apple products the rating is still low. If Apple had a product in that market, say gaming laptop they would more than likely give it a must have rating. When in fact my nearly 2 year old Toshiba is superior to every Apple laptop except in processor power. Yet they give Apple notebooks high reviews. With limited up grades and Apple surely leaving users in the dust when it comes to software support ( just look at Adobe software as an example of them leaving 10.6 and 10.7 users in the dust) it comes down to fanboyism. Something they hate being labeled with the response of (we use everything) sure they do.
Ok I will. I just joined and while I feel the sites rebuttal is lame the N3 biggest drawback is that it is a Samsung. My biggest complaint is with the bloatware that cannot be removed. Trying to add a skinning app you you get constant pop ups about default settings. This was a problem on the Note2 and Sammy has made it worse. It might be their biggest long term selling mistake. The Pros of this phone are the larger screen, brightness, Pen, internal hardware, and the ability to add storage memory. IF small screens were what people wanted then we would still have screens the size of flip phones. The Pen is not for everyone but does make this phone a possible replacement for college students who have been moving to tablets with pens for in class note taking. It is powerful and the barometer and pedometer are great. I chose this over the HTC One for two reasons and now wonder if I did the right thing. One was the screen, I am old and the screen really helps with my eyesight. Brightness is a part of that. Two was the storage card, I have wanted a phone to be able to play my music being able to store my music, files and a movie or two or more via a card is great. 16GB phones dont cut it.
Simple, either Apple fanboyism is bumping up the score, or, perhaps its because there are lots of really cool Android phones and the Note 3 is an 88 compared with them, while Apple only competes against past Apple iPhones.
I left the iPhone and love the Note. Now when use my wife's 5 I feel sad.