AP Reviews New Smartphones: Samsung Note And More

By The Associated Press

New phones are continually coming out. Which should you buy? Here's a summary of The Associated Press' recent phone reviews, including Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 phone, which was announced Wednesday and is coming later this year.

â¿¿ ANDROID DEVICES:

GALAXY NOTE 3, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO.

Samsung is giving its latest Galaxy Note smartphone a stylish makeover. The Note 3 has a soft, leather-like back. It feels like you're holding a fancy leather-bound journal. Grooves on the side of the big-screen phone make it easier to grip. But the new phone is complicated to use. There's too much going on. Between Scrapbook, My Magazine, Air Command and dozens of other functions, it might take even the most experienced smartphone user several hours to figure out. Once you get past that, though, you get new features such as the ability to quickly access the calculator, clock and other apps simply by drawing a box on the screen with the included stylus. The display measures 5.7 inches diagonally. That's larger than the Note 2, yet the new phone is lighter and thinner.

â¿¿ Joseph Pisani, AP Business Writer

GALAXY MEGA, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO.

The Mega shouldn't even be called a phone, if it weren't for the fact that it makes phone calls. With a screen measuring 6.3 inches diagonally, the Mega is more like a small Android tablet computer. It shares the tablet's advantages in showing more detail in photos and video. Text is larger and easier to read, too. You can read small print on websites without zooming in, and you make fewer mistakes when trying to click on buttons and links. That doesn't make the Mega practical, though, for many people. It's huge and difficult to grip tightly. It could appeal to those who are willing to carry along a tablet computer but don't want to carry a second device â¿¿ the phone. For everyone else, small is the way to go.

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