Note 3 vs. Nokia Icon (with a mention of iPhone 6)

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by maflynn, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. maflynn, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I've been contemplating switching now for some time and if I was smart I'd wait until the fall but I'm not too bright sometimes :p

    Anyways based on my other thread about WP phones on VZW, I've come to realize the best (of a very limited selection list) is the Icon. It is the current flagship and a great model. Here's where I struggle at.

    The Icon on paper has just about the same specs as the Note 3. The camera is better and the AMOLED screen is reported to be better outdoors. The polycarbonate phone is said to feel solid and the display has an extremely high pixel density. App wise, its lack luster, though most of the major apps are available. Customization is quite limited though 8.1 opens up a bit more. The interface is radical compared to IOS and Android. Syncing my OSX/iTunes may be more limited compared to the others, though I'm not sure yet since I've not used one. Updates are pushed through by MS, so like Apple I'll not have to wait too long (I think)

    Note 3, its been out for over 6 months, so in a phone life cycle, its middle aged. Android offers the most extensive ability to customize the phone (including rooting), its a great performer. I've heard knocks on its GPS, there seems to be an issue with that. This would be a major issue if its true. Updates come through the carrier and/or Samsung so that's a pain unless I go with the customized rom route. App selection is on par with iOS

    iPhone 6, presumably if the rumors are correct, it will be a 5" (or there abouts) phone. It offers the best option for syncing and working within the OSX/iOS ecosystem. IOS is a good OS, though locked down. I have no major knocks on it. It does what I want it too. I'm not too jazzed up about the changes they made in 7.1. I think it made it a little hard to use some of the apps. I have low expectations on iOS8. I see Apple taking small incremental steps when MS and Google are looking for larger changes.


    So there's my synopsis, I'm largely excluding the iPhone 6 since its not out yet but I can always wait it out until the fall.

    I'm drawn to both the Note 3 and Icon, I've played with the Note 3 and its nice phone, I like what MS has with win8 but I've not had a chance yet to see the Icon personally. I'm concerned about the Metro interface, and how I'll interact with it on the long ten. I'm concerned about the Note 3's GPS (I rely on the GPS quite often) and its call quality.

    I'd like some opinions for and against both phones. I'm hoping to do a side by side comparison later tonight or this weekend.

    Edit:
    One more thing, I'm not planning on embracing Google's service all that much if I do select the Note 3. That is I really don't plan on using their calendar and to some extent their contact app though I'll probably import my contacts as it will be more beneficial to keep their for dialing.

    I do have an Office 365 subscription so that makes some of the transition easier for the WP phone.
     
  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #2
    I think it all falls down to the stylus. If you don't need the stylus then the icon seems like a much better phone. The ip6 we don't know about yet. There are phablet phones I'd prefer over the N3 but the stylus keeps bringing me back, it's a shame that no one else has the sack to include a stylus/digitizer/silo.

    On the google services, I don't use them on my Note 3 either. I use mostly MS stuff, OneDrive, Hotmail, Outlook calender, etc. They all sync up and work quite nicely on both iOS and Android. This is the year you are going to see windows apps explode IMO. They unified the platform so you only have to code one app for desktop, metro and phone and all the other stuff MS has been doing, they are pushing hard finally in the right direction. Personally I'm highly considering a Nokia 930, great looking phone with very nice specs.
     
  3. MRU, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #3
    Ok yep well I had the Note 3 and then bought a Lumia 1520 and sold the note 3.

    Your synopsis is pretty accurate.

    Here are my ups and downs with both devices.

    Note 3 - Was for me the best phone Samsung have put out, the general feel and build quality was excellent although a number of penny pinching measures stop it from being a complete success. The need to pay for extra back door of the phones for wireless charging was an extra €50 for me.

    Software wise touchwiz which I have never been an exponent of, was 'bareable'. In many ways the extra screen real estate benefits a lot of the Samsung applications such as S-Cal calendar as it made it look less cluttered and messy when viewed on the bigger screen.

    The general hiccups and stutters that badly effected my Samsung S4 experience were eradicated with the Note 3 and performance was always snappy.

    Battery life of the device was great and I could easily eek out two days of middling use with around 5-6 hours screen on time.

    S-Pen is very cleverly integrated into the Note 3 although whilst in the early months I used it quite a lot - I found myself using it less and less.

    Call Quality and Reception were generally good, although occasionally I would find myself struggling with the perfect placement of the earpiece when holding it upto my head.


    My annoyances with the device - firstly software rollouts. OMG the drag for getting the kitkat update was so annoying. Having a sim free, unbranded handset you would have thought android rollout would have been faster - but it wasn't. It took nearly two months after Kitkat (which was already a few months after KitKat rollout to google edition / nexus devices) finally landed on my Note 3. Ironically the same week I sold it.

    Power button placement and Volume button - I often ended up kind of squeezing the phone when attempting to say lower the volume and then inadvertently hit the power button the other side. I would do this at least once or twice a day and it was annoying. This may be my gammy left handedness at play - but I did find it annoying.

    S-View case is great, but trying to take photos with it on the device was cumbersome to say the least, and if you use the s-view window to take the picture = you only end up taking a small require picture not the normal one.

    Secondly warranty and this is the kicker that really made me decide to turn my back on Samsung phones. KNOX is not good for the end consumer - the way it is implemented and the way it voids your hardware warranty if tripped is utterly draconian. Sure Samsung want to make the device secure - but when an official recovery firmware in Kies can trip it and then make your hardware void of warranty - it's implementation is just utterly flawed. My €650 phone was now void of hardware warranty without ever rooting or running a third party rom and that alone was enough for me to say goodbye samsung....

    As it turns out I never said goodbye Samsung - I'll explain later...


    I then got the Lumia 1520 and my experience has been generally very good with the device.

    The camera is phenomenal although I do find it strange that options like HDR are not available in the pro cam app. That being said when viewing back images on my computer taken with an S4 with HDR and the Lumia 1520 on standard / no HDR the Lumia still produces the better / more accurate and balanced photo.

    Separate camera button and with press to focus and such make snapping pictures.

    Call quality and phone reception is generally excellent and the folks I have talked to on the phone since getting it have said it sounds much clearer than the Note 3.

    Email, Messaging is a breeze and the ability to create family and friend groups is excellent, indeed the way windows phone integrate social networking into its contacts / people app is quite genius. Want to check a friends Facebook posts or linked in - you do not need to launch those apps - just find the friend in your contacts list and there you go all their info.

    Updates are very easy - if you want to bypass your carrier and get the latest - you can do so without jumping through hoops - microsoft make it very easy for you to get the latest operating system update.


    Annoyances - mostly this boils down to APPS. Whilst I have found most of my apps bases covered there are a couple that I miss - and for that reason alone I ended up purchasing a Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition (no touchwiz) and use that for those apps I want access to - plus enables me to test my own developed apps for clients.


    Other annoyances seemingly will be addressed with the Windows 8.1 update

    Lack of Notification centre so you can get all your notifications in one place, because I don't like having all my apps on my main screen, just ones that I feel keep me organised - so you can miss a notification quite easily.

    Volume control separator for ringing and media controls.

    App updates within store easier to find ... at the moment its painful.


    My Windows Phone 8 layout currently.

    wp_ss_20140404_0001.jpg
    ----------

    I am actually thinking of getting it - as the Lumia 1520 can be a little bit too big in the jogging pants :D
     
  4. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I actually forgot about the stylus. To me I'm concerned it will get lost, especially when my kids use the phone.

    I can switch to the MS services easier now since I'm on office 365 and I don't mind doing that.


    It may be unfair but in my opinion, I see Samsung cutting corners and sometimes it shows through problems and issues. They seem to slap together something and then improve it. So the irks and problems of the Note 3 will be resolved in the Note 4.

    [/quote]
    My annoyances with the device - firstly software rollouts. OMG the drag for getting the kitkat update was so annoying[/quote]
    This is my major concern as well.

    I agree, its very draconian and it hurts more then it helps, especially with the slow software rollout.


    There definitely will be some remorse over missed apps if I choose the Icon, no doubt about that. I think MS is moving in the right direction and the App store is growing quickly. I've been poking around there for a little while trying to find apps or comparable apps.


    I'm feeling that I can't go wrong with either phone, in part because I'll either pay for the phone entirely, or jump over the Edge program of VZW. I've run the numbers and because of the discounts they're offering, I'm looking at a 10 dollar increase in my bill.
     
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #5
    MacRumorUser's assessment is very much spot on, those have been my experiences as well. I've also never really developed a deep love for the Android OS, it's very nice but it just never really was something I would miss if I was away from it like iOS on a phone or vanilla Windows on a tablet.

    I love the stylus use, but I also only use it once in a while. Most of the time it's for signatures, I should just carry a digitized signature with me and copy and paste that into documents. I still get confused why Microsoft, who was very strong into styli, has not embraced them at all. Their OneNote program is absolutely amazing for taking notes on a windows tablet, I can't even imagine how awesome it would be on a windows phone with a digitizer.

    Since I only use my Note 3 as a "tablet" I've been thinking about selling it as well. The only issue is that then I'm stuck with my 5s and for doing anything "fun" it's terrible because of its tiny size. That's why the whole app thing isn't a big deal for me, the screen is too small to enjoy most apps IMO. It's time for me to consolidate and that means either a ip6, or the 930.

    edit: About apps, don't forget that MS has added the ability for devs to take existing legacy desktop programs and put a Metro UI wrapper around them. I have NO idea how this will work, but I'm very excited about it.
     
  6. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #6
    You are right and really can't go wrong with either - both are flagship devices - and you basically have to choose a little compromise on either side whatever you do.

    1) touchwiz and samsung bloat, slow OS updates, KNOX

    and in the other camp

    2) less robust 3'rd party app market, less customisation than android

    (as spinedoc77 says the app situation now could improve in the future due to the cross 8.1 platform support)


    But for the fundamentals both devices do things well - and there are an even spread of trades / good things between them. Just have to decide which of the good things on each device is more desirable to you. :) :)
     
  7. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #7
    OP, while the updates will come a bit quicker on WP than Android, they still go through Verizon, so you will have to wait for VZW to approve them.

    Assume if MSFT rolls out an update VZW will release it about a month later.
     
  8. Cnasty macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #8
    This is a perfect thread for me as well as I am a current Note 3 owner, intrigued about a WP which I have never even thought of before but the new updates look nice, and also the bigger Iphone 6 possibly coming.

    I enjoy my Note 3 but Mac summed it up perfectly as I have the same gripes. Small ones but still.

    I have tech ADD so switching devices is like changing a shirt for me as I do it often as I can and something new like the WP might be a great, fun change.
     
  9. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #9

    Not necessarily ;)

    Just log into the windows phone developer site with your Microsoft account and then download preview for developers app on the phone and hey presto - jump the queue. Get it as soon as it's available.
     
  10. RMXO macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    @ OP

    Have you had a chance to visit the VZN Note 3 forums? I would recommend you check this site out of you love to tinker. You can install ROM's that developers have created and learn how to root and get rid of Samsung bloat. Phone becomes a new experience after you root and install custom ROMs. Its worth a shot at least reading up on it.

    google xda developers.com
     
  11. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    Not yet, but by the same token, I'm aware that you can load custom ROMS and root the phone without tripping knox. I agree, that with custom ROMs it really extends and shows off the power of Android. I've used a Nexus and a Droid in the past. The former was rootable (which I did) and the latter was not.

    I'm leaning towards the WP phone, but if I can't find any I may still come home with a Note 3 :eek:
     
  12. RMXO macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Fair enough, and GL on your decision.

    I have the Note 3 and GPS is great and I don't have issues with call quality but mine is rooted and running a custom ROM. When it was stock I didn't have issues with GPS or call quality either. Actually the only call quality I did have is with TMO wifi calling. While some swear by it and love it. I hate it with a passion. Maybe it will change once I upgrade to an AC router but that won't be for a few months down the road.
     
  13. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    Thanks, I'll be comparing both phones later on, as I mentioned I don't think I can go wrong either way. I'm hankering for a change.
     
  14. scott craft macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I had a WP7 and two WP8 phones on Verizon and I found the speed of updates to be about the same as other carriers.
     
  15. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    Well, I took the plunge and got an Icon.

    I was mostly leaning towards a windows phone, but I did want to give the Note 3 a serious look. I had played with the Note 3 a number of times and I knew what I could expect from Android.

    I'm not done playing with it, and the live tiles does require some getting used too. The UI is very different from iOS and Android.

    So far the phone has been responsive and most of the apps I've been looking to install have been there in the app store. I know of a couple that won't be there from my research.

    The email app is as good as I had hoped it would be, that's the application I live in, so it needs to be strong. I've not yet transferred my contacts and so that may take some work (I've not had a chance to connect the phone to the mac yet).

    The screen is gorgeous, I'm blown away by the vibrancy of the screen and how black the blacks are.

    Speaker seems decent, though I wonder for a premium handset it could be better. I've not get put it through its paces however. I just turned on pandora and listened to some music.

    I'm trying to configure it the way I want it too. I'll sit tight on some things until 8.1 hits, but that should take too long hopefully.
     
  16. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #16
    ^ not sure about the icon, but the lumia 1520 does a neat trick in regards to speaker volume.

    When you put the device on a table or against any other surface (even a wall) the speaker sound amplifies itself making it noticeably louder, much like how a woofer works.

    Don't know if the icon does the same thing.
     
  17. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    Nope, it doesn't appear to be so, but I'm not worked up about it. I use my earbuds all the time anyways. When I'm on conference call, that will be when I'll notice the speaker quality
     
  18. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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    #18
    Congrats.....I almost took the W8 plunge last week. It is exciting to start with a new mobile OS. I think there is an good app that comes the W8 phones that will help you import your contacts and sync with your Mac. Have you ever used One Drive? You should be able to sync your contacts and calendar out to Hotmail or Outlook.com. Once you have that done you can change your Mac to sync the same and have everything sync together in one place.....Good luck :)
     
  19. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #19
    As far as I'm aware you can only load customized stock ROMs, not ones like Cyanogenmod for example. I could be wrong though, and it's been a while since I looked at ROMs. With Knox you also run into difficulties any time it gets patched, eg with 4.4.2 we now lost the ability to root until someone figures it out.

    Still, the N3 with just stock software is phenomenal IMO. I've found little reason to root, really just for some xposed modules and titanium backup, otherwise I don't think I'd really even bother.
     
  20. spinedoc77, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014

    spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #20
    How is the icon in daylight viewing? It seems it's not very bright, how does it perform?

    http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Nokia-Lumia-Icon-vs-Apple-iPhone-5s_id3585#5-Viewing-angles

    The icon also looks seriously chunky. My Note 3 is only a hair thicker than my 5s, but reading specs it looks like the Icon is thicker than the N3 (9.8mm vs 8.3mm, and 7.6mm for the 5s). For me the N3, being such a large phone, is about as thick as I want a phone to get and I wouldn't mind thinner.
     
  21. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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    #21
    This true for all Samsung phones with Knox....because of the locked boot loader. You can flash custom stock roms but not ASOP rome because the kernels are different.
     
  22. maflynn, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014

    maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    So far using it only for a couple of hours things are working well except for one major headache - Getting my contacts from my Mac to the iPhone. My work's contacts have come over, but not my personal (and I'd rather keep them separate).

    I finally got this when I added google to my address book on the mac. Copied them from the mac to google and then setup my gmail account.

    edit: The one thing I guess I'm trying to get my head wrapped around is the lack of a given contact application, but rather a collection of contacts via compatible services, i.e., its people hub
    ----------

    I haven't had an opportunity to use it outside so I don't know.
     
  23. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #23

    You can create a group in the people hub of just business contacts and then pin that to the desktop so you can keep them separate.
     
  24. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    I was just outside (took my kids to the park so they can play) and it did no worse then my rMini I had with me (I take my rMini almost everywhere). In both cases, I had to turn up the brightness all the way and that made both the phone and tablet quite serviceable in the sunlight.

    Thanks, I'll have to look into that, though I'm happy that I was able to my contacts loaded :D
     
  25. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

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    #25
    Have you had a chance to test the camera yet? Do you find arranging the tiles the same as getting all you app icons in the order you prefer? I like the fact that you can re-size the tiles....
     

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