The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo has an impressively long list of connectivity features. Let's start off with the basics - quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G. The 3G connectivity is backed by HSDPA (42Mbps downlink, 5.76Mbps uplink).
The Note 3 Neo has an LTE-A-enabled version too, which uses the Exynos 5460 chipset (the Qualcomm MSM8228 comes without 4G). The LTE-A speeds are 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up.
The Wi-Fi support covers a/b/g/n as well as the latest ac standard, with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz band compatibility. Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA are part of the package, of course.
The third-generation phablet also has Bluetooth 4.0 LE. It incorporates Bluetooth 3.0, but also includes the efficient Low Energy mode. It also supports the high-quality Apt-X audio codec.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo lets you share all sorts of media via NFC by simply touching the devices back-to-back. You'd need two S Beam-enabled devices to get this to work. You can share with other NFC devices as well, but the functionality is limited to what is provided by the stock Android Beam.
AllShare allows you wirelessly stream all sorts of multimedia content to your connected stereo or HDTV. You can also mirror your mobile device screen to the bigger HDTV via Wi-Fi Direct and the widely supported Miracast protocol - that would even allow you to play mobile games on the biggest screen in your living room.
Samsung Link (previously known as AllShare Play) automatically syncs all the multimedia content on your device to Samsung servers so it's backed up and also available for watching/listening on your other Samsung devices.
And finally, for wired connectivity we have the MHL-enabled microUSB 2.0 port, which lets it output content to an external screen by using a MHL-to-HDMI dongle. Sadly, there isn't one included in the retail box so you would have to buy it separately.
The MHL port has yet another feature - it enables USB On-The-Go. You'll need an adapter for that too (there isn't one in the box) but this one is fairly straightforward - you plug it into the Galaxy Note and plug a standard USB cable on the other end.
USB keyboards and mice are also supported - a mouse cursor appears on the screen of the phablet and you can use it to do all sorts of stuff around the interface.
While the interface of the Android web browser hardly has changed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo has the hardware specs to propel it to great heights of user experience. The Super AMOLED display with great colors makes reading a joy.
The browser supports both double tap and pinch zooming along with the two-finger tilt zoom. There are niceties such as multiple tabs, text reflow, find on page and so on. A neat trick is to pinch zoom out beyond the minimum - that opens up the tabs view.
Air view, Smart scroll and Smart stay all work in the browser, the first of which lets you simply hover your finger over a web element and it will act as if a mouse cursor was over it instead, which is great for websites not optimized for mobile devices.
Flash is no longer welcome as even the stock browser has dropped support for plug-ins.
The Web browser comes with Incognito mode, which enables you to surf the web without the browser keeping track of your history or storing cookies. The brightness and colors option gives you four different presets to adjust the display according to your preferences. Automatic brightness is an option, too, and works only within the browser.
Google Chrome also comes pre-installed and offers pretty much the same web browsing experience.
The Galaxy Note 3 Neo gives you only the Polaris Office viewer functionality, rather than the full-fledged editor. The viewer does not show up in your app drawer, but instead only opens when you select the relevant document from the My Files app.
Nevertheless, you can view most document types, including PowerPoint, Word, Excel as well as PDF. We suspect Samsung will make sure a full-fledged editor is available for download from the Samsung Apps by the time the smartphone goes on sale, but even if it doesn't there's plenty of alternatives in the Play Store.
The S Planner fills the role of your calendar app, and can be viewed by Day, Week, Month or Year, or by a list of all your upcoming tasks or events. The small squares for each date give only limited info on the events for the day, but thanks to Air View you can point to a day to read the full description of events.
Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.
There is also a calculator aboard. It is nicely touch optimized - the buttons are big enough and easy to hit.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo features a decent alarm clock application which allows a huge number of alarms to be set, each with its own start time and repeat pattern. There's also a World clock, stopwatch, and timer. They are easy to work with and can come in handy.