Decisions, decisions. Samsung is one bold company. In 2011, when a screen bigger than 4 inches was considered a mockery, the original Galaxy Note debuted with a ridiculously big 5.3’’ screen.

And we all know what happened next: phablets began to lure more and more people away from pack-of-smokes-sized iPhones, and even smaller Blackberrys, and towards the big-screen revolution.

Flash-forward to today, when phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have changed the game forever.

With a large screen in high resolution, a stylus that enables a whole new dimension of usage, faux leather on the back, and metal casing that finally looks premium, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is worthy of jetsetting CEOs, teenage technophoiles, and everyone in between.

“In my humble opinion, it’s one of the best-made devices you can get in the phablet section.”

It has superb features, top-notch hardware, a 4K camera, tons of storage; you name it, Note 3 has it all. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the best-made devices that you can get in the phablet section.

Samsung released two different versions of the phablet; SM-N900 (GSM only), and SM-N9005, an LTE/4G version. Depending on which device you choose, you’ll have a different set of hardware at your fingertips.

Let’s compare the differences between the two so you can snag the perfect Note 3 to satisfy your phablet passion.

First, let’s geek out on the specs of the two phablets:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3, SM-N900

  • Processor: Exynos 5420 Octa-core, consisting of Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
  • GPU: Mali-T628 MP6
  • Memory: 16/32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM
  • Display: Super AMOLED 5.7-inch touchscreen, 1080×1920 px, 386-pixel density, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: 13 Megapixel image size lens, f/2.2, 31mm, autofocus, LED flash, Video – 1080p @30fps, secondary 2 Megapixel image size lens, f/2.4, 27mm, 1080p@30fps
  • Battery: Removable Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery
  • Dimensios:151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm (5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 168 g (5.93 oz)
  • SIM: Micro-SIM
  • S Pen stylus
  • Price: $350-450

Samsung Galaxy Note 3, SM-N9005

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400
  • GPU Adreno 330
  • Memory: 16/32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM
  • Display: Super AMOLED 5.7-inch touchscreen, 1080×1920 px, 386-pixel density, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: 13 Megapixel image size lens, f/2.2, 31mm, autofocus, LED flash, Video – 1080p @30fps, secondary 2 Megapixel image size lens, f/2.4, 27mm, 1080p@30fps
  • Battery: Removable Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches
  • Weight: 5.93oz
  • SIM: Micro-SIM
  • S Pen stylus
  • Price: ~$300-350

Now that you’ve completely geeked out on the features, let’s explain what they actually mean.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900 vs. SM-N9005: What’s the Diff?

The CPU

The different processor configuration comes from two different manufacturers, Qualcomm and Exynos.

Besides the obvious difference in number (two Quad-core processors inside the Sm-N900), the central point of SM-N900 is in the multi-core performance. The slower processor handles basic tasks, and the faster processor handles more advanced tasks.

For really demanding tasks, the two processors work synergystically to provide fluid, flawless performance; on SM-N900 you can lead the attack in Clash of Clans and upload a video to YouTube at the same time.

Still, the SM-N9005’s single Quad-core Snapdragon performs a bit faster. The secret is in the higher frequency, lower energy consumption, and newer chip.

The GPU

The GPU on the N9005 version is an Adreno 330, while the GPU on the N900 is a Mali T-628 MP6.

The difference between the two is minor in favor of Adreno, as it has more shaders, but they run at a lower frequency. Benchmark scores are slightly better on Adreno as well.

Both phones handle the demanding graphical games and apps with ease, but they both get pretty warm after gaming for several hours (yeah, it’s possible to game for hours on end thanks to Note 3’s 3200 mAh battery. Hey, a toasty phone is a small price for an all-out gaming bingefest, right?).

Video Recording

The Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 can record videos in resolution that is four times bigger than 1080p – 4K (2160p), while the N900 can “only” record in Full HD.

This is a considerable difference that’s responsible for both the quality and price bump of the 9005. SM-N9005 is among the first smartphones ever to have  4K recording capability. This means you can record your favorite scenes in ultra-quality. Same goes for 60fps recording (1080p), so-called slow-motion video.

In short, if you’re after the best video quality possible, then the SM-N9005 is definitely for you.

Connectivity

The difference in the connectivity modules is significant, as the 3G of SM-N900 can’t compare with SM-N9005’s LTE in bandwidth speed.

With SM-N9005, you’ll be able to stream movies on Netflix (with a screen this big, you can actually watch movies on this phone comfortably) or download them in a snap. What’s more, the unlimited data plan on 4G is pure enjoyment.

SM-N900 offers 3G connectivity; it’s decent, but not “Wow.” When looking at other aspects of connectivity, the two models have basically the same hardware and perform identically.

Note 3 is an amazing phablet – a phablet that set the standards for future phablet generations, and taught the competition a serious lesson about smartphone evolution.

What’s Next: forget the S7 and stick with what works

Now that you know the key differences between Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900 and SM-N9005, which Note 3 do you like better? Are you already a proud Note 3 owner? Which model did you choose and why? Let us know in the comments below, or visit the Updato forum to tell us all about it!

View Comments

  • Aftab

    Which is best phone SM N-900 or SM N9005

    • Andrei M.

      That’s up to you, Aftab! But seeing that years have passed since these came out, I’d say that… neither. :)

      Join us on the Updato forum (http://forum.updato.com/), we have a thread dedicated to the latest and shiniest devices.

  • Pradeep chourasia

    I have note 3 SM N900. Can i use LTE or 4G in this device. Any option is there to use 4G…kindly suggest and guide me…

  • Mohammad Farooq chhipa

    Dear sir,
    I have sm-N9005 written in box this is lte set,I live in Pakistan. But in my country this set not work lte 4g.its camera recording only 1080×1920. Not 4k.why plz answer my question

    Thanks

  • Problem 1. My note 3 9005 is very fast at very early days now it takes 7 seconds to get a call subsequently. Can some expert say Why?
    Problem 2.I installed a call recording soft ware as I need them due to my overseas client calls some words are not pronounce correct and we misinterpret the contents. The best solution is to record the call and repeat to understand.Very unfortunate after updating the Samsung soft ware it has got erased ” the AllCall Recorder “software recordings and retaining only name,Tel. number.Time, Date of call remains.except the recorded message.
    How can we get it activated?
    Dr.Nanda

  • Mohamed F. Kargbo

    Your Comment * I had wanted to watch live foot ball match in my phone but I don’t know how to go about.

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  • Lynn.

    my note 3 Sm-N9005 cnt post videos on my snap chat. what cld be the problem? urgent help ASAP!

  • MICHAEL BABJI

    I have note 3 SM N900. Can i use LTE or 4G in this device. Any option is there to use 4G…kindly suggest and guide me…

  • MICHAEL BABJI

    I have note 3 SM N900. Can i use LTE or 4G in this device. Any option is there to use 4G…kindly suggest and guide me

    • Ildar

      No

  • bosi

    I BELIVE YOU CAN USE 4G in N900T because this version has that option. Just enable and maybe change sim card.

  • faisul aashik

    I have galaxy note 900 play store delete how to get

    • Vinod

      Download Mobogenie App

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  • hemaraj

    I’m using note 3 N9005 phone, I would like to buy a tempered glass screen protector but no options for my phone model as I searching for screen protector.. d only option is N900. Can I buy N900 tempered glass screen protector for my N9005?
    thank you.

  • asjad

    hey! i have note 3 sm n900A it has 4 network mode
    1) LTE/WCDMA/GSM
    2)WCDMA/GSM
    3)WCDMA ONLY
    4)GSM ONLY
    can my phone support 4G in pakistan???
    i hear lot about n900a that thies model don’t support 4G network

  • Aravind raj

    I am using samsung galaxy note 3 N900. And when I start play games, it gets over heated and I am forced to stop playing as I can’t even touch it. So Can somebody please help me with this issue.

  • dilip suthar

    Are kaha milta hai samsung galaxy note 3 sm 9005 4G sports
    India me milega

  • rajath

    I have note 3 SM N900. Can i use LTE or 4G in this device. Any option is there to use 4G…kindly suggest and guide me…

  • Ali

    SM N-900 does not support lte or 4g.

  • Marilyn nickel

    Samsung,shame on you! I don’t see one reply…for anyone

  • Lalitendu

    I do not understand why Samsung created difference in HW for a specific model and series of its top most brand Note3 phone? SM N900 released as not supporting 4G, as few countries did not have service provider but why the radio chip is not there in the note3 SM N900 base variant when the same is there in other Note3 models. Cheat mentality in technology market; here Apple supercedes. They do not behave like this in there technology build and marketing.

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  • Rob Duro

    Is there a difference in the LCD’s and digitizers between the models. I have a N9005 and the screen is cracked. Is it possible to put a N900T or N900A LCD on as a replacement?

    • Ildar

      I think there are differences. If you have a Sprint model and you’ll take an LCD from AT&T model – they are not identical – connection cable that goes to the motherboard can be different in it’s placement.

  • MrHollywood

    You forgot to add that the N9005 is many many Roms than the N900, also many better modifications for rooted users.

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  • Ildar

    I have N900 device and I like it so much! I stick on this phone cause it is fast and stable. But my daughter killed the display by crashing it against a wooden toy, so the new display assembly will cost me around 120 dollars :(

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool