With the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung is attempting to move devices forward when it comes to internal storage space and what people have come to expect when storing files and media on their phones. They upped the minimum built-in storage to 32GB, so you can only get the Galaxy Note 3 in 32GB or 64GB variants. Then there’s also the possibility of adding a microSD card to the Note 3, bringing the storage possibilities up to a whopping 128GB. With all this storage in tow, one would think Samsung would have included the highest possible assets on the device, right? Apparently not so when it comes to the Samsung Text To Speech engine, in which Samsung shipped the lowest quality voice possible with the Note 3. Why they did this I have no idea, but it’s considerably smaller in size than many other TTS engines out there. When all is said and done, however, we’re still talking only a 100MB difference between the engines, and a massive quality improvement that’s well worth the measly size increase. What’s even more puzzling is that the Note 3 is the first phone Samsung has shipped this low quality voice with; something I didn’t realize when doing the review, but found out after trying to find a nicer TTS voice to replace the stock one with. While I still personally prefer Google’s stock Android voice, that isn’t an option for the time being, but I’ll gladly show you just how easy it is to get the higher quality Samsung voice back on the Note 3.
As with anything settings related, you’re going to want to head over to your phone settings, which can either be accessed from the pull-down notification shade and clicking on the gear icon on the top right, or going to your app drawer and clicking settings. From there head on over to the controls tab and click on Language and Input. Follow that up by going to Text-to-speech options at the bottom of the new window, and then clicking the gear icon next to “Samsung text-to-speech engine.” From here you’ll find a number of settings related to the Samsung TTS engine, but we’re only concerned with installing the higher quality voice data here, so click on Install Voice Data.
From here you’ll be greeted with a nice menu of possible menu options, each with a sample play button next to it and a download button if you so choose to use that voice. Clicking download will take you to the Samsung App Store, so if you’ve uninstalled the app store or frozen it, you’ll need to put it back in service before you can download any new TTS voices from Samsung. There are more to choose from than what is seen on this list too simply by scrolling down in the Samsung App Store and clicking “more by Samsung.” There’s somewhere in the vicinity of 20 voices in total, 3 of which are different English accents and the rest are different languages.
After you download the voice you prefer, head back to the previous settings screen and select the language you want from the menu. That’s all there is to it. If you try to navigate or use any other text-to-speech option on the phone you’ll notice the immediate quality difference. It’s just a shame Samsung doesn’t give us the option to use the original Google voice that comes with Google Now and pretty much every other Android phone out there.