TouchDown Exchange app bests broken Samsung Galaxy Note 3 email client

Samsung has been working to improve their Exchange email client and has it working on the Galaxy S4. They took a step back with the Note 3, but thankfully NitroDesk's TouchDown fills the void and offers enhanced experience.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
(Limited Samsung email client)

I detailed my love-hate relationship with the Note 3 earlier this week and one reason I considered returning it was the broken Samsung Exchange email client. Samsung has it working well on the Galaxy S4, but for some reason seems to have taken a step back on the Note 3.

Android has always lagged behind in providing a full featured email solution for Exchange ActiveSync users like myself, while the contacts and calendar part has been fine. The native Android client in Jelly Bean is now a decent solution, but I can't use that on my Note 3 without rooting and hacking a bit.

Samsung's EAS client has frustrated me in the past, primarily as it relates to local folders in Outlook. To further explain my problem with Exchange on Samsung phones, you can see in the screenshot here that the Note 3 shows me just four additional local storage folders. In reality, I have over 15 folders and subfolders on my work computer.

HTC has always done an excellent job with Exchange in their Sense UI and my HTC One gives me full access to these local folders. I had full access to these folders when I tested the Galaxy S4 as well so I know Samsung can get it right. On an eval and my own Note 3 there is no way to access any of the folders that I have setup in my account.

(TouchDown provides full access)

In order to gain access to these folders and work with a full Exchange ActiveSync solution I went back to an old friend, TouchDown from NitroDesk, that I used in the early days of Android when the native client was either non-existent or terrible.

As you can see in this other screenshot, TouchDown gives me full access to these local folders on my Note 3. In addition, TouchDown is designed for Exchange and actually offers me a pretty amazing and highly customizable experience on the Note 3. So even if Samsung fixes their Exchange email client I may end up sticking with TouchDown for the best mobile Exchange experience.

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