The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the rumored successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, has cropped up in rumors over the past few weeks, hinting at what might be on board Samsung’s new phablet when it arrives.
With the success of the original Galaxy Note and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the pressure is on Samsung to deliver a fantastic tablet once again. While the anticipation might not be as strong as the Samsung Galaxy S4 rumors that built up to a boil over the past few months, there is still going to be a strong demand for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and thus, quite a bit of pressure.
In fact, we’ve already seen evidence of this as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, despite the fact that the Galaxy Note 2 only launched a few short months ago, has already been cropping up in rumors, ahead of its release date.
While the rumors aren’t exactly plentiful, we’ve heard a number of possibilities and we’ve even seen Samsung possibly leak some Samsung Galaxy Note 3 information of its own.
So far, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been rumored to be a bigger device than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The Galaxy Note 2 arrived with a 5.5-inch display, bigger than the Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inch display. It’s also rumored to have an improved processor, up from the Galaxy Note 2’s Exynos quad-core processor. And we’ve also heard whispers about an improved S Pen, the stylus that the Galaxy Note 2 relies upon to differentiate itself from the rest of the smartphone pack.
Each year, Samsung has outdone the past Galaxy Note model and already, we, along with many others are wondering about exactly what Samsung has up its sleeve for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, its hardware, software, S Pen and more.
So even with the launch date likely months away, let’s take a look at what we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the presumed successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Galaxy S3 Launch in August
With the Samsung Galaxy S4 set for arrival in late April and likely May at the earliest in the United States, don’t look for Samsung to rush into anything in regards to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It also helps that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is not only still selling well. T-Mobile has also just enabled it for its 4G LTE network which means that it has new life there as well.
The important thing here is that Samsung won’t want to overshadow the launch of the Galaxy S4 and all of its efforts will be focused on getting that phone to the level of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and beyond. Another Galaxy phone launch, that could eat into sales and take up the marketing airwaves, doesn’t seem likely.
So, at this point, expect Samsung to announce the device either at, or ahead of IFA in August. It has done that with the past two Galaxy Note models and it sets the phone up nicely for a launch right around the holiday and when Samsung Galaxy S4 sales may wane because of Galaxy S5 rumors.
Galaxy Note 3 Release Date
That said, we expect Samsung to follow a similar pattern to the Galaxy Note 2 launch by releasing the Galaxy Note 3 a month or so after announcing it at the end of August. This means a release date in many regions at the end of September with the U.S. likely following behind in late October and early November.
The Galaxy Note 3 release on Verizon, and there should be one, should be sooner this time around given that the LG Intuition, the carrier’s version of the Optimus Vu, was soundly defeated by the Galaxy Note 2.
If Verizon does decide to offer a Galaxy Note 3 phablet competitor, look for it to be last again. Otherwise, it should arrive much earlier than Black Friday this time around.
Larger Display Likely
So far, rumors from the Korea Times have suggested that Samsung might be bumping up the size of the Galaxy Note 3 to either 5.8-inches or to 6.3-inches. The first rumor out of the gate suggested 6.3-inches, which was then followed by a second claim, and the most current rumor has suggested that it could be 5.8-inches in size.
All of these are bigger than the Galaxy Note 2’s 5.5-inch display. What’s more is that Samsung’s website, which lists one of the Galaxy S4 accessories as compatible with devices up to 6.3-inches in size, may hint at the Galaxy Note 3’s display size.
Nothing is for certain at this point but given Samsung’s penchant for large smartphone displays and the rumors, it would not be surprising to see the company bump up the size of the display even further.
To us, 5.8-inches seems more likely given that it’s not such a drastic size change and given that Samsung increased the Galaxy S4 size by .2 inches.
Whether it’s 1080p or not remains to be seen but we wouldn’t be surprised as 1080p resolution is going to be the standard for Android phones by the end of the year.
Exynos 5 Octa Processor is More Than Likely
Another rumored feature is the Galaxy Note 3’s processor which is said to be a quad-core processor, like the Galaxy Note 2’s. The Galaxy Note 2 though uses an aging version of Samsung’s Exynos chip line while the Galaxy Note 3 will more than likely feature the Exynos 5 Octa.
The rumors suggest this and we would be shocked if Samsung’s upcoming phabet ran anything less than Samsung’s latest processor, which was introduced at CES 2013, and features a total of eight cores.
Samsung’s new processor uses only four of the cores at a time and the company says that this not only increases performance over previous Exynos processors but also helps to improve battery life as well.
This seems like the logical choice for the Galaxy Note 3’s processor and that’s what we expect to be on board, not just in the UK but in the United States as well.
Samsung likes to introduce its devices with the latest and greatest software. For example, the Galaxy S4 is arriving with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, one of the first smartphones to do so. The Galaxy Note 2? It was one of the first devices with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, likely won’t be the first device to have Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie – rumored for a May announcement at Google I/O – out of the box, but we imagine that it will be one of the first devices to run it out of the box.
By the time the Galaxy Note 3 arrives, the Android 5.0 update will likely be a bit older, so we expect it to arrive with the latest version of the software.
Expect Big Time Samsung Software
In addition to Android 5.0, Samsung will more than likely be loading up the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its own features.
With the Galaxy S3, we saw the introduction of TouchWiz Nature UX which brought a number of smart features to the table. Many of those features arrived on board the Galaxy Note 2 when it arrived later this year. We expect Samsung to do the same with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4, bringing many of the Galaxy S4 features including Smart Scroll and Smart Pause to the Galaxy Note 3.
But we also expect the Galaxy Note 3 to have some features that Samsung will have to bring to the Galaxy S4. For instance, Multi-Window View was a Galaxy Note 2 feature that arrived much later for the Galaxy S3.
What these features are, we aren’t sure, but expect there to be some big time Samsung software features on board that come to older devices like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3. It’s Samsung’s way of keeping these phones fresh and attractive on the market.
More S Pen Features
We expect that Samsung will also beef up the S Pen software features as well.
Thus far, rumors point to better S Pen performance due to Samsung possibly using a Sharp LCD display on the Galaxy Note 3.
Right now, it’s unclear just how the screen might improve the experience but as Sharp told us at CES 2013, its IGZO LCD displays might provide a better looking display, great fantastic battery life, and also better touch support, something that the Galaxy Note 3 and the S Pen rely on.
Even if that doesn’t pan out, look for Samsung to offer new S Pen features that take advantage of the stylus and perhaps, even enhance some of the older ones like S Note.
Assortment of Carriers
The arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon to name just a few confirms, at least to us, that the Galaxy Note 3 will arrive on a host of carriers as well.
The Galaxy Note 2 arrived on all five of those same carriers and it has been one of the more popular devices since launch. That, and the fact that the Galaxy S4 launched on all five of the carriers seems to hint at good things to come.
Hopefully this time around though, some of the smaller carriers can get in on the action.
Ugly Verizon Branding
Plain and simple, we expect Verizon to keep the same type of branding it has with the Galaxy Note 2. Instead of a clean home button, the Verizon model has the Verizon logo on the home button. It was a feature that users detested but its one that we think Verizon will keep with the Galaxy Note 3, whether users like it or not.