What the Samsung Galaxy S4 Reveals About the Galaxy Note 3
Later this year, Samsung is rumored to be introducing its latest phablet device, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a device that will replace the popular Samsung Galaxy Note 2 on shelves. And while we likely won’t know exactly what Samsung has in store for the Galaxy Note 3 until later in the year, many of the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S4 features may have given us insight into 15 possible Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features.
At an event in New York City last week, Samsung finally took the curtain down from around the Samsung Galaxy S4, its latest flagship smartphone that it will be using to replace the Samsung Galaxy S3. As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a powerful device toting a ton of new features, both in the hardware and software departments.
When the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrives on shelves, it will be the company’s most powerful smartphone to date, trumping even the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which arrived in late last year. We don’t expect Samsung to release another phone with that kind of firepower until later on this year, when it reveals the next Galaxy Note.
While Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything yet, its Galaxy S4 media invitation and swirling rumors both seem to indicate that the company will be announcing another big product later this year.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 invite suggested that its Unpacked event, which took place at the Radio City Music Hall last week, is only Episode 1 of the companies 2013 Unpacked events. It’s unclear just what other devices it might have up its sleeve but it’s safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is probably one of those devices.
Rumors have suggested that the Galaxy Note 3 could be released as soon as September. And because its release date is likely far in the distance, rumors have been soft thus far. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t already have a bead on what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
That’s because the Samsung Galaxy S4 may have provided much of the unannounced information already. That said, here are 15 things the Samsung Galaxy S4 revealed about the Galaxy Note 3.
As we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 launch, Samsung utilizes many of the same features. From keeping similar cameras, to using similar software, to keeping similar carriers. The latter, something that Samsung kept consistent with the Galaxy S4, a sign that it will likely do the same with the Galaxy Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 both became available for the five largest mobile operators in the United States. That list includes the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. Those carriers were likely lured in by the successes of the Galaxy S2 and the original Galaxy Note which outperformed expectations.
Those same carriers, due to the success of the Samsung Galaxy S3, have all opted to carry the Samsung Galaxy S4 when it arrives in the next few weeks.
This, along with the success of the Galaxy Note 2 in the U.S., means that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will more than likely be available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon in the future.
The release of the Samsung Galaxy S3 saw the carrier deliver several smart features to its device by way of its TouchWiz Nature UX. Many of those same features also arrived on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 later in the year. With the Galaxy S4 chock full of new smart software enhancements, don’t be surprised if they make their way to the Galaxy Note 3 as well.
The Galaxy S4′s Smart Scroll allows for owners to scroll through webpages simply by using eye movement while Smart Pause pauses content when owners look away.
Given that the Galaxy Note series is all about productivity and content consumption, don’t be surprised if we see these features, and possibly more – which would later then come to the Galaxy S4 – on board the Galaxy Note 3 when it arrives.
With the Samsung Galaxy S4, the company upped the ante with its new camera sensor. While the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy S3 both sported 8MP sensors, the Galaxy S4 now has a 13MP sensor on it.
The Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Note 2 followed a similar pattern with Samsung including an 8MP camera in both models, something that offered little improvement in the Galaxy Note 2.
Now that Samsung has introduced a brand new sensor in the Galaxy S4, we expect the same with the Galaxy Note 3 so that it not only stays on pace with the Galaxy S4, but so that it is better equipped to compete against other smartphones that are already out or are due out later this year.
Samsung was expected to announce a number of Samsung-made accessories with the Galaxy S4 and it delivered. From its new S View Cover, a smart flip cover case, to the multi-colored Flip Cover, to a Pouch to a GamePad, Samsung really has stepped up its in-house accessory game for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Expect the same type of treatment for the Galaxy Note 3. Perhaps, we won’t see as many accessories arrive for it, given its size and its smaller adoption rate, but we should see it arrive with more accessories than the Galaxy Note 2 had access to at launch.
At the very least, it looks like the GamePad will be an option as Samsung says that it will be adjustable to work with devices that sport displays up to 6.3-inches, the same size display that has been rumored for the Galaxy Note 3.
Indeed, the GamePad may have tipped off the display size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
So far, all rumors have pointed to Samsung upping the display size of the Galaxy Note 3. The display sizing has been said to either be 5.8-inches or 6.3-inches and given the revelation of the Galaxy S4′s GamePad size compatibility, and given that Samsung already has a massive Galaxy Note 8.0 that can work as a phone, it appears likely that the 5.5-inch size for the Galaxy Note may be a one time affair.
With the Samsung Galaxy S4 now at 5-inches instead of 4.8-inches, Samsung may want to boost the size of the Galaxy Note 3′s display in order to help differentiate between the products.
Similar Size to Galaxy Note 2
Of course, just because the size of the Galaxy Note 3 display might increase, doesn’t mean that the overall size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be any bigger than the Galaxy Note 2′s. In fact, as we saw with the Galaxy S4, Samsung was able to increase the size of the display without making the Galaxy S4 extraordinarily bigger than the Galaxy S3.
In fact, the Galaxy S4 is both lighter and slimmer than the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4 measures 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches and weighs 4.59 ounces while the Galaxy S3 measures 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches and weighs 4.69 ounces.
Samsung knows that it doesn’t want to alienate consumers even more with a phone that is impossible to use with one hand, the Galaxy Note 2 is tough but not impossible, so look for it to keep the size similar even while increasing the size of the display to better situate it within its product lineup.
One thing that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 did not come with was wireless charging. Samsung promised support for the Galaxy S3 and never delivered and the Galaxy Note 2 just never received support at all.
Samsung finally delivered support with the Galaxy S4, making it compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard by way of a back plate that users will have to use in order to take advantage of charging without wires.
To compliment this, Samsung has also debuted a wireless charging pad/cover amongst its many Galaxy S4 accessories.
While Samsung obviously did not confirm anything, we’d be shocked to see Samsung leave its Galaxy Note 3 out in the cold as far as wireless charging is concerned, especially now that it has the wireless charging back plate for the Galaxy S4.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has ushered in a new era of Samsung displays with the arrival of the 5-inch Super AMOLED HD display that boasts a high 441 pixel-per-inch count and 1080p full HD resolution.
While this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the Galaxy Note 3 will have a 1080p display with a high PPI count, it does mean that improvements to the display are likely given that Samsung now has proven to have harnessed this type of technology for smartphones and not just full-on tablets.
The previous Galaxy Note 2 display was good, but it didn’t offer much of an improvement over the original Galaxy Note’s display. So look for Samsung to improve upon the display on the Galaxy Note 3 either by upping its resolution, increasing its pixel-per-inch count or both.
Better Camera Software
The arrival of TouchWiz Nature UX brought a powerful Camera application that we feel is far and away better than the stock camera app that comes with Android. With the Galaxy S4, we saw the arrival of more useful features and we expect that many of those, if not all of them, will be available on the Galaxy Note 3.
Two of the main camera features coming with the Galaxy S4 are Dual Camera mode, which allows owners to not only show friends and family on video chat what they’re looking at, but can also help to super impose someone in a camera shot taken with the rear camera. Another feature is Sound &
Prior to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung was touting its plastic smartphone designs, with one of the big features being the fact that it can offer a removable back for users to install their own extended battery, replace a malfunctioning one, or as we’ve seen, install a new back plate for wireless charging.
Both Galaxy Note models have had removable backs and unless Samsung does something drastically new with the Galaxy Note 3 design, we expect it to have a removable back as well.
Remember, the Galaxy Note 2 design borrowed heavily from the Galaxy S3′s and we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be a larger version of the Galaxy S4.
That means that it will very likely have a similar polycarbonate plastic design, one which Samsung improved upon with the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 feels more durable, comes with Gorilla Glass 3, and features a nice looking strip around the device that appears to be metal but isn’t.
Samsung has employed plastic designs with both versions of the Galaxy Note and given how it was hyping up the benefits of the plastic design – durability, removable back and the fact that it can produce devices quicker – we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be toting a similar plastic design as well.
Another hallmark of Samsung devices are that they come with a microSD card slot so that users can expand their storage space beyond the storage that comes with the device that they purchase.
The Galaxy S4 unsurprisingly features a microSD card slot for expanded storage which means that owners of the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models can expand beyond those capacities.
In the U.S., the Galaxy Note 2 only came in 16GB form, but that was likely because carriers felt that the microSD slot, which can provide up to 64GB of extra storage was more than enough space.
We expect similar from the Galaxy Note 3.
Like the HTC One, HTC’s latest flagship smartphone, Samsung decided to include an IR sensor on the Galaxy S4 which, among other things, allows users to transform their device into a universal remote.
The feature is called WatchON and it will allow Galaxy S4 owners to control their television sets with their smartphone. It also helps support gestures, an IR and other sensors for temperature, humidity etc.
With WatchON one of the big software features of the Galaxy S4, we expect Samsung to include on of these on the Galaxy Note 3 not only for increased gesture support, but increased control over home appliances (like Samsung TVs) as well.
Latest Android Software
One thing that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 buyers can count on is having the latest Android software on board the Galaxy Note 3.
Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S3 ahead of the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S3 was only on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for a few months before it received Jelly Bean. That issue did not happen with the Galaxy Note 2 due to its later arrival. Android 4.1 was already out, and thus, the Galaxy Note 2 was one of the first devices with it running out of the box.
Fast forward to 2013. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has debuted shortly before Google I/O again and it will be launching with Android 4.2 with a likely upgrade to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie – rumored to be coming in May at I/O – coming a few months after release.
If Android 5.0 does arrive in May, expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to have it stock, out of the box, unlike other devices that may utilize Android 4.2.
And finally, the fifteenth Samsung Galaxy S4 feature that tells us what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 featured a large 3,100 mAh battery. However, Samsung could choose to bump that up with the Galaxy Note 3, especially if the screen is larger and more powerful.
We saw the company do similar with the Galaxy S4 and its 2,600 mAh battery, which is larger than the Galaxy S3′s 2,100 mAh, and so we can expect a monster battery from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that should offer insane battery life for users of the new phablet.