The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, despite being overshadowed by the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S4, is still one of the most popular Android smartphones on the market, selling millions of units around the world since its launch last year. It will remain one of the better Android smartphone options on the market for a good part of this year as well, even after the arrival of its presumed successor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Last year, Samsung introduced the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, its most current phablet device that replaced the original Samsung Galaxy Note on shelves. The device followed up the success of the original Galaxy Note with a launch on the five largest carriers in the United States including Sprint and Verizon, and introduced a number of different upgrades ranging from new powerful software features to a more ergonomic S Pen stylus to a larger 5.5-inch display.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 remains one of the top smartphone options on the table, despite seeing several big name devices arrive on shelves in the months since its arrival. The Galaxy Note 2 now is complimented by the new Samsung Galaxy S4, a device whose 5-inch display has encroached on the size of the Galaxy Note 2, the new HTC One and devices like the iPhone 5.
However, the Galaxy Note 2 is certain to keep selling and keep selling well until the successor arrives in the form of the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Thus far, rumors about the Galaxy Note 3 have pegged the device as a worthy successor to Samsung’s current phablet.
Rumors suggest that Samsung is currently working on three possible Galaxy S3 models including one that features a Galaxy S4 style design, a Galaxy Note 3 with a flexible display and one that features a completely new design. And while we still aren’t sure exactly what Samsung has up its sleeve for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, there are already some important points that consumers should know in terms of how it will match up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
That said, here are five things to know about how the upcoming match up between the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
There Will Be Design Tweaks
While we still don’t know what the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will look like, an image over the weekend that was purportedly said to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was called out as another device, we do know that Samsung will not be putting out a device that looks exactly like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 looked different than the original Galaxy Note in that it used a design that mirrored the Samsung Galaxy S3 which arrived in May of last year. The most logical guess about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is that it will end up looking like a larger version of the Galaxy S4 with its faux-metal band, improved polycarbonate plastic, and quite possibly, a slimmer and lighter frame than its predecessor as the Galaxy S4 is both slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy S3.
Already, we’ve heard that Samsung has a prototype of this nature and we wouldn’t doubt it. The other two are said to be a Galaxy Note 3 with a brand new design and one with a flexible display. Whatever the case is, expect Samsung to tweak the design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in order to improve it, and offer something different than its predecessor.
Larger Display Isn’t a Given, But It’s Likely
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is notorious for its massive displays, the first Galaxy Note arriving with a 5.3-inch display and the second-generation model arriving with a larger 5.5-inch display. Rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 3 display will be set at 5.9-inches, larger than the Galaxy Note 2 display and almost an inch larger than the Galaxy S4’s display which checks in at 5-inches.
Rumors have not suggested that Samsung will keep the Galaxy Note 3 display at the same 5.5-inch size as the Galaxy Note 2 and it certainly remains a possibility. However, given the rumors of 5.9-inches and the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 display is extremely close in size to the Galaxy Note 2’s, an increase seems likely.
What this means is that those who are interested in the Galaxy Note series should know that the Galaxy Note 3 is likely going to be the largest Galaxy Note model and its one that potentially could give those, who love to use their device with one hand, fits.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Will Get Android 5.0 First
Those that are concerned about having the latest Android software should know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will likely be the first to any major Android update that Google announces in the mid-year.
One clue is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is still on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will likely be getting upgraded to Android 4.2 before it receives any other Android update. The Galaxy Note series, as we have pointed out numerous times, is notoriously slow to Android updates and so Android 4.2 may not land for many months down the road.
If the Galaxy Note 3 comes later this year, as expected, it will arrive several months after Google I/O, the presumed launch date for Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, also thought to be called Android 4.3. That means that it will likely have it on board. That also means that Samsung will only have a few months to upgrade its Galaxy Note 2 with Android 4.2 and Android 5.0.
It’s possible, but given the past and how slow Galaxy Note 2 software releases have been, we don’t expect the Galaxy Note 2 to beat the Galaxy Note 3 to this year’s major Android update.
For many, this won’t be a big deal, but given the upgrades and features of last year’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software, we expect Google to pack a ton of new features into its new version of Android.
Galaxy Note 2 Will Get Galaxy Note 3 Software
Indeed, potential Galaxy Note buyers should know that the Galaxy Note 3 will likely have first dibs on the major Android updates from this year and beyond. In addition, it will also likely be outfitted with a number of unique software features.
One of those features is thought to be called Samsung Orb, a feature that allows owners to take 360-degree panoramic photos. The feature is said to be Samsung’s version of Android 4.2’s Photo Sphere feature only Samsung will be adding Facebook integration and likely, a different UI.
We don’t expect that to be the only software feature unfurled with the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung will, like the Galaxy S4, likely include a number of other powerful software features. We expect at least some of those to be S Pen related. And while Galaxy Note 3 will likely get first crack at these features, we expect Samsung to roll out many of them for the Galaxy Note 2 as well.
As we’ve seen with the Galaxy S3 and confirmation that it will get Galaxy S4 features, as we’ve seen with the Galaxy S2 which got the Galaxy S3’s Nature UX interface, the Galaxy S3 and its Galaxy Note 2 features, Samsung loves to outfit its older devices with its new software. The Galaxy Note 2 will be no different.
Expect the Galaxy Note 2 to get Galaxy Note 3 software at some point down the road, something that should make potential buyers of the older device a little more comfortable with their purchase.
Galaxy Note 3 Isn’t Coming Soon
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 figures to be one of the top option on shelves for the months to come. That’s because the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 won’t be out until later this year. There are rumors of an earlier launch than the September date that we’ve heard but we don’t expect Samsung to bump up the Galaxy Note 3 launch taht much.
Remember, plenty of sites reported that the Galaxy S4 would arrive at Mobile World Congress and it didn’t, instead opting for a similar, separate Unpacked event.
The Galaxy Note 2 is still selling well, and it only hit the United States in November, so Samsung is in no rush to release a new model. That said, the Galaxy Note 2 will be the model that consumers will be looking at for quite a bit of 2013.
However, it’s not the only option. As we’ve said, the Galaxy Note 2 is a powerful device but not everyone needs that kind of fire power. For those that don’t the original Galaxy Note is still readily available as a solid option for those that are unconcerned about hardware specs and upcoming software updates.