With the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 releases now out of the way, consumers can now turn their attention to the rest of the rumored smartphones of 2013, a list that includes the likes of the Nexus 5, Motorola X Phone and the iPhone 5S. And while much of the attention is likely going to be laid upon those devices, there are plenty of other consumers who are interested in what Samsung is cooking up with the next Galaxy Note, presumed to be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
While most of the attention coming Samsung’s way in 2013 has been toward the Samsung Galaxy S4 and its arrival, there are quite a few consumers who are more interested in what it has up its sleeve for the next Samsung Galaxy Note.
For those unfamiliar, the Galaxy Note series is Samsung’s compliment to the Samsung Galaxy S series, giving consumers another unique option should the Galaxy S not suffice. And for many, the Galaxy S4 won’t, and that’s when the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or perhaps its rumored successor, the Galaxy Note 3 will come into view.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note series has shifted from perceived niche smartphone to a smartphone that has sold millions across the globe. And for good reason. The Samsung Galaxy Note was a good phone and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 stands as one of the best Android smartphone options on the market. In fact, we think it’s in the top five best smartphones at all four of the United States’ largest carriers.
And while the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is just a few months old, that’s still old in Android smartphone years. So it hasn’t been surprising to hear about a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on the horizon.
In the past few months, we’ve heard quite a bit about Samsung’s rumored Galaxy Note 3. From whispers about its release date, hardware, software and more.
In light of recent developers, it’s time to take a look at the five latest, and most important things that consumers should know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Release Date: All Signs Point to Q3-Q4
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is not coming any time soon, no matter how bad some consumers want to get their hands on it. Simply put, all signs are pointing to a launch and release in the second half of this year.
Every single rumor has pointed to the second half of the year, with the latest suggesting that it may be launching sometime in the third quarter of the year. This lines up with the previous rumors that suggested that Samsung would be using the month of the September, and quite possibly the IFA conference, as a launching pad for the Galaxy Note 3.
If true, it would come just a tad later than the Galaxy Note 2 announcement which took place at the end of August. As we’ve pointed out though, Samsung is likely in no rush to release a new phablet. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 remains an extremely solid option and will only improve in the future as Samsung grants it major Android updates and software features from the Samsung Galaxy S4.
If Samsung does decide to launch the Galaxy Note 3 in September, expect that a release won’t come until the fourth quarter of this year, or, about a year after the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 touched down on shelves. This sets it up nicely ahead of the holidays and should be close enough to take away some steam from the launch and release of Apple’s iPhone 5S which is thought to be coming sometime before winter begins.
Pressure Could Lead to 32GB Models
Over the past few weeks, Samsung Galaxy S4 owners have run into some issues with the storage space on their smartphone, namely, the 16GB Galaxy S4 isn’t actually a 16GB Galaxy S4, more like an 8GB Galaxy S4.
Fortunately for owners, there is a microSD card slot on board that allows them to extend their internal storage with a 64GB microSD card. Problem is, as we’ve pointed out, the microSD card is pretty much useless as it can be used to store crucial files. Galaxy S4 owners have been voicing their concern over the last week but unfortunately, alternatives are scarce. AT&T is the only U.S. carrier that has confirmed the larger 32GB Galaxy S4 model with other carriers keeping on with their 16GB options.
Clearly, there is a demand for more storage on the Galaxy S4, even with the inclusion of the microSD card slot. And it’s possible that the frustration from consumers might ultimately pressure U.S. carriers and Samsung to offer a larger model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 arrived in 16GB and 16GB form only in the United States. And while the cries from consumers looking for more space wasn’t nearly as loud, there were certainly those that hoped to see either the 32GB and 64GB models arrive.
Manufacturers and carriers, believe it or not, listen to their customers and the bad press and demands from customers about the Galaxy S4 storage could ultimately put pressure on them to deliver an alternative with the Galaxy Note 3.
Specs Are Coming Into View
Those who are interested in buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be happy to know that its specifications continue to leak and those leaks continue to back each other up. What this means is that we likely have a bead on what Samsung is cooking up with the Galaxy Note 3. Indeed, we are several months away from a launch, but plenty of the Galaxy S4 rumors were accurate, well ahead of time.
Thus far, a number of rumors have suggested that the device will sport a 5.99-inch 1080p display, larger than the Galaxy S4’s 5-inch display, but with the same resolution. As we’ve noted, this size would give Samsung enough separation between the Galaxy S4’s display and the Galaxy Note 3’s. The massive display is one of, but not the only selling point of the Galaxy Note series.
The Galaxy Note 3 is almost certainly going to be coming with a Exynos 5 Octa processor as well. The processor, which hasn’t made it to the United States just yet, is a top-notch performer and it’s one that should show some significant improvements over the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and its older generation Exynos quad-core processor. The device is also said to have 3GB of RAM to help make sure it can handle what is likely to be the powerful software that is on board.
There is also talk of a 13MP camera which could possibly mean that it’s the same sensor as the 13MP camera found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. This isn’t surprising as the Galaxy Note series hasn’t seen a big camera boost. Both the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Note take good photos, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Future Galaxy Note 3 owners can also rest easy knowing it will almost certainly have the latest and greatest version of Android on board. Android 4.3Jelly Bean/Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, whatever is getting announced at Google I/O, is thought to be what Samsung is planning, a plan that would fall in line with what it did with the Galaxy Note 2.
The Galaxy Note 2 was one of the first devices to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, and we should see something similar happen with the Galaxy Note 3.
Design Will Remain a Mystery
Of course, some of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still a complete and utter mystery. Maybe the biggest mystery is the Galaxy Note 3’s design. Rumors have suggested that Samsung could be toying with three different design prototypes which means that we likely won’t know what the final Galaxy Note 3 design looks like until far later in the year.
Remember, Samsung does a fantastic job of keeping its designs under wraps, despite not being able to keep specifications s a secret.
The three prototypes are said to include a completely overhauled design, possibly even something to do with metal, which would be a far cry from Samsung’s other Galaxy designs that are comprised of plastic. Another design is said to incorporate Samsung’s Youm technology which of course is its flexible unbreakable display.
There are conflicting rumors in regards to the display but given that LG is planning to introduce a device with a flexible display later this year, it’s possible that we could see this on board. The last design, which is said to be based on the Samsung Galaxy S4 design, is the most probable. Samsung touted its plastic designs before the Galaxy S4 arrival, and based on the demand for the Galaxy S4, it doesn’t seem to have turned consumers off to the new flagship.
The Galaxy Note 2 resembled a larger Galaxy S3 and with the Galaxy S4 improving on the Galaxy S3 design in a number of ways, it’s easy to see why Samsung might be inclined to go that route.
Whatever the case may be, don’t expect to hear much concrete design information until far later in the year.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Wait
As we’ve said plenty of times in the past, consumers should not feel obligated to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, even with Galaxy Note 3 rumors on tap. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a fantastic device itself and it will only improve. Samsung typically keeps its devices updated for years and the Galaxy Note 2 still has yet to receive a significant update, despite being several months old.
Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which should arrive soon, will be the start. And it will be followed by a number of other updates to the powerful smartphone. Samsung will likely outfit the device with some, but not all, of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s features. It’ll also get Galaxy Note 3 features down the road.
Point is, consumers should feel comfortable signing up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Yes, the Galaxy Note 3 will be powerful, but as we’ve noted, smart manufacturers like Apple tend to release incremental updates to their devices, something which allows the company to keep the previous model fresh while also keeping owners of the previous model from feeling cheated by a complete overhaul.
The fact of the matter is, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is and will continue to be one of the best smartphones on the market, even after the Galaxy Note 3’s arrival. For evidence of this, look no further than the iPhone 4S which remains a quality option and a best-seller, despite the release of the iPhone 5.