Last August, Samsung took to the stage in Berlin, Germany and showcased the its latest in its line of Galaxy Note phablets. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 replaced the original Galaxy Note, upping the screen size and improving the S Pen stylus, and hitting numerous carriers in the United States including Verizon Wireless.
The device, while aging, remains one of the top choices on the Android platform thanks to its high-end hardware, unique software that takes full advantage of the S Pen and a massive display that is perfect for those that like to stay production whilst on the go. While the Galaxy Note 2 is a fantastic smartphone, the lives of all smartphones come to an end and the end of the Galaxy Note 2’s life appears to be closer than ever as rumors of a third-generation Galaxy Note model mount.
Rumors suggest that Samsung is currently developing a new Galaxy Note, dubbed Samsung Galaxy Note 3, that will be hitting shelves sometime later on this year to replace the Galaxy Note 2. Some details remain a mystery, including its exact design, but we already have a very good bead on what to expect from the Galaxy Note 3 when it touches down on shelves.
Of course, while the Galaxy Note 3 will indeed be replacing the Galaxy Note 2 as the company’s flagship, it won’t be replacing the Galaxy Note 2 completely. Instead, the Galaxy Note 2 will remain on shelves as a very viable option for those looking to snag a new smartphone. In fact, we expect there to be a bit of an internal battle between the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 2 in just a few months.
So how is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 stacking up against the Galaxy Note 2? Here, we take a look at everything we know so far about this brewing match up.
Obviously, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 release date has come and gone which means that the device is only biding its time before its flag is lowered and a new flagship Galaxy Note emerges. That Galaxy Note is said to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which has quickly become one of the most heavily rumored smartphones of the year.
Like the Galaxy S4, Samsung has been unable to quell leaks and the Galaxy Note 3 has leaked out numerous times over the past few months. One of the details that has leaked out is the Galaxy Note 3 launch date which is thought to be similar to the launch dates of the previous Galaxy Note models.
In the past, Samsung has used IFA 2013 as a springboard for its Galaxy Note announcements and signs are pointing to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 arrival at or around IFA 2013. At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch date has been pegged for an Unpacked event on September 4th, just two days ahead of IFA. Samsung typically hosts its own event outside IFA and then uses the show to showcase its device.
Earlier this year, Samsung hosted its Unpacked Episode 1 event for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and that likely means that Episode 2 will be for the Galaxy Note 3. As for its release date, it’s said to be possibly be coming in late September, though no date has been given. The release date, or at least a release window, will likely be given at the event.
Early on, rumors suggested that Samsung was toying with several different Samsung Galaxy Note 3 designs including one that was made of metal. More recently, rumors have insisted that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will not take on a metal design but instead, will utilize a plastic design like its predecessors and the well-known Galaxy S4.
In fact, the device is said to have a design that is similar to the Galaxy S4, which could mean that Samsung will use more durable plastic and a faux-metal band around the side of the device. It could also mean that it will have rounded corners.
Rumors also suggest that Samsung will be trimming the Galaxy Note 3 down from the dimensions of the Galaxy Note 2. While the Galaxy Note 2 checked in with a 9.4mm frame and a weight of 180 grams, the Galaxy Note 3 is expected to be slimmed down to around 8mm and weight just a tad over 180 grams at 182 grams. The difference is likely due to the rumored increase in display size.
If the display does increase, consumers should expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be taller than the Galaxy Note 2 and possess a bit larger of a footprint. Those that need a visual can simply take a look at what Samsung did with the Galaxy S4 which is taller and slimmer than the Galaxy S3.
Users should also expect a microSD card slot for expanded memory and a removable back for use with wireless charging and an extended battery, hallmarks of Samsung’s plastic designs.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is known for its large displays and from the looks of things, it appears that the company will not only be improving the resolution from the Galaxy Note 2 display to the Galaxy Note 3’s, but it will also be increasing the size.
Rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 3 display will check in somewhere between 5.7-inches and 6-inches. If true, that means that it will be increased anywhere from .2-inches to a full .5-inches.
While the Galaxy Note 2 display checked in with 720p HD resolution, the Galaxy Note 3 is all but confirmed to be coming with 1080p resolution like the Galaxy S4 before it. That should mean a higher resolution and it should also mean a higher pixel-per-inch count. The increased resolution and higher PPI will translate into better looking content and games.
Samsung decided to keep the cameras on the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note relatively the same, outfitting them with 8MP rear cameras that produced solid photos and 1080p video.
Camera rumors have come into focus for the Galaxy Note 3 and suggest that it will be coming with a 13MP camera sensor, same as the Galaxy S4. If true, it will likely mean that the Galaxy Note 3 will offer better photo and video quality while also allowing for better content shot in low-light.
One of the draw backs of the Galaxy Note cameras has been their low-light quality and Samsung could potentially change that with this new sensor. What’s more is that the camera could come with 3X optical zoom, something that would potentially put it in another league not only when it comes to the Galaxy Note series but smartphones in general.
Processor & RAM
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 arrived with a Exynos 4 quad-core processor from Samsung, which at the time was at the top in terms of quality. However, since then, Samsung and other companies have introduced new chips that offer improved performance and better battery life.
Two of those chips are the Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor from Qualcomm and the Exynos 5 Octa octo-core (but really quad-core) processor from Samsung. Both of these chips were introduced at CES 2013 and replaced CPUs from last year.
Both of these chips are rumored to be inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and it could be that Samsung, like it did with the Galaxy S4, splits them up based on region. It’s also entirely possible that we could see one dominate throughout though that remains uncertain. What is certain is that whatever chip is inside the Galaxy Note 3 will likely dominate the chip in the Galaxy Note 2, both from a performance and a battery saving standpoint.
The Galaxy Note 3 is also rumored to have 3GB of RAM as opposed to the 2GB RAM found in the Galaxy Note 2. If true, it will help increase performance on the new Galaxy Note.
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is known for its powerful software. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 arrived with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board, one of the first devices to possess the software out of the box, and it also delivered powerful features for the device’s S Pen stylus including the popular S Note note taking application and the well-known Multi-View Feature.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 remains on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean though an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update, loaded with features from the Galaxy S4’s version of TouchWiz, is supposedly en route sometime this quarter. Galaxy Note 2 owners should also expect to receive a number of the Galaxy Note 3’s features down the road as well.
Those software features remain unknown though one rumor suggests that the device will usher in a camera feature called Samsung Orb that is similar to the 360 panorama feature, Photo Sphere, which is found in Android 4.2.
It’s clear that the Galaxy Note 3 will have some of the software found on the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 2 borrowed from the Galaxy S3 after all, though unique features, particularly when it comes to the S Pen, remain firmly in the shadows.
One of the biggest upgrades that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 had was a multiple carrier launch. While the original Galaxy Note was stuck on AT&T and T-Mobile, the Galaxy Note 2 arrived on all five of the largest service providers in the U.S.
And with the Galaxy Note 2 as successful as it is, and with the same carriers picking up the Galaxy S4, we expect AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon to all offer the Galaxy Note 3.
The only hint of a carrier thus far was a rumor that claimed that Samsung was meeting with executives to show off a Galaxy Note 3 prototype ahead of its launch. AT&T has been a close partner of Samsung, launching several Galaxy S4 branded smartphones and the past two Galaxy Note models, so at the very least we should see AT&T.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hasn’t fluctuated much through carriers though it has seen its price drop by $100 at carriers other than Verizon where it remains at a lofty $299.99 on-contract. Of course, now that the Galaxy Note 2 is old, retailers like Amazon are hosting huge discounts on the Galaxy Note 2 so buyers would be wise to check those prices before purchasing through a carrier.
Needless to say, regardless of the Galaxy Note 3’s price, the Galaxy Note 2 will be the cheaper option of the two and it will remain that way until carriers put an EOL (End of Life) status on the former flagship.
As for the price of the Galaxy Note 3, nothing has leaked out yet, but consumers can be sure that the pricing will fall in line with previous years. That likely means $299.99 on-contract with T-Mobile offering the device somewhere in the vicinity of $550 and $650.