Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 7 Potential Flaws Buyers Need to Consider

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn’t official but thanks to rumors and the series’ popularity, it’s clear that a new Galaxy Note is on the way later this year. And while the device remains unofficial, we can, based on rumors and Samsung’s history, make some educated guesses about its arrival. Here, we take a look at seven potential flaws that prospective buyers need to have in mind before settling on the new Galaxy Note.

In 2011, Samsung rekindled the public’s interest in a device that used properties of both a smartphone and a tablet. However, where devices like the Dell Streak failed, Samsung succeeded and its Galaxy Note series of phablets has become one of the most renowned smartphone brands across the world.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Making Sense of the Rumors.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is said to be coming later this year.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is said to be coming later this year.

The original Galaxy Note was limited in that it only arrived, at least initially for one carrier, AT&T. Several months later, it came to T-Mobile’s network but the Magenta carrier only offered it for a few weeks before discontinuing it in favor of the current Galaxy Note model, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has carried the Galaxy Note flag with great success, thanks to its high-end hardware which includes a quad-core processor and HD display and a launch that saw it emerge on the likes of T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon for the first time. It remains one of the best smartphone options on the market though signs point to a successor arriving in just a few weeks time.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the most heavily rumored smartphones of the year with leaks emerging on an almost daily basis. The device is thought to have several changes from the Galaxy Note 2, several of which likely have prospective smartphone buyers intrigued. No doubt, the Galaxy Note 3 is looking like a very credible successor to the Galaxy Note 2 with its rumored 1080p display, powerful processor, improved camera, and tweaked design.

However, there are also some potential flaws that users will need to consider before settling on waiting for the Galaxy Note 3. Here, we take a look at seven potential, and in our opinion likely, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 flaws.

Long Waits for Updates

Those who are thinking about investing their money into a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 better be ready to wait extended periods of time for software updates.

The Samsung Galaxy Note series has proven to be an extremely difficult device to update it seems as the last two models have both seen U.S. customers waiting lengthy periods of time for new software to arrive.

In the case of the Galaxy Note 2, it seems that Samsung was having so many issues with Android 4.2 that it decided to cancel the update and instead push towards the Android 4.3 update instead, something that has owners a little peeved.

The Galaxy Note series, with its big screen and complicated software, likely requires more testing time than a typical smartphone. And because the Galaxy Note 3 will likely feature a larger screen and similar software, owners can expect to see software updates roll out slower than they normally would for other devices.

Steep Price

Samsung, and its American carrier partners, have not shown a willingness to budge from the Samsung Galaxy Note’s expensive on-contract price tag. We saw the original emerge for $299.99 and we saw the Galaxy Note 2 launch for $299.99, or the equivalent, across the board as well.

So why is the Galaxy Note series so expensive? The price is likely due to its size and the bundled S Pen stylus, two things that will likely come with the Galaxy Note 3 as well.

What this means is that owners are going to have to prepare for the steep cost of the Galaxy Note 3, a cost that while typical, will certainly not appeal to those on a budget, not when devices like the HTC One are on sale for a mere $50 on-contract.

No Smaller Carriers

The Galaxy Note 3 may only come to major carriers.

The Galaxy Note 3 may only come to major carriers.

In addition to not wavering on price, we also haven’t seen Samsung show a willingness to launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on carriers smaller than the big five. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have already been rumored to be getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. While not confirmed, those are a given. U.S. Cellular should get the device as well.

Users looking to get the device on a smaller carrier like Virgin Mobile should temper their expectations right now as there is no clear indication that Samsung will be putting the device on anything other its usual big name carriers.

Portability

One of the biggest complaints and perceived flaws of the Samsung Galaxy Note series is its size. The devices have towered over Samsung’s other smartphone and many of the other devices on the market including Apple’s iPhone. While we can’t be sure, we don’t think the Galaxy Note 3 is going to be any more portable than the Galaxy Note 2.

Rumors suggest a device that weighs more than the Galaxy Note 2 but slims down a bit. It also suggests a device with an even bigger display than the Galaxy Note 2′s 5.5-inch screen. What we envision is Samsung making the device smaller and thinner to compensate for the larger real estate.

So buyers who thought the Galaxy Note 2 big will likely encounter the same problem with the Galaxy Note 3 as Samsung doesn’t appear to be in the business of shrinking its devices.

Gimmicky Software

This is one of the big Galaxy S4 software features.

This is one of the big Galaxy S4 software features.

When Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S4, it revealed a number of new software features including one that tracks users eyes to move the page and another that pauses content when users eyes look away. It also touted a number of new additions to the camera including one feature where users can take a photo and add themselves by using the front-facing camera.

These features, while nice, aren’t practical to the average user. In fact, they can be described as gimmicky. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung tout and release several of these features for the Galaxy Note 3 as well.

The Galaxy Note 3 has unique software as it takes advantage of the device’s S Pen stylus. However, don’t expect each one of the S Pen’s new, or improved apps, to be practical. And don’t expect them to be polished either. The Galaxy Note 2′s software was less than perfect and features on the Galaxy S4, like Smart Scroll, don’t work 100% of the time.

Limited Storage Options

While Samsung announced 32GB and 64GB variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 2 only arrived in 16GB form while the Galaxy S4 only came in 32GB to buyers in AT&T and Verizon.

U.S. carriers have not shown a willingness to adopt larger storage options due in part to the microSD card slot that resides on Samsung’s devices. That slot is able to utilize up to a 64GB microSD card which means a 16GB Galaxy Note or Galaxy S can reach up to 80GB of storage. For average users, that will be plenty.For power users that need more, it may not be.

The Galaxy Note 3 could very well follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and come in 16GB style. And if it does, users can only hope that Samsung slims down its software so that it doesn’t wipe out a huge chunk of storage right off the bat.

Long Wait for Verizon Release Date

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, buyers had to wait an extended amount of time for the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 release date. How long? The device arrived on some U.S. carriers in late October while Verizon didn’t release it until November 29th, just about a month later.

While that may have seemed like an anomaly, it wasn’t. Verizon is typically last to popular devices not called iPhone, proven by the launches of the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, both of which launched much later than their counterparts.

Verizon users typically have to wait and we wouldn't be surprised to see its Galaxy Note 3 launch last.

Verizon users typically have to wait and we wouldn’t be surprised to see its Galaxy Note 3 launch last.

Nothing is set in stone for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but those looking to buy on Verizon will need to understand that there is a good chance of the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 launch being flawed, meaning, it will likely arrive last and far away from other carriers.

The Galaxy Note 3 is rumored for the end of September which could mean a late October release date, or even later if it follows in the footsteps of the HTC One.

  

Comments

  1. ukandroid says

    internal memory is faster to access so adding a card is not a panacea to limited internal memory. I passed on the S4 because here in Europe it was inly available with 16Gb. I am hoping the Note 3 will be available with 32Gb. If not, Samsung will be shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Eude Ferrer says

      Agree with you 100%. I am sick of the limited storage some of these devices come with. When you take away the Operating System size, you don’t have 16GB to use. Instead you are left with a fraction of what is advertised. I too passed on the S4 because it comes with 16 GB in T-mobile. Hope the Note 3 will move along with the times and increase the internal size to be a par with the monstrous size it has. I would gladly pay a few extra box for the choice to have a larger internal memory.

      • Steven hill says

        Most people wouldn’t, which means they wouldn’t sell great. Look at even iPhone 16gb vs 32 let alone 64.i DO ABSOLUTELY agree with you, but that’s why I have internal/SD swap active. My 64gb Samsung card is my internal, and write speeds are PLENTY fast enough.

  2. Ryan says

    Not portable? Dude, if you are buying this phone you are not looking for it to be portable. Internal memory is on pair with everything else being offered. Gimmicky software that can be turned off leaving you with one of the best “hardware” phones on the market.

    • Steven hill says

      All mine is uninstalled. Rooting is a one click process, fool proof. And then you reign king over your device, and can uninstall all the junk.

    • FreddieBoy says

      Fully agree, DO NOT agree with u’re article @ all. If u don’t want a Note 2/3, just buy an S3/4, duh.

    • Jim Tapia says

      This writer is a joke why don’t you just say I hate the bigger phone I like my lipstick iPhone. The reason why it sold buckets is because of its size power and pen fool. If you build it people will buy it. This phone is a of that works as a phone enough said.

  3. The facts says

    What a misleading and slanderous pile of waffle you have posted Adam, I doubt you will make it far with anti brand posts like this. It would be wiser to base your efforts on facts troll.

    You base all this on presumptions which is obviously a desperate attempt to steer consumers away from what……a large screen phone with a pen that may not work with every app, fit in your pocket or be avaialable on your favourite network!?

    All these things are trivial.

    The pen does its job in the apps it needs too
    The size of the phone suits a precise user base
    Change networks and stop crying

    Are you an apple fan boy?

      • N2 says

        Haha! Exactly, that’s the point of the Note Series, BIG SCREEN. If you don’t like it don’t buy it. I have never had a tablet because I don’t need one. The Notes are perfect and very portable In comparison to any tablet. You definitely can’t pocket a even the smallest of tablets on the market nor are they meant to be. I have an Otterbox on my N2 and I have no problem pocketing the device. I only use the Otterbox when I’m overseas but while I’m home I use a slimmer case. The Note isn’t for everyone of course but its size is not a flaw in any regard. If it’s too big for you or anyone find something else that suits your desires, there are a ton of options on the market when it comes to screen size.

    • Note Series says

      Completely agree with you, the post is rubbish. The note series is an amazing line of smartphones. Better than the crappy iphones and HTC. Samsung gives everything in the Note series. Bigger screen, excellent hardware, removable battery.

      As far as storage is concerned the internal storage is enough and along with that you have an option to add in a 64 GB memory card. The only people who waste their time finding such meaningless flaws are the ones who dont understand the purpose of the Note series.

      I would upgrade my note 2 to a note 3 once it is launched, it is always better than the stupid toy phones like iphone that offer tiny screens, less storage, no removable battery and no expandability options.

  4. cb says

    Couldn’t be a more biased misinformed article…please…do us a favor and stick to writing what you know best. …uhmmm…what is
    that??

  5. Steven hill says

    So just root it. Take out the bloatware, swap internal with a class 10 SD (hopefully UHS for the N3) and if you really want bleeding edge Android, download an AOSP ROM. Sure, for the typical user these aren’t feasible, without a nerd friend, however, I don’t see them as scaring anyone away either. These are all stupid, why not educate on rooting and taking control of your phone, instead of this nonsense? No offense.

  6. Ray says

    None of these potential “flaws” are a deal breaker for me. It these are the only “problems” that this phone will have when it comes then I will still be a happy Note 3 owner. I can’t wait!

  7. LG says

    none of these so call potential “flaws” ever come across my mind or experience. I am a Note and Note II. Adam, I suggest you do your homework before posting. Now with class 10 SD card, whether you store your data on the phone or SD card does not make any differences. The size might be big but do not think American MEN are small size. :) To my research, Note 3 will be one of the most powerful phone when it release and i am very sure of it.

  8. N2 says

    I agree with the software updates; the only thing I hate when it comes to Samsung Devices particularly the Note. I do not agree that the S4′s features are gimmicky. If a user doesn’t care for some of the features then they can all be turned off. Yes all the features may not be completely necessary but the fact that you can do some of these things is awesome and people can find them useful at times. Samsung is showing people that smartphones can do more than just run games, send and receive various types of messages, take pictures and just have a nice display. Android devices are more capable devices with barely any restrictions if any at all especially when rooted, but rooting is just an option to expand upon the freedom of your desire.

    7 Flaws… Yeah right.!. People try to hard to find flaws. Why not use that energy to focus on the positive? Samsung’s Note and S lineups are the most impressive devices on the market and they keep getting better and better.

  9. Richard says

    The biggest weakness is that it is not the Sony Xperia ZU. Apple missed the boat on the desire for size. HTC lost it’s focus after the success of the EVO. Now Samsung has apparently gone brain dead with a 5.7 inch screen. ZU, 6.4 inch, waterproof, any marking implement functions as a pen and it is the thinnest smartphone. – Note Killer.

    • FreddieBoy says

      Ho HO HO. Try putting a 6.4″ screen phone n u’re pocket, Hello. Note III may b 5.99″, not sure yet, with a smaller, lighter, polycarbonate, Carbon Firer case, with possible flex screen, 3 gigs ram, quad core Snapdreagon 800 process with advanced A-LTE ability. SD card will also now b capable of storing apps, menu
      & back button will work with S-Pen now also. Nothing but the BEST.

  10. Danny3000 says

    Note 3 > xperia uz anyday

    The Samsung “bloatware” offers so many features that are desirable in a “phablet”, with a 2 year head start that nobody can really compete.

    Nexus 4 = real storage issues
    Galaxy mega = real big screen
    Small carriers = bad value/service?
    Updates = second only to Google themselves, everyone else is awful

    Isheep.

  11. The Mattski says

    Thanks Richard, I was looking at the Note 3 but your comments on the Sony Xperia ZU had me take a look at this device. I must say that I’m really impressed! It can use a normal pencil to input notes and the little bluetooth handset is genius for a phone this big. I’m sold, if you are looking at the Note 3, consider the Xperia too, you have some choice in this category right now.

  12. Kala says

    As for as updates go most Android phones are slow about getting updates unless it’s a Nexus. Then after the various manufacturers finally update you have to contend with the phone carriers testing. It’s a mess all around not just Samsung and the note series. I am woman with small hands and I love my note 2. Your article sounds very biased in a negative way about phone that hasn’t even been announced yet.

  13. Mathias Worku says

    Author,

    I don’t think you know your phones. You made no point while given 7 chances. Price is always expected to be $299. With the device being that high already there is no point to pay $100 more for more internal storage. Leave that up to the consumer and sell the device cheaper. With that said 80gb is enough for the average user?!?! That’s more than enough for even the heaviest user. I clicked on this article to see if you made valid points. All I see is someone who thinks they know their phones but just reads specs.

    Signed,
    Very let down reader

  14. RC says

    The only thing that seems valid to me is slow firmware update. I use custom firmware so it doesn’t affect me but I give you that. The others just sound like you are trying to pick bones out of an egg. If these are the best potential flaws you can find, I’m going to pre order Note 3.

  15. DICK says

    Wow. Horrible article. Best part about it was the comments everyone had on how bad it was.

  16. JoN says

    This has to be the worst article on the Note 3 followed by every other Note 3 article on gotta be mobile. Junk writing lol.

  17. Kal-El says

    Someone is an obvious Samsung hater, author the phone has not come out yet you hater. Go eat your apple.

  18. Roo says

    Portability is the problem for me… I need the bigger screen… as I grow older.. even with glasses the screen is so small… I cant read whats on there… I need the bigger screen.

  19. BL says

    Please Sammy don’t just make the Note 3 a bigger version of the S4, you can do better than that. Flexable display maybe to start…

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