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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.