With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch date only days away, it’s time for us to make some final predictions in regards to the Galaxy Note 3 release date, price, features and more.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn’t confirmed yet but it may as well be. Thanks to healthy dose of rumors, leaks and speculation, the Galaxy Note 3 is about as official as an unannounced device can get. We’ve heard rumors about its features which are thought to be better than the Galaxy Note 2’s. We’ve heard about some familiar carriers. We’ve heard rumors in regard to its upcoming release date. This is a phone that has been no stranger to leaks over the last few months.
Samsung itself isn’t hiding the fact that it has a Galaxy Note 3 on the way either. Its media invite for its September 4th launch event was full of not-so-subtle clues that hinted at a Galaxy Note announcement. And it’s at that event that we’ll hear all about the Galaxy Note 3, its features, its price, its release date and more. In extravagant fashion too as Samsung is known for its lavish launch events, opposite of an Apple iPhone event which are far more subdued.
With the September the 4th fast approaching on the calendar and most of the Galaxy Note 3 out in the open, it’s time to make some final, educated predictions in regards to Samsung’s new phablet.
Here, we take a look into our crystal ball and make some bold predictions in regards to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, one of the most anticipated devices of the year.
Launch Date Doesn’t Reveal All
Samsung has been known to withhold information about its flagship devices at their launch events, namely, their release dates, specific pricing, and carrier-to-carrier storage options. While we could see Samsung announce more than it ever has at a Galaxy Note event, we don’t think the company is going to pull an Apple on September 4th and give consumers every bit of information that they’re seeking.
The company is rumored to be shipping the Galaxy Note 3 out shortly after the Galaxy Note 3’s launch. This is possible and likely given the fact that Samsung has been trying to close the gap between launch and release. But even so, don’t expect it to give out detailed U.S. release information, instead leaving that to the individual carriers.
U.S. carriers are known to issue information when it’s in their best interest, not when it’s in the best interest of their customers. We’ve seen improvements with Android launches but we still expect there to be holes in the Galaxy Note 3 U.S. release on launch day. Whether it’s missing release dates, pricing, storage options or accessory release dates, the Galaxy Note 3 won’t bear every detail.
Release Date in September
We do think that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be released in September. The reasoning is simple. First, we saw the Galaxy Note 2 emerge in late September after a late August launch. We also saw the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 emerge for some regions just a month after they were announced. So, September makes sense with Samsung’s history in mind.
As for the U.S. release date specifically, it’s hard to say. Our gut feeling is that the U.S. will follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S4 release which mirrored regions around the world. However, there was no iPhone launch when the Galaxy S4 took place. The iPhone 5S is expected to debut on September 20th, or, shortly after the Galaxy Note 3 launch.
U.S. carriers will have enough problems as it is with the iPhone 5S pre-order and release so the other part of us thinks that they may wait a bit for the iPhone hoopla to die down before launching the Galaxy Note 3.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the Galaxy Note 3 hit the United States in late September or in October instead of right away as rumors suggest.
Sprint Galaxy Note 3 First
This isn’t an iPhone release so it means that we’ll likely see staggered release dates. Should that happen, we expect Sprint to be one of the first, if not the first out of the gate with the Galaxy Note 3.
Sprint has shown a desire to beat its competitors to release in an attempt to steal consumers away from other carriers. It was among the first to release both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2.
If we had to guess, the Sprint Galaxy Note 3 will be hot out of the gates as Sprint attempts to capitalize on the buzz of the Galaxy Note 3 to attract customers. Look for it to offer pre-orders shortly before its release.
Verizon Galaxy Note 3 Last
No doubt about it, the Verizon Galaxy Note 3 will be last. Why? Verizon was last to the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 by a long shot and it was also very late to the HTC One which arrived several months after the competition.
Verizon tends to take its time with launches, whether it’s due to software testing or pipeline issues or otherwise, and we expect it to do the same with the Galaxy Note 3.
Subtle Design Tweaks
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Galaxy Note 3 is its design. We’ve heard a few rumors about it, but nothing substantial. We also haven’t seen the device itself leak out ahead of time though we do expect it to surface soon.
Rumors suggest that it will come with a design that is similar to the Galaxy Note 2, dimensions and all. Another rumor suggested that the device could be 8mm thin, much thinner than the Galaxy Note 2.
At this point, we can’t say which theory is correct but we do expect the Galaxy Note 3 to come with a design that takes from both the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S4. In other words, don’t expect an overhaul. Instead, expect some tweaks.
We saw Samsung tweak the design of the Galaxy S4 by adding a faux metal band around the device and using improved polycarbonate plastic for its outer shell. The Galaxy S4 is also thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S3. Other things stayed the same including the rounded edges, removable back, microSD card slot, and a Gorilla Glass display.
We think Samsung might apply these same principles to the Galaxy Note 3. Slim it down a bit, use better materials, but keep the overall look and feel of it the same as its predecessor.
Larger Display, Better Resolution
This isn’t much of a prediction given the rumors but it’s clear at this point that Samsung will be including a larger display on the Galaxy Note 3. It’s rumored to be 5.68-inches and at this point, there is no reason to dispute that. Samsung has increased the size of the Galaxy Note display year-after-year and the Galaxy S4 features a 5-inch display, dangerously close to the 5.5-inch display on the Galaxy Note 2.
We know, thanks to the Galaxy S4, that Samsung can simply make the Galaxy Note 3 a little taller to accommodate the larger display so a display that’s a bit larger than the Galaxy Note 2’s seems likely.
So does the rumored 1080p resolution. With big name devices shifting to 1080p, the Galaxy Note 3 won’t be left in the dust. Look for it to sport one of the best smartphone screens around.
Good Camera, But Not Top-of-the-Line
If we had to place a bet, we’d bet that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will have a 13MP camera, something that has been rumored continuously over the past year. Samsung made the switch with the Galaxy S4 and with the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note both sporting an 8MP sensor, it’s about time that Samsung made the upgrade.
Don’t expect this camera to rule the smartphone camera world though. With rumors suggesting Optical Image Stabilization is out, and with 3X Optical Zoom fading from memory, we expect the camera to be on par with the Galaxy S4’s.
What this means is that it will have a quality camera, but it won’t be up there with the likes of the Lumia 1020 or perhaps even the iPhone 5S which is expected to have an absurd rear camera on board.
Snapdragon 800 Processor in U.S.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to utilize a Exynos 5 Octa in some regions and a Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm in others. In the United States, we think that the processor will be the Snapdragon 800.
For one, credible rumors have suggested that AT&T’s Galaxy Note 3, at the very least, will run the Snapdragon 800. Second, we’ve heard rumors that the Snapdragon 800 will be the processor used in most Galaxy Note 3 variants thanks to issues with the Exynos 5 Octa. And third, the Galaxy S4 in the U.S. passed on the Exynos 5 Octa for the Snapdragon 600, a lesser quad-core processor from Qualcomm.
Both processors will offer fantastic performance so this is a win-win for those that are looking into Samsung’s phablet.
Huge S Pen Upgrades
While all of that is nice, we think that the S Pen will be the biggest piece of the Galaxy Note 3 puzzle. We haven’t heard anything specifically in regards to the Galaxy Note 3 S Pen or its software but we do know that it will be coming with new features. What those features are are unclear but expect them to be integral pieces to the Galaxy Note 3 experience.
Need two more reasons why the S Pen upgrades will probably be the biggest features on board the Galaxy Note 3? One, Samsung knows that it will be competing against a bunch of big screen competitors including the HTC One Max and Sony Xperia Z Ultra. And it’s the S Pen that can set it apart from these devices and prolong its reign as King of Phablets.
And second, we haven’t heard a peep about the S Pen or its features, a sign that Samsung is keep it guarded secret. It likely wants to wow consumers with its S Pen upgrades and while we can’t say if the features will all be gimmicky, we expect there to be some fantastic upgrades on board that set this device apart from its rivals.
One Storage Variant
In the past, U.S. carriers have carried only one storage variant of the Galaxy Note, due in part to the device’s microSD card slot and likely due to demand. Buying these devices costs money and carriers likely see no need to spend money on different storage options when the device’s storage can be expanded.
We’ve heard that the Galaxy Note 3 will come with 32GB stock instead of 16GB and that, to us, means that one storage option is even more likely than it was if 16GB were to rule once again.
We’re hoping that carriers offer at least two storage options, the 64GB model would be nice, but our gut says one variant at 32GB.
Familiar Price Tag
We fully expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to check in with the same $299.99 price tag that we’ve seen arrive with the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Note 2. With the Galaxy S4 arriving for $199.99, it’s clear that Samsung and its carriers are sticking to itheir successful formula. We imagine that that will apply to the Galaxy Note 3 as well.
Immediate Price Drops
We predict that there will be immediate price drops for those looking to score the Galaxy Note 3 under $300. Retailers like Wirefly typically have pre-orders for devices with a discounted price tag attached and now we’ve seen Dell try and get into the discount pre-order game. Amazon should have discounts on the Galaxy Note 3 after launch as well.
Now, we aren’t saying that there will be $100 discounts right off the bat, but we think we’ll see $20 to $50 discounts available to Galaxy Note 3 buyers from the get-go.
Rumors suggest that Samsung will be coming out with a pink Galaxy Note 3 about a month after the device’s arrival. That means that if a September release is spot on, it could arrive in October. While that could be accurate, we think that U.S. carriers will opt to carry two color options for a good part of 2013, if not all of it.
Color options typically hit the U.S. months, not weeks after release. Carriers have shown a willingness to carry different colors, they just haven’t shown a willingness to release them in close proximity to the initial release.