7 Tips for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Buyers

In just a few short days, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release dates will arrive in the United States, and the device will replace the Galaxy Note 2 as the company’s flagship opposite the Galaxy S4. With many consumers likely thinking about buying the Galaxy Note 3 or already set on buying Samsung’s new device, we wanted to take a look at some of the important things that buyers should know.

Last year, Samsung finally unleashed the Galaxy Note in the United States. Unlike the original Galaxy Note, which arrived for AT&T and T-Mobile, the Galaxy Note 2 touched down for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, the five largest carriers in the United States.

Thanks to that massive launch, a fantastic marketing campaign and some high quality hardware and software, the Galaxy Note was able to shed its niche tag and appeal to the average consumer. This is a big reason why the Galaxy Note 3 became one of the most anticipated devices of the year, anticipation that culminated with a Galaxy Note 3 launch earlier this month.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Release Date: Final Details for Buyers.

With the world watching, Samsung delivered a Galaxy Note 3 on stage in Berlin, Germany on September 4th, detailing all of its high-end features and producing a Galaxy Note 3 release date in the United States, one that is coming up extremely fast.

Over the past few weeks, shoppers have been keeping an eye on the Galaxy Note 3 thanks to its massive 5.7-inch 1080p display, its high-powered Snapdragon 800 processor, its upgraded 13MP camera, its Android 4.3 operating system, its new S Pen software including Air Command, its enhanced multitasking, its new design and yes, it vast array of carriers in the United States.

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Many have already decided to buy the Galaxy Note 3, either by putting down for a pre-order or shutting out other devices ahead of its arrival early next month. Others are heavily debating picking up the Galaxy Note 3. Whatever the case may be, we have some tips for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 buyers.

Don’t Hold Out for Other Colors

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 buyers who aren’t thrilled with the white and black options are going to have to just suck it up if they want their device in a reasonable amount of time.

At the Galaxy Note 3 launch event, Samsung announced three Galaxy Note 3 colors, white, black and pink. U.S. carriers have not shown a willingness to carry the pink color and if it does touch down here, we don’t expect it to arrive for several weeks, perhaps even months. And even then, it’s not guaranteed to arrive on all five carriers.

A new faux leather back for the Galaxy Note 3.

Carriers have not shown off the pink Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung also loves to release different colors in the later stages of a device’s life and we could see several different Galaxy Note 3 colors arrive. It’s just not going to be right off the bat. And it could take until 2014.

So don’t hold out for new colors. There is no telling when they might be out or who might own an exclusive on them. Instead, Galaxy Note 3 buyers can buy a replacement back if they aren’t happy with the black or white or cover up the color with an S-View case that will transform the Galaxy Note 3 design.

Don’t Hold Out for Smaller Carriers

Let’s be clear, the Galaxy Note 3 isn’t the iPhone 5s. It’s going to be hitting the same big name carriers as Apple’s iPhone but it’s not going to be coming to all of the regional carriers that the iPhone will be headed to in just a few weeks.

The Galaxy Note 3 isn’t likely to hit many smaller carriers, if it hits any at all. Previous Galaxy Notes have stuck to the major carriers, leaving regional and small carriers out of luck. Perhaps the Galaxy Note is too expensive for these carriers, perhaps it’s too niche, it’s not clear.

What is clear though is that buyers should not be holding out hope for a release on a smaller carrier. Start planning to buy it on one of the big five carriers right now.

Make Sure You Need the S Pen

Believe it or not, there will be some Galaxy Note 3 shoppers that look into the device simply because it features one of the largest smartphone displays on the market. While the big screen is nice, it’s not unique to the Galaxy Note series any more. Devices like the the Galaxy Mega also offer massive displays for those that need them. And devices like the Galaxy Mega are much cheaper than the Galaxy Note 3.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 video of rumor roundups and release date predictions.

The Galaxy Note 3 sports an impressive S Pen.

Instead of focusing on the display size, buyers need to take a look at the Galaxy Note 3’s truly unique feature, the S Pen. The S Pen is a bundled stylus that comes holstered inside the Galaxy Note 3 and allows users to write and draw on the display in addition to taking advantage of a number of high-powered, unique applications. It’s no ordinary pen and it’s at the core of the Galaxy Note 3 experience.

However, some people likely won’t like the S Pen or, better yet, need it. That said, prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers will want to ensure that they need it before buying as again, it’s at the heart of the Galaxy Note.

If it feels awkward or unnecessary, take a closer look at AT&T’s Galaxy Mega which is much cheaper and sports a massive 6.3-inch display.

Do Buy a MicroSD Card

One of the perks of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is its microSD card slot. This allows users to utilize up to a 64GB microSD card for expanded storage beyond the 32GB of internal space. While there are some limitations to the microSD card, users can’t store huge data files on board, there are some files that users can store, things like photos and video.

Expect there to be only one Galaxy Note 3 storage option on release day.

By storing files on the microSD card, users can not only keep their internal storage fairly clean but also have peace of mind when snapping photos and video, knowing that there is a ton of space on board.

Best of all, microSD cards are cheap and won’t see Galaxy Note 3 buyers back much. This isn’t something that needs to be bought on day one but it’s something that we certainly recommend shortly after buying the device.

Do Buy an Extended Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is going to produce some serious battery life, just like the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Note before it. However, we highly recommend thinking about buying an extended battery for the Galaxy Note 3, just in case.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 offers a removable back that allows users to install their own battery or replace one that malfunctions. That said, buyers would be smart to buy an extended battery for a few reasons. One, it will replace the stock battery and add more juice for those that need it. For those that don’t, it will bring peace of mind.

The Note 3 back is likely removable with access to a large battery and a MicroSD card slot.

The Note 3 back is removable with access to a large battery and a MicroSD card slot.

Second, it can function as a backup in case the other battery is going dead where a charger isn’t available. And third, it can act as a replacement in case the stock battery somehow gets destroyed.

It’s a smart thing to have around and it’s going to be well worth the investment. Samsung should have its own battery pack out at some point but there will likely also be third-party batteries that users can buy.

Buying a third party battery will likely mean giving up NFC functionality, so it may be worth waiting for Samsung’s official batteries.

Do Get a Fantastic Bluetooth Headset

Motorola-Sliver-II-Review-3-575x466Another accessory that we recommend for the Galaxy Note 3 in particular is a fantastic bluetooth headset. The Galaxy Note 3, while more slim and lightweight than the Galaxy Note 2, is still a big smartphone.And for those with little hands or those that simply don’t like holding a massive smartphone for extended periods, a bluetooth headset is in order.

We highly recommend taking a look at the Motorola Sliver II but there are an assortment of options out there to choose from.

Do Not Buy the Galaxy Note 3 for the Galaxy Gear

While the Galaxy Note 3 is being bundled along with the Galaxy Gear watch accessory, don’t buy the Galaxy Note 3 just to get the Galaxy Gear. Samsung is going to be outfitting its other smartphones including the smaller Galaxy S4 and the cheaper Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3 with support for the Galaxy Gear as well.

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It may seem like ridiculous advice but carriers haven’t made it clear that other devices will work with the accessory down the road. So don’t buy into the Galaxy Note 3 if it’s the Galaxy Gear that is most attractive.

Comments

  1. tgtr0660 says

    I already pre-ordered the Note 3 from AT&T (coming from an iPhone 5, the 5s left me ultra cold) but I would still give this advice to other potential buyers: if you NEED a phone where you can use sim cards from Europe or other continents due to travel needs, this might not be the one, as it seems it will be region-locked.

    Otherwise, buy this marvel.

    • AcemanX AcemanX says

      wrong wrong wrong, don’t spread lies to people who might buy this and take it overseas, get your facts straight, it is not region locked, you can take your phone overseas and swap sim cards in AFTER you’ve put in the proper sim card for the proper region..so, buy a European unlocked note 3, you have to activate it with a euro sim card first, then you can swap in a US one when you go to the states, you just can’t buy it in Europe, and then try to put in a us sim card in, thats when it won’t work, (and why would you even want to do this?) but it will if you activate your version in your region, US in US and Europe in Europe then once its activated there, swap in the sim card when you go overseas (thats what its meant for anyways) this kind of blatant disregard for the facts is what spreads BS around about a perfectly good phone.

      • Andyh says

        From the information I have gathered, I believe you are wrong.

        According to a (translated from German) statement by Samsung; IF you bought a handset in a region e.g; Europe, then transported it to another ‘region’ eg; the Americas without having inserted a sim card from the country/region of original purchase, THEN, Samsung service centres will allow the phone to be unlocked to the current region’s (Americas in this example) SIMs (perhaps it will even ‘just work’ having not had it’s sim slot virginity taken yet?). However, should you have used the phone with a locally sourced SIM within the ‘region’ of purchase and then travelled to another region (e.g.; your home country), it will no longer accept the new region’s SIM. Good for grey importers, bad for travellers without cash to burn on roaming fees and bad for resale on ebay/giving to your relative/friend abroad in a different region. Pretty shitty full-stop me thinks.

        • Dominic Goodspeed says

          Im a Tech and A Hacker specializing in Samsung devices and the region locking is only for INITIAL ACTIVATION ONLY!!!! This is only to prevent people from breaking time and contract restrictions like if a phone isnt scheduled to be released in the US for another month, people cant just buy it from another country and import it. Samsung doesnt want importers and exporters off of their payroll or out of their restrictions. Once you activate it properly initially, your good BUT it will require a slightly more expensive plan while travelling abroad so that the travelling abroad allowance wont be used as a permanent back door to importing and exporting again.

          • yesenia says

            Can you please explain this in more details? So I just bought the galaxy note3 in California and activated it with my sprint family plan. .. When I go to Spain on wed, how can I make it work over the re. Please let me know, it would help me a lot. .!! Thanks

    • Dustin says

      Samsung has replied they have given carriers measures to unlock the Sim region restriction. Surely the Dev community will figure out a workaround, so I wouldn’t stop this from me getting the phone. I’m sure Samsung has a security reason for doing this, maybe because of Knox or for enterprise, bit I’m sure they weren’t sitting in the office saying, ” Oh I know, let’s see if we can hurt our sales by locking our phones down by region and making a possible business phone unattractive to travelers!”

    • John says

      No, U’re in mis-understanding…You can use Note 3 elsewhere like another phone if you registered it in place you’d bought it. If not you must go to Samsung center to un-lock it..Then u can use the owesome-greatest phone. Just a simple thing.

  2. Tom the Samsung Guy says

    Buy an unlocked phone, rather than a carrier-locked phone. The US needs to get over this. Don’t blame Samsung: they are just responding to the carriers’ demands for carrier locking. And it helps make an expensive smartphone much more affordable by allowing the user to pay for it month-by-month in your contract.

    • Dominic Goodspeed says

      Tom please stop talking garbage. Samsung isnt making an unlocked version of the Note 3 hence the ENTIRE purpose of region restricting would be a moot point. Honestly of you want to get around the region issue ALL of you guys best bet is to wait for us hackers and modders to make ROMS that work around that. We always work around what they restrict us including tethering with Att plans without needing the “Required” $50 a month plan. Trust we will have you guys covered in a month or 2 .

  3. Michael Kaufman says

    Five good tips out of seven isn’t bad.

    1) While the S-Pen is nice, after a year on the GN2, I can tell you that the GN3 is going to be the best phablet out there even for people who don’t ever use the pen. Everything else aside, its the only one with both a replaceable battery and a micro SD slot. And most of the other phablets don’t have either.

    2) Don’t get an extended battery. An extended battery needs a different back for the phone. Get a second standard battery. It will fit nicely in your pocket or bag and twostandard batteries will keep anyone going for as long as necessary.

    • mary says

      Why get an extra battery when you can get a power pack to recharge if phone dies? The pack can recharge other devices too. Get a good one and you can use it from device to device. I throw mine into my backpack and just recharge once/month -I’ve never had to use it but it is security. Keep a car charger around too.

      • Michael Kaufman says

        I like the extra battery better because its not always convenient to use an external power pack.

        Lets say you are out and about all day. You get home in the evening and want to make sure you have a full battery when you go out at night.

        With an extra internal battery, you just swap it in and you are back to 100%.

        With a power pack, you have to bring the pack with you in the evening and then you have to deal with it hanging on to your phone.

        If you are going to be sitting on a plane or train, or someplace else where you are sitting around but not near a plug, then a power pack is just as useful. Otherwise, the internal battery is better, and its a lot smaller to carry around.

        • mary says

          I guess I wonder about charging-do you have to charge it In the phone? Keep swapping batteries? It’s never been a problem for me but I don’t fly the friendly skies. Very seldom do I need to even recharge during the day unless I’m playing a game. But-i am not using my Note 2 for business, either.

          • Michael Kaufman says

            You can charge it in the phone, but Samsung also sells a tiny battery case that will charge it.

            I don’t need it very often either. I mostly have it as a backup, and for when I am traveling.

          • Dwaine says

            This thing recharges do fast, that a 30-60 minute charge will get you through most 18 hour work/play days!

  4. mizerock says

    Interesting insights. I was figuring on leaving Verizon for a cheaper carrier when my contract is up in December, so buying this would limit my options. Also, the Gear is a far bigger selling point for me than the S Pen. It is starting to sound like I should just get the Google Nexus.

  5. NachoKingP says

    The Gear is likely going to be getting a MUCH more feature-filled and other-manufacturer-phone compatible upgrade when the Gear 2 gets released, so I’m holding off on that…

  6. Dominic Goodspeed says

    Ill make the Region Restricting issue clear. You cant live in the US and buy a European phone before the US version comes out and activate it with a US sim card. If your travelling abroad with the phone you bought in your region for your region, advise your carrier that your travelling abroad and they will make sure your on an international plan while your travelling which is slightly more expensive with EVERY carrier. The Note 3 IS a world phone. When you return home, call your carrier and they will switch you back to the domestic plan you had again. By the way, I train Att store employees and managers on all Samsung equipment and phones before they receive it in the stores. Youve heard it directly from the official technician/expert for Samsung Products.

  7. SheWolf says

    Y’all sound like bunch of babbling morons. Who cares? If someone here purchased the Note 3 from overseas…why does that matter to you? “Honey, time for bed!” “Not now mom. Someone’s wrong on the internet!” Buncha dumbasses…

  8. Joe D. says

    Before some of you start planning on buying an “unlocked” Note 3 for use in the U.S. and abroad, you may want to consider how each individual carrier’s LTE network differs from one another and how the spectrums are assigned. Just sayin’.

  9. mary says

    I have no idea what that means. I am great at using technology. But I don’t understand root and unlock, etc. If I don’t understand, I won’t risk. I plan to buy Verizon’s Note 3. Since it comes out later than others, I’ll be making a trip to best buy to check it out prior to purchasing.

  10. Rihan says

    Get a factory unlocked phone guys.. Big deal ah? Now for the one who had commented samsung don’t manufacture fact unlocked phones, I have been using it for 3 years and I buy the fact unlocked phones only. Would cost a bit initially, but really worth. Also the carrier plans as somebody mentioned here would go a little high. That’s true

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