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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Another 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.
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.