Galaxy Note 3 vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown

Over the past few months, it has become clear that Samsung is planning to replace the Galaxy Note 3 with a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a high-powered successor. As we’ve gotten closer to the fall, Galaxy Note 4 rumors have begun to firm up and here, we take an updated look at how those rumors are stacking up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

It has been almost a year since Samsung took the stage at its Unpacked event to announce the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. And given the company’s yearly cycle, it hasn’t been surprising to see Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors creep out of the shadows in the weeks ahead of the fall.


Galaxy Note 4 S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been rampant in recent months and thanks to a series of leaks, we now have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the company’s brand new flagship. While we still don’t have every piece to the puzzle, we think we know where many of them fit ahead of Samsung’s official announcement.

These potential changes have tons of people intrigued and rightfully so. Samsung has a solid track record with the Galaxy Note series.  And while it’s still not confirmed, there are enough credible rumors out to make an early comparison and breakdown the latest regarding these two flagship devices. Here, in an effort to help prepare potential buyers, we take a look at the Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 3.



From the sound of things, and we mean sound not look, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design is going to feature some significant changes from the faux leather Galaxy Note 3 form factor that made its debut last year. As we’ve noted many times over, while the Galaxy Note 3 design is an improvement over the Galaxy Note 2’s polycarbonate plastic, it still has nothing on high-end devices like the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5s.


So let’s get back to the whole sound thing. We deliberately said sound because we still haven’t seen what the full blown Galaxy Note 4 might look like. Its build material is a mystery at this point even if rumors out of Korea continue to point to a metal design. There’s no proof and we don’t have any leaked images or schematics to draw from.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

This is not surprising given that Samsung almost always keeps its designs a secret until just before the announcement. Or, in the case of the Galaxy Note 3 design, until the launch date itself.

We’ve heard little bits and pieces including rumors about an IP67 dust and water resistant certification and four colors (blue, gold, black, white). We’ve also heard that it will have a fingerprint sensor or a Retina scanner for added security. but the overall design remains in the shadows as we push closer to the Galaxy Note 4 launch.


Here are the key takeaways from the rumors right now:

  • Expect some changes from the Galaxy Note 3 design. Metal and a flexible display could perhaps play a key role here but neither is guaranteed at this point so don’t put too much stock in them.
  • Added security is a given, either through fingerprint or Retina scanning.
  • Don’t expect the real Galaxy Note 4 design to leak until August or September. Samsung does a good job at keeping its designs cloaked. This is important because it means you probably won’t be able to compare the two designs well ahead of launch.


All along, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been rumored to be coming with a large QHD (Quad HD) display. As we’ve pointed out, QHD resolution will offer higher resolution gaming, something that’s key on a device of this size, and it will also sharpen the look of movies, television shows and other content. As we noted in our review of the LG G3, QHD is more than just a marketing gimmick. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 sports a solid display but it’s full HD and not Quad HD.

The 5.7-inch display is still a great size for the Galaxy Note 4.

The 5.7-inch display is still a great size for the Galaxy Note 4.

Rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 will retain the same 5.7-inch display as the Galaxy Note 3 which makes sense given that it would slot in perfectly amongst Samsung’s other smartphones including the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5 and the rumored Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 which is expected to feature a 5.9-inch display.

Here’s what to make of this:


  • Given the mountain of evidence, it’s pretty clear that the Galaxy Note 4 will have a better screen resolution than the Galaxy Note 3. This will help it keep pace with the LG G3.
  • It’s hard to see a shift in screen size at this point. Everything we’ve seen points to 5.7-inches and with a 5.9-inch device on the way, there isn’t much room for movement.
  • Yes, the Galaxy Note 4 will be a large phone.


While the display and design will likely be in focus on the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note release will come equipped with a number of other specifications to help bolster its spec sheet. Here, we put the latest rumors together. Keep in mind, this is a partial spec sheet but it should give you an idea about what to expect from the device when it arrives.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

  • Snapdragon 800/Exynos 5420 octa-core processor
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.7-inch FHD display
  • 32GB of storage + microSD card slot for up to 128GB
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 13MP rear-facing camera
  • 3,200 mAh battery

Here’s the breakdown:

  • It’s clear, from where we’re standing, that the Galaxy Note 4 is going to come with the usual spec upgrades fitting of a device from 2014. Rumors have continually pointed to new processors and it looks like Samsung could split it into Snapdragon and Exynos once again.
  • Camera rumors continue to hint at the inclusion of OIS, Optical Image Stabilization, so it’s possible that this will be a key feature on the Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy Note 3 was also rumored to have OIS though those rumors did not pan out.
The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

  • The Galaxy Note 4 is thought to have 32GB of storage though a microSD card slot has not been rumored. The Galaxy Note 3 comes in 32GB variants in the United States.
  • No Galaxy Note 4 battery life rumors yet but Samsung made battery life a focus on the Galaxy S5 so we would be shocked if it was lacking in this department.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 won’t have the same software feature-set as the Galaxy Note 3, at least at the beginning. Samsung always outfits its new devices with new TouchWiz software features and in the case of the Galaxy Note 4, we could also see it make some additions to its S Pen. Here are a few of the rumored changes though these are old. We haven’t seen any recent Galaxy Note 4 software leaks.


  • Smart Fingerprint –  It wasn’t fully detailed but it’s assumed that it has something to do with being able to customize a fingerprint reader for certain actions.
  • Multi Network for Booster –  Could be similar to the Download Booster feature on the Galaxy S5 that combines Wi-Fi and cellular data for faster download speeds.
  • Swipe to Launch Motion Launcher –  Could be similar to Motion Launch on the HTC One M8.
  • Aqua Capture – Possibly similar to the Aqua Mode found on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Aqua Mode allowed Galaxy S4 Active users to take photos underwater.

If these do come on board the Galaxy Note 4, it’s possible that the Galaxy Note 3 will get them down the road. Older devices tend to get new software features with Android updates so the Galaxy Note 3 is in line to get at least some of what the Galaxy Note 4 brings to the table.

Galaxy Note 4 Features

It’s still not clear if the device will run Android 4.4 KitKat or Android L though given the Android L release rumors, consumers should expect it to run Android 4.4 KitKat and perhaps, one of the latest versions of it.


Nothing to see here, really. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Same as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. At this point, consumers need to assume that it’s not going to come to smaller carriers, at least not in the United States.

Release Date

It’s clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is going to launch in September. Every single Galaxy Note 4 launch rumor puts the announcement inside of September and more specifically, near IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. September 3rd has been rumored as a possibility though the specific date for an Unpacked event isn’t known.

As for the Galaxy Note 4 release date, the Galaxy Note 3’s days are numbered. A recent report suggests that we could see a quick turnaround from announcement date to release date. Production will reportedly start soon and the device is thought to be coming out much sooner than the Galaxy Note 3 did last year.

Galaxy Note 4 Speakers

Samsung’s turnaround with the Galaxy Note 3 was about three weeks so it could be that Samsung gets the Galaxy Note 4 out within two weeks or less if the rumors are true. Given that the device is likely going to be up against the iPhone 6 in September, it’s possible that Samsung will hustle to get the Galaxy Note 4 out on shelves in an effort to better compete.

Key takeaways: