Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3: What We Know So Far

As Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors emerge at a furious pace and with a Galaxy S6 launch date now rumored to be just weeks away, we’re starting to see consumers weigh the idea of buying Samsung’s Next Big Thing. With those people in mind, we want to take an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Here, we examine the latest Galaxy S6 rumors and offer an early look at how the device could compare to the Galaxy Note 3.

At the tail end of 2013, months after it announced the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung took the stage again to announce a new device, a follow up to the Galaxy Note 2. That device was, and is, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a powerful version of the Galaxy Note 3 and a device that hit the stage with a number of big time features.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is no longer a flagship but it’s still a viable option for consumers looking for a solid smartphone at a solid price. It’s also still in the hands of thousands of people, some of whom are looking to buy a new smartphone this year. There are a ton of options on the market right now but we’ve started to get a ton of questions about this year’s Galaxy S, a device that’s being called Samsung Galaxy S6.

LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 4

Over the past couple of weeks, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have emerged teasing consumers who are thinking about buying a new smartphone and those looking to either buy or replace a Galaxy Note 3. In response to these rumors, we’ve received a number of questions from curious consumers who are trying to decide what they want to do about the Galaxy S6.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 is shrouded in mystery and we cannot profess to have all of the details. What we do have though are a number of credible Galaxy S6 rumors and years and years of experience. While we can’t offer a full Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3 comparison just yet, we can help set the stage for those debating between the two devices. Here’s what you need to know right now.


Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date

We continue to get bombarded with a series of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6 though maybe the loudest question is about the still unconfirmed Galaxy S6 release date. Readers, friends and family want to know if the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is worth waiting for and how far away it is. We can’t answer that first question for all of you, each situation is a little bit different, but what we can tell you is that we have some idea about when the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date might arrive.

Samsung typically uses the first half of the year to release its Galaxy S smartphone. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 both arrived in April while the Galaxy S3 release was spread out over May, June and July. Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that we’ll see the device land in the first half of the year, perhaps as soon as the first quarter. Galaxy S6 release date rumors have also hinted at the second quarter. These are still rumors but here’s why they are believable.

The first reason, Samsung’s track record. The company usually sticks to a year cycle for its flagship smartphone releases and this rumored window fits the profile. Second, the Galaxy S6 launch is literally mirroring Samsung’s previous Galaxy S launches. Last year, Samsung was rumored to have shown off the Galaxy S5 behind closed doors at CES to select partners. This year, the Galaxy S6 was rumored to be at CES 2015. Even the timing of the first Galaxy S6 rumors were on time.



It also helps that the few rumors we do have all put to a launch in the coming weeks. A new report from Business Insider asserts that as of right now, Samsung is planning a Galaxy S6 launch at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. MWC 2015 kicks off on March 2nd which puts a Galaxy S6 launch date just a few weeks out. If this is true, and it makes sense given the Galaxy S5’s presence at MWC 2014, it means that the Galaxy S6 release will probably arrive in late March or April. Samsung usually gets its devices out just a few weeks after their announcement date.

What this means is that if you’re trying to decide between the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S6 or if you’re thinking about upgrading from the Galaxy Note 3 to the Galaxy S6, you still have some time to think about your options. The Galaxy S6 release date is rumored for but it’s still very much on the horizon with a few weeks to go (at least) before it arrives.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s design was a huge change from the glossy polycarbonate plastic that arrived on board the previous model, the Galaxy Note 2. While it was a change, it wasn’t necessarily the change that consumers were looking for. The faux leather plastic simply did not match up with the designs found on the iPhone and other top flight Android smartphones. Samsung’s changing though and the Galaxy S6 might be the first big step.

We’ve seen several credible Galaxy S6 rumors emerge in recent weeks though very few of them have been related to design. Not that this comes as much of a surprise. Samsung always keeps its design locked down tight ahead of launch. We’ve already seen several Galaxy S6 design rumors fail to pan out and we expect that trend to continue in the weeks ahead as Samsung keeps up a thick layer of security. Here’s what we’ve heard though.

Metal Galaxy S6 concept.

Metal Galaxy S6 concept.


Rumors suggest that the company’s Samsung Galaxy S6 is dubbed Project Zero behind the scenes and that it will be built from the ground up. In other words, it’s expected to be a departure from the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s still not clear what that might mean though many suspect that the new design will include premium build materials.

Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha arrived with a metal frame last year. So did the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung also released a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved display called the Galaxy Note Edge. A popular theory is that the company used these devices as a dry run for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its design. Business Insider believes that Samsung will introduce a Galaxy S6 design that features metal and one that features a curved display like the Galaxy Note Edge. We’ve seen other rumors agree with that information. Italian blog claims that the Samsung Galaxy S6 design will feature an aluminum chassis.

LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 4

Nothing is certain yet but you can expect a few things from the Galaxy S6 design. One, for it to be different than the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy S6 should come with a host of sensors including a more secure way to unlock the phone (retina scanner/fingerprint scanner). That’s something the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t have.


It’s clear that Samsung’s moved on from faux leather and perhaps, plastic altogether. There’s a good chance that the Galaxy S6, a device that’s coming out more than a year after the Galaxy Note 3, will come with a vastly improved design. You might just have to wait until the Galaxy S6 launch date to find out. So be patient.


There’s a very good chance that the Galaxy S6’s display will put the Galaxy Note 3’s 5.7-inch Full HD display to shame. The Galaxy Note 3’s display is big but its resolution is now old news thanks to the 5.7-inch Quad HD display found on the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung’s widely expected to deliver a similar screen on the Galaxy S6 and rumors hint at a size that could be very close to the size of the Galaxy Note.


With the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung made a leap up to Quad HD resolution, 1440 x 2650 for those of you taking notes at home. The screen is considered, by many, to be one of the best smartphone displays on the market. We agree. It’s simply stunning and it’s perfect for reading, playing games, watching content, and a whole lot more.

With the Galaxy Note 4 making the jump to Quad HD resolution, we expected Galaxy S6 rumors to point to a Quad HD display and that’s exactly what we’re seeing, at least thus far. Alleged Samsung Galaxy S6 benchmarks have pointed to a jump in resolution and credible rumors suggest that the next Galaxy S will make the jump up to Quad HD. It’s a natural evolution and one that should put the Galaxy Note 3 at a disadvantage.

Now here’s what’s interesting. In addition to Quad HD, Samsung could be toying with increasing the screen size of the Galaxy S to 5.5-inches, same size as the LG G3. Before you start to panic, know that this doesn’t mean there will necessarily be a huge bump to the overall size of the phone. LG’s G3 isn’t a whole lot bigger than the Galaxy Note 3 thanks to its thin bezels. It’s also smaller than the Galaxy Note 4.

note-4-review 3

As for the curved display, rumors continue to point in that direction though we’re still not sure if it will come with one curved edge like the Galaxy Note Edge or two. If Samsung does go this route, the curved Galaxy S6 Edge will almost certainly be more expensive than the non-curved model. And for many consumers, it will be unnecessary. We suggest checking out the Galaxy Note Edge so that you get some idea about what to expect. (The Galaxy Note 3 only comes in one format.)


When we reviewed the Galaxy Note 3, we noted that it was Samsung’s most powerful smartphone, even more powerful than the Galaxy S4. The device is now a whole lot older but that doesn’t mean that it’s lost its firepower. This is a phone that will be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. The Samsung Galaxy S6 will almost certainly be an improvement though.

Samsung’s well known for upgrading the internal specifications on its Galaxy S year after year so it’s not surprising to learn that the company is working on a collection of upgrades for this year’s Galaxy S6. These specifications, on paper, appear to have the Galaxy Note 3 beat. Not that that’s surprising. This is a phone from 2015.

Galaxy S6 rumors point to the arrival of a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. The Galaxy Note 3 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip. If true, there will be a noticeable difference in performance because the Snapdragon 810 is optimized with better graphics support, enhancements for battery life, and a whole lot more. The Snapdragon 800 is still solid but it’s no longer the latest and greatest.

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera rumors allege that Samsung is still trying to decide between a 16MP camera and a 20MP camera. The two alleged Galaxy S6 benchmarks that we’ve seen include both sensors so it appears that the company is weighing both. A recent leak suggests that Optical Image Stabilization, a feature found on the Galaxy Note 4, will be on board this year’s Galaxy S model. The front facing camera will also supposedly be a 5MP sensor. The Galaxy Note 3 offers a 13MP camera.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Cameras


We’ve also heard that Samsung will shift to a 32GB base model for the Galaxy S6 instead of a 16GB base like the Galaxy S5. In the U.S., the Galaxy Note 3 comes in 32GB form on all carriers though that’s it. With a microSD card slot and a number of different storage options, the Galaxy S6 could offer a lot more choice to you. That might be something worth waiting for as well.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 currently runs an outdated version of the Android operating system called Android 4.4 KitKat. However, it will be getting the bump up to Google’s new Android 5.0 Lollipop OS in early 2015. A specific release date is unknown though we suspect that it will take place sometime in the next couple of months. This will be a huge update for the Galaxy Note 3 and it probably won’t be the last.

Samsung typically keeps devices updated for two years before kicking them to the curb. What this means is that the Galaxy S6, a device that should come stock with Android 5.0 Lollipop, will likely be supported for a year longer than the Galaxy Note 3. This alone might be enough to persuade many of you to wait for the Galaxy S6 to arrive.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Screen Quality

We still don’t know exactly what will be on board the Galaxy S6 though we imagine that it will be Android 5.0 Lollipop or another version of Android 5.0, possibly Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.

Galaxy S6 software rumors also suggest that the Galaxy S6 could come with a trimmed down version of TouchWiz that’s closer to the software found on the Nexus 6. It’s not clear how that would impact older devices like the Galaxy Note 3. Older devices typically get at least some of the new software but never all of it.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is available on the big five in the U.S. which includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors point to the usual U.S. carrier list including those five.

We also expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to come to the usual array of smaller, regional carriers in an effort to match the iPhone 6. Thus far, we’ve only seen major carriers rumored but smaller carriers typically aren’t outed until after the launch date arrives.


The Galaxy Note 3 once occupied the Galaxy Note 4’s $299.99 price point but it has since dipped down far below that. Now, the device sits at $199.99 or cheaper at most places making it an attractive budget option. That said, the Samsung Galaxy S6 could hit its price point right on the head.

New HTC One M8 vs - Note3 19-X3

The Samsung Galaxy S usually checks in at the $199.99 on-contract mark so that it can compete with the iPhone. With two Galaxy S6 variants seemingly on the way, we could see Samsung shift the price of the Galaxy S6 to $199.99 and $299.99.

Whatever the case, we don’t expect the Galaxy S6 to be that much more expensive than the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note series is always one of the most expensive and we don’t see this price shifting too much in the weeks ahead.