Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 3: What We Know So Far

With each passing day, we continue to see Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors tease consumers in the United States and around the world. With those Galaxy Note 5 rumors in mind, we want to take an early look at how the device is stacking up against the aging Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This is our early Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 3 comparison.

In the fall of 2013, Samsung took the stage and announced a brand new third-generation Galaxy Note dubbed Galaxy Note 3. As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 debuted with a number of big time changes including an improved display, tweaks to the design, camera enhancements, new software, a different processor, and a whole lot more.


This fall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will turn two years old. What this means is that many Galaxy Note 3 users will be coming off contract and some will be looking to buy a new phone. Devices like the LG G4, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be tempting and we expect there to be some other contenders on shelves once that milestone arrives.


Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors have started to heat up and we’ve started to hear whispers about the Galaxy Note 5 specs, Galaxy Note 5 release date and Galaxy Note 5 carriers. There are still plenty of details that remain shrouded in mystery but we have enough to make an early comparison to Samsung’s aging former flagship.


This early Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 3 comparison will run down the latest Galaxy Note 5 rumors and show you how they currently compare to a device that many people will think about replacing later this year. Here’s what you need to know as we push into May.


Galaxy Note 5 Release Date

If you are looking to replace the Galaxy Note 3 with a Galaxy Note 5, you’re probably going to be waiting a few months. The Galaxy Note 5 release date isn’t confirmed but it’s not expected to land in the near future.

In the first four months of the year, we’ve only seen one Galaxy Note 5 rumor emerge. The rumor comes from Korean publication Daum and it states that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 release date could land in August. If true, the release would be much earlier than the Galaxy Note 4 release date which arrived in late September last year.

Before you go circling August in pen, you’ll want to know this. First, while Daum has been correct with rumored information in the past, the publication was wrong about the Galaxy S6 release date. It claimed that the device would arrive early in March. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge both arrived on April 10th.



Second. If you’re familiar with the Galaxy Note series you’d know that Samsung typically announces its new Galaxy Note at IFA. For those of you not familiar, IFA is a massive trade show that takes place every year in Berlin, Germany. The five Galaxy Note flagships in existence (Galaxy Note, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4, Note Edge) were all announced on stage around the start of IFA.

IFA 2015 kicks off on September 4th which means that September 1st-4th are the dates you should be circling on your calendar. August is certainly possible but we wouldn’t bet any kind of money on it at this point.

The important thing prospective Galaxy Note 5 buyers need to know is that we’re probably still months away from a Galaxy Note 5 release date. It’s still early in the Galaxy Note 5 rumor cycle and we typically see rumors heat up when a launch is close.

Nothing is concrete but we, like many others, aren’t expecting a release until September or October. For some of you, that will make your decision a little bit easier. For others, it will only serve to complicate things as you look to replace or buy a Galaxy Note 3.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 arrived on a number of carriers around the world though it’s very limited in the United States. Only AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon carry the Galaxy Note 3. Not that this is out of the ordinary. Only major US carriers have carried Samsung’s Galaxy Note series.


Current Galaxy Note 5 rumors have, thus far, failed to establish a full list of Galaxy Note 5 carriers though they have hinted at a few potential destinations for Samsung’s new flagship.

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update Review - 1

A recent report from SamMobile outlines some potential Galaxy Note 5 release details. The site says that Samsung will use model number SM-N920F for the international version of the Galaxy Note 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 model number is SM-N910x which makes the jump to SM-N920x a logical one. The leak also outlines several other model numbers including those for the AT&T Galaxy Note 5 and Verizon Galaxy Note 5.

  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920F EUR XX (Europe)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920S KOR SKC (Korea)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920K KOR KTC (Korea)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920A NA ATT (AT&T)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920V NA VZW (Verizon)

This all but confirms a Galaxy Note 5 release for the top two carriers in the United States and it also suggests that the Galaxy Note 5 will be coming to at least two other key markets, Europe and Korea.



The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7-inch display that features 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution at 386 pixels per inch. When the Galaxy Note 3 was first released, the device’s display was considered one of the finest smartphone screens on planet earth. These days, the Galaxy Note 3 display is looking its age as Samsung and other companies push the bar.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  005-XL

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 display rumors suggest that we could see Samsung move beyond the Quad HD technology that it implemented in the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6.

Samsung will reportedly start production on a 6-inch Ultra HD display at 700+ pixels per inch in the near future. If it’s able to get the panel ready in time for the fall, it could mean a shift from Quad HD resolution to Ultra HD. UHD delivers a whopping 2160 x 3840 resolution.

report from PhoneArena, citing slides from Samsung’s Analyst Day event, suggests that Samsung is at least considering 2160 × 3840 pixel resolution for the Galaxy Note 5 display. The company is rumored to be throwing around a 5.89-inch display for both a flat and “Edge” Galaxy Note 5 model. In other words, the Galaxy Note 5 could deliver higher resolution and a curved option.

Galaxy S6 Avengers Age of Ultron - 1

The Korea Herald suggests that Samsung is at least considering the Galaxy S6 Edge’s dual-edge display technology for the Galaxy Note series. The report cites Roh Tae-moon, executive vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team who notes that “there is a possibility that Samsung will introduce the curved display for the Galaxy Note lineup.”

report from China suggests that Samsung will be using a flexible display on the Galaxy Note 5. In addition to that, an old report from Korean publication Ledwn, which accurately predicted the Galaxy S6 Edge, claims that Samsung will be putting a flexible display on the Galaxy Note 5. So, it’s pretty clear that Samsung is probably going to continue using the technology on this year’s Galaxy Note.

In summary, here’s how the display specs could stack up:

We recommend taking a look at our Galaxy S6 Edge review to familiarize yourself with Samsung’s curved technology and its high-resolution AMOLED displays. And if you’re not familiar with the Galaxy Note 3 display, take a look at our review.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 features a plastic faux leather design that comes with a microSD card slot for expanded storage and a removable battery that makes the stock battery easy to replace. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will almost certainly come with a design that’s vastly different from the language that Samsung used back in 2013.

LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 4

This year, Samsung finally made some big changes to its design language. The company’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge designs both feature glass and metal. They are stunning but they also comes with some tradeoffs that many Galaxy enthusiasts aren’t pleased about. Namely, the lack of a microSD slot and a removable battery. We could see more of the same from the Galaxy Note 5.

A new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 concept is making the rounds. And while it’s gorgeous to look at, the design doesn’t come from Samsung itself. Samsung is well known for keeping its designs under lock and key. Unsurprisingly, we haven’t heard much about the Galaxy Note 5 design. We have, however, seen one Samsung executive hint at what the Galaxy Note 5 could entail and it sounds like Samsung will be looking to keep its Note series on the same level as the Galaxy S.

The Galaxy S6 Edge sports a premium design that delivers a great tactile feel.

The Galaxy S6 Edge sports a premium design that delivers a great tactile feel.

In recent comments made to Pocket-lint, Samsung UK’s vice president for mobile and IT Conor Pierce offered up some interesting quotes that hint at what we could see from Samsung down the road:

The company realised that it needed to do something different. We asked questions of people, what do they want? They want premium design, tick that box. They want the best camera, there you go. They want to solve battery issues. And they want choice. So I’m very confident that [the S6 and edge] materialised from what people want.

We’ve learned that bringing beautiful, premium innovations in design is what people want. I think the market needs this as well because the market has been very saturated.

I think it’s about us breaking new ground. It was a bold move to try to do something different, but if you go back to last year, we had the Note edge and you could see how well that was received. So we understand that this is what people want. They are looking for some inspiration, so yes you will see that across our portfolio.

He claims that Samsung is very focused on these key features and he also suggests that the company’s upcoming products could come with some of these big changes on board:

What we have noticed is that typically the upgrade cycle is every 24 months because of the contracts, and people are generally offered an upgrade around six months before that.

That’s when they start to look at the phones on the market. So it’s very important that we don’t just do our best work in this current quarter. People don’t just turn up in this quarter, or July, August or September, looking for a new phone, it’s all year round.

I think the fact that we managed to deliver a new form factor with the Note, create a new category, shows the ambition to keep changing and keep innovating. Samsung puts $40 million a day into research and development, which is a massive injection of money into R&D.

So if you think that Samsung is going to regress this year with the Galaxy Note 5, you’re crazy. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were both well received and you should expect the company to release a Galaxy Note 5 that falls in line with its new direction.


Pierce notes that consumers want a high quality camera on their smartphone. The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a solid 13MP shooter but we’ve seen the company tweak its hardware and software in the months since its release. The company is rumored to be tweaking it further on the Galaxy Note 5.

Samsung is reportedly working on new camera features that it will deliver with an upcoming Android 5.1.1 update. The features are unclear though rumors suggest they might have something to do with Google’s camera API. If Google adds the full API, we could see some changes to the camera including better control over the shutter speed.

Samsung delivers an impressive Galaxy S6 Edge camera experience.

Samsung delivers an impressive Galaxy S6 Edge camera experience.

These features will evidently be on board the Galaxy Note 5. It’s not clear if the Galaxy Note 3 will get them though Samsung is known for bringing new software features to old devices with software updates.

Android 5.1.1 is rumored for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge as well.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. It’s also powered by a Exynos 5 Octa processor from Samsung in some places not called the United States. The Galaxy Note 5 will almost certainly use an improved chip and it looks like it could be a CPU from Qualcomm.

This year, Samsung opted to use its own Exynos chips inside the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. This is different from years past when Samsung used its own chips in addition to Qualcomm’s.

Galaxy Note 5 concept.

Galaxy Note 5 concept.

A report from the hit-or-miss publication Digitimes claims that Qualcomm is trying to get its Snapdragon chips back into Samsung flagship smartphones. And according to a report from Recode “Qualcomm plans to have its next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor manufactured at Samsung’s chip-making plants.”

The report also claims that “Qualcomm is hoping that the move to use Samsung’s factories will help it win back business for the next Galaxy S flagship” but again, it’s still not clear if it will land in time for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Either way, expect the Galaxy Note 5 to feature an upgraded processor that helps to deliver better performance and perhaps, better battery life as well. That will come in handy if Samsung brings its new design language to the Galaxy Note 5.