Galaxy Note 4 vs. Galaxy Note 3: What the Rumors Reveal Right Now

As we get closer and closer to the fall, we’re starting to see consumers struggle with a very tough decision: Buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to arrive before deciding on a new device. While we can’t answer that question for you, we can help point you in the right direction. Today, we take an updated look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is stacking up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Last September, Samsung took the stage in Berlin, Germany and confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the world of mobile technology. For months, rumors had pointed to the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and sure enough, the company debuted the Galaxy Note 3, a successor to the popular Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 debuted with a ton of new features including an upgraded 5.7-inch display, a faster and more efficient Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm, a brand new 13MP camera, new features for the bundled S Pen stylus, and a new design that ditched the polycarbonate plastic for a faux leather back.

Samsung released the Galaxy Note 3 in a number of different regions in late September and the U.S. got it in early October. Since then, it has remained on of the top smartphones on the market and it should remain one of the top options for most of 2014. All good things come to an end though and rumors suggest that Samsung will not be riding the Galaxy Note 3 into the holidays.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been rampant in recent weeks giving consumers a glimpse at what to expect from Samsung’s upcoming successor to the Galaxy Note 3. In fact, we’ve started to see some Galaxy Note 4 rumors firm up ahead of its eventual launch, to the point where they are essentially all but confirmed at this point.

Here, in an effort to provide clarity to those that might be struggling with a decision, we take a look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is stacking up with the Galaxy Note 3.

Design Differences All but Confirmed

Every year, Samsung rolls out a new design for its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagship models. So, it’s not surprising to hear that the Galaxy Note 4 will not only look different than the Galaxy Note 3 but that it will also come with some solid upgrades over last year’s model.

Galaxy Note 4 rumors have continually hinted at a brand new design. A Samsung executive recently said that the device would be coming with a “new form factor” but did not elaborate on the changes Samsung might be making. This “new form factor” could potentially be the three-sided display that the company will supposedly install on the new Galaxy Note.

Galaxy Note 4 concept vs. Galaxy Note 3.

Galaxy Note 4 concept vs. Galaxy Note 3.

Rumors point to two different models, one with a flat display and one with a curved display so it’s possible that this will be the massive change that Samsung continues to hint at. Of course, that’s not all.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design is rumored to have the same IP67 certification found on the Galaxy S5. That would make the Galaxy Note 4 design dust and water resistant, something that the Galaxy Note 3 design does not offer to consumers.

Design rumors also continue to point to a fingerprint sensor, another feature that the Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t have, and a feature that would deliver added convenience and another layer of security to Samsung’s powerful Galaxy Note series.

Supercharged Display

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggest that while Samsung may not be changing the size of the display, rumors continue to point to a 5.7-inch display like the Galaxy Note 3, we could see Samsung deliver the best looking Galaxy Note display yet.

A shipping manifest from Zauba, discovered by SamMobile, appears to confirm the screen size of the Galaxy Note 4’s display and a User Agent Profile string for a SM-N910A, presumed to be the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note 4, has shown up on Samsung’s website using a QHD display. Samsung recently installed a QHD display on a Korean variant of the Galaxy S5 so the feature does make a lot of sense.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

So while we may not see the curved display make it to the mass market, it’s looking like the mass produced version of the Galaxy Note 4 will possess a display that features crisp looking content that only Quad HD resolution can deliver.

Remember, companies like Samsung and Apple test several prototypes behind the scenes. Specs from these prototypes leak out and sometimes, but not all the time, these rumored features emerge on the final version. What this means is that while Samsung could be planning a QHD display or a curved display, we may not see the features make the final cut. This goes for all of the rumored Galaxy Note 4’s features.

The Usual (Sus)pecs

Every year, Samsung delivers big time hardware upgrades on its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. It’s something that consumers have come to expect every year from one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers.

Consumers are expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to deliver improved specifications and that’s exactly where rumors are pointing at the moment. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors continue to point to a faster processor, perhaps the Snapdragon 805 chip from Qualcomm. Even average users will appreciate the power that a next-gen chip like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 delivers.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  005-XL

Rumors also point to an upgraded 16MP camera that could come with Optical Image Stabilization. OIS is found on many of Samsung’s top rivals including the LG G3 and Nexus 5 and it’s rumored to be coming with Apple’s iPhone 6 camera later on this year.

Samsung always outfits its flagships with the latest Android software and for the Galaxy Note 4 that could mean the new Android 4.4.3 KitKat update or whatever comes next.


Android 4.5 and Android 5.0 rumors have picked up thanks to Nexus 8 rumors and a curious tease from Google. That said, neither update has been confirmed and rumors are scarce.

What we have heard is that whatever version of Android the Galaxy Note 4 is running should be backed by powerful features created by Samsung itself. Here is a list of four possible features we might see on the Galaxy Note 4:

  • 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.

Samsung is well known for bringing new TouchWiz software features to older devices. So, there is a good chance that the Galaxy Note 3 will get many of the features that Samsung brings to the Galaxy Note 4. Just don’t expect the entire feature set. Samsung almost always leaves some features as exclusives.

Finally, we’ve heard that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with 32GB of storage. If true, this would match the amount of internal storage found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Familiar Destinations

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is limited to the five major carrier’s in the United States. That list includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Rumor has it, no big changes are coming with the Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Cameras

Rumors point to a Galaxy Note 4 release on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon which makes sense when you consider the fact that these five carriers launched the past two Galaxy Note models.

Galaxy Note 4 Release Date

Speaking of the Galaxy Note 4 release, it’s all but confirmed for the fall which means that those trying to decide between buying the Galaxy Note 3 now or late are in for a bit of a wait.

All signs are pointing to a launch in and around IFA 2014. We’ve heard September 3rd thrown around and that’s close to IFA’s September 5th start date. At this point, given all of the rumors and the fact that Samsung executives have pointed to the fall, it’s hard to imagine a Galaxy Note launch outside of IFA in Berlin, Germany.


Samsung has, over the years, tightened up the gap between launch and release. Release dates usually come three to four weeks after a launch which means that we’re looking at either September or October for a release, or, right around the time Apple releases the iPhone 6.

This is important for prospective buyers to note. One because it means that you’re in for a wait and two, because we’ll likely see some significant Galaxy Note 3 price drops once the Galaxy Note 4 arrives and retailers and carriers look to offload last year’s model.