With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch date fast approaching, there is very little that consumers don’t know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. There are, however, several key Galaxy Note 3 mysteries that indeed do remain ahead of the device’s anticipated September 4th launch. Here, we take a deep dive into what we still don’t know about Samsung’s upcoming phablet.
Prior to its launch in March of this year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 dominated the smartphone rumor mill. Rumors leaked out on a near daily basis and the device found itself firmly in the sights of smartphone consumers as it quickly became one of the most hotly anticipated devices of the year.
Many Galaxy S4 rumors were spot on which meant that for many, the Unpacked launch event in New York on March 15th just confirmed things that they already knew. Consumers know about its larger screen, the screen’s higher resolution, the faster processor and much of its software before Samsung took the stage at the Radio City Music Hall.
History seems to be repeating itself. Samsung’s other big name smartphone for 2013, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, is getting the same type of pre-launch treatment ahead of its announced launch date of September 4th.
Galaxy Note 3 rumors are plentiful and they have revealed a great deal about the device that is expected to displace the Galaxy Note 2 as the company’s flagship Galaxy S companion.
Rumors have all but confirmed several Galaxy Note 3 features ahead of launch. The device is widely expected to feature a larger 1080p display, possibly 5.7-inches in size. The device is all but assured to have a Exynos 5 Octa or a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor from Qualcomm aboard. Rumors peg it as having an upgraded camera, possibly 13MP. And it should be coming to several U.S. carriers in the weeks after it launches.
There are, however, several Galaxy Note 3 features that remain mysterious, out of reach of consumers. Here is a look at those features and what to expect from them both prior to and at launch.
While there have been some Galaxy Note 3 release date rumors, the specific date that Samsung may or may not have selected for the Galaxy Note 3’s debut on shelves has yet to be outed.
Rumors suggest that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 could begin shipping in early September, shortly after it announces the Galaxy Note 3. If true, that could mean one of the fastest flagship launches in Samsung’s history. There are also rumors that suggest that it could land in late September, something that fits Samsung’s Galaxy launch history.
No specific release date for the United States, or elsewhere for that matter, is known and we’re unlikely to see a specific date emerge ahead of the device’s launch.
Samsung, unlike Apple, typically does not announce its devices with a specific release date, instead deferring to carriers to fit its devices into its plans. So even if the device arrives in early September as rumored, carriers likely don’t have specific release dates locked down in stone just yet making it unlikely that we’ll see a specific date emerge ahead of launch.
Expect this mystery to remain unsolved ahead of launch as carriers to juggle the Galaxy Note 3 release date. And expect Verizon to be last to the device, per usual.
Samsung is once again doing an admirable job of keeping its design plans under wraps as Galaxy Note 3 photo leaks have proven inconclusive thus far.
We have seen a number of purported Galaxy Note 3 photos emerge ahead of September 4th but none of them have offered us a look at anything credible. Instead, the best we’ve gotten is a boxy looking rectangle that appears to be either a Galaxy Note 3 prototype or the Galaxy Note 3 wearing a protective case, shielding the real design from view.
The mystery surrounding the Galaxy Note 3 design is nothing new. Samsung does a very good job of keeping its designs a secret ahead of launch, using a variety of tactics that include fake casings. This is a mystery that we do expect to be solved ahead of its arrival though.
Typically, Samsung does a fantastic job of keeping its design under wraps, that is, until a few days or hours before the launch. At that point, leakers have a field day. We’ve seen the past three flagships leak out ahead of time.
The Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 all emerge ahead of their respective launches after the company held prying eyes at bay for months. Consumers can expect the same from the Galaxy Note 3. With a September 4th launch date set in stone, it should only be a few days before we finally get some credible information on the device’s design.
For now, all we have to go on are a few tidbits: A possible 8mm design or dimensions like the Galaxy Note 2, and a look that resembles the previous Galaxy Note, meaning plastic.
Plastic seems like a given but the rest of it remains a mystery and should until the end of the month or early September.
One of the key components of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is the S Pen stylus that comes bundled with the device. With the Galaxy Note 2, we saw Samsung opt for a more ergonomic design, something that was welcomed by consumers. We fully expect the S Pen to play a big role with the Galaxy Note 3 as well but thus far, the stylus has managed to stay out of the rumor mill.
Recently, we saw Samsung register a domain with ‘pen’ in its name, a sign that the S Pen could play a significant role in the Galaxy Note 3’s success. This is something that is hard to dispute.
The Galaxy Note series is being thoroughly challenged this year by devices like the HTC One Max and Sony Xperia Z Ultra and it needs features, beyond the big screen, camera and processor to help it stand out.
The S Pen is one area where it can do that and so, we fully expect the S Pen to play a big role during the Galaxy Note 3’s launch. With the Galaxy S4 closing the gap with its touch less gestures, there is added pressure to introduce not only new, but innovative new functionality for the S Pen. Maybe that’s better on screen accuracy. Maybe it’s improved apps. Maybe it’s a tweaked design.
It’s just that we know very little about it so far and it’s impossible to say whether we will hear anything about it before Samsung takes the stage. History says yes, but it’s telling that it has been in the shadows this long.
One thing that we can say for sure though is that the Galaxy Note will have an S Pen and it will more than likely be a big selling point to consumers.
The S Pen of course is driven by unique software that comes with the Galaxy Note. Apps like S Note and Easy Clip are unique to the Galaxy Note series and make it appealing to those that need more than just a touch screen. The Galaxy Note is also a multitasking beast as it allows owners to not only split up the display to run two separate apps at a time, it also allows owners to use the Pop Up Video feature to comfortably watch video while performing other tasks.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should feature these features and more but it’s the more that continues to be elusive ahead of its launch date.
The Galaxy Note 3’s software beyond Android 4.3 is still very mysterious. Samsung Orb, a rumored Samsung version of Google’s Photo Sphere, is the only non-Android related feature that we’ve seen emerge thus far. And even then, that rumor sprouted up a long time ago.
Thus far, Samsung has done a great job at keeping the Galaxy Note 3’s software features protected but we wouldn’t be surprised if the lid burst ahead of the device’s arrival. With the Galaxy S4, we saw several big time software features emerge in the weeks leading up to its launch.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 software as a whole isn’t likely to leak out ahead of its debut, this is Samsung we’re talking about here, not Google, but we’d be surprised if at least part of this mystery wasn’t cleared up prior to September 4th.
One of the big remaining pieces of the puzzle is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 price. The past two Galaxy Note models have arrived with $299.99 price tags but given the price increase that we initially saw with the Galaxy S4, it moved to $250 on some carriers, and the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to be dropping a 16GB for a 32GB model, things have become a little murky.
In the past, we’ve seen price tags on Galaxy related products leak out ahead of time. However, U.S. carriers typically keep their pricing close to their chest so this is a mystery that we don’t think will be solved until after the Galaxy Note 3 arrives.
$299.99 seems logical, given the past and previous successes with the Galaxy Note. The price is already steep for a smartphone and with the competition fierce and HTC proving that you can start with a 32GB model (See: HTC One) and charge familiar pricing, we don’t see Samsung and carriers alienating customers.