Galaxy Note 3 vs. Galaxy Note 2: What Buyers Can Expect from Samsung

In just a few short weeks, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch date will arrive and Samsung will show off the device that will be replacing the current model, the Galaxy Note 2, as the company’s flagship. And while the Galaxy Note 3 still isn’t confirmed, we think we know a bit about the upcoming phablet and how it will compare to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2.

Back in 2011, Samsung launched the large screen Samsung Galaxy Note to compliment its Samsung Galaxy S2. At the time, there was tons of skepticism surrounding the launch and for good reason. Devices with large screens like the Dell Streak 5 simply did not resonate with consumers. And yet, the Galaxy Note, its big screen, its unique S Pen stylus and its powerful software managed to catch on heading into 2012.

The original Galaxy Note and its 5.3-inch display hit AT&T to much fanfare. Later in the year, it landed on T-Mobile. That limited launch left consumers wanting more and Samsung delivered, announcing a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in August of last year that brought a number of improvements over the original including, a release on more several carriers, including Verizon.

Since the end of November, the Galaxy Note 2 and its 5.5-inch display, its quad-core processor, its 8MP camera, its solid design, its powerful software, its ergonomic S Pen and its declining price tag has been one of the most attractive device on the market and one that we have comfortably listed as one of our top options across all carriers in the U.S.

However, the Galaxy Note 2’s time is nearly up, just like the Galaxy Note’s was all those months ago. Rumors suggest that a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is on the way and Samsung has not everything but deny it.

Samsung has all but confirmed it for arrival on September 4th in Berlin, Germany ahead of IFA 2013. Ahead of its arrival, it’s time to take an in-depth look at exactly what buyers can expect to change from the Galaxy Note 2 to the Galaxy Note 3 when the next-generation phablet arrives.

Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will launch on September 4th. We know that thanks to an invite that Samsung sent out a few weeks ago, inviting the press to Berlin, Germany for Episode 2 of its Unpacked series. The Galaxy S4 launch, which took place in March, was Episode 1.

It is here that we should learn exactly when the Galaxy Note 3 will be replacing the Galaxy Note 2 as Samsung’s top billed Galaxy Note model. Rumors suggest that the device will be shipping in September, something that makes sense given Samsung’s new found penchant for getting its devices out quickly after announcing them.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch event is on for September 4th.

The Galaxy Note 3 will arrive on September 4th.

It’s not clear exactly when the Galaxy Note 3 will land to replace the Galaxy Note 2, but at this point, consumers can expect it to land just a few weeks after its announced. That doesn’t mean the Galaxy Note 2 will disappear though.

Instead, the device will likely stay on board at some carriers, and retailers, as a budget option. Perhaps it will be sold both new and refurbished, perhaps one or the other, perhaps none. But there will still be a way to get the Galaxy Note 2 once the Galaxy Note 3 arrives.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to feature a design that is similar to the Galaxy Note 2, including dimensions. If true, that would mean a device that weighs around 180 grams and checks in with a frame that is 9.3mm in size. There have also been rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could be a little slimmer than the Galaxy Note 2 and check in at 8mm.

At this point, given that we haven’t seen a credible image of the Galaxy Note 3 leak out yet something that can be blamed on Samsung’s tight security, it’s difficult to say just what the Galaxy Note 3 design might look like and what it might have on board.

Galaxy Note designs change year-after-year so expect tweaks to the Galaxy Note 3.

Galaxy Note designs change year-after-year so expect tweaks to the Galaxy Note 3.

What we can say is that buyers should expect a design that is plastic and one that isn’t identical to the Galaxy Note 2’s. Samsung likes to tweak its designs year-after-year, we’ve seen it with both the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S, so we expect there to be some changes, however subtle, to the Galaxy Note 3’s design. The company could opt to extend the design to accommodate the larger display and we could also see it use the improved plastic material that it used with the Galaxy S4.

There is nothing that indicates a full on re-design and buyers should expect Samsung to introduce a brand new design scheme with the Samsung Galaxy S5 in 2014, not the Galaxy Note 3 in 2013.


Something else that has changed year-after-year with the Galaxy Note series and Galaxy S series is the display. We’ve seen Samsung put increasingly large displays on its smartphones with the Galaxy S4 jumping from 4.8-inches to 5-inches and the Galaxy Note moving from 5.3-inches to 5.5-inches. So it should come as no surprise to buyers that the Galaxy Note 3 is expected to feature a display that is larger, and better, than the Galaxy Note 2’s 5.5-inch 720p display.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should feature a larger, and better, display.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should feature a larger, and better, display.

Rumors insist that the Galaxy Note 3 will have a display that is somewhere in the vicinity of 5.7-inches. 5.68-inches may be the official size but we expect it to be marketed as 5.7-inches, even if that is the case. Rumors also suggest that it will come with 1080p resolution, better than the resolution found on the Galaxy Note 2. We expect a higher pixel-per-inch count as well.

So what does this mean for consumers? Well, it means that we should see a Galaxy Note 3 that produces better looking content including movies, games and more. The extra real estate should also give S Pen users and gamers a little more space to work.


One of the things that didn’t change much from the original Galaxy Note to the Galaxy Note 2 was the camera. Both possessed an 8MP camera, both of which could capture good quality photos and video. And paired with Samsung’s fantastic camera application, there wasn’t much to complain about in regard to the overall Galaxy Note camera experience. Of course, there is always room for improvement and Galaxy Note 3 buyers should expect one from the Galaxy Note 3.

The Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4. Rumors point to a Galaxy Note 3 with a larger display and 1080P HD resolution.

Like the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3 should have a 13MP camera.

Rumors have focused on a 13MP camera sensor for the Galaxy Note 3, possibly the same sensor found in the Galaxy S4. If true, that should mean better photos shot in low-light and noisy environments. There is also talk of Optical Image Stabilization, something that is arriving on next-gen devices like the LG G2, and which should help produce better looking photos and video.

While we can’t say for sure what will be on the Galaxy Note 3, buyers should expect a change in camera quality. With devices pushing the boundaries and the Galaxy Note in dire need of an upgrade, don’t expect Samsung to slouch.


The Galaxy Note 3 will benefit from a processor upgrade.

The Galaxy Note 3 will benefit from a processor upgrade.

Consumers should expect some upgrades when it comes to the rest of the hardware specifications on the Galaxy Note 3. First, we should see a processor bump. The Galaxy Note 2 had one of the better processors of its time, a quad-core Exynos 4, but the Galaxy Note 3 should have a Exynos 5 Octa processor in some areas and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor in others. It’s also expected to have 3GB of RAM as opposed to 2GB.

Both of those should mean enhanced overall performance, something that is key for a multitasking and gaming beast like the Galaxy Note. It should also mean better battery life. It also helps that the Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to have a larger battery than the Galaxy Note 2.

Buyers should expect the Galaxy Note 3 to have a microSD card slot and a removable back, hallmarks of Samsung’s smartphone designs. However, given the wireless charging capabilities that Samsung bestowed upon the Galaxy S4, it would be strange to see the Galaxy Note 3 launch without support. The Galaxy Note 2 does not have wireless charging support.


Software is one of the key features on the Samsung Galaxy Note series because it makes it more than just a smartphone with a big screen. For those thinking about versions of Android, the Galaxy Note 3 is almost certainly going to have Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an improvement over the Galaxy Note 2’s Android 4.2. The Galaxy Note 2 should get Android 4.3 in the next few months but likely won’t get it before the Galaxy Note 3 arrives.

More important though is the TouchWiz software from Samsung that will arrive on the Galaxy Note 3. While rumors are scarce, buyers can expect a number of upgrades to the software’s S Pen applications. The S Pen will likely be up one of the biggest selling points for the Galaxy Note 3 as it battles a number of large screen devices later this year.

With so much at stake, there is no way that Samsung keeps things the same with the Galaxy Note 3. Expect some killer features for the S Pen and some possible additions to the device’s already powerful multitasking. We should also see some Galaxy S4 features emerge on board as well.

The Galaxy Note 2 will likely benefit from some of the software that the Galaxy Note 3 brings but that update shouldn’t arrive until sometime next year. Instead, look for the Galaxy Note 3 to bring all of what the Galaxy Note 2 currently has to offer and more.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 arrived on a host of carriers, establishing itself as one of the go-to Android phones on the market. Thanks to its success, we expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to arrive on the same carriers which should include launches on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.

Expect an improved camera with supporting software.

The Galaxy Note 3 should hit a number of carriers, Verizon included.

We don’t expect to see a host of smaller carriers, if we see any at all, and those who are looking to buy on Verizon should expect it to hit Big Red’s 4G LTE network last.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note has always arrived with a $299.99 price tag, just like the Galaxy S has, in recent years, arrived at $199.99. We don’t expect the Galaxy Note 3 to differ much from the $299.99 price, thanks to its large screen and its S Pen.

Look for a new design from the Galaxy Note 3.

The Galaxy S4 kept a familiar price tag. Expect the Galaxy Note 3 to as well.

There are rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could drop the 16GB variant in favor of a 32GB model, and even then, we expect carriers to keep a familiar price point in the United States.

We expect the Galaxy Note 2 to drop in price once the Galaxy Note 3 rolls out and we should see bargain bin prices emerge at retailers like Amazon, a place where the Galaxy Note 2 is already offered at dirt cheap prices.