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Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3: 10 Things to Expect



The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is no longer the top flagship Galaxy Note option but thanks to a cheaper price tag and an Android 5.0 Lollipop update, it remains an option for consumers. Soon, it will be joined by a new flagship Galaxy smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S6 giving current Galaxy Note 3 owners and those thinking about buying the aging device another option. With that in mind, we offer our own Galaxy S6 expectations and examine what we expect from the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3.

In the fall of 2013, Samsung unleashed a third-generation smartphone dubbed Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note 3 arrived with all sorts of bells and whistles including an improved processor, gorgeous display, tons of storage, tons of carriers, new TouchWiz software, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and a whole lot more. Thousands bought Samsung’s new smartphone and many people continue to view it as an option. We just wouldn’t buy it, or ditch it, right now.

Right now is a terrible time to buy a new smartphone. There are two major smartphone launches just over the horizon and those that can wait a couple of weeks would be wise to wait a couple of weeks before making a move.


Galaxy Note 3

HTC and Samsung have launch dates scheduled for March 1st. It’s on that date that we expect to learn all about Samsung’s Next Big Thing, a device that’s currently being called Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been swirling for a number of weeks now and they continue to emerge. As we’ve gotten closer to March 1st, the Galaxy S6 rumor cycle has started to mature to the point that we’ve now got a very good read on what to expect from the Galaxy S6 release date, Galaxy S6 specifications and the highly anticipated Galaxy S6 design.

We’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6. Many people want to know how it will compare to the top smartphones on the market and to their current phone. We still can’t answer those questions with 100 percent certainty but there is enough information, enough evidence out there, to start putting together some early expectations. Today, we want to offer our own set of expectations for those comparing the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3.

This early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 3 will take you through 10 things we expect from this big smartphone battle. It covers specs but it will also take a look at some of the finer details that will become important once the Samsung Galaxy S6 arrives later this year.


Galaxy S6 Release Date

If you’re thinking about getting rid of the Galaxy Note 3 or if you’re thinking about buying one for the first time, wait a few weeks. You’re going to gain access to another big time Galaxy smartphone.

The Galaxy S6 launch is all but confirmed for March 1st which is now just a few short weeks away. It’s there that we expect to hear about when you will be able to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 and compare it with the Galaxy Note 3, something that we highly recommend doing before jumping to a decision.

Right now, Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that the device will arrive a few weeks after its launch date. The latest intel points to an arrival in and around March 22nd. A specific date hasn’t been rumored but it’s looking like we’ll see the start of the Samsung Galaxy S6 release take place in late March or early April, or, a little earlier than usual.


If you’re skeptical about the information, note that we’ve also started to see Galaxy S6 models receive necessary certifications ahead of their release, a sign that Samsung is pushing ahead and making solid progress behind the scenes. These filings don’t confirm an imminent release but they mean that the device is one step closer than it was earlier this month.

We would not be surprised if there was a way for consumers to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 ahead of its release date on shelves. After last year’s Galaxy Note 4 launch, Samsung put the flagship on display in Best Buy stores ahead of its release. We could definitely see the company getting the Galaxy S6 into stores ahead of release day.

Display Size

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7-inch display. This display makes it larger than your average Android smartphone. It also makes it a difficult device to hold in one hand.


We expect the Galaxy S6 to feature a 5.1-inch display which means that we expect it to come with a much smaller footprint. Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors are all pointing to a 5.1-inch display and there’s no reason to expect anything different. This seems to be the sweet spot for the Galaxy S series and all signs are pointing to a screen size similar to the Galaxy S5.


We also are expecting the company to release a Galaxy Note Edge competitor with a curved display. Rumors have hinted at the arrival of a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with two bent edges. The Galaxy Note Edge only uses one bent edge.

Count on a Galaxy S6 edge with a curved display lie the Note Edge shown here.

Count on a Galaxy S6 edge with a curved display lie the Note Edge shown here.

If true, and we think it is, it would give Samsung another intriguing option for those looking into buying or replacing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Expect the screen size on the Galaxy S6 Edge model to be similar to the regular version.

Screen Resolution

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7-inch Full HD display. Back when it first came out, it was one of the top displays on the market. These days, Full HD resolution has been overshadowed by Quad HD resolution and we fully expect Samsung to embrace the new technology this year with its brand new Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 - Screen Quality

Galaxy S6 display rumors continue to hint at the arrival of a Quad HD display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also uses 2K resolution so we’re expecting the Galaxy S6 to at least match the quality found on Samsung’s current Galaxy Note flagship. We could see the company make some tweaks to its display panel but we wouldn’t expect the resolution to be any different. And if that’s true, there will be some tangible differences between the two displays.

As we noted in our reviews of the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Quad HD resolution isn’t just a gimmick. It helps devices deliver crisp looking content. We expect the Galaxy S6’s panel, like the Galaxy Note 4’s AMOLED panel, to display tons of detail in videos and photos.

Count on an upgraded 2k display, many sensors and an upgraded fingerprint reader.

Count on an upgraded 2k display, many sensors and an upgraded fingerprint reader.

If you want to get some idea about how it might compare to the Galaxy Note 3, go into a store and compare the Galaxy Note 4 display to the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung has an excellent track record when it comes to smartphone displays and we’re expecting the Galaxy S6’s panel to at least match, or perhaps best, the Galaxy Note 4’s.


For years, Samsung enthusiasts have been begging for a premium design, on par with the likes of the HTC One and iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and its faux leather plastic design do not deliver that but we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S6 to finally make the jump up to the same design pedestal as its Apple and HTC rivals.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 - Cameras

In the fall, Samsung finally added metal elements to a flagship smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is mostly plastic but it also comes with a metal rim around the edges that give it a better look than the Galaxy Note 3. At the time, we noted that the inclusion of metal in the Galaxy Note 4’s design language hinted at future designs. Guess what? It’s looks like that’s exactly what we’re going to see from the Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumors have all pointed to the same exact thing: A shift from the usual plastic designs to a new all-metal design that’s in line with the iPhone 6. With Samsung’s mobile business struggling, it’s not surprising to hear that the company is making some big moves this year.

These Galaxy S6 design rumors prompted us to put together a Samsung Galaxy S6 concept, based on recent Galaxy S6 design rumors. The concept shows what the device could look like next to the plastic Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

Our Galaxy S6 concepts bring the rumors to life.

The dimensions on our Galaxy S6 concept are 143.30 x 70.81 x 6.91 mm which are in line with rumors. The exact measurements could be a bit different but we’re expecting metal and we’re expecting thin. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is fairly thin, 8.3mm, and it weighs 168 grams. We expect the Galaxy S6 to weigh less.

Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung flirted with putting a fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 3 but ultimately, it decided against it. It did put swipe-based fingerprint sensors on the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 though the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint sensor was widely panned for being inaccurate and clumsy.

We fully expect Samsung to upgrade the Galaxy S6 with a touch-based sensor that’s similar to the Touch ID sensor found inside the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. The move makes sense given the failures of the Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor and the company’s focus on mobile payments.


The camera on the Galaxy Note 3 is solid but it’s nothing to write home about, especially not when we’re a year removed from its release. Camera technology continues to improve, continues to evolve and the devices from 2015’s crop should boast some extremely powerful camera features. We fully expect the Galaxy S6 camera to be better than the camera on a device from 2013.

Samsung offers yearly upgrades to its camera, typically to the hardware and software, and this year we expect to see the same. Samsung’s been busy promoting its Galaxy S camera like never before with blog posts and teasers so we definitely expect to see a number of improvements that help to put the Galaxy S6 camera above the Galaxy Note 3’s.

Rumors suggest we will see a 16MP or 20MP camera with OIS.

Rumors suggest we will see a 16MP or 20MP camera with OIS.

Galaxy S6 camera rumors suggest that these changes will include a new sensor, possibly a 16MP or 20MP, Optical Image Stabilization, and a 5MP camera in the front. The Galaxy S6’s new camera module should deliver better photos in low light and the switch to a larger sensor on the front should come with support for wider angles, something that will benefit selfie lovers.

If you want a better camera, expect the Galaxy S6 to deliver.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 runs a unique version of TouchWiz that’s compatible with the device’s S Pen stylus that’s housed inside the phone. We don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to feature a stylus. We also expect it to bring some changes to the TouchWiz user interface, changes that might put the current versions to shame.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 will almost certainly run Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s new operating system. The Galaxy Note 3 is also getting Android 5.0 though the roll out is going very slow. We also expect the Galaxy S6 to have Samsung’s TouchWiz on board though it should be a whole lot different than what we’re seeing now.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Concept - gottabemobile - 17

Galaxy S6 rumors point to a stripped down version of TouchWiz. Samsung began stripping down its user interface with last year’s Galaxy S5 but we expect it to take it to another level with the Galaxy S6.

From what we’re hearing, it looks like the device could be void of pre-loaded Samsung applications. It’s also expected to deliver some other changes including more themes, changes to the default keyboard (it supposedly has some iOS elements to it) and more. There’s chatter about Samsung trying to take it down to a Nexus level but we wouldn’t expect it to be pure vanilla. We would, however, expect it to be different than what’s on board the Galaxy Note 3.


The Galaxy Note 3 comes in 32GB form and it features a microSD card slot for expanded storage. We expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to come with a ton of storage as well.

At this point, we expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB sizes as rumors suggest. If the device doesn’t have a microSD card slot, we’d expect U.S. carriers to offer at least a few different options to make up for that. If it does have one, we’d expect carriers to offer the 32GB model and perhaps, the 64GB model as well. We wouldn’t worry too much about storage.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is limited to the five major carriers in the United States. We don’t expect the Galaxy S6 to follow suit.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is rumored to be coming to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon at the very least. We expect it to debut on smaller carriers as well, giving it a bit of an advantage over the Galaxy Note 3.

Galaxy S6 Price

At one point, the Galaxy Note 3 was priced at $299.99 on-contract. No longer. Retailers like Amazon now sell the Galaxy Note 3 for a fraction of the cost. We’ve seen it being offered for free in some cases.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 - 006-X2

The Samsung Galaxy S6 will be far more expensive than the Galaxy Note 3. Flagship Android smartphones like the Galaxy S typically command iPhone-like price tags at launch and we expect the Galaxy S6 to be close to Apple’s $199.99 base iPhone 6 model. Samsung can’t afford to go much higher than that or it will alienate tons of people.

If you’re looking to buy one or the other, the Galaxy Note 3 will probably be cheaper. If you’re looking to ditch the Galaxy Note 3, prepare to open up your wallet.

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