Rumors are swirling about a number of big time smartphones including the iPhone 5S, HTC One Mini, HTC T6 and yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s upcoming phablet and successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Galaxy Note 3 rumors, over the past few weeks, have been extensive and now, there are a number of new things that interested consumers should know.
Last year, Samsung released a big-screen smartphone called the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a device that has gone on to sell millions of times around the world, and a device that remains one of the top Android devices on the market. Despite its accolades, the Galaxy Note 2, like all smartphones, will be replaced by a successor, a next-generation machine that a company hopes will not only replicate that type of success, but exceed it.
Enter, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a device that is already in the news, despite the Galaxy Note 2 only being a few months old and despite a release that likely won’t come for a number of months down the road.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to be an impressive successor to the Galaxy Note 2, at least on paper, and a device that could certainly tempt millions around the world when and if it arrives later on this year.
We’ve heard that it could come with a large 5.9-inch to 6-inch display. We’ve heard that it could come with a powerful quad-core processor. We’ve also heard that it could be coming sooner than expected. Certainly, there are many details out about the next-generation Galaxy Note. But which are the most important to consumers right now?
Here, we sort through the pile of Galaxy Note 3 rumors and take a look at what we think are the five most important, and new, things to know about the still unofficial Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Launch Dates
Up until this week, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch seemed destined for September. IFA 2013 is in September and the month falls about a year after the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launch. It just makes sense. Cue, a report from the always hit-or-miss Digitimes which claims that Samsung is planning a Galaxy Note 3 launch for July or August, sooner than expected.
This of course throws a wrench into the previous rumors, simply because it’s possible that Samsung will push the release of the Galaxy Note 3 up like it did with this year’s Galaxy S4. Samsung has proven that’s not above pushing out a new device within a yearly cycle so July and August remain possibilities.
Of course, September should still be considered the front-runner. Samsung has used IFA for the last two Galaxy Note announcements and with the Galaxy S4 off to a fast start and the Galaxy Note 2 still one of the top phones on the market, Samsung shouldn’t be in a rush to introduce a new Galaxy Note, despite the demand.
Processor Situation is Tricky
Consumers should also know that while the launch date situation is tricky, the processor situation is an extremely puzzling one as well. Up until this week, rumors pegged the Galaxy Note 3 processor as the Exyos 5 Octa octo-core processor, the same processor found in some models of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
A new leak though suggests that the device will be touting a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, Qualcomm’s next-generation chip that has yet to make it to any devices.
Both processors are powerful, so it’s not like Galaxy Note 3 owners are going to be skimped on processing power, but as of right now, it’s unclear if the Qualcomm 800 will emerge in all variants of the Galaxy Note 3, if the Exynos 5 Octa will be in all variants or if Samsung will mix and match like it did with the Galaxy S4.
Either way, the Galaxy Note 3 processor should be top-of-the-line.
Improved Camera Appears Likely
One feature that we have zeroed in on is the camera on board the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. While the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 both sported 8MP cameras, the Galaxy Note 3 is said to sport a 13MP camera sensor that should be a massive improvement over the previous two.
This should come as no surprise. The Galaxy S series got a camera makeover and the Galaxy Note series is badly in need of one as well. If there is one rumor that pans out with the Galaxy Note 3, it will be an improved camera, one that is likely the same or close to the same 13MP camera sensor that we saw emerge in the Galaxy S4.
Galaxy S4 Design
Indeed, there is talk of new Samsung designs on the horizon, possibly including metal, likely features unbreakable flexible displays, but at this point, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 seems destined to mimic the design of the Galaxy S4, just like the Galaxy Note 2 borrowed the design of last year’s flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The reliable SamMobile claims that despite a number of choices, the Galaxy Note 3 will come with a plastic design that takes from the Galaxy S4. We don’t expect them to be identical but consumers should expect the device to take hints from the smaller model.
What does this mean? This means plastic, this means removable back and this means a microSD card slot for more storage space. No, this isn’t confirmed, but this is the most logical scenario and given that the Galaxy S4 has sold millions of devices already, it’s clear that Samsung’s decision to use plastic wasn’t a bad one.
Serious Competition Awaits
That said, the Galaxy Note 3 should have at least one serious competitor, unlike the Galaxy Note 2 which was met with less than optimal opposition. No, the LG Intuition doesn’t count.
The Galaxy Note 3 is thought to be squaring off an HTC competitor currently known as the HTC T6, a device that is said to be a phablet form of the current HTC One. The device is said to have a 5.9-inch Full HD display, quad-core processor, Ultrapixel camera, metal design like the HTC One and Android Key Lime Pie.
Furthermore, it’s thought to have a stylus that could match up with the Galaxy Note 3’s S Pen. Whether the HTC T6 has unique software or not is unknown, but on paper, this looks like a serious challenger to the Galaxy Note 3 and its phablet throne.