By the time the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 arrives later this year, the Samsung Galaxy S3 will have long been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S4 as Samsung’s flagship smartphone. However, price cuts will continue to breathe life into the Galaxy S3, as they have with many other devices, which means that the device should remain a viable option, even as far down the road as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release.
Last year, Samsung announced and released the Samsung Galaxy S3, a device that replaced the record-breaking Samsung Galaxy S2. The device, which got off to a slow start due to production issues, soon became another record setting release for the Korea based Samsung, with the company announcing over 40 million units sold around the world.
That mark, which was helped along by the devices powerful features and a bold marketing campaign aimed against Apple’s iPhone, confirmed Samsung’s arrival as a serious competitor to the iconic iPhone, a device that had long dominated the smartphone landscape. The success caused a furor amongst smartphone enthusiasts and average consumers in regards to the Galaxy S3 successor, the Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that will be hitting shelves in the next few days to replace the Galaxy S3.
Despite the Galaxy S4’s arrival though, the Galaxy S3 will live on, thanks to its powerful hardware, its continually upgraded software and of course, cheap price tags that will allure consumers in for the months to come. Those that may doubt the power of a price cut or continual software updates need only look at iPhone sales as proof. Consumers, particularly those that aren’t in need of the latest and greatest hardware, often opt for a cheaper model.
That said, the Galaxy S3 should easily last through the Galaxy S4’s arrival and should still be an option when Samsung’s next smartphone arrives in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung’s Note series of smartphones hasn’t seen the type of success that the Galaxy S series has but it remains one of the bigger named smartphones on the market. The Galaxy Note 2 is the most current model on shelves though rumors have suggested that it will be replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S4 later on this year.
And while it will be competing against the products from rival companies, the Galaxy Note 3 will have to also compete with in-house devices like the Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but also an aging Galaxy S3.
Here is how the current rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 3 matches up versus the Samsung Galaxy S3 in terms of hardware, software, release date and more.
The Samsung Galaxy S3, of course, has been out for quite some time. Samsung first announced the Galaxy S3 back in May of last year and quickly released the device in the United Kingdom that very same month. In June and July, Samsung pushed the Galaxy S3 to consumers in the United States and since then, the device has been one of the most popular devices on the market.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 will, in just a few days, be replaced by the Galaxy S4, a device that trumps in just about every single way but price. The Galaxy S4 is set to arrive starting on April 24th on T-Mobile and will arrive on other carriers in the days and weeks ahead.
What this means is that the Galaxy S3 will have been on shelves for well over a year by the time the Galaxy Note 3 arrives.
Samsung typically announces a new Samsung Galaxy Note every year and it has done so at the IFA conference in Berlin, Germany during the tail end of summer. This year, it appears that it may be doing the same thing though IFA 2013 falls during the month of September rather than in late August as it has in the past.
Speculation suggests that Samsung is gearing up for a September Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launch, likely at or before IFA, which means that it should come in the first week of September. As we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Unpacked event, the Galaxy S4 was only Episode 1 of Samsung’s 2013 Unpacked shows so it could be that the Galaxy Note 3 launch is Episode 2 or 3.
If that’s the case, expect quite a bit of spectacle around the Galaxy Note 3 including a massive venue somewhere in Berlin, Germany at which Samsung will introduce the device.
As we’ve seen, Samsung has done a much better job of getting its devices out in an early fashion to consumers so if the device does indeed get announced in September, we imagine its release date will come at the end of September or in early to mid October. The U.S. has seen increasingly better timing as far as Samsung is concerned and that means we could see the Galaxy Note 3 take on the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 3 soon after the Galaxy Note 3 is announced.
Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S3 ushered in an new era of Galaxy designs as the company drew from nature with its design. The Galaxy S3, instead of the Galaxy S2’s rectangular shape, features a curved design that while big, is also lightweight and thin.
Specifically, the Galaxy S3 measures in a 8.6mm thin and weighs about 133 grams, which means that it isn’t the thinnest or most lightweight smartphone on the market but is still very capable.
The device hosts a physical home button on the bottom bezel that allows owners to easily navigate the phone. Like previous Galaxy devices, the Galaxy S3 is made of plastic which not only allows for its removable back but also ensures that it’s durable.
The build quality of the Galaxy S3 is important to note as the Galaxy Note 2 employed a similar build to the Galaxy Note 2. In fact, the device looks for or less like a larger version of the Galaxy S3.
Thus far, there are no rumors out about the design of the Galaxy Note 3 design but given Samsung’s past, and how closely the original Galaxy Note matched up with the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Note 2 matched up with the design of the Galaxy S3, it’s easy to assume that the Galaxy S4 and its thin, improved plastic, and metal-looking strip may come on board the Galaxy Note 3 design.
Due to its size, we wouldn’t expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be lighter than 133 grams but it’s possible that Samsung could make it thinner than the Galaxy S3’s 8.6mm design.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 features a large screen, measuring in at 4.8-inches, much larger than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display but smaller than the Galaxy Note 2’s 5.5-inch display and the 5.3-inch display of the original Galaxy Note.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 display sports the old 720p HD resolution and a much lesser 306 pixel-per-inch count. Both are features that will be trumped by devices coming out this year, including the Galaxy S4 display which offers 1080p resolution and a high 441 ppi count. However, for the average user, the Galaxy S3 display will be perfectly fine as it still offers quality looking images, video and text.
While we can’t say anything for certain about the Galaxy Note 3 display just yet, we do know one thing: It’s going to be larger than the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3 display. It will likely be better looking as well.
So far, rumors have suggested that the Galaxy Note 3 display could be 5.9-inches in size or perhaps, 6.3-inches in size. Both of those sizes are complicated by the Galaxy Mega series which arrived with screen sizes of 5.8-inches and 6.3-inches. It’s unclear if Samsung will just choose to offer a Galaxy Note 3 with a display that is .1 inches bigger.
Rumors have suggested that the display could be 1080p, like the Galaxy S4’s, which would be a massive improvement over both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 displays. There are also rumors swirling around about how it could be the first Samsung phone to feature Samsung Youm, the flexible OLED display technology that we saw Samsung show off at CES 2013.
Samsung introduced the technology alongside the Exynos 5 Octa, the processor heading to the Galaxy S4, so that seems to point to Samsung possibly being close to putting it in an actual device.
A more recent rumor though suggests that Samsung may have had to delay the first devices with its flexible, unbreakable display due to unforeseen issues with its encapsulated technology. OLED displays are susceptible to moisture and Samsung evidently has had problems preventing damage.
What that means for the Galaxy Note 3 display is uncertain but expect it to be larger and better than the Galaxy S3 display.
The Samsung Galaxy S3, like the Galaxy Note 2, features an 8MP camera sensor that is capable of good photos and 1080p video. However, the camera does not perform well in low-light environments.
Samsung has tried to correct this with an upgrade to a 13MP sensor in the Galaxy S4, which so far, appears to be one of the best cameras on the market to date.
The Galaxy Note series is also in need of a camera upgrade and while we haven’t heard anything about the Galaxy Note 3 camera, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a similar 13MP sensor included on board.
What is for sure though is that the Galaxy Note 3 camera app will be upgraded with the same features as the Galaxy S4. Samsung typically outfits its Note models with similar software to its Galaxy S so that means it should have the new Sound and Shot, Dual Camera mode and more on board when it arrives later this year.
The Galaxy S3 should also be the benefactor of the Galaxy S4’s improved camera features as well as Samsung has indeed confirmed at least some Galaxy S4 software for the Galaxy S3 in the future.
Another rumor suggests that the Galaxy Note 3 will be the first device to get a feature called Samsung Orb which is rumored to be Samsung’s version of Google’s Android 4.2 feature, Photo Sphere. It supposedly will allow Galaxy Note 3 owners to take 360 panoramic photos and easily share them with their Facebook friends.
Photo Sphere allows for users to share on Google+.
There will be many other features on board the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 when it arrives, much as there are on the Galaxy S3. Here, we take a look at the Galaxy S3’s features and how they may stack up with the rest of the Galaxy Note 3’s features.
First, the Galaxy S3 specs.
- 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 1280×720 resolution
- 1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 Processor
- 16GB/32GB Storage (MicroSD card slot)
- 8MP Camera/1.9MP Front-Facing
- 2100mAh Battery (Removable)
- 2GB of RAM
First things first. We don’t expect any carriers in the U.S. to offer a 32GB Galaxy Note 3. As we’ve seen with the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S4, carriers prefer to offer the 16GB models and skip other models. The main reason for this is the microSD card slot that Samsung keeps on its devices. The microSD card slot allows users to expand storage up to 64GB.
Second, we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to have the hallmarks of Samsung’s devices. That means a removable back for an extended battery and a microSD card slot. The Galaxy S3 has both of those.
Third, while the Galaxy S3 doesn’t have it, the Galaxy S4 has wireless charging thanks to a back plate. We imagine that Samsung will include this feature with the Galaxy Note 3.
Fourth, the Galaxy Note 3 will absolutely have a bigger battery than the Galaxy S3, if only to power its larger display. The Galaxy S4 has a 2,600 mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 2 a 3,100 mAh battery. Those are much bigger than the Galaxy S3 battery. Just how big the Galaxy Note 3 battery will be is unknown but expect it to be massive.
Fifth, we expect the Galaxy Note 3, like the Galaxy S4, to have an assortment of official Samsung accessories. The Galaxy S3 was treated to some, but certainly not as many as the Galaxy S4.
Sixth, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, like the other Galaxy Note models, will feature an S Pen stylus for use with some unique applications. The Galaxy S3 does not feature S Pen support.
And finally seventh, the Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to have a Exynos 5 Octa quad-core processor, the powerful processor found in some Galaxy S4 models, which will not only deliver impressive performance but will help with battery life as well. The Galaxy S3 comes with a solid dual-core processor but it won’t be able to outperform the Galaxy Note 3’s processor, Exynos 5 Octa or not.
Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S3 runs an older version of Android Jelly Bean called Android 4.1. It also runs an older version of Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX software as the Samsung Galaxy S4 has brought a number of new features to the table. Don’t expect the Galaxy S3 to remain there though.
Samsung has confirmed some of the Galaxy S4’s software features for the Galaxy S3 though some of them, like Samsung WatchON and its Air View feature that allows users to take advantage of touch less gestures, require sensors, sensors that can’t be added in a software update.
As we mentioned, the best candidates for the Galaxy S3 are the new camera features that came aboard the Galaxy S4. We also expect the Galaxy S3 to get updated to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean at some point in the future and perhaps to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as well.
Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is expected to debut in May at Google I/O and if it does, and it’s released soon after, it will likely be the Android operating system on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, right out of the box. Galaxy S3 owners will have to endure a wait through not only Android 4.2 but a wait for Android 5.0 as well.
While nothing is rumored yet, the Galaxy Note 3 will almost certainly come with many of the Galaxy S4’s new features. We also expect it to have new and improved S Pen functionality but we aren’t quite sure what those apps might be yet. They won’t, however, be on board the Galaxy S3 now, or ever.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is currently home on a number of U.S. carriers including the five largest, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. It’s also available on pre-paid carriers as well. Samsung employed that same strategy with the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S4, and we imagine that the same will be done with the Galaxy Note 3 when it arrives as well.
No rumored carriers for the Galaxy Note 3 have emerged but it’s clear that due to the success of the Galaxy Note 2, we should see it emerge on a bunch of carriers not only in the United States, but around the world.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has seen its price plummet across the board as the Samsung Galaxy S4 makes its way to shelves. Even Verizon, which typically holds out, is offering it for a mere $99.99 on-contract at this point.
Through other third-party retailers, the device is as low as free. That makes it an extremely enticing proposition for those that don’t want to shell out a ton of cash for the privilege of owning one.
By the time the Galaxy Note 3 comes out though, the Galaxy S3 will likely be unavailable through some carriers, Verizon often EOL’s its devices, and may vanish from some third-party retailers. However, it will still be available through at least some outlets and for cheap.
As for the Galaxy Note 3, expect it to debut for a similar price to the Galaxy Note 2, expect on T-Mobile. The Galaxy Note 3 should be $299.99 on-contract, thanks to the bundled S Pen, but will likely check in with a $199.99 down payment price tag, or something similar on T-Mobile.
At the very least, it will be more expensive than both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3.