Specs and features
Those different Galaxy Note 3 models will obviously be available in different regions, so depending where you live, you may end up with a device packing either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor or an Exynos 5 Octa CPU.
While design rumors were often conflicting, specs rumors for the phone usually mentioned the same hardware: Snapdragon 800 or Exynos 5 Octa CPU, 3GB of RAM, camera with optical image stabilization and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Speaking about CPUs, we’ve seen plenty of alleged benchmark results for the Galaxy Note 3 already, but we’ll take them with the appropriate grain of salt. First of all, if genuine, those benchmarks were performed on test units, which means we should be more interested in the score of the final versions. But considering Samsung’s recent benchmark mini-scandal, should we trust benchmarks for its devices anymore?
[Update August 27, 2013:] A fresh, but unconfirmed, report claims that the initial batch of Galaxy Note 3 shipments will only be Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based models, with Exynos 5 Octa Galaxy Note 3 versions expected to launch later on.
That said, here’s what we expect from the Galaxy Note 3 in terms of hardware:
- 5.68-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display (1920 x 1080 resolution)
- 1.8GHz octa-core Exynos 5420 / 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor (depending on region)
- ARM Mali-T628 MP6 / Adreno 330 (depending on SoC)
- 3GB of RAM (most likely the made in-house Samsung 3GB RAM the company announced not too long ago)
- 13-megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization
- LTE support
- 16/32/64GB of storage
- microSD support of up to 64GB
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
- 3200mAh battery (most likely user-replaceable; one rumor said the phone will pack a 3450mAh battery)
- S Pen support
When it comes to software features, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will apparently be in there since launch (as previously rumored), with TouchWiz on top, of course.
We expect the new Note 3 to pack some of Samsung existing Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 apps – some more useful than others – and we expect the company to introduce more software features of its own, particularly S Pen-related.
Just like the LG G2, the Galaxy Note 3 is expected to have a main camera with optical image stabilization – purported Galaxy Note 3 camera samples have been leaked a few times, although we’ll be waiting for the handset to become official to better assess its camera powers. Expect some camera-related Samsung software features as well from this Galaxy Note model.
[Update August 27, 2013:] New reports reveal that the Galaxy Note 3 will not offer camera optical image stabilization features after all, with the Galaxy S5 said to receive it in the future. However, the camera of the new Note may pack a unique camera feature, 4K video recording. Additionally, the Galaxy Note 3 is also rumored to offer 24-bit/192kHz music playback quality.
Launch date and pricing
At this time, we have no idea when the phone will launch, but we expect it to hit plenty of markets in the near future. We also expect the handset to be available in a variety of colors (with more color options to be rolled out in the coming months) and we expect dual SIM versions of the Galaxy Note 3 to be launched in certain Asian markets – after all, that’s how Samsung does business.
However, we’re going to remind you that unlike in previous years, there’s going to be quite a war in the “phablet” market. The Galaxy Note 3 will have some tough adversaries including the already launched Sony Xperia Z Ultra (see our review here) and the rumored HTC One Max.
Does that mean Samsung will have an added motivation to launch the device as fast as possible after its IFA introduction? We wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen. Some reports did say that Samsung may be interested in releasing the Galaxy Note 3 as quickly as possible to make up for the poorer than expected Galaxy S4 sales.
The phone was also said to start mass production this month – which seems like a logical move for the company.
For what it’s worth, the Galaxy Note 2 was unveiled on August 29 and launched on September 26 last year. The Galaxy Note was announced in September 2011, and started selling in late October 2011, with the U.S. only receiving it in early 2012.
[Update August 27, 2013:] Since publishing our rumor roundup, the Galaxy Note 3 has been spotted at the Bluetooth SIG, which can only mean the launch is near. In fact, a new rumor is saying that the Galaxy Note 3 could ship as soon as September, with Samsung said to launch only 32GB and 64GB versions of the handset. As for colors, the phone is expected to be available in black, white and pink in the first months.
[Update September 1st, 2013:]∫ Since the last update, we’ve received information on the release date of the Galaxy Note 3. Details inside! It looks like the Galaxy Note 3 will be arriving in first tier, premium markets like the UK and Hong Kong as early as September 16, with a public release to occur as early as September 21st]
Make no mistake, the Galaxy Note 3 rumors aren’t going to stop. We expect to see more leaks in the coming weeks, and we’re going to update this rumor roundup accordingly.
One thing is clear though, the Galaxy Note 3 is one of the most expected Android handsets of the second half of the year. The question is, will Samsung’s new Note be able to surprise us with anything? What do you think?
Will you buy the Galaxy Note 3, or are you getting a different extra-large smartphone this year?