Monday, June 3, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release date, news and rumours

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 now out of the way the door has been thrown open for the Korean firm's other high-end smartphone to get a reboot in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Rumours are circulating about Samsung's next super-sized handset, suggesting it's going to get even bigger - even though the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 raised eyebrows with its larger size.

Samsung executive J.K. Shin has confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Note 3, revealing it will feature a non-flexible 5.9-inch OLED display.

Update: And now Samsung Kazakhstan has slipped up, accidentally revealing the Galaxy Note 3 on its official website alongside the Galaxy Z4 Zoom and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1.

We're constantly on the look out for Galaxy Note 3 news and you'll be able to find all the latest right here.

Announcement and release date

In terms of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release date the trail is pretty cold at the moment with "later this year" all we have to go on for now.

If previous iterations of the handset are anything to go by we can expect Samsung to uncover the third generation Galaxy Note smartphone towards the end of August, in the run up to IFA 2013 in Berlin.

Samsung executive J.K. Shin has said the Note 3 will arrive at IFA in September, although we're still waiting on an official comment from Samsung itself.

This would mean that the Galaxy Note 3 would probably hit stores around October if previous cycles are maintained - but given the Samsung Galaxy S4 emerged earlier this year, could the same trick be repeated for the Note 3?

Update: A separate report suggests something rather different however, tipping the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release date for July or August - although we'd be surprised if the Korean firm didn't wait for IFA in September.

More than a pretty penny in price

You can expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to carry a hefty price tag, probably in line with the Galaxy S4 - making it more expensive than its Chinese rivals the ZTE Grand Memo and the Huawei Ascend Mate.
The Note 3 will probably set you back at least £550 (around $800/AU$770) give or take, plus there will be regional variances too.

Does the screen need to get bigger?

Although exact specs are still unknown the general consensus seems to suggest that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will sport an even bigger screen than its 5.5-inch predecessor.

Early reports pointed towards a whopping 6.3-inch display, which would see the handset dwarf the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate and 5.7-inch Grand Memo.

Other sources have claimed that the Galaxy Note 3 could actually pack a slightly more modest 5.9-inch AMOLED screen.

We thought Samsung may have let the cat out of the bag on its own website after listing a smartphone accessory compatible with screens from "4- to 6.3-inches", potentially hinting at a massive display bump for the Note 3 - although with the announcement of the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 this is now less likely.

Screen size, then, remains a mystery but that's not the only quandary we have regarding the display on the Galaxy Note 3. Oh no, there are now reports suggesting it will be the first phone to sport a flexible OLED display.

Samsung did show off such a display at CES 2013 - although it wasn't part of a phone at the time and we reckon there's still some way to go before it's ready to hit our handsets, but it certainly gives us food for thought - especially now there are reports that Samsung is mulling three designs, one of which includes a flexible option.

We're also hearing that the Galaxy Note 3 may actually pack a 5.99-inch, Full HD display - although this news has come from unknown "inside sources".

Could this be Samsung replacing the Note range, or adding more feathers to its super-sized cap?

With JK Shin "confirming" the existence of the Galaxy Note 3, the Samsung exec is also reported revealing the 5.9-inch OLED display the super sized handset will pack.

The operating system conundrum

We can be pretty sure that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will roll up running Google's Android platform, but which particular version that will be is not so black and white.

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is expected to be announced at Google's IO event in May, potentially alongside the Nexus 5 - which would put the Note 3 in the running to also launch with the latest version of the software.

However if history has taught us anything it's that assuming is for fools - as we've seen numerous handsets launched with older versions of Android - but the Note 2 was one of the first handsets from Samsung to launch with Jelly Bean, so perhaps a Key Lime Pie device isn't so unlikely.

The latest reports now point towards the Note 3 running Android 4.3 - an updated version of Jelly Bean which may arrive at Google IO ahead of a delayed Key Lime Pie.


The big screen won't be the only feature Samsung will want to shout about though, as you can expect the Galaxy Note 3 to be packing some serious tech under the hood.

It could be another industry leading handset (the Note 2 was the most powerful smartphone when it launched) with reports suggesting it will follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S4 with a ridiculous octo-core chip.

As this device will fall into Samsung's "Note" family you can expect the fabled S-Pen to make another appearance here as it looks to rub shoulders with the Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note 10.1.

According to Android Geeks a software engineer has spilled the beans on the S Orb camera feature which is apparently destined to debut on the Galaxy Note 3, after reports earlier this year suggested it would arrive on the Galaxy S4.

The usually reliable SamMobile has also had its say on the Note 3, with its own "inside sources" claiming the handset will be the most powerful in the world with a octa-core processor, eight-core GPU, 3GB of RAM, 5.99-inch Full HD display and a 13MP rear camera.

Update: There's been further leaks surrounding that 13MP camera, with news claiming the snapper will sport optical image stabilisation tech, which will apparently give traditional cameras a run for their money.

Plastic or metal?

Many were hoping the Samsung Galaxy S4 would see the Korean firm change its way when it came to chassis construction - ditching the plastic for a fancier metallic finish, but alas this wasn't the case.

The whole plastic vs metal debate isn't over though and now rumours are suggesting the Galaxy Note 3 could well sport a hard alloy case.

SamMobile sources reckon the HTC One has "worried" Samsung, leading the manufacturer to consider a new material for the Note 3.

We've also seen an image slip out online claiming to show the metallic body of the Galaxy Note 3 and a completely new design language for Samsung - although we're not overly convinced by this.

Those hoping Samsung will pull out some premium materials for the Galaxy Note 3 may have their dreams dashed as inside sources claim the handset will follow in the footsteps of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 in terms of design.

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//PART 2