Just when we thought we’d need to wait until the end of the year before we see Samsung’s next big phone, rumors about a possible early release of the Note 3 began circulating around the web very recently.
Tech rumormonger DigiTimes reported that the GALAXY phablet will be launched in the third quarter instead of the usual fourth quarter release (like its predecessors, Notes 1 and 2) alongside the GALAXY S4 mini. This early release is probably a way to take on the new iPhone versions which will be released right around the same quarter.
The July-August period will be a very interesting time for the tech world, the perfect moment to mull on your next smartphone purchase.
Tough Competition Ahead
Samsung is undoubtedly the trailblazer in the phablet niche, but the Note 3 will be facing tougher competition upon its release. Cheaper phablets from Chinese brands like Lenovo and Huawei are attracting buyers with tighter budgets, offering the phablet experience without really tearing a Note-sized hole in their pockets.
LG’s Optimus G Pro (and its possible incarnations) is one of their toughest rivals, with the 2013 model matching or even besting some of the features of the 2012 model Note 2 (check out CravingTech’s Samsung GALAXY Note 2 review). Note 2 remains to be the most successful phablet in the market, shipping more than 5 million units in just two months after its release. And if the rumors are true, the Note 3 will find itself fitted against the latest iPhone model, a possible revamp of the iPhone 5 or even a new-look model altogether.
It’s always tough to go against the iPhone, but Samsung clearly doesn’t want to give Apple any breathing room, now that they’re ahead, selling the GALAXY S4 like hotcakes, shipping 10 million units in just a month after release.
Just like its predecessors, the Note 3 will likely have similar specifications to the GALAXY S4 (check out Craving Tech’s Samsung GALAXY S4 review), so in this aspect, the rumors are mostly spot on. What’s really exciting about the next Samsung phablet is the possibility of having an improved camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) capability.
This would drastically improve the quality of pictures and videos shot using the main camera, since the Note line is not really known for its excellent cam features. It is above average, but it doesn’t compare to the image quality produced by the iPhones or the GALAXY S’s.
OIS tech is used in different cameras to reduce motion-induced image blurring, dealing with these issues at the lens or sensor level instead of software-based stabilization on modern smartphones.
Another possible selling feature of the Note 3 is a speedy new processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. This 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor is Qualcomm’s flagship, and will be significantly faster than the Note 2’s Exynos quad core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 processor. The Note 3 could also pack an Exynos Octa, an eight core processor mix of 1.9 GHz and 1.6 GHz quads.
Any of these new processors will boost the Note 3’s performance on par or even better than any of the existing high-end smartphones. As a point of comparison, the recently released GALAXY S4 packs a 1.9 GHz quad core Qualcomm Krait 300 or an Exynos Octa eight core processor mix of 1.6 GHz and 1.2 GHz quads.
While these rumors seem promising, we must take them with a grain of salt. It’s hard to assume that these features we hear of will be available when the smartphone gets launched. Regardless of the outcome, the Note 3 will definitely be the top phablet to watch.
With its size and performance, there’s no doubt that the Note 3 will be the perfect entertainment and business phone hybrid.