Samsung Galaxy Note 3 unpacked - features, price and release date
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - all you need to know about the phablet, with details coming from the official launch
Our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 unpacked - features, price and release date article will be updated with all of the latest information. Save this page and keep checking back for regular updates. Updated on the 4th September 2013 with the launch event information.
Today is the day when we finally find out all of the details about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. At 18:00 in the UK (19:00 in central Europe), Samsung will kick off its latest unpacked event at IFA, dishing out all of the details on its new products including the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and, of course, its Note 3 phablet. There may even be a surprise or too.
We'll be updating this article with all of the official launch information as soon as we have it, so don't forget to check back for the latest information. We'll also have a chance to play with any devices that are launched later in the evening, so we'll be bringing you our first hands-on impressions of Samsung's latest and greatest.
Until we bring you that information you can watch the live stream of the event yourself, by playing the video embedded below. Until then, why not read the rest of this article as we go over all of the current rumours, leaks and specifications.
When the Samsung Galaxy Note phone and tablet hybrid - or 'phablet' as it's most commonly known - was launched, there was initially some scepticism as to who would want such a device. However, Samsung proved everyone wrong and the Note was a success. Its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, received a warm welcome when it was unveiled at the IFA show in August 2012.
The Note 2 has sold well, shifting 2m units in November 2012 alone, proving demand for so-called phablet devices is growing. No wonder, then, that as we approach the year anniversary of the Note 2, attention is turning to its suspected successor, the Galaxy Note 3. We round up all the latest news and rumours to find out what to expect.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 RELEASE DATE
There were rumours that the Note 3 will be unveiled at this year's IFA show in Berlin in September - this would make sense, seeing as the Note 2 was unveiled at last year's show.
These rumours would now seem to be confirmed. An invite sent around for the Samsung Unpacked event at IFA in Berlin in September has the fairly obvious hint "NOTE THE DATE" written on it.
Note the text at the bottom-right of this IFA show invite
The company seems to have confirmed these rumours itself. An unnamed spokesperson from Samsung's Wireless Business Division told Korean news site ETNews.com that "we will start placing [component] orders for follow-up models, such as [the] Galaxy Note 3, from August", revealing for the first time a mass production date for the Note 3.
There was one leak of a supposed prototype on Samsung rumour site Sammobile, but we're not convinced it's the real deal. The story says it has a Full HD screen, but they are unable to confirm any specifications despite one of the photos showing the prototype to be turned on. They also didn't seem to have time to measure the device, or even to show it side by side with another phone, so we're definitely not convinced.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 SCREEN
We've seem some huge phone/tablet hybrids, such as the Asus FonePad with its 7in screen, but the Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t look like it’s going to be such a monster.
A source speaking to the Korea Times claimed that the Note 3 will instead have a smaller 5.9in screen, which puts it firmly in phablet rather than tablet territory. However, this is still significantly larger than the 5.5in display on the Galaxy Note 2.
Yet, more recent information from SamMobile points to the Galaxy Note 3 have a 5.99in screen with a Full HD (1,920x1,080) resolution. According to the report, the Note 3 will have a thinner bezel, so it will be the same size as the Galaxy Note 2, only with a larger screen.
That makes sense in a way, as the Galaxy S4 is the same size as the Galaxy S3, but the thinner bezel means that there's room for a larger screen. We'd also agree that the Full HD resolution has to be correct, as Samsung will want the best for its high-end phablet.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 CHASSIS
Some people were unsure about the Galaxy S4's plastic chassis which, while lightweight and tough, doesn't look or feel quite as classy as the toughened glass of phones such as the Sony Xperia Z or the metal body of the HTC One.
This is apparently giving Samsung cause for concern, so according to news site SamMobile, the Note 3 could break with tradition and ship with a metal rather than polycarbonate chassis.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 S ORB
The Note 3 is rumoured to be the first Samsung phone to have the S Orb panoramic photo feature. This is Samsung's version of Google's new Photo Sphere feature, which lets you take multiple photos in a 360-degree arc around you, and stitch the results up into a Google Street View-style collage to upload to Google+.
The key difference between S Orb and Photo Sphere is that Samsung's version will integrate with Facebook - a far more popular social network than Google+.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3 PROCESSOR
Samsung has unveiled its octa-core Exynos 5 chip, with eight processor cores. Designed as a replacement for the Eyxnos 4 quad-core chip powering the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 devices, and an upgrade to the Exynos 5 Dual found in the Samsung-manufactured but Google-branded Nexus 10 tablet, the Exynos 5 Octa promises significant gains in performance and power usage.
The Exynos 5 Octa combines a quad-core next-generation 28nm 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor - an upgrade to the 1.6GHz Cortex-A9 chip found in the Galaxy S3 and the 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 chip in the Nexus 10 - with a secondary quad-core Cortex-A9 processor running at 1.2GHz.
The idea, Samsung explains, is that when the phone or tablet is doing lightweight work such as playing music, making a phone call or browsing the internet, the more powerful Cortex-A15 cores can be completely disabled and the Cortex-A9 cores used instead. The result, Samsung claims, is an improvement in power efficiency of around 70 per cent compared to the Exynos 4 Quad in the Galaxy S3.
Even if the Galaxy Note 3 were to be available with the eight-core chip, that doesn't mean that this processor will be available world-wide. While the Exynos 5 CPU was launched with the Galaxy S4, the UK instead got a standard quad-core processor instead. The reasons for this aren't exactly clear, but it may be that Samsung follows a similar pattern with the Galaxy Note 3, rolling out the octa-core version in some countries, while others will get a fast quad-core chip instead.
Recent rumours also point to the Note 3 having a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. The MK News piece also states that the phone will have 3GB of RAM.
When the Note 2 launched last year, it cemented itself as a device for technophiles, with its £550 price.
We would usually expect the next iteration to cost around the same amount (and the Note 2 getting a price drop after the Note 3 lands). A larger screen could mean that the new phone ends up being more expensive, which could push the price up beyond £600, though.