As some of you might know, recent reports have suggested that Samsung is nowhere near done with its 2013 smartphone lineup. The Diplomat has already covered stories regarding several such devices, including the Galaxy S4 Active, the “Mini” version of the Galaxy S4, as well as the rather elusive, camera-centric Galaxy Zoom.
Nevertheless, Samsung’s highly anticipated smartphone for the reminder of the year is still the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Note series has been a tremendous success and it’s pretty obvious that the South Korean manufacturer is planning on launching a third iteration, sometime in late Q3 / early Q4 2013. The biggest question though, is whether the upcoming “phablet” is going to be more of the same (with updated hardware specs but closely following the same formula), or if the manufacturer will truly innovate. So this time around, we look at the latest rumors about the handset’s build quality and display technology, aspects which could end up determining its success.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Flexible Display
During the past few months, plenty of rumors have suggested that the Note 3 will feature a flexible / unbreakable screen. But let’s not forget that this kind of speculation is not actually fresh. Speculation about smartphones featuring flexible displays had started to surface a long time ago, immediately after Samsung and other manufacturers showcased this type of technology at various tech events.
The Galaxy S3 was rumored to debut a flexible screen, and when said display technology failed to materialize, it was Galaxy S4′s turn. It did not happen, and despite suggestions from various sources, the more recent leaks are indicating that the Note 3 will not feature a flexible display either.
Sam Mobile has recently reported on Oled-Displays.net’s findings, “confirming” that Samsung is now readying for the launch of its first 6-inch smartphone, which will be none other than the aforementioned phablet. Good news indeed, but the bad news is that, according to these sources, Samsung has run into several issues with mass producing its flexible displays. That said, the first 6-inch Samsung smartphone is now expected to arrive with a regular AMOLED panel.
On a side note, LG has also allegedly encountered similar issues, thus the chances of being able to purchase a handset boasting a flexible display by the end of the year, regardless of its brand, are slim to none.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Premium Build, Or Not?
The second most impressive (speculated) characteristic of the Note 3 was that the device could actually distance itself from its roots by employing premium build materials.
Initial reports were suggesting that, with HTC One’s premium design highly acclaimed by consumers and critics alike, Samsung has started feeling the pressure and might have decided to change its “cheap plastic” design philosophy with the upcoming phablet.
Several rumors have previously indicated that the South Korean company is working on various Note 3 prototypes, one of which was said to deliver a brand new design and a metal case.
Unfortunately, just like the flexible screen, the idea of a premium design has taken a hit as well.
Sam Mobile has recently reported that, according to their sources, Samsung has decided not to stray too far away from its usual design language. Allegedly, even though the manufacturer has experimented with various designs and build materials for the Note 3, the handset in question will eventually end up being very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4 – at least in terms of looks. Based on these reports, the main reason behind this decision is that the manufacturer would not be able to build enough metal cases in time for the handset’s release. Delaying the handset could have also been an option, but Samsung decided otherwise.
On the brighter side of things, these latest reports have also “reconfirmed” that the Note 3 should arrive with a powerful Octa-Core processor (made from two separate quad-core units, running at 1.9 GHz and 1.6 GHz respectively). The handset will allegedly also pack a 13 MP rear-facing camera as well as a 2 MP front-facing sensor. Additionally, the Note 3 is expected to take advantage of the latest version of the Android OS, and evidently, an updated TouchWiz user interface.
In the end, we need to remember that nothing is set in stone at this point. Nevertheless, it would be quite a disappointment if Samsung won’t be able to use the launch of the highly-expected Note 3 in order to bring forth some much needed innovation.
Do you consider this to be a missed opportunity? Or do you think that the Note 3 will be a success regardless of its build quality and display type, as long as the internal hardware is up to date? What are your personal expectations from this particular device, and what would make you want to own one? The comments section below is at your disposal.
Vlad Andrici is editor for gforgames.com and writes about technology issues.