With fierce competition and rapid innovation pushing products to the market faster than ever, consumers are always thirsting for a smartphone maker’s next big thing. Handsets can easily begin to feel outdated within a year of purchase, and for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, that one-year mark is quickly approaching. Samsung fans and industry observers are eager to see what the Korean manufacturer’s latest phablet has to offer.
According to Phandroid, a Korean news website has reported that the upcoming Galaxy Note 3 smartphone-tablet hybrid will be released in four different configurations. However, unlike the Galaxy S4, the four different Note 3 iterations will maintain a very similar form factor and CPU. “It’s the display, camera, and build materials that are the main components changing across these SKUs,” said Phandroid.
The flagship model of the Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to incorporate a new piece of tech that seems to have really piqued consumer interest lately: the flexible, so-called “unbreakable” screen. Android Authority, also referencing an article from Korea, said:
“Unlike conventional OLED displays which use glass, the new display will instead be made from an unspecified plastic material. The increased flexibility of the plastic display means that it will be able to absorb more energy from any impacts, preventing cracks or chips from appearing if your smartphone is dropped or bashed … Switching to a plastic material also means that the screens can be manufactured to be thinner than displays made from glass, effectively reducing the weight of your smartphone as well.”
While many people regard the Galaxy line of smartphones as some of the best available, the S4 was criticized for perpetuating the plastic construction that has come to define the Samsung aesthetic. The Galaxy Note 3 may give Samsung the opportunity to address what seems to be the one sticking point of negative reviews – abandoning “cheap plastic” for a more premium metal casing, a la iPhone 5 and HTC One. Phandroid claims that a metal body could also result in “a 30% reduction in thickness over the previous Galaxy Note 2.”
The premium model is also likely to be paired with a 13MP rear-facing camera.
As for the other three variants, less premium hardware and build materials will be utilized. One model may come with a Sharp LCD display, an 8MP camera, and a plastic housing. To compete with the Sony Xperia Z – and Samsung’s own S4 Active – one model will probably be water and dust-proof.
“Although four different versions might sound like a bit of a stretch, if the Galaxy S4 has taught us anything, we know that Samsung has been keen to offer consumers some additional choice for each of its models recently, so perhaps this new rumor isn’t as far-fetched as it first seems,” wrote Android Authority.
While a release date is currently unknown, the International Business Times expects that the official Samsung announcement will arrive at the IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin this September.