Samsung still isn’t talking about the Galaxy Note 5 but thanks to countless rumors and leaks, it’s clear that the device is on its way. Many Galaxy Note 3 owners are poised to come off contract in the weeks ahead and today we want to take a look at what Galaxy Note 3 owners need to know about the Note 5 as we leave the month of July.
Its been nearly two years since Samsung took the stage at IFA in Berlin, Germany to announce the Galaxy Note 3. And that means that in just a few short weeks, many Galaxy Note 3 users will be coming off contract and some of them will be looking to upgrade the device. The Galaxy Note 3 is still a good phone but it’s not getting any younger.
There are a number of high quality devices on the market right now including the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6, iPhone 6 Plus, and LG G4. There are also a number of high quality devices on the way including a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
July was an extremely busy month for the Galaxy Note 5. We saw rumors emerge on a daily basis and we even saw Samsung confirm an upcoming launch event that could be the Galaxy Note 5’s launch pad. That’s not confirmed but it’s likely.
With a Galaxy Note 5 launch on the horizon, it’s time for current Galaxy Note 3 owners and prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers to start taking notice. Remember, Galaxy Note launches only come once a year.
With just a day before the start of August, we want to take a look back at a few of the things we learned about the Galaxy Note 5 in July. These are the most important things you’ll want to keep in mind if you’ve been looking into buying or replacing the Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Launch & Live Stream
If you are thinking about buying the Galaxy Note 3 right now, do yourself a favor and hold off. At least for now.
In July, we saw a number of credible Galaxy Note 5 launch details emerge and they all pointed to an arrival in August. We also saw Samsung sent out media invites for an Unpacked launch event that’s set for August 13th in New York City.
If you’re looking to replace the Galaxy Note 3, you’d be wise to set aside some time on the morning of August 13th. Samsung is going to be hosting a live stream of its event which means that you’ll be able to follow the action as it happens. If you’re at all interested in how the Galaxy Note 3 compares to the Galaxy Note 5, do yourself a favor and tune into the event.
Galaxy Note 5 Release Date
July also produced several bits of information regarding the Galaxy Note 5 release date. And if these details are accurate, it looks like you’ll only have to wait a few more weeks before the Galaxy Note 5 hits shelves in the United States and countries around the world. That’s big if you’re getting antsy.
We’ve seen U.S. Galaxy Note 5 variants cruise through the FCC already so there’s a good chance that the United States will join these initial Galaxy Note 5 release regions. FCC filings typically happen on launch date or weeks afterwards so the fact that they’ve already gained clearance is a sign that a release could be very, very close.
This should be music to ears of those that are looking to get rid of the Galaxy Note 3 later this year. Typically we have to wait until late September, October or November for the Galaxy Note release. This year should be a little bit different.
If you are looking to upgrade from the Galaxy Note 3, make sure you look into your upgrade now or in the near future.
We didn’t need an avalanche of rumors to tell us that the Galaxy Note 5 will come with better specs than the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note 5 is a phone from 2015. The Galaxy Note 3 is a phone from 2013. The Galaxy Note 5 should have much better specs.
The Galaxy Note 5 is expected to have the same screen size as the Galaxy Note 3 but that’s where the similarities end. Instead of a Full HD display, the Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a Quad HD. That’s the same resolution Samsung used on the Note 4 and Galaxy S6. They’re much better than the Galaxy Note 3’s display.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a 16MP rear camera (probably similar to GS6/Note 4, both better than the Note 3’s rear camera) and a 5MP front-facing camera for excellent selfies and video chats.
Galaxy Note 5 rumors and benchmarks also point to a number of powerful specs including an improved S Pen that looks and feels like a real pen, a new Exynos 7 octa-core chip with 4GB of RAM, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery. It’s also rumored to have four color options.
That’s the story so far and we don’t expect much to change. The Galaxy Note 5 will obviously be the more powerful of the two and it will be up to you to decide if you need the extra horsepower.
Galaxy Note 5 Design
In addition to the specs, the Galaxy Note 5 design is expected to be vastly different than the Galaxy Note 3’s (and Galaxy Note 4’s).
This year, Samsung introduced a new design language that includes metal and glass. Those build materials are expected to feature on the Galaxy Note 5.
In July, we learned that the Galaxy Note 5 will probably look a lot like a blown up version of the Samsung Galaxy S6. They don’t appear to be identical but there appear to be some noticeable similarities. The Galaxy Note 5’s premium design will be a plus but the change could come with some features that might not sit well with current Galaxy Note 3 users.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 doesn’t feature a microSD card slot for expanded storage. Instead, it comes in three storage sizes including 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. The Galaxy Note 5 and its new design might not come with a microSD card slot and that’s something that Note 3 owners need to keep in mind as we move towards its release.
The Galaxy Note 5 may not have a removable battery either. This could prove to be another source of frustration for current Galaxy Note 3 users. That’s not all.
Leaked Galaxy Note 5 schematics point to a thinner Galaxy Note 5 design, 7.1mm to the Galaxy Note 4’s 8.3m. This could make for a far more manageable phone from a size perspective. The Galaxy Note 3 can feel unwieldy for some people.
Price Hikes and Changes
The Galaxy Note 3 price has remained dirt cheap in July and we don’t expect that to change any time soon. In fact, we’d expect it to get even better next month as retailers and carriers offer it for bargain bin prices in the wake of the Galaxy Note 5’s arrival.
Tomorrow, AT&T will reportedly increase its activation fee for new two-year contracts. If this goes through, activation fees on AT&T will climb to $45. That’s $5 more expensive than Verizon and $45 more expensive than T-Mobile.
AT&T is also expected to add a $15 AT&T Next upgrade fee starting August 1st. If these changes happen in August, they’ll impact the price of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 3. Both will get a little more expensive. AT&T isn’t the only one changing the way you buy phones though.
Verizon Edge, Verizon’s AT&T Next equivalent, is dead and the carrier is now offering something its calls Device Upgrade plans. The carrier hasn’t made a move yet but this points to the end of two year contracts at Verizon. Sources have told us that the carrier is planning to do away with them in the near future.
With all of these changes happening ahead of the Galaxy Note 5 release, you’ll want to be extra careful buying and upgrading, especially if you haven’t looked at anything in the two years since you signed a contract.
10 Things to Do Before the Galaxy Note 5 Release Date
Research Your Galaxy Note 5 Storage Needs
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The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 isn't official yet but that doesn't mean that you can't prepare for its arrival. There are a number of things you can do ahead of Samsung's announcement and release and deciding on how much storage you might need is one of them.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 design is reportedly going to be similar to the Galaxy S6's. That means premium build materials but it also means no microSD card slot for expanded storage. If this is true, and it probably is, it's going to put pressure on you to figure out how much internal storage you'll need.
If Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 doesn't feature expandable storage, it'll likely come with several storage options. Those storage options will vary in price. You don't want to pay for storage that you're never going to need so you'll want to think about this ahead of time.
Take a look at your current device, think about how you might use your next phone, and estimate how much storage it will take to feel comfortable. For some of you, it might be 32GB. For others, it might be a 128GB of space.
We don't know how much the Galaxy Note 5 will come with yet but chances are we'll see some sort of combo featuring 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.