Opinion

The Galaxy Note series – should you wait for the next big thing?

Update: According to recent news, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is expected to be released in the first week of September

When Samsung released the original Galaxy Note N7000 in 2011, it received mixed reviews (generally bad), with people saying it was too big to be comfortable and become a mainstream device. A few months later, the N7000 changed the game for everyone. The 5.3 inch screen set the bar for others to follow after  sales went beyond expectations. The original Galaxy Note also brought the stylus back into fashion, with what Samsung called the S pen – a stylus which boasted pressure sensitivity and increased accuracy, thanks to Samsung’s partnership with Wacom.

While the device was far from perfect (black crush issues, late Android updates, S pen problems, brick bug etc) it was successfully succeeded by the Galaxy Note II N7100. The Note II had a better stylus (larger, more comfortable and solid), updated version of Android, new software features (those from Samsung S3 along with multi-window), different display size (5.5 inches, but lower resolution and pixel density), a quad-core processor (N7000 had dual-core), larger battery (3000 mAH) and most importantly 2 GB Ram (compared with N7000′s 1 GB, which did limit its multitasking capabilities).

At the present moment, we are just a couple of months away from the release of the Galaxy Note 3. As of now, there are no solid revelations about the device, but given how successful the first two versions were, the Galaxy Note 3 certainly has big shoes to fill. The question here is, should you wait for the next big thing? The answer to that is not to simple.

Firstly, the Galaxy Note II is a very solid device. The only downside is the display, which has a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a pixel density of 267. If you are not very big on high definition displays and are simply looking to get a taste of the big screen and the fancy S pen features (their practical use and productivity is debatable) then the Note II will do you good. If you can wait a few months, the release of the Note 3 will actually make the Note II even more affordable. Moreover, if you are a power user, the developer community has a lot to offer. There are plenty of custom ROMs available for both the Note I and II, and they can really extend the life of these devices (I still have a Note I with CM 10.1 and it works pretty good).

Secondly, it is important not to underestimate other manufacturers. While Samsung had a head-start with the N7000, other manufacturers are now in the game as well. Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra is an excellent example of what competition can give birth to. The device has amazing specifications and it will be interesting to know what Samsung come up with now. Earlier, the Note series was the only runner, but now you have the luxury of choice. If you have decided to take the plunge, it would be prudent to wait for Samsung’s release and then weigh your options.

Finally, there is just one major rumor which is working in favor of the Note 3. It has been reported (repeatedly) that the Note 3 is likely to feature a flexible display (yes, a screen that you can bend and flex). While it is not confirmed yet (far from confirmed), it is still a very interesting development. The fact that other manufacturers are seriously looking at the commercial production of flexible displays puts a lot of pressure on Samsung and the less spectacular than expected sales of the Samsung S4 don’t help much either. If Samsung does come up with a flexible display in the Note 3, it can become the first manufacturer to make the technology publicly available, and take the lead once again. However, in the end, it all depends on the feasibility of mass producing the flexible displays – come August, we shall see what Samsung has in store.

In the end, whether you should wait for Samsung to release the Galaxy Note 3 depends on a lot of factors. However, it is better to wait if you can – you have nothing to lose.

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