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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3: What We Know So Far

Note 4

With Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors flying around, we’ve started to hear questions from current Galaxy Note 3 owners and prospective Galaxy Note buyers. While the Galaxy Note 4 release isn’t around the corner, it’s likely going to be coming later this year and here, we take an early look at how the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4 stacks up with the Galaxy Note 3.

Last September, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 3, a brand new Galaxy Note that arrived to
replace the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, its second-generation Galaxy Note smartphone. The device landed on shelves just a few months after its launch and it delivered a new, powerful smartphone option to consumers around the world.

As we noted in our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review, the Galaxy Note 3 is an extremely powerful smartphone, more powerful than last year’s Samsung Galaxy S4. The device is equipped with a gorgeous 5.7-inch 1080p display, a speedy quad-core processor, a 13MP camera, new S Pen functionality, Android 4.4 KitKat, and a design that Samsung trimmed down in an effort to make it more pocketable. The Galaxy Note 3 is still larger than the Galaxy S but it’s much more manageable.

Thanks to its powerful software and hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 figures to be a solid option for consumers for the foreseeable future. However, like all smartphones, the Galaxy Note 3 will get replaced by something new, something better, and from the looks of things, that something new and better will be a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been swirling around since late last year though they have begun to emerge with greater frequency as we head deeper into the new year.

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of new Galaxy Note 4 rumors emerge and its those rumors, and the Galaxy S5 launch, that have sparked an interest amongst average consumers. Friends, family and average smartphone users have begun asking us questions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and how it might stack up with the Galaxy Note 3.

While we can’t say exactly how the Galaxy Note 4 will compare to the Galaxy Note 3, we can take a look at how the current Galaxy Note 4 rumors stack up next to the Galaxy Note 3 and offer our own assessment of the situation.

This comparison is certainly not definitive but it will give prospective Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4 buyers an idea about what to expect from Samsung later on this year.

Launch Date & Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was first announced back in September at IFA 2014. The company used an Unpacked Episode 2 event to launch the device and confirm not only its features but its release date. In late September, a few weeks after the Galaxy Note 3′s launch, Samsung released the device into the wild. Since then, it has remained a top option for those in the hunt for a new smartphone.

Last week, the Galaxy Note 3 was joined by the Samsung Galaxy S5 and it’s these two options that consumers are likely going to have to contend with for most of 2014. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors all point to an arrival in the second half of the year.

Nothing is set in stone just yet but from the look of things, Samsung is set to follow a pattern that it has followed for several years now. Samsung’s last three Galaxy Note models arrived at IFA in Berlin, Germany in the second half of the year. And with Samsung using an Episode 1 launch event for the Galaxy S5, it’s clear that the company will likely use another Unpacked Episode for another Galaxy Note, a device that the company has already confirmed numerous times.

IFA 2014
The Galaxy Note 4 may launch at IFA 2014 in September.

In January, a Samsung executive hinted at a typical spring Galaxy S5 release and a typical fall release for the next Samsung Galaxy Note. Shortly after that, a Bloomberg report pegged the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for the second half of the year. This fits in with the executive’s comments and Samsung’s pattern.

More recently, another Samsung executive affirmed that the Galaxy Note 4 launch would take place this fall while another Samsung executive reportedly said that the company was looking at using IFA for the device’s launch. This year’s IFA 2014 opens on September 5th which means that the Galaxy Note 4 will probably arrive sometime between September 1st and September 5th.

At the moment, this is as far as Galaxy Note 4 rumors go and that means that prospective Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note 3 buyers likely have several months to go, at least, before they’ll be able to compare the two.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a fantastic 5.7-inch full HD display that is fantastic for gaming, for watching movies, and for browsing the web. It’s a step up over the Samsung Galaxy Note 2′s 720p display that measured 5.5-inches.

Nothing is set in stone just yet but from the sound of things, Samsung is at least considering offering Galaxy Note 4 buyers an upgrade in the display department.

While the Galaxy S5 didn’t come with a fabled QHD display, rumors point to the possibility on board the Galaxy Note 4. New information from The Korea Times  asserts that Galaxy Note 4 could come with support for both high-definition and ultra high-definition. Details weren’t shared but we assume that this could mean that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with support for full HD, QHD or quite possibly, UHD. Rumors point to QHD on devices like the LG G3 but we still haven’t seen UHD rumored for 2014 which makes it unlikely.

Rumors have pointed to the arrival of a new Galaxy smartphone using a QHD display but it’s not clear if it’s a Galaxy Note, a Galaxy S variant or something else entirely.

The same report also claims that a curved Galaxy Note 4 display is still a possibility. Early Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggested that Samsung was exploring the idea of a curved or bent display on the next Galaxy Note but it’s still not clear if Samsung will be able to get the technology ready in time for launch.

Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4 concept.

It’s clear that Samsung is still exploring upgrades for the Galaxy Note 4 but it’s not clear if the company will be able to deliver. The Samsung Galaxy S5, after all, uses the same full HD 1080p display as the Galaxy S4. Early Galaxy S5 rumors suggested that it would utilize a QHD display but the rumors did not pan out.
At the very least, the Galaxy Note 4 will share the Galaxy Note 3′s resolution. For many people, full HD 1080p resolution is going to be more than enough.


Samsung is known for keeping its flagship designs under lock and key so we haven’t been shocked to see the Galaxy Note 4 design missing in action. Historically, the company’s designs have leaked, as a whole, a day or two ahead of its launch. In other words, we probably won’t get to see how the Galaxy Note 4 design stacks up with the Galaxy Note 3 design until much later in the year.
What we do know is this. We know that Samsung loves to change up its designs every year. And we know that the company is at least thinking about adding a IP67 certified design to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

One of the perks of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is its IP67 certified design. The certification means that the design is both water and dust resistant, something that many other top tier smartphones don’t have. The Galaxy Note 4 design is likely still a moving part due to internal testing but the adoption of a water resistant design would not come as much of a surprise.

If true, the design would hold an advantage over the Galaxy Note 3′s design. Galaxy Note 3 owners can only obtain that type of protection if they buy a case.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is, according to one Samsung executive, going to be a premium smartphone that targets consumers “who want more professional use and tend to be willing to pay more for handsets.” In other words, it could potentially have a number of high-end hardware features on board.
An early report suggested that Samsung would not be bringing fingerprint scanning security to the Samsung Galaxy S5 but that the technology would be ready for the next Samsung Galaxy Note. The report got the part about the Galaxy S5 wrong, it comes with a fingerprint reader in the home button.

samsung galaxy s5 and note 3

Samsung was able to get the technology ready in time for the Samsung Galaxy S5 so it should have it ready for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as well. This would also be an advantage over the Galaxy Note 3 because Samsung’s current Galaxy Note uses a standard home button without the biometrics tacked on.

Rumors also suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with LTE-Advanced and perhaps, a 64-bit processor. U.S. carriers have been slow to adopt the new LTE technology though Verizon plans to deploy LTE-A by the middle of 2014. LTE-A offers faster data speeds for compatible devices but it also requires networks to offer the capability.

The Galaxy Note 3 utilizes a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 while the Galaxy S5 comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor. Both are 32-bit. The inclusion of a new 64-bit processor on the Galaxy Note 4 would put it on par with the iPhone and enable faster speeds and better graphics for gaming.


We’ve heard a number of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors already but we should hear a lot more as the year moves on and we get closer to the Galaxy Note 4 release date.

samsung galaxy note 3

There are, however, several takeaways from this comparison, things that we think prospective Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4 buyers should keep in mind as the Galaxy Note 4 rumor mill continues to spin.

  1. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch and release will almost certainly take place during the fall.
  2. Samsung has never kept the same design two years in a row so if you don’t like the Galaxy Note 3 design, there is a very good chance the Galaxy Note 4 will have a different design. IP67 certification is likely given that it’s on board the Galaxy S5.
  3. We almost always see a new processor on board Samsung’s new flagships so a 64-bit processor isn’t out of the question. Look for the Galaxy Note 4 to be more powerful than the Galaxy Note 3.
  4. Its display will be on par, or better, than the Galaxy Note 3′s. So consumers should go hands-on right now to see if they need something more than full HD. Most won’t.

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