Samsung Galaxy Note 3: What we want to see

Bests Paul Briden 12:51, 6 Feb 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 user Paul Briden outlines what he'd like to see from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Samsung Galaxy S3, a successor model to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note smartphone range, is rumoured to be in the works and might even arrive as early as Mobile World Congress if we’re lucky.

How could Samsung improve the Galaxy Note formula for the latest edition? We’ve had a think about it.

Display and form factor

As a starting point, it’s already believed we’ll see a 6.3-inch display on the Galaxy Note 3. We'd like to see Samsung attempt an edge-to-edge display here in order to keep the bodywork as compact as possible.

The original Galaxy Note was unwieldy at 5.3-inches, but we did adjust to it over time as did plenty of you out there - the Note sold exceptionally, surprising everybody. 

The Galaxy Note 2 was even bigger with its 5.5-inch display. It too sold exceptionally well, cementing the phablet as a mainstay in popular consumer culture. 

A successor, therefore, is a logical step. But could Samsung be about to drop the ball by pushing the scale even further?

6.3-inches is rapidly leaving smartphone and even ‘phablet’ territory and getting dangerously close to tablet proportions. We had hands-on time with Huawei’s 6.1-inch Ascend Mate and found it cumbersome, so the concern is very real.

Having an edge-to-edge display would lessen the phone’s physical growth to an extent. Depending on how it was implemented, a display of this type could ensure the Note 3 remains useable even at 6.3-inches.

If edge-to-edge was used it would go some way to dictating the rest of the phone’s external design, not that this is a bad thing - less bezel generally means a cleaner look.

A key point here is that the previous Galaxy Note handsets have closely adhered to Samsung’s contemporary aesthetics. The Galaxy Note was based on the Galaxy S2, the Galaxy Note 2 was based on the Galaxy S3, and so on.

It goes without saying, then, that the Galaxy Note 3 should share its design language with the Galaxy S4 flagship, and there’s some suggestion that this will follow an entirely new Samsung style.

We've absolutely no clue what that new style might be though. Curvier? Blockier? Colourful? Only Samsung has the answer.

We would hope, as we always do, that Samsung would abandon its horrible plastics and opt for something a bit more premium. Because weight can be a problem for phones of this size, something like lightweight aluminium might be an idea.

Another issue is that of picture clarity. With the bump from 5.3-inches to 5.5-inches the Galaxy Note 2’s display dropped in resolution from 1280x800 pixels to 1280x720 pixels, and the pixel density went from 285 pixels-per-inch (ppi) to 267ppi. Not a massive drop but it is fuzzier.

A 6.3-inch display with the same resolution as the Galaxy Note 2 would drop the pixel density to 233ppi. Can Samsung increase the display size further while maintaining picture clarity?

The company’s next flagship, the Galaxy S4, is said to have a 5-inch 440ppi display, so there is hope that a larger 6.3-inch screen could still have a decent resolution and pixel density.

Also, Samsung’s Super PLS LCD technology (similar to IPS Plus) has proven larger screens can have very sharp picture quality, as seen on the Samsung-made Nexus 10 - a 10.1-inch tablet with a 2560x1600 pixel, 300ppi display.

Shrinking this technology down could enable the Galaxy Note 3 to boast a larger and sharper screen than its predecessors.

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