The moment you jumbo-sized Android smartphone lovers have been waiting for roughly 12 months now has finally arrived. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the sequel to the best phablet yet, has been “Unpacked”, looking awesome albeit not as game-changing as some expected.
Why buy it?
Sans fingerprint recognition technology, with a smaller display than it was initially tipped and an overall spec sheet that resembles a little too much every high-end Android released of late or due to go on sale soon, the Note 3 is bound to get its fair share of haters.
Yet something tells me the number of GNote 3 aficionados will overwhelm and ultimately squash the skeptics. It’s not intuition, nor is it any kind of sixth sense I might have about the way the mobile tech world works.
It’s just cold facts and numbers. Like 3 GB of RAM. Or 8.3 mm thin profile. Or 151.1 mm height, which is an incredible 0.1 mm more than Note 2’s measurement, all while the “next big thing” rocks a usable screen real estate larger with 0.2 inches.
The cherry on top of it all is a dazzling faux-leather back, which might just silence the ridiculous ongoing plastic vs. metal debate. Hoping that you’re now more decided than ever to upgrade (or get on the GNote bandwagon for the first time ever), here’s everything we know about the thing’s pricing and availability:
Galaxy Note 3 in US – where, how much, when?
Five is the number of carriers stateside already confirmed to sell the 5.7-incher, with the known details at this time summarized as follows:
- Verizon – The exact date when shipments are to start seems the only standing enigma as far as Big Red is concerned, with pre-orders live as of today, September 6, 9 AM EST, and pricing set at $299.99 with two-year pacts and $699.99 outright. America’s number one network will also reportedly sell the Note 3 bundled with a Galaxy Gear smartwatch, for a total price of $599.98.
- AT&T – Though still behind Verizon in number of subscribers, Ma Bell is continuously stepping up its game when it comes to big releases. Hence, the Note 3 is up for pre-orders already, with an October 1 ETA. The on-contract price tag is the same (i.e. $299.99), but oddly off-contract the 5.7-incher costs a tad more – $724.99.
- T-Mobile – There are no words on a launch date with Magenta, nor have pre-orders been opened, but on the bright side the pricing structure is very attractive. You’ll be able to score the Note 3 “in the coming weeks” for $199.99 upfront, plus 24 monthly payments of $21 each.
- Sprint and US Cellular – We’ve bundled these two together because they insist on being secretive, meaning they’ll likely come late to the launch party. Probably sometime in mid-October, with pricing starting at $300 with carrier agreements.
Can’t possibly wait until next month? Have fat bags of money just lying around? Then maybe you’ll be interested to know Negri Electronics has the Note 3 up for pre-orders starting at a hefty $780 price with estimated availability beginning September 28.
Canada availability and pricing
Although we’ve always had the sense Canada was viewed as a key market for Samsung, the Koreans are unexpectedly shy about Note 3’s prospects up north. As of yet, we essentially only know the name of the Canadian operators set to carry the device (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Mobilicity, SaskTel, Videotron and WIND Mobile).
No words on an exact release date, nothing on pricing and the only ETA Sammy is ready to reveal is a horribly vague “later this year”. Not cool, Samsung, not cool at all!
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 EuroTrip – dates, costs
It’s near guaranteed Samsung’s latest spearhead will take the old continent by storm in the following month or so, but I’m afraid, with the exception of UK and Switzerland (?!?), everyone else has been left hanging for now.
- EE UK – Up for pre-orders in a 4G LTE-enabled flavor in physical stores starting less than 24 hours ago, the Note 3 is to go live online soon, but the exact launch date is still kept under wraps. As far as pricing goes, you’ll need to cough up £149.99, pen a customary 2-year contract and pay an additional £31 a month (which however includes unlimited calls, texts and 2 GB of data).
- Orange – Also available on pre-orders here, the Note 3 goes for an upfront fee of £120 with £42 monthly plans.
- T-Mobile – The other sub-branch of the EE giant offers the 3G-only phone for £140 with £42 plans.
- O2, Three, Vodafone – Just like in America, the latest member of the Galaxy family will be available with all major networks, but these three are more timid, so they don’t have pre-orders live as of now, nor have they announced pricing details or release dates. Based on rumors and speculations, they should however kick shipping into gear around the same time as their competitors, which will be by the end of September.
- Unlocked-Mobiles – The third-party retailer doesn’t only take pre-orders already, but it also pinpoints a Note 3 commercial release date: September 29. The phablet is of course far from cheap (£598.97 outright), albeit it’s not preposterously expensive either… considering.
- Phones 4U – September 25 is when the seller estimates the first phones will be out and about, with pricing starting at £0 upfront (with £47 Orange or Vodafone plans). The deal sweetener is that if you pre-order the thing online, you get a free flip case, £120 worth wireless speakers, plus a £100 discount on subsequent Galaxy Gear purchases. Not bad!
- Switzerland – This is by far the weirdest part of our roundup today, but, believe it or not, we know the recommended retail price of the Note 3… in Switzerland. It’s 939 CHF unlocked and SIM-free, which is roughly 1,000 US bucks. Ouch!