The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may already be on the market internationally, but the handset won't make its debut in the U.S. until later this week. Several U.S. carriers will soon begin shipping the Galaxy Note 3, including AT&T on Oct. 1, T-Mobile on Oct. 2, Sprint on Oct. 4 and Verizon on Oct. 10. U.S. Cellular also insists it will release its Note 3 model in October, but it has not yet divulged release specifics. If you have your heart set on purchasing Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, here’s the information you'll need to know about the Galaxy Note 3 U.S. release.
Pre-Orders and In-Store Availability
Those who have already pre-ordered their Galaxy Note 3 should expect their handsets to ship on the aforementioned release dates, if not slightly before those dates. Many carriers have notably shipped older Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy S4, early so they could get the devices to owners even before the designated release date. Customers should find no trouble with the shipping of pre-ordered Galaxy Note 3 handsets. At most, pre-orders should be delivered within two days after their designated shipping dates.
Those who haven’t pre-ordered need not worry about availability of the Galaxy Note 3 in stores. Since the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a niche device that sells in smaller numbers than other flagship devices, customers should see no inventory shortages. Currently, we know T-Mobile will have the Galaxy Note 3 available in stores on Oct. 2 while AT&T and Sprint will have the Note 3 available in stores by Oct. 4. Verizon has not yet revealed its in store availability of the Note 3; however, it should hit stores around Oct. 10 as pre-orders ship.
Prepare for In-Store Purchase
Make sure you’re as knowledgeable as possible about your purchase beforehand, especially if you plan to buy your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in a store; however, we also recommend doing your homework if you plan to purchase your Galaxy Note 3 online.
Research your network’s talk, text and data options beforehand and be certain about what plan you want for your Note 3 handset. Be certain about whether you want a two-year contract with a subsidized device cost or a month-to-month plan, which requires customers to purchase a handset for its full retail price in addition to services fees. Many carriers now also offer noncontract plans, which allow customers to purchase devices on a down payment and then pay the remaining value of the handset in 24-month increments.
Know whether you want to purchase the handset protection plan offered by your carrier. Most carriers offer Asurion handset protection plans; however, there are many other smartphone insurance plans from which to choose. Note that if you opt out of your carrier-supported protection plan you may not be able to choose that plan in the future.
In-Store Purchase Pros And Cons
As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 likely won’t attract large lines waiting to purchase the handset in stores, but you may have to suffer an associates’ sales pitch for accessories and the aforementioned handset protection plan. This is another reason to be sure of everything you want to purchase beforehand. Still, make sure to bring extra cash with you. In addition to likely purchases of accessories and such, taxes and other fees like activation fees will bring up the overall price of your purchase.
Check Out the Deals
While many may be anxious to get their Galaxy Note 3 handsets as soon as possible, it may also be of benefit to hold out for various retailers to begin offering discounts. Such retailers as Walmart and online shops as Dell, Amazon and Wirefly will likely begin offering discounts on the Galaxy Note 3 not long after it’s available in stores. Discounts usually begin at $20 off and may also include free accessories.
Accessories to Buy
Many accessories are a must for smartphone owners today. First and foremost new Galaxy Note 3 owners may want to invest in a good protective case and/or screen protector. While the Galaxy Note 3 falls under the category of a high-end device, it may not fare well falling from high distances as recent drop tests have proven. A case will help protect the edges of a Note 3 from nicks and scratches while a screen protector will safeguard against screen shattering.
The Galaxy Note 3 will ship with at least 32GB of internal storage, a significant upgrade from its cousin the Samsung Galaxy S4, which mostly shipped with a 16GB option. However, many owners may still want to take advantage of its Micro SD support, which allows for expanded storage up to 64GB, which can help make sure there's never at a lack for internal storage for music, movies, photos, books or applications.
The removable battery on the Galaxy Note 3 also allows for extra battery support by way of an extended battery. While the 3,200mAh battery on the Note 3 will offer some serious juice, Samsung branded extended batteries will not only provide extra power to a new handset, it will also maintain certain brand specific functions such as NFC powered abilities. However, many third party brands will also have batteries compatible with the Galaxy Note 3.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will likely be available most in its black and white options in the U.S.; the third pink option may not see U.S. availability at all. Other colors options may come months down the road and may be exclusive to certain carriers.
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will likely not release on many smaller, regional carriers, if any.
- If you are only interested in the Samsung Galaxy Gear companion device, you need not buy the Galaxy Note 3 handset as the Galaxy Gear will soon be compatible with other Samsung handsets as the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3.
- If you do not want or require an S-Pen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may not be the device for you. Consider the Samsung Galaxy Mega or the Galaxy Note 2 for other large-screened options or the Samsung Galaxy S4 for more touch screen specific device.
Do you think you’re prepared for the U.S. release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.