While pondering recent Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rumors, we've also considered the information may tell us a little bit about the processor -- or processors -- that will power the Galaxy Note 3.
Last week, a leaked photo reportedly taken by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 surfaced on the photo-sharing website Picasa. The Exif data for the blurry shot of a sports drink bottle indicated it was taken by a device with the model number SM-N9005, which could be a variant of the Galaxy Note 3 that features LTE connectivity. Thus far, the Galaxy Note 3 has been known by the model number SM-N9000 with no suggestion for connectivity. But Samsung enthusiasts should come to expect several variants of an upcoming smartphone as an inevitability.
Samsung Processor History
We've seen previous Samsung devices release with similar international generic and international LTE variants, such as the Galaxy Note 2: GT-N7100, generic and GT-N7105, LTE as well as the Galaxy S4: GT-I9500 generic and GT-I9505, LTE. With these comparisons, reports may have inadvertently proposed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be available in generic (SM-N9000) and LTE (SM-N9005) variants.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, in particular, differentiates its international generic and international LTE variants by the type of processor chipset that powers each variant of the device. The generic variant of the Galaxy S4 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa chipset while the LTE variant gets its high-speed data capability from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 featured the Exynos 4 Quad chipset, which was made LTE capable only on certain variants of the device such as the international version and the version sold on the Verizon network. These devices only powered LTE on certain bands of the data spectrum.
Processor Options for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3
It remains unconfirmed whether the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will have variants based on different processors. Currently, there are two chipsets in the running to be featured on the device: the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Of course, many have also considered the possibility that the Galaxy Note 3 could feature both. Considering the variants under which previous devices were released, Samsung has a number of options for powering the Galaxy Note 3 by computing and connectivity.
The Exynos 5 Octa chipset has been somewhat of an enigma in mobile computing world since its implementation in the Samsung Galaxy S4. Having powered the generic international variant of the Galaxy S4, the Exynos 5 Octa didn't provide the device with LTE connectivity, only 3G data power. After Samsung announced that the chipset would be LTE capable, consumers saw that Exynos 5 Octa LTE variant of the Galaxy S4 release only in the manufacturer’s home country of Korea.
Samsung recently announced a new Exynos 5 Octa chipset, which reportedly provided 20 percent more processing power and double the graphics. Samsung has notably made no mention of whether this processor will provide LTE support.
On the opposing side is the standard LTE capable Qualcomm chipset. Some of the most recent rumors have suggested that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, which notably supports the new LTE-Advanced technology that allows for network speeds of 150 Mbps. Samsung recently announced a Galaxy S4 LTE-A variant, the first device of its kind, which runs the Snapdragon 800 chipset and will soon be released in Korea. Some rumors suggest that an international LTE-A Galaxy S4 will also be unveiled.
Reports have especially considered the Snapdragon 800 processor for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 because it is expected to be competition for a number of devices, including the soon-to-be announced LG G2 that has already been confirmed as featuring the Snapdragon 800 processor. The rumored HTC One Max is also expected to feature the Snapdragon 800. The recently launched Sony Experia Z Ultra will feature the LTE-A chipset.
Generic And/Or LTE Processor?
So here we have four processor options for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3: The generic Exynos 5 Octa, the Exynos 5 Octa with LTE support, the new Exynos 5 Octa and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. With no confirmations from Samsung on which processor(s) we will see in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, we can only make assumptions on the manufacturer’s plans. If Samsung upholds its generic and LTE variant traditions, we may at least see the Galaxy Note 3 in Exynos 5 Octa and Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor variants. With so much competition, enthusiasts are likely waiting to see Samsung pull out the stops for features on the Galaxy Note 3; perhaps a LTE variant with the Exynos 5 Octa processor and a LTE-A variant with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The latest Exynos 5 Octa chipset is expected to go into mass production in August, which could take it out of the running to power the Galaxy Note 3 due to the same supply shortage issues that plagued previous Samsung devices. Or the chipset could be produced right on time, as the Galaxy Note 3 is also expected to go into production in August. Some other rumors have proposed that the device will be released in four models with varying features. If true, we could likely see a number of processor variants power the device.
What type of processor(s) do you think the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will run? 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.