Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 3 Neo but what’s the point?

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Samsung continued the tradition of a Samsung device popping up just about every other day by releasing the Galaxy Note 3 Neo in Poland two days ago. Before you even cringe after hearing that long name, you are tempted to ask “Galaxy Note 3”? You are not alone. Seems like we won’t be seeing a change in tact by Samsung as far as naming other devices after its latest flagship goes. We had the rogue members of the Galaxy S4 family arrive in droves mid last year and fast forward to 2014, the Galaxy Note 3 is also getting the same love (not the Macklemore song). Is that a good thing? Yes and no.

Yes because the Galaxy Note 3 is the best in its class and is widely popular. No because… read on.

These are the specs of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo vis-a-vis the other senior Note devices:

Galaxy Note 3 Neo Galaxy Note 3 Galaxy Note II
Display 5.5 inch, 720p, Super AMOLED 5.7 inch, 1080p, Super AMOLED 5.5 inch, 720p, Super AMOLED
Processor Quad-core Exynos chip clocked at 1.6 GHz (for the 3G version) // Hexa-core chip (for LTE+ variant) Quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip clocked at 2.3 GHz (for LTE variant) // Octa-core Exynos 5420 chip (for HSPA+ variant) Quad-core Exynos 4412 chip clocked at 1.6 GHz
S Pen Yes Yes Yes
Internal storage 16 GB 32 GB 16 GB (32 GB variant was/is rare)
RAM 2GB 3GB 2GB
Camera 8MP main [with with 1080p video recording ] / 2MP front 13 MP main [with 4K video recording] / 2MP front 8MP main [1080p video recording] / 1.9 MP front
Battery 3100mAh 3200mAh 3100mAh
OS Launches on Android 4.3 JellyBean with KitKat coming soon Launched on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but got Android 4.4 KitKat recently Recently updated to Android 4.3, getting Android 4.4 KitKat soon

 

This is the price of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo in Germany: € 529.90 for the LTE+ variant and € 499.00 for the HSPA+ variant. Even with carrier subsidies and the contract period factored in, there won’t be much difference so that doesn’t count.

What’s my point?

Samsung is quite good at identifying a gap in its device range and quickly jumping in to avail a particular model targeting a particular market or demographic. When looked at that way, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo makes every bit of sense. When looked at critically, you can see the cracks. For that price, which is more prudent, sweating for a little longer in order to top your cash and just get the Galaxy Note 3 itself or going for the hideous Note 3 Neo? What if you just walked into a shop and bought a brand new Galaxy Note II? I mean the Note II is one of the best smartphones I’ve ever used and is still very much relevant today. In fact you’ll get it at a much cheaper price than its updated cousin, the Note 3 Neo.

The Galaxy Note 3 Neo is essentially a 2014 Galaxy Note II with a new, flashy and longer name. Period. It may have the looks of the Note 3 and that faux leather at the back but the specs speak for themselves. Since the Galaxy Note II will still be getting KitKat at some point (not yet confirmed though), it makes much more sense to go for the now almost two-year old Note II than the Note 3 Neo never. Add-ons like Air Command that the Galaxy Note 3 Neo will have thanks to the Galaxy Note 3 inspired skin and the hexa-core chip in the LTE+ model are probably the only features that the Note II misses. Better yet, add a few bucks and get the Note 3.

The Galaxy Note 3 Neo will be available in black, white or green from next month.

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