Several months after Samsung released the first full-tablet version of the Galaxy Note, rumors are circulating that Samsung may be preparing a 7-9 inch version of the marquee tablet. Once again, I have collected various rumors from various tech blogs and evaluated their reliability. This report card examines the most prominent rumors and grades their likelihood of becoming reality.
First, a guide to how I evaluate rumors:
The Next Galaxy Note tablet will have a Super AMOLED display of 7 to 9 inches in size: B
Sources: Phandroid, SamMobile
Nenamark, while the SamMobile article cites a DLNA certification leaked by the German-language website AndroidSlash. Both sites specify a model "GT-N5100" which suggests a newcomer to the Galaxy Note family (the original Galaxy Note is the GT-N7000, the Galaxy Note 2 is the GT-N7100 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the GT-N8000).
While neither source definitively reveals the screen size, the 1280x800 resolution quoted in the Nenamark results suggests a 7-9 inch screen (since the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 and the 10.1-inch Galaxy Note 10.1 already have the same resolution, the only differentiating factor would have to be screen size). Also, since rumors also persist about a third-generation Galaxy Note phone sporting a 6.3-inch display, I would speculate that a new Galaxy Note tablet would have to be at least 7.7 inches in size to differentiate it from the phone (Samsung already makes a Galaxy Tab 7.7).
One possible reason for the disappointing resolution cited by both sources is that Samsung may be struggling to mass produce 1080p Super AMOLED displays, while the company is also reportedly cutting its investment in LCD screen production in favor of OLED technology. Another possibility is that the benchmark and DLNA certification are based on a prototype, with the final production version featuring a higher-end screen.
While early benchmarks are notorious for reporting underwhelming specs that are thankfully upgraded before official release, rumors of an early 2013 release date suggest the rumored 720p resolution will become reality. Samsung teased a new device to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show only days away now, and the timing suggests that the company will not have had enough time to mass produce a significantly upgraded device. As I speculated in my report card of Galaxy Note III rumors, the most likely device to be unveiled so soon would be a 7 to 9-inch tablet. You can see the teaser video below:
The Next Galaxy Note tablet will be powered by an Exynos 4412 processor and run Android 4.1.2: B
Sources: SamMobile, International Business TImes
GLBenchmark, upon which both Phandroid and the International Business Times base their speculations. In the Nenamark test, the GPU was specified as a Mali-400, which is the GPU included in the quad-core Exynos 4412 processor. This test and the more recent GLBenchmark test both specify a 1.6 GHz clock speed, also consistent with the 4412 processor.
While Samsung has already released a 5th-generation Exynos tablet via the Nexus 10, I should point out that 7 to 9-inch tablets have traditionally sported mid-range specs to make them more affordable. Yes, the Nexus 7 flaunted both impressive specs and a low price tag upon its release, but Google barely breaks even with the hardware price. This suggests that Google pins its hopes for profitability on the content users buy from the Play Store specifically for use on the tablet. For all of Samsung's efforts to augment its content libraries, it doesn't even come close to the amount of content available on the Play Store, so it has to generate a profit from the price it charges for the hardware.
If the device is indeed unveiled a few days away at CES 2013, it will almost certainly be running Android 4.1.2, as Android 4.2 has only been out since November. Non-Nexus devices traditionally run a version of Android that has been firmly established in the market, with most of the bugs having been worked out. If you're running stock Android 4.2 or even one of the 4.2-based custom ROMs currently available, you know that Android 4.2 is riddled with issues and has certainly not become as stable as its predecessor.
There are no rumors circulating about any cameras for this device, but I sincerely hope you have better options for taking pictures via the rear camera, such as a dedicated camera or a phone camera.
About The AuthorJeff McIntire
Jeff McIntire is an avid Android enthusiast whose first exposure to the world of Android, rooting, and customizing came in 2010 through the Samsung Captivate. Later that same year, he was introduced to the Verizon community through the Fascinate, which carried him from Eclair all the way to Ice Cream Sandwich. Having tried various ROMs, kernels and themes based on TouchWiz, he took the plunge into AOSP in May 2011 and never looked back. He now happily taps away at his Galaxy Nexus, always looking out for the latest and greatest, and helping others along the way.