First, a guide to how I evaluate rumors:
The Next Galaxy Note phone, called the Galaxy Note III, will be released in early 2013: C
Sources: SlashGear, International Business Times
7-inch tablet in the works, rumors have persisted about a Galaxy Note III being released in early 2013. While it is certainly possible that Samsung could release both phone and tablet versions of its Galaxy Note concurrently or within a short timeframe of each other, I have difficulty believing that Samsung would release new Note phone so soon after the Note II. Not only would it leave those who just bought the Galaxy Note II feeling even more cheated than they normally do in today's short life cycle for new devices, it would cannibalize further Note II sales.
Over the last two years, Samsung has released its newest Galaxy S generation during the spring/summer months and its newest Galaxy Note in the fall, and I don't expect that to change in 2013. I would not be surprised to see a new, smaller version of the Galaxy Note tablet, however. Samsung did tease a big reveal coming up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, but I suspect that this will actually be an unveiling of a 7-9 inch version of the Galaxy Note tablet. That said, I encourage you to watch the video below and judge for yourselves.
The Galaxy Note III will have a 6.3-inch AMOLED display: B
Sources: The Korea Times, Tom's Hardware
6.1-inch "phablet" at the CES.
Furthermore, reports that Samsung is cutting production of LCD screens in favor of OLED technology fits with the company's tendency to equip its handsets with AMOLED screens. If the Galaxy Note III indeed comes in such a massive size, I think most people will either use it as a tablet or equip themselves with bluetooth handsets to handle calling duties while the device stays safely tucked out of sight. In my opinion a device of this size would do more than blur the line between phone and tablet - I believe it would cross that line completely. I also don't expect the 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate to fly off the store shelves.
Little has been said about the resolution, however. Given Samsung's rumored struggles in mass producing 1080p Super AMOLED displays, I suspect that any device announced as early as January's CES would feature 720p resolution (unless the unveiling comes months in advance of release). This also lends a little weight to my speculation that any third-generation Galaxy Note phone would be released later in the year. A late 2013 release would give Samsung more time to iron out the kinks in its production lines, and Samsung would be foolish to release a 720p phone when the market will soon be flooded with 1080p LCD phones.
The Galaxy Note III will be powered by a next-generation quad-core Exynos 5440 or 5450 processor: A
Source: Samsung's Kernel Git via Tom's Hardware
28nm semiconductor technology. Though the Galaxy Note 2 came out later than the Droid DNA, it featured a 4th-generation quad-core Exynos chipset based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor which is easily outclassed by the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset of the DNA based on the Krait processor.
The 5th-generation Exynos chipset is based on the much more competitive ARM Cortex A-15 CPU which has already hit the market in the form of the dual-core Exynos 5250-powered Nexus 10. With that in mind, I find it extremely unlikely that Samsung will allow a successor to the Galaxy Note 2 to run on the same obsolete Exynos 4412 chipset. While the 5th-generation Exynos chipset is more competitive, it is still manufactured using a 32nm semiconductor technology like its 4412 predecessor.
The Galaxy Note III will run on Android 5.5 Key Lime Pie: F
Furthermore, only Nexus devices are released with the absolute latest version of Android out of the box. If the Galaxy Note III runs Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, Google will have already released this version several months prior via a new Nexus device, likely a tablet.
The same source (I bet most of you have never even heard of Gizbot) posted a rumor that pegs the rear camera at 16 megapixels and the front camera at 3 megapixels. While this is theoretically possible, the more likely scenario is a 12 or 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. Gizbot also included a rumor indicating 3 GB of RAM for the device, which I think is more likely, given that the current top-shelf standard is 2 GB, and the competition will soon pad its spec sheets with higher RAM counts in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Other rumors include anywhere from 32 to 128 GB of storage (I suspect 16 to 32 GB for an entry-level Galaxy Note III), a 4,000 mAh battery, dimensions of 3.34 inches wide and 6.37 inches tall (8.9 mm thick), and a weight of 7.76 ounces.