Yearly refreshes can be a blessing and a curse rolled up into one glorious event. We know they're coming, and at a certain point in time --usually a few months before the device's official announcement-- we start focusing on leaks and rumors with laser precision. We can't get enough, as we try to guess what the next device will look like and what it will feature, long before the manufacturer gets around to unveiling it.
It's a fun game, I think. We speculate a lot, and we talk about the rumors and what they could mean if they pan out. We talk about "What if?" a lot, as we try to sift through the rumors, trying to guess what's real and what's absurd. The drawback here is time. The more time there is for these rumors to swirl around unbridled, the more time they have to sink in and, eventually, become convincing.
That's how it works, more often than not. We hear one or two rumors over and over again, while others are discarded and called foul, and eventually those oft-repeated stories start to become believable. We've seen that expectations can hinder a phone's launch before, and I can't help but wonder if the expectations for the Galaxy Note 3 were set too high, that the phone couldn't ever help to live up to them.
Which isn't to say that the Galaxy Note 3 is a bad device, or even a handset weakened by low specifications. Quite the opposite, actually. Unsurprisingly, Samsung packed quite a bit into the Galaxy Note 3, even dropping the 16GB option, while also giving it a larger display, a thinner frame, and a slightly bigger battery. Overall, there's no doubt that the Galaxy Note 3 is an impressive device.
The reactions I'm seeing across the 'net, though, tell me that people are actually okay with waiting for the next version. There were varying reasons, from the device's faux leather battery cover to the front of the device looking "too much" like a Galaxy S II. Whatever the case, I've seen plenty of people who just don't seem to be smitten with the newest Galaxy Note device, and are willing to either keep their device they have now (which is apparently a Galaxy Note II in many cases I saw) or go to a different phone altogether.
All of that before carriers started revealing how much the Galaxy Note 3 would cost.
Indeed, the Galaxy Note 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Galaxy Note II and offers up its new features with a hefty price tag, even on contract. AT&T has revealed that they'll sell the Galaxy Note 3 for $299.99 with a new, two-year contract. T-Mobile on the other hand will offer you the Galaxy Note 3 for $199.99 down, and with subsequent payments of $21 for 24 months. In both cases, the Galaxy Note 3 retails for over $700 without a contract.
And, if you're curious, if you wanted to use AT&T's Next monthly installment plan, the Galaxy Note 3 would cost you $35.00 per month.
The pricing isn't that surprising to me. I expected it to be $299.99 on contract, and to have a steep off-contract price tag. It's the Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung -- it's going to be expensive. The thing is, while I will acknowledge it's expensive, I don't think it's too expensive for what it's offering. With the large 1080p HD display, the quad-core processor, the 32GB of built-in storage, and of course the S Pen and all the features rolled into the new device, the $299 price tag makes sense. It makes as much sense as it can in a wireless industry still focused on subsidies, I mean.
So, I'm curious: are you going to buy the Galaxy Note 3? Is the price tag something you can justify given the specifications of the new device and all of its new features? Or do you think it's priced right out of your comfort zone? If price has nothing to do with it, are you going for the Galaxy Note 3 because it's the next best thing, or are you skipping it in favor of another device entirely? Let me know!