By Stephen Schenck | January 10, 2014 9:55 AM
Back in December we had been hearing about Samsung’s interest in developing a lower cost phablet alternative to the Galaxy Note 3, and rumors suggested that a so-called Galaxy Note 3 Lite was in development with aims for an MWC launch. This week, we finally started getting a better sense of what to expect, with leaks revealing the phone’s hardware details as well as a new name: the Galaxy Note 3 Neo. Today, we get what may be our first look at this handset, pictured next to the larger Note 3 itself.
While those December rumors suggested Samsung would ditch an OLED panel for an LCD, this week’s leak instead claims that the phone will get a 5.5-inch OLED display, just like on the Galaxy Note II. In fact, a lot of its specs appear in line with the Note II, including an eight-megapixel main camera, a 3100mAh battery, and sticking with just 2GB of RAM. Perhaps the most interesting detail revealed is the phone’s SoC, which purports to be an unusual six core configuration, with a dual-core 1.7GHz main processor and a 1.3GHz quad-core low-power alternative. There’s no mention of whose chip that may be, but since we haven’t heard of anything quite like it, we’re assuming it’s an Exynos that Samsung put together.
Unsurprisingly, given all that, the Note 3 Neo looks like a shrunken-down Note-II-sized version of the Note 3 (while trading the GN2′s aesthetic for this less-rounded-off look). Assuming everything’s still on track (and we have no reason to believe it’s not), it sounds like a debut at the MWC is still in the Note 3 Neo’s cards.
Update: OK, so that odd hexa-core SoC? Reportedly it is indeed an Exynos, and an Exynos 5260 to be specific. And maybe more importantly, it would support HMP for use of all six cores simultaneously. Certainly, benchmarks paint it as even more powerful than the Galaxy S 4.