Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo

Could the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo allow Huawei to steal a march?

Samsung has unveiled a budget version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, in Poland. The new device, named the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, will also be available in other as yet unconfirmed countries, but won’t receive a full worldwide release.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo offers highly respectable specs, but is less costly than its elder sibling. Features include a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 display, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 offers a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 display, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage.

There will be two version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, with either 3G or 4G support. The faster edition will support what Samsung are labelling LTE+ – essentially Category 4 LTE, offering speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

Significantly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo will also provide full S Pen capabilities. Although pricing has yet to be confirmed, if the device does not prove too expensive, it could well be compelling proposition.

It is hardly a surprise that Samsung has produced a budget, but feature-packed edition, of one of its most popular mobile products. This is a trend that has long been established with phones, so it was always likely that companies would take the same approach when developing phablets.

Not everyone will find it easy to get their hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo, though. The South Korean company has already confirmed that the new phablet won’t be making its way to either the UK or US.

By excluding two key markets, Samsung has shown that it is concerned about the possibility of undermining the premium status of Galaxy Note devices. Although the low cost Samsung Galaxy Mega is sold in both the UK and US, it is a heavily cut-down device and therefore not directly comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Limiting availability of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo has its risks, presenting companies like Huawei with an opportunity to gain market share at Samsung’s expense. The Chinese manufacturer has recently announced the Huawei Ascend Mate2 – a quad-core device with a 6.1-inch screen.

Although the Huawei Ascend Mate2 isn’t a match for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it is well capable of taking on the Neo, and also offers Cat 4 LTE.

One of Huawei’s biggest strengths may transpire to be its ability to produce well-specced devices that cost significantly less than those made by rivals. A good example of this capability was seen last year with the Huawei Ascend P6, which at only 6.18 mm deep was the world’s thinnest smartphone, and cost much less than devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4.