Samsung is slowly but surely sending its Android 4.4.2 update out to more and more regions and variants of the Galaxy Note 3. This morning SamMobile reports that both the LTE Snapdragon (SM-N9005) and the 3G Exynos (SM-N900) versions of the Note 3 are being updated over-the-air on networks in India, South Korea, and Switzerland. As usual, the rollout is staged, but users in these countries can try a manual update check via the Settings menu.
We heard rumors a number of months ago that Samsung was mulling a plan to begin restricting the functionality of uncertified accessories like cases and chargers on its devices. It seems that the company has started doing just that with the Android 4.4.2 update for the Note 3. Users who have updated are reporting that third-party S-View cases, like the one sold by Spigen, are no longer working.
Samsung includes a small identification chip in the official S-View case that allows it to work properly with the phone.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the more desirable high-end phones on the market at the moment, especially if you like your mobile hardware big and pleathery. If you also like your service from Sprint, then Amazon's wireless store has a heck of a deal for new customers: a Galaxy Note 3 for $112.49 on a subsidized plan. That's more than $200 off the retail price. Black and white models are available, and shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
Samsung tends to introduce phones with two or three color options, then slowly branch out to all parts of the visible spectrum in time. It's time for the Note 3 to start shifting colors, and you can experience it on Verizon Wireless. The new Rose Gold version of the Note 3 is coming to Big Red as an exclusive device.
The Rose Gold color scheme is basically a white Note 3 with gold trim – it actually looks a bit like the gold iPhone.
Samsung saw fit to sneak Android 4.4.2 out on the international Snapdragon-based Note 3 last week (starting with Poland, for some reason), but now things are picking up steam. The first 4.4.2 updates are arriving for the Exynos Note 3 (SM-N900). First up on the update list this time is Russia.
Earlier this week, Samsung officially started the rollout of the Galaxy Note 3's update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Appearing first for those in Poland through KIES, the update matched what had been leaked shortly before the rollout began.
Just a few days later, Samsung has uploaded the official kernel source files to its Open Source Release Center.
Interestingly, the manufacturer told developer Chainfire just yesterday "we only publish open source code of official version," responding to a request for access to the files.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.
Rarely does the first leaked firmware update for a flagship phone end up being exactly what rolls out to users, but that appears to be the case for the recently leaked KitKat ROM for the Note 3. Android 4.4.2 (N9005XXUENA6) is appearing in Poland through Kies right now, and the version number matches the leak from this weekend.
Samsung made a few notable tweaks in KitKat for the Note 3, just like it did for the ROM for the Galaxy S4 leaked a few days earlier.
If you've got a Qualcomm-powered, international Galaxy Note 3 and an appreciation for up-to-date software, you might want to check out the latest official leaked ROM from SamMobile. They've posted a purported test build for the KitKat 4.4.2 update of the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (that's the Snapdragon 800 model with LTE bands). This leak comes just two days after the Android 4.4 build for the Galaxy S4.
Changes include all the usual KitKat goodies, plus a tweaked TouchWiz visual theme (with white battery, service, Wifi, clock, etc.
Update: SamMobile has posted a write-up with more pictures. Yup, the Neo looks like a 9/10th scale Galaxy Note 3. You can see the rest here.
If you're looking for a big Samsung smartphone, but one that's not quite as big (or as expensive) as the Galaxy Note 3, you may soon be in luck. SamMobile posted a photo of what they're calling the "Galaxy Note 3 Neo" to their Twitter account, showing what looks like a carbon copy of the standard Note 3 in a slightly smaller size.