If you’re not willing to cough up $299 for Samsung’s newest phablet, the Korean manufacturer may have something in your price range soon enough. The company has reportedly begun production for its rumored Galaxy Note 3 Lite, which is said to be a low-cost version of its flagship smartphone-tablet hybrid.
Samsung has just kicked off production for the first 1.5 million units of its purported Note 3 Lite, according to Korean news source ETNews. This first round is expected to be produced by the end of February, although the report doesn’t specify how much cheaper the new phone will be.
The budget-focused phablet should sport the same 5.7-inch screen size as its more expensive sibling, but Samsung may use an LCD panel rather than the Super AMOLED display on the current Note 3. Samsung may also implement a metal mesh touch layer in the Note 3 Lite’s display that would be cheaper than a digitizer while still supporting S Pen input. It’s also expected to feature an 8-MP front camera compared to the Note 3’s 13-MP shooter.
Samsung has yet to confirm any plans to launch a cheaper version of the Note 3, but rumors suggest that it may be introduced in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress in February. If true, this would be part of the Galaxy handset maker’s recent trend in launching multiple variants of its flagship smartphones. There are currently six versions of the Galaxy S4, including the standard version, the photography focused Zoom, the S4 Mini and the Google Play Edition, among other types. This would mark the first time Samsung releases an alternate version of its Note, however, if the reports are accurate.