The Galaxy Note 3 release date is likely just months or weeks away and the latest news circulating online is that concept photos of the Samsung Nexus 6 may actually be pictures of the third-generation phablet. Read on for more Galaxy Note 3 release date news, specs and features.

With Galaxy Note 3 release date news growing increasingly scarce and the rumored late-February 2013 launch growing increasingly close we had begun to worry that Samsung might have put the breaks on their third generation phablet, but a new theory and concept photo by Erica Yusim and an interesting theory from Concept-Phones has the phablet rumor mill buzzing at full speed once again.

"What if the next Nexus phone was actually a phablet?" asked the smartphone blog's Thrystan, and what does that mean for the Galaxy Note 3 release date.

With news that the Galaxy Note 3 release date will bring consumers the world's biggest smartphone ever at 6.3-inches, it would be easy to confuse the cellular device for a tablet.

Furthermore, if the upcoming Samsung phablet is a Nexus branded device that means the Galaxy Note 3 release date could also bring with it Google's highly anticipated Android 5.0 operating system (OS), which until now had largely been pegged to the Motorola X Phone.

Concept-Phones goes on to compare the Samsung Nexus 7 specs and features to the most popular 3rd-gen phablet rumors, further suggesting that this might be the device we get when the Galaxy Note 3 release date arrives:

"Samsung Nexus 6 uses a 6.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus Full HD screen, the likes of which is rumored to be used on the future Note. There's also an Exynos 5 Octa CPU, probably with big.LITTLE technology, 3 GB of RAM, also a likely feature of the Note III and 128 GB of storage, plus microSDXC. At the back we've got a 13 megapixel camera and upfront a 2 megapixel one, both with Full HD capture.

"Finally, this device relies on a 4500 mAh battery and measures 9 mm in thickness, certainly a reasonable waistline, considering there are some 4.5 inch phones out there that are much thicker. The design is pretty simple and basic, a rectangle wit rounded corners and an S Pen inserted in a slot at the back. Expect revolutionary multitasking on this model and brand new S Pen features and apps."

So the specs and features match up, but does that mean this is the device we'll see when the Galaxy Note 3 release date arrives? Read on for more news and information.

The last bit of Samsung phablet news we got was that the Galaxy Note 3 release date would bring consumers a device that featured hovering abilities for both the S Pen and your fingers. With the Note 2, you could simply hold the stylus above an app to activate it thanks to the S Pen's built in monitor, but once the next-generation phablet arrives you'll likely be able to do the same thing with your finger.

Here's more from Android Geeks on Samsung's finger hovering technology and why you should be excited about the Galaxy Note 3 release date:

"After we've asked a couple of questions here and there, a source close to the matter confirmed to us that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will have Air View-like capabilities both when using the S-Pen and your finger. As you probably, the Galaxy Note 2 already has a floating touch gesture feature, but, for the time being its functionality is only limited to the proximity sensor. By simply hovering your hand over the proximity sensor while the display is turned off, it will automatically turn on the display and show various info like missed calls, texts, or any other events...

"With the touchless gestures integrated on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 you will basically be able to use your finger like a mouse, hovering it over various items like folders, video timeline or galleries, in order to receive details about the respective item."

Need more evidence that the Galaxy Note 3 release date will mean finger hovering? Android Geeks notes that Samsung has already bought a five percent stake in Walcom, a South Korean company known for "research in digital input via stylus," so expect a beefed up S Pen as well. We already expected the new stylus to be bigger in order to keep up with the phablet's rapidly expanding display, but now we know it will also be better.

With February more than halfway done and Samsung still completely silent on the phablet front you might ask why we're so sure the Galaxy Note 3 release date is almost at hand. Well, we first began putting the pieces together when we learned that Samsung is offering 50 percent discounts on the Note 2, likely in order to sell old units before their launch the new device.

According to Uswitch the Note 2 is being sold at half it's original price. Both Verizon and Amazon are selling the phablet for $189.99 SIM-free online in an effort to usher in the Galaxy Note 3 release date. This offer only applies to new customers or those with pre-existing family plans.

Uswitch also makes the same obvious argument that the Note 2 sale likely marks the beginning of the march towards the Galaxy Note 3 release date:

The moves from two the biggest players in the US mobile market is fuelling conjecture that the Note 3 is just around the corner and could even take a bow at Mobile World Congress this month along with its larger stablemate, the Note 8.0.

We're still holding out hope that the Galaxy Note 3 release date will be announced by the end of February 2013, but what's unclear is when and where the new phablet will be unveiled. Many are predicting that the device will launch at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place in Spain starting on Feb. 24th through the 28th. This would make sense considering that Samsung used the Barcelona-based event to launch the Note 2 last year.

However, there are also those that claim that Galaxy Note 3 release date is such big news it needs it's own event, and based on Samsung's recent history this might be true. If that's the case the unveiling will likely take place at a special event around the same time as MWC, though now necessarily in the same region.

Either way, anticipation over the Galaxy Note 3 release date continues to build, and Samsung has been hyping the new phablet for months. Back in January the South Korean company showed of its new processor chip the 8-core Exynos 5 Octa, which we expect to see in the new phablet.

Watch the presentation below:

Soon afterward Samsung leaked photos of the Exynos 5 Octa chip on Twitter, and according to the Christian Post this is the processor we'll see implemented when the Galaxy Note 3 release date arrives.

"The image of the chip was posted onto the internet through Twitter," wrote CP's Vincent Funaro. "Samsung appears to be teasing customers to build up anticipation for its new devices."

Check back soon for more Galaxy Note 3 release date news, but for now here's our running list of specs, features and rumors for the upcoming device:

-6.3-inch unbreakable, flexible screen

-8-core Exynos 5 Octa processor chip

- Stylus And Finger Hovering

-Bigger, improved S Pen

-Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, or possibly Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie OS

-16-Megapixel rear camera with auto focus, LED flash and BSI

-3 Megapixel front camera with 'Best Photo,' 'Best Faces,' low light show and BSI

-32,64 and 128 GB internal memory options

-3 GB of RAM

-Dimensions: 84.9 x 161.9 x 8.9 mm

-Weight: 220 grams

-4,000 mAh Li-on battery

-Galaxy Note 3 release date rumored for late February 2013, possibly at MWC in Barcelona