Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch officially introduced at IFA 2013Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Samsung today took to the IFA 2013 stage to unveil the Galaxy Note 3, the next device in its popular Galaxy Note series of smartphones. The new Note 3 is slated to begin rolling out to consumers on Sept. 25, and Samsung says that it'll eventually hit 140 countries around the globe. This new Note is expected to be available worldwide in October and will be sold in black, white and pink color options. In the U.S., Samsung has confirmed that the Note 3 will be available on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless.
As far as specs go, Samsung has packed the new Galaxy Note 3 full of high-end hardware. Up front is a 5.7-inch 1080p display and 2-megapixel camera, while the backside of the device features a 13-megapixel camera and a faux leather cover. Sandwiched in-between those parts is 3GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage and a 3,200mAh battery. The processor inside the Galaxy Note 3 will vary by market, with the LTE model packing a 2.3GHz quad-core CPU and the 3G variant sporting a 1.9GHz octa-core processor.
The Galaxy Note 3 will ship with Android 4.3 preinstalled. Just as with previous Samsung products, though, it'll also come preloaded with a bevy of additional software features. One of those is Air Command, which allows a user to hover the S Pen over the Note 3's display and then tap to bring up 5 different features. Those include Action Memo for note-taking, Scrapbook to gather content from the web and put it into one place, Screenwrite for taking a screenshot that can then be scribbled on, S Finder to search for on-device content and Pen Window, which allows users to draw a window anywhere on the screen and then load up another app (like YouTube or the browser) inside of it.
The Note 3's list of software features doesn't stop there, as Samsung also announced a new My Magazine feature that it developed in collaboration with Flipboard. My Magazine will show personalized content, including news and social media updates, in a magazine-style layout. Also included with the Note 3 is a new S Note note-taking app, a new Multi-Window app and an updated version of Group Play that will allow multiple Note 3 owners to pair their devices and create one large screen.
- The ability to conduct hands-free calls, create calendar entires, set alarms and more using S Voice and the Gear's built-in microphones
- Memographer and Voice Memo apps to document photos and videos as well as record voice messages
- Auto Lock, which will lock the paired smartphone when the Gear is more than 1.5 meters away and will unlock it again once the watch is within that distance
- Find My Device, a feature that can help a user locate a lost smartphone by making it vibrate, beep and light up
- A handful of apps that can be used on the Gear, including Path, Evernote, eBay, Pocket, MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper
So there's two of Samsung's flagship products that will help it to close out 2013. The Galaxy Note 3 looks like a nice upgrade over the Note II, gaining features like a 1080p display and quad-core processor that are becoming the norm for high-end Android hardware, as well as a beefier battery to power the whole thing. Meanwhile, the final Galaxy Gear looks quite a bit better than those prototype units that leaked out recently. We'll have to throw it on our wrist and wear it around for a while before making any judgments about how it performs, but the Gear definitely looks like an interesting addition to the smartwatch category.
Now that they're officially official, what do you think of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear? Will you be buying either device once they begin hitting store shelves? If you're still on the fence, you can peruse the gallery below, which contains more images of both products as well as shots of Samsung's new Flip Covers and S View Covers for the Note 3.