Samsung yesterday revealed a number of new devices at their annual appearance at IFA. As has been the case in previous years, the new Galaxy Note 3 was announced at the event. Also included in this year’s line-up were the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Galaxy Note 10.1 updated tablet.
As with many of the previous smartphones and devices announced this year, there were little secrets about the launch of the Galaxy Note 3, with pretty much all the details wrapped up before the event itself. Despite that, we can now officially confirm those specifications. The Galaxy Note 3 has an increased screen size over its predecessor, now up to 5.7”, with a Super AMOLED display. The phablet will include the 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 for the LTE variants, and Samsung’s own 1.9GHz Exynos Octa CPU for the more conventional 3G models. The remainder of the specifications include 3GB RAM, 168g weight, 3,200mAh battery, 13MP rear camera, and come in sizes of 32GB and 64GB internal storage options. The devices will be on sale starting on the 25th September globally.
Last year, Samsung announced the first version of the Note 10.1, and alongside the above-mentioned devices, announced the updated version of the Note tablet. The new tablet will have a new look and feel with a leather-like material on the rear, with included stitching to give is a more premium design. The tablet will sport the same variants of chipsets for its LTE and 3G versions as with the Note 3. The “Note 10.1 2014” will also include an 8MP rear camera with BSI, AF and LED flash options, 8,220mAh battery, WQXGA (2,560×1,600px) LCD screen (300ppi), 3GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, and 16/32/64GB internal storage options.
While the event itself was based around the announcement of the Galaxy Note 3, it was the Galaxy Gear smartwatch that caused most of the stir. As with the Note 3, rumours, along with leaked specs and screenshots, took away some of the bang from the actual announcement. As it turns out, however, most of the specifications of the device weren’t entirely accurate, despite the included leaked images. The Galaxy Gear comes standard with a 1.63” Super AMOLED display with a 320x320px resolution, instead of the previously rumoured 3 inches. Unlike some of the smartwatches launched in quick succession this September, the Galaxy Gear includes a 1.9MP camera (with BSI sensor and an auto-focus lens), mounted on the strap at the back of your wrist. While not overly impressive, the device will capture low resolution images and maximum 10-second 720p video capture. The Galaxy Gear sports a 800MHz CPU, 315mAh battery (around one day of use, which means charging every night), 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, and two microphones amongst others. The expected price is said to be around $299, which is what you’d have paid for the Nexus 4 at launch.
Samsung has partnered with a number of companies to provide around 70 different apps for the Galaxy Gear at initial launch, including Path, RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Evernote, Tripit, Line, Vivino, eBay and a host of others. Only time will tell how effective these apps will be in the long run as opposed to just using your smartphone, which will be required for use of the smartwatch. One of the biggest talking points of the Galaxy Gear was its pairing limitations at launch. The smartwatch will be compatible only with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1, with other devices most likely requiring a firmware update to make full use of the functionality. Samsung did announce in the midst of all the chaos that it would be pushing out the Android 4.3 firmware upgrade starting in October.