Samsung today announced the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch at its Unpacked Episode 2 event in Berlin, Germany. The two products were not surprises by any means, since the press invite teased a new Galaxy Note, while the Galaxy Gear’s name was discovered in a US Trademark application and then reported to be announced at the event.
Compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3 is larger, lighter and more powerful. Full specs include:
- OS: Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
- Display: 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED
- CPU: 2.3 GHz quad-core
- RAM: 3 GB
- Cameras: 13 MP main, 2 MP front-facing
- Memory: 32/64 GB + up to 64 GB added through microSD card
- Battery: 3,200 mAh
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED, MHL 2.0
- Sensors: Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB, Proximity, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor
- Dimensions: 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
- Weight: 168g
At first glance the Note 3 looks identical to the Note II, but the back is completely different. Samsung has chosen to use a “soft and textured-touch” faux leather back cover, complete with stitching. The company elaborates that it “evokes a connection to the timeless and enduring strengths of classic notebooks and planners.” The phablet will be available in Jet Black, Classic White and Blush Pink, with “dozens” of exchangeable back covers to choose from.
Among the Note 3′s improvements include a new clickable S Pen that activates Air Command, a hub housing five new functions that can be accessed quickly, including:
- Action Memo: Allows users to hand write a note, execute a function, or convert handwritten information into formatted content. It can also initiate calls, add people to your contacts list, look up an address on a map, search the web, save a task to a to-do list, and more.
- Scrapbook: Enables users to organize or track down content and information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place so that users can easily look back at collected content all at once. When consumers save content for future use, Scrapbook also collects source material or URLs allowing them to easily refer back to the original source.
- Screen Write: Captures the full screen image of the current page on the device and allows users to write comments or additional information onto the captured image.
- S Finder: Allows users to expansively search for content on their device regardless of the type. By putting in keywords or filters such as date, location, and content type, users can search related documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page – all in one place. In addition, users can also search for hand-written content in their Notes and memo applications, as well as symbols and formulas.
- Pen Window: Allows users to use the S Pen not only for drawing sketches or writing notes, but now also for opening a small application window for a true multitasking experience. Simply by drawing a window of any size, anywhere on the screen, users can easily and quickly open another application window such as YouTube, calculator or Browser without pausing current activity on the screen.
Samsung has added several new multitasking capabilities through the new Multi Window, which now supports running one application in two windows—think of it like being able to read tweets in one window, while composing tweets in another—and toggling between apps without closing windows. A new “Drag and Drop” mode allows users to drag content from one window to another.
The Galaxy Note 3 also comes with KNOX—a first for consumer-level devices—and Find my Mobile, which is like Apple’s Find my iPhone in that it allows users to track, disable, and/or wipe the device remotely.
Launch date is set for September 25 in “over 140 countries.” Exact pricing and US availability is not yet known, but Samsung lists AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular as partners.