Samsung on Wednesday hosted the second edition of their Unpacked Event in Berlin just ahead of IFA 2013. As anticipated, the Korean tech giant showcased two key products (and one surprise device) in their ever-expanding Galaxy line of devices - the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition - in typical Samsung over-the-top fashion complete with an orchestra and all.
The Galaxy Note 3 features a new soft textured leather-like plastic back cover with stitching around the edges and a very thin front bezel. It now has a more premium look and feel - something that critics have complained about for some time when compared with metal designs from Apple and HTC. Rear panel cover colors include black, white and pink.
Despite having a larger screen, the Note 3 is actually thinner and lighter (5.9 ounces versus 6.4 ounces) than previous iterations. It includes a 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED 1080p display operating at 1,920 x 1,080 with 368 ppi pixel density, a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor for LTE models or a 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos Octacore for 3G variants, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with High CRI LED flash and smart stabilizer, 2-megapixel front shooter, 3GB of RAM, 32B or 64GB of storage, a microSD expansion slot, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and a 3,200mAh battery.
There's a new and improved S Pen as well as category 4 LTE technology. The latter promises support for all types of LTE networks around the world. The device will ship running Android 4.3 and will come pre-loaded with Samsung Knox security software. It will ship on September 25 globally and arrive in Japan and the US starting in October.
Galaxy Gear is described as the true companion for Galaxy Note although it will work with a myriad of Galaxy devices via software update. Available in six different colors, the device itself is crafted from stainless steel and features a camera embedded in the wrist strap. Gear is capable of displaying various information like text messages or e-mails and it can even initiate a phone call through voice control. With a speaker and microphone strategically positioned in the wrist strap, you can talk through the watch by holding it near your face. This allows you to make and receive calls without taking your phone out of your pocket.
The Galaxy Gear carries a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320. The strap-mounted camera isn't terribly impressive with a 1.9-megapixel BSI sensor and auto-focus lens. Inside is a single core 800Mhz processor, a 315mAh non-removable battery that's reportedly good for up to 25 hours of use, two internal microphones with noise cancellation support, a speaker, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, gyroscope, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. Expect to pay $299 for the timepiece when it ships in October.
Samsung's new Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition boasts the same 10.1-inch screen size as before in a package that weighs a little more than two ounces less than its predecessor. This time around, however, the device boasts a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 (299 ppi) thanks to the WQXGA Super Clear LCD screen.
Inside is an 8,220mAh battery, options for 16GB / 32GB / 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front shooter and the same 2.3GHz quad-core / 1.9GHz octa-core processor that will power the Note 3. It's also running 3GB of system RAM and will ship with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Note 10.1 2014 Edition will ship in three different models: Wi-Fi only, Wi-Fi with 3G and Wi-Fi with LTE. It will be available in black and white during the third quarter although an exact release date and pricing hasn't been set as of writing.