Today was a big day for Samsung. On the eve of IFA 2013, the company officially released its Galaxy Gear, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1. We dove into the Galaxy Gear and its impact on the growth of wearable technology a little bit, but the Note 3 and Note 10.1 are also significant announcements. I attended the Times Square webcast of Samsung Unpacked and got to play around a little bit with all three new devices. I guess I should preface by saying I’m an iOS girl – I personally use an iPhone and iPad as my go-to, day-to-day devices. However, I’m seriously on the edge of making the switch, especially now that I’ve tried out the Galaxy Note 3.
The Galaxy Note 3 isn’t my first foray into the world of Android-powered devices. I’ve spent some time with the Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy S4 Active, both of which have fueled this (probably inevitable) move from iOS to Android. Anyway, back to the point: the Galaxy Note 3 is geared toward enhancing the user experience via design and new features.
First, some specs:
- It features a 5.7-inch screen (not for the small-handed!)
- The camera is 13 mega-pixels and includes smart stabilization and LED Flash
- Dimensions: 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g
- Preloaded with Knox (Samsung’s secure BYOD solution)
- 3GB RAM
- Three colors – white, black and pink
- Worldwide release begins Sept. 25 for 32GB and 64GB versions (October for U.S. and Japan)
There was a big emphasis on the new S Pen. It’s sensitive and accurate, much like writing with a real pen on real paper, except this is on a phablet, and you can save your handwriting as a digital asset. The pen features a new hover feature, Air Command, which includes options for Action Window, Scrapbook, S Finder, S View and Pen Window:
- Action Window: Quickly take notes on a virtual sticky note, but now with handwriting recognition and a shortcut system
- Scrapbook: A place to aggregate content – organize via categories, tags and metadata
- S Finder: Search for handwritten notes, apps or data on the device and through search engines
- Screen Write: Take a screenshot and write comments or additional information on the image
- Pen Window: Emphasizing multitasking, you can just draw a window on the screen to quickly open another application without pausing current activity
Multitasking is a big part of the Note 3. In addition to Pen Window, users can use the Multi Window and Drag and Drop features, which really eliminate the time switching between apps, messages and data. Examples during the presentation included being on a phone call and opening up a calculator at the same time, or chatting with two friends at one time and dragging information from one message to the other.
There is also an improvement to Group Play, with the ability to expand video with up to five devices, creating a big screen for viewing.
Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition
Samsung also introduced the latest version of its 10-inch tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1. It features many of the same things as the Note 3, including Pen Window, Multi Window, the updated S Pen capabilities and Knox.
- 2560x1600 LCD resolution
- 1.9 GHZ Octa Core processor
- 3GB RAM
The tablet also comes with “Content Gifts,” which includes content from Bloomberg, The New York Times, MarketWatch, a version of Twitter optimized for the device and more. The newly designed screen delivers four times the pixel density of the original Galaxy Note 10.1.
The new products are a part of Samsung’s emphasis on “Smart Freedom” based on the growing trends of smartphones getting smarter and accessing freedom and mobility through these devices. Samsung’s new devices focus on making multitasking much more easy and convenient, and improving the user experience, making mobile devices more integrated into our day-to-day lives.
What do you think of the new devices? Will you buy Galaxy Gear or the new versions of the Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet?
Edited by Blaise McNamee