Samsung on Wednesday launched Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear at IFA, a trade event in Berlin. Samsung said that both devices will go on sale in 149 countries by September 25. In India, both the devices are likely to be launched before end of September. No country-specific pricing has been announced so far.
The highlight of the event was Galaxy Gear, a smartwatch. Samsung has launched it at least weeks ahead of a similar product expected from its rival Apple. The so-called smartwatch is what some technology analysts believe could become this year’s must-have holiday gift.
Samsung says the Gear can act as an extension to a smartphone by discreetly alerting users to incoming messages and calls on its display screen, which measures 1.63 inches diagonally. Users can even make calls, secret agent-style, without getting out their phone. The Gear also sports a basic 1.9MP camera and works with popular social media and fitness apps such as Twitter and RunKeeper.
The Android-powered device starts shipping in most countries by September 25, starting at $299. It will be compatible initially with two Samsung products — the Galaxy Note III, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a tablet with a 10.1-inch screen, which was also launched on Wednesday.
Galaxy Gear uses a SuperAMOLED screen. It has 4GB internal storage, a camera, 800MHz processor, 512MB RAM and will pair with compatible devices using Bluetooth connection. The watch weighs 74 grams.
Galaxy Note 3, meanwhile, is a big phablet with cutting edge hardware. It has a 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED screen with FullHD resolution, a 13MP camera that can shoot 4K videos and a multi-functional stylus. The 4G model of Note 3 will be powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core processor while the 3G model, which will be available in India, will be powered by a 1.9GHz octacore processor. It will have 32GB internal storage, 3GB RAM and 3200 mAh battery. User will be able to expand storage through a microSD card.
It measures 151.2mm x 79.2mm x 8.3mm and weighs 168 grams. The device has a 2MP front camera.
“Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a powerful, original approach that enables users to tell the stories of their lives through dynamic and seamless expressions of their passions across work, play and life experiences. With a simple click of the S Pen button, users can unlock opportunities for self-expression, features that transform everyday activities into extraordinary events and access to new experiences delivered to them on Note 3’s larger screen,” said JK Shin, CEO and president of IT & mobile division at Samsung Electronics.
With smartphones and tablets now ubiquitous, electronics companies are trying to create a new category of products to lure consumer spending. That includes building advanced computing technology into everyday objects such as wristwatches and glasses.
Sony introduced its latest smartwatch in June and unveiled an update on Wednesday. Google is working on Google Glass — a device designed to work like a smartphone and worn like a pair of glasses. Apple is seeking an iWatch trademark. Apple had no comment on Wednesday on its plans. It has an event scheduled next Tuesday, during which it is expected to unveil new iPhones.