The third generation of the Samsung Galaxy Note - the Note 3, and together with the cool Samsung Galaxy Gear, was launched just a few days ago here in Malaysia. I was invited together with many others who were excited to see what's Samsung's latest offering. It was a grand launch and packed with many different media held at Sunway Convention Centre.
The event started off with many different videos. I wish I could've videoed them all but unfortunately my Galaxy S4 was not charged fully. Silly me. Anyway, by watching the intro videos on both the Note 3 and the Gear, I was very excited to play around with both products. The event was opened by Kwon Jae-Hoon, MD of Samsung Malaysia Electronics. Then Product Marketing's Luke Au did a presentation on the new features of Note 3, followed by a presentation by Product Marketing's Go Ben Lee, on the Galaxy Gear. There was a lot of information to digest, so here I break it down for you.
What's New in Note 3
1. New S Pen: With additional features like Air Command, you access shortcuts with just one click, such as:
Action Memo. It allows you to handwrite a note, and can execute a function or save that note into formatted content. You can initiate a call, add numbers to contacts, look up address on map, search web, and much more.
Scrapbook. Organise or track down content and information from web sources. Eg: Save not only the image or video for reference, but can also save the source for later reference. This feature also collects the material and URL so you can anytime go back to original source.
Screen Write. Capture a full screen image of page and scribble on it.
S Finder. Improved by a lot. The new S Finder can detect handwritten notes as well. Anything and everything is searched, and it is very fast in searching all the phone's content.
Pen Window. Can use S Pen not only to handwrite notes and draw, but also for opening small application windows to multitask. Just draw a window anywhere on the screen, and you can open apps like YouTube, calculator and browser without pausing current activity.
2. Bigger screen: Note 2 is at 5.5 inch, while the Note 3 is 5.7 inch. Although the screen size has increased, the size of the Note is still the same.
3. No more plastic: The new Note 3 does not have the glossy plastic casing. Instead, the Note 3 now comes in a leather effect back made from faux leather and thread stitching which gives it a more upmarket feel. In addition, this texture makes the phone less slippery in hand, reducing the tendency to drop it.
4. Better camera: The Note 2 has an 8MP camera, while the Note 3 is now equipped with a 12MP camera.
5. Better hardware & battery: The Note 3 now comes with Snapdragon 800 chipset at 2.3GHz Quad-Core processor and 3GB of RAM, while its previous model was using Exynos 1.6GHz Quad-Core processor with 2GB RAM. The battery for Note 2 is 3,100 mAH, while the Note 3 packs 3,200 mAH of juice.
6. Enhanced security. The Note 3 comes with enhanced security with Samsung KNOX where you can have better protection against malware and phishing attacks. You can also switch between personal and company screens which can have totally different sets of apps and content to enable data protection.
As for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, it is a slim smart watch that is a companion for the Note 3. It notifies you on incoming texts, emails, phone calls, and even count the number of steps you take to sync with your phone's S Health.
There are numerous watch face options and more can be downloaded from Samsung Apps.
Here are some of the notable features of Galaxy Gear:
1. The Memographer: This app allows you to record photos and videos using the Gear's 1.9MP camera and these recorded items can be shared on various social networks.
2. The Voice Memo: You can record important thoughts and conversations from the Gear and save these recordings in your phone as text.
3. Find My Device: This app allows you to find your phone using your Gear by making a beep, illuminate
4. Notifications: The Gear will notify you whenever you get incoming calls, texts, emails, and other alerts with a preview.
5. Hands-free calls: You can make and receive phone calls on your Gear; basically, you can talk into the wristwatch Power Ranger-style.
6. S Voice: Instead of using your phone, you can use the Gear to draft messages, create calendar entries, set alarms and check the weather.
7. Music: Browse, play and pause your music played on your phone using your Gear.
The Galaxy Gear uses Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE to connect to the phone and comes with a 4GB internal memory. As for battery life, Samsung mentioned that the Gear can go up to 25 hours before needing to recharge - of course this also depends on usage.