Samsung's foray into phablet territory began with the release of the original Galaxy Note in 2011, a 5.3-inch device with a 1.4GHz or 1.5GHz dual-core processor (depending on territory). That journey into tweener territory continues today with the official launch of the Galaxy Note 3, the biggest and fastest Galaxy Note to date. Samsung also unveiled a new tablet (Galaxy Note 10.1) and smart watch (Galaxy Gear).
More on the latter two in a moment. First, a look at the
Galaxy Note 3
, which gets a bump in screen size from 5.55 inches (Galaxy Note 2) to a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display. Despite being bigger, it's slimmer than its predecessor at just 8.3mm, and also lighter, weighing in at 168g.
Improvements in design run across the board. Not only does the Galaxy Note 3 have a bigger screen, slimmer profile, and lighter construction, it's also more powerful with a longer lasting battery to boot. It's equipped with a 2.3GHz quad-core or 1.9GHz "Octa Core" processor (depending on territory) and has a 3,200 mAh battery.
Other features include 3GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, microSD slot with support for up to 64GB, 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and Smart Stabilization, 2MP front-facing camera (also with Smart Stabilization), 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0LE, NFC support, and various other odds and ends. It ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (sorry Kit Kat fans).
The Galaxy Note 3 will be available in the U.S. later this year on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular.
Moving on, the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) rocks a WQXGA Super Clear LCD display with a 2560x1600 resolution. It also wields a 1.9GHz Octa Core processor, 3GB RAM, 16/32/64GB of built-in storage, microSD slot, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, USB 2.0 port, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and more.
"The new Galaxy Note 10.1 is the most progressive 10-inch tablet, delivering the best viewing and multitasking experiences. It is the most recent demonstration of Samsung Mobile's focus on constant product innovation to stay aligned with shifting consumer interests," said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. "The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) unites a range of features that will consistently surprise consumers as they realize how much easier and more enjoyable it makes their everyday lives."
The display is the real high point here. It has four times the pixel density of the original Galaxy Note 10.1 and supports "Multi Window" mode.
Look for the Galaxy Note 10.1 to launch sometime in Q3.
Finally, Samsung just tossed its hat into the smart watch ring by announcing its Galaxy Gear , "a perfect companion device that further integrates the Samsung Galaxy experience into everyday life." The Galaxy Gear has a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320x320 resolution.
It also features an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal memory, enough of a foundation to run low-level apps. There's a built-in speaker for making hands-free calls directly from the Gear, along with a built-in 1.9MP camera.
The Galaxy Gear will launch with the Galaxy Note 3 on September 25. No word yet on price.