Move over, LG G3, and make way for Samsung's Galaxy Note 4
Fans of the phablet form factor -- smartphone/tablet combination -- might have a tough choice to make in the near future. For one, there's the LG G3 with its 5.5-inch quad high-definition (QHD) display, 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, and removable 3000mAh battery. And then there's Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which may end up with a 5.7-inch QHD display, according to leaked documents.
Consumers aren't all that anxious to upgrade their existing tablets
Mobile devices are ultra hot right now, including tablets, though the market for slates isn't skyrocketing like it once was. Instead, consumers are largely content with their current tablet devices, and those who do see a need to pick up a new mobile device are trending towards phablet (large size smartphones) devices. As such, International Data Corporation (IDC) reduced its tablet shipment forecast for 2014.
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).
Android's open platform inevitably leads to a wealth of designs, which is one of the reasons for its success. With Android, you can go big or small, fast or modest, and so forth. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is almost the exact opposite, and certainly there are far fewer options for users to choose from. However, would-be Windows Phone shoppers hoping for a large size display may soon get their wish.
Samsung's Galaxy Mega stretches the boundaries of phablet design.
You better have big pockets if you have any notion of treating Samsung's Galaxy Mega device as a smartphone. It's actually a phablet -- a phone and tablet hybrid -- though even in that category, the Galaxy Mega stands out because of its massive 6.3-inch HD display. That's not a typo; the Galaxy Mega's display is 6.3 inches, or just over half-an-inch smaller than a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD.
Samsung is planning to launch its Galaxy Note II device in mid-November with five major carriers, the handset maker announced today. Specific pricing and retail availability is up to each individual carrier to announce at their leisure, but on the bright side, if you've had the Galaxy Note II on your radar, you can go ahead and put it on hour holiday wish list, regardless of whether you're an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, or U.S. Cellular subscriber.
It's incredibly tough to keep a product launch under wraps with the Internet serving as the ultimate spoiler. Samsung can attest to this after seeing its Galaxy Note II plans leaked to the Web ahead of its offical launch. Be that as it may, all a company can do is forge ahead with business as usual, as Samsung did by officially unveiling its second generation Galaxy Note device. There is one surprise, however -- Samsung's skipping a U.S. launch until later this year.