Gadgets

Recapping Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 3 event

Above: Bird's-eye view of Samsung's Unpacked simulcast in Times Square

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

Samsung showed off the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch at a big press event at the IFA conference in Berlin today. Below, check out our live blog of the event, which I covered from a remote press viewing event in New York City.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201311:06 am

And that’s it! How does it feel to be living the future?

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201311:04 am

“The Galaxy Note 10.1 is going to change the way you think about tablets. It’s light, it’s fast, and it’s gorgeous.”

I mean, maybe.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201311:01 am

The 10.1 takes a bunch of cues from the Note III — same leather and stitching and design language.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201311:00 am

Everybody forgets about the Note 10.1.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:58 am

Samsung about to say more about the Note 10.1.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:55 am

Both the Gear and Note III will be available later this month in the US.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:52 am

“With Gear, we have opened up a new chapter , a new direction to an exciting word of possibilities. With Gear, Samsung reinvents a centuries-old object. Galaxy Gear is an engineering marvel — it defines tomorrow,” says Mistry.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:51 am

The Gear also comes with a gyroscope, accelerometer, and pedometer. Mistry says it’s designed to last more than a day on a single charge.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:49 am

I kind of want one of these, but my dating life is bad enough as it is.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:49 am

Galaxy Gear can also take photos with a single swipe. Google Glass, eat yer heart out.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:48 am

Voice commands via S-Voice actually sound pretty neat.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:46 am

The Gear can also make calls when attached to your phone.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:46 am

“When I receive a phone call, all I have to do is raise my hand to my ear and I’m ready to talk,” says Mistry

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:45 am

Smart Relay displays your emails on the Galaxy Gear’s screen. “Connect seamlessly.”

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:44 am

And the livestream craps out at NYC remote viewing.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:42 am

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:42 am

You can tap anywhere on the Gear to go a level deep, swipe down from the bezel to go back.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:41 am

“We wanted to make a wearable of tomorrow that is designed for everyone,” said Mistry.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:41 am

Pranav Mistry, head of Samsung’s think tank, takes the stage — along with the Galaxy Gear

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:35 am

“Dot, circle, and box” are the Note 3’s basic S Pen commands. It’s nice to see the Pen’s evolution evolve.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:34 am

The Note 3 has the same multitasking features as the Note 2, you can have two apps open side by side, as well as drag and drop info between them.

christinafarr September 4, 201310:33 am

Here’s a side by side comparison of the prototype and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:32 am

The Note 3 has a 5.7-inch 1080p display, it’s the same width as the Note 2.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:28 am

When you find content you want to save on the Note 3, you just need to open up Air Command and choose the scrap book option. Again, smart to make this sort of thing more seamless. Evernote possibilities is making me drool.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:26 am

It’s actually very smart of Samsung to make note taking far more seamless with the Galaxy Note. Previously you’d have to hunt down one of Samsung’s apps, or your own memo taking app.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:25 am

The Note 3 sports smarter software integration with the S Pen. You can hover over the screen, press the button on the stylus, and get an “Air Command” menu that lets you do things like create a memo and search.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:21 am

There’s a slight serration on the Note 3’s side that also makes it easier to grip. They’re talking about it more like a notebook than a smartphone.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:20 am

“We developed the Note 3 with the care of an artisan,” Van Den Berg says. The Note 3 sports a leather-ish finish on the back that makes it easier to hold. That should be helpful for its big screen.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:20 am

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:18 am

“When writing the story of your life, don’t let someone else hold the pen.” Okay Samsung.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:17 am

Samsung’s Menno van den Berg offers the third accent in this presentation so far. Global company FTW.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:13 am

Shin also introduces the Galaxy Note 10.1 2013 addition. This poor tablet series has been troubled since the start, but this new version looks a bit more refined.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:12 am

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:12 am

The Gear looks less boxy than our earlier images, but it still seems kind of big for small wrists.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:11 am

Hello Galaxy Gear! Shin sent a message from the Note 3 that went to his wrist. The Gear looks A LOT like the early images we saw. The edges are slightly more rounded, but there are still visible screws.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:10 am

The Galaxy Note 3 has “faster and more seamless LTE,” Shin says. That means it supports more frequency bands, and potentially more networks around the world.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:10 am

Shin points out that Samsung Knox, the company’s security features, has been upgraded for the Note 3. It’s unclear if any of the new features will come to earlier phones.

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:09 am

A Galaxy Note 3 approaches.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:08 am

Unfortunately the audio is iffy at this live stream viewing, doing my best to make out Shin’s words amid high-pitched screeching.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:07 am

Cue video intro! Dramatic music! Don’t you want to marry this phone?

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:06 am

Shin says the new Note is better, faster, lighter. Of course.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:06 am

Samsung mobile head JK Shin is on stage, discussing how the Galaxy Note series was inspired by the consumers desire for bigger and better screens. (Phablets are all YOUR fault.)

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:05 am

Those glasses!

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 201310:03 am

This is what said wacky guy looks like.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:03 am

Oh boy, the guy who hosted the wacky Galaxy S 3 Unpack event is back. This should be awkward and disturbing.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 201310:00 am

And we’re off!

Ricardo Bilton September 4, 20139:57 am

I’ll take extended orchestral introductions over contemporary pop hits any day.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 20139:57 am

How is this orchestral intro still going.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 20139:55 am

An extended orchestral introduction probably isn’t the best way to keep people awake, Samsung.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 20139:51 am

Now everyone is waiting for the official IFA conference to begin. A crowd of supposed Samsung fans are gathered in Times Square to check out the announcement as well.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 20139:49 am

A Samsung executive kicked things off, confirming that this event will be all about the Note 3 and Galaxy Gear. He briefly held up his own Gear unit, which looked shinier than the pics we saw this weekend, but around the same size.

Devindra Hardawar September 4, 20139:47 am

We’re in the R Lounge at Manhattan’s Renaissance Hotel, waiting for the event to start with other local tech journalists.


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