Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 3 – the Phablet Reigns Supreme

by Reads (4,330)

It’s finally here – Samsung’s latest and greatest addition to their growing – in more ways than one – Galaxy line of smartphones, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

When the first Galaxy Note launched a couple of years ago, Samsung was mocked for making such a ridiculously huge phone – who could possibly want to walk around with a small tablet strapped to their face? The answer, as it turns out, is literally millions and millions of people. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

By the time the Galaxy Note II launched last year, the Note line had built up a following, with users finding even Samsung’s quirky S Pen functionality handy; the phone’s large size also allowed for large batteries, and, by extension, exceptional battery life. 

Now that the Galaxy Note 3 is here, it’s clearly become one of the most anticipated smartphone releases of the year, falling short of only the Samsung Galaxy S4 and new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

Most of the specs have been leaked before today, but let’s go over the official list:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Specifications:

  • Snapdragon 800 CPU @ 2.3 GHz or  Samsung Exynos Octacore CPU @ 1.9 GHz, depending on market
  • 5.7-inch, SuperAMOLED (likely PenTile display)
  • 1920×1080 resolution: 368ppi
  • Ships with Android 4.3
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage microSD card slot
  • 13MP rear camera 2MP front camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • GSM/CDMA/LTE (and yes, at least one variant will have AWS)
  • LED, IR emitter
  • 3200mAh battery

The new phone features an even bigger display than before, but thanks to newer, narrower bezels on either side, it’s only a little taller – and it’s actually narrower and thinner, making it more comfortable to hold. You’ll be able to pick the phone up in black, white, or pink at launch, with various rear covers as well as windowed front covers available in several shades. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung is shipping a new S Pen with the device that enables new click hover functionality – clicking a button on the side of the S Pen brings up the special Air Command menu which, from the press release, allows access to the following functions:

  • Action Memo allows users to handwrite a note, and automatically execute a function or convert that handwritten information into formatted content. Action Memo can instantly initiate a call, add to contacts, look up an address on a map, search the web, save a task to a to-do list, and more
  • Scrapbook enables users to organize or track down content and information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place so that users can easily look back at collected content all at once. When consumers save content for future use, Scrapbook also collects source material or URLs allowing them to easily refer back to the original source.
  • The Screen Write feature captures the full screen image of the current page on the device and allows users to write comments or additional information onto the captured image.
  • S Finder allows users to expansively search for content on their device regardless of the type. By putting in keywords or filters such as date, location, and content type, users can search related documents, events, communication threads, and even the Help page, all in one place. In addition, users can also search for hand-written content in their Notes and memo applications, as well as symbols and formulas.
  • Pen Window allows users to use the S Pen not only for drawing sketches or writing notes, but now also for opening a small application window for a true multitasking experience. Simply by drawing a window of any size, anywhere on the screen, users can easily and quickly open another application window such as YouTube, calculator or Browser without pausing current activity on the screen.

Additionally, utilities like floating apps and Multi Window, found on other Galaxy products, have been made more robust on the GN3.

A new partnership with FlipBoard brings a fancy HTC One BlinkFeed clone to the Note 3 home screen, letting you have access to your favorite news and sites without actually having to open up an app. Samsung is also building in new security and device location functionality, called Samsung KNOX and “Find My Mobile”. KNOX lets users run protected apps and data within a special environment that prevents malware attempts from accessing it. Find My Mobile does what it says on the tin – but it goes a step further. Showing how serious they are about security for the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung has implemented a new remote lock and erase functionality that prevents thieves from being able to reset their phone to factory settings.

A similar tool is expected to launch on the iPhone 5S with iOS 7 next week.

The Galaxy Note 3 is also the first smartphone compatible with Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, also introduced at events today.

Both smartphone and smartwatch are expected to ship starting on September 25th, with a simultaneous worldwide launch. In the United States, Samsung will be launching the phone on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular.  

Available in 32GB or 64GB internal storage along with an additional microSD card slot, the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear are set to launch starting from September 25 in more than 140 countries around the world. The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 will also be available in the U.S. later this year on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular. T-Mobile, for their part, have already launched a pre-registration page for the Galaxy Note 3 on their website.

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