Check out our hands-on review for the full lowdown.
Samsung at IFA 2013
The textured, leathery backed handset packs the latest version of Android, Android 4.3 and a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen plus the S-pen, the key to unlocking and manipulating your Note.
We got our hands on the new Note, which takes over the title of the world's most powerful smartphone, although that advantage is a lot smaller this time. Writing in our hands on, Gareth Beavis felt that "the Galaxy Note 3 is very much an evolution, with the specs starting to top out," adding that while we're not sold on the design of the back, or the high price, this could be just the handset that Samsung needs.
The Galaxy Note 3 will be rolling out September 25.
The hotly anticpated Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was also a big deal in a small package.
Unveiled during Samsung's press conference, it seems sleek, and feature filled with apps plus a 1.9MP camera that snaps pics and records Full HD vids and different non-interchangeable strap colors.
But the Galaxy Gear left us with concerns. TechRadar columnist Gary Marshall compared it to a horse, calling it a "blast from the past" in a time when we're looking for real innovation. "Maybe Samsung, for all its talents, just doesn't have the vision thing," suggests Gary. "And neither does Sony, or Pebble, or Google, or LG, or anybody else working on a smartwatch project. Does Apple?"
We canvassed the TechRadar team and opinions were mixed. Marc Flores called it "more of gimmick than something useful", Michelle Fitzsimmons called it "a superfluous accessory" and Reviews Editor Alex Roth wrote "all it seems to be is a clunky thing on my wrist that saves me from taking my phone out of my pocket"
Kate Solomon was more positive - "the Galaxy Gear looks OK" - while Lily Prasuethsut admitted "In spite of the cheesy calling functions (which I'd probably be too embarrassed to use), I still want a Samsung Galaxy Gear."
Would it fare better when we got our hands on one and actually tried it for ourselves? Gareth Beavis had some positive findings, writing that "Samsung has got some things really right on the Galaxy Gear: the styling is great and the interface is nifty."
So do we recommend it? Not at this early stage, sadly. "Samsung could still turn this one around," notes Gareth, "but there needs to be a big step forward to make the Galaxy Gear worth anywhere near the money that's likely to be asked."
For our full thoughts, hit the links below.
- Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Gear review
- Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Sony SmartWatch 2 vs Pebble vs Qualcomm Toq
The Galaxy Gear Smartwatch will be available in stores on September 25 in more than 100 countries, however, the U.S. and Japan have to wait until October to get their hands on the new device.
Pricing for the new device has come in at £299/$299 for the U.K. and U.S.
The new Galaxy 10.1 has a WQXGA LCD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. There will be three connectivity options: Wi-Fi only, Wi-Fi plus 3G and Wi-Fi with LTE.
There are three storage options, too - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB - plus microSD support.
While it's not going to be cheap, the new tablet features a slew of top-end tech. That impressed Gareth Beavis, who concluded: "The Galaxy Note 10.1 is the tablet that finds all the best bits of Samsung and pops them neatly under the hood of a well-packaged device, and can be called a real companion for the Note 3 thanks to the extra power."