Samsung made a big splash on Wednesday at the IFA trade show in Berlin, unveiling both the next-generation Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The Galaxy Note III features modest improvements in hardware specifications, while the Galaxy Gear effectively beats Apple’s long-rumored iWatch to the market.
The headline announcement was most certainly the Galaxy Gear, which The Verge describes as “a smartwatch like no other.” The wrist-worn device serves as the ultimate smartphone accessory, as it can be used to display notifications, make phone calls, control music playback and tell the time. With a built-in 1.9-megapixel camera, it can even capture photos and 720p video.
Other hardware specifications include a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED touch screen, single-core 800 MHz Exynos processor, and an adjustable wrist band available in six different colors. The smartwatch will function with the new Galaxy Note III and 2014 edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1, with software updates imminent for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. Availability and pricing is early October for $299 in the United States.
The new and improved Galaxy Note III features a larger 5.7-inch Super AMOLEd display, 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 3 GB RAM and improved 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The handset is also just a hair thinner and lighter at 8.3 mm and 168 grams respectively, and has an all-new faux leather back removable cover. Additionally, a new symmetrical S Pen can be sued to enable Air Command, a software addition that displays a semicircle of commonly used actions on the screen.