Last Updated: September 24th, 2013

Samsung just announced its fall catalog at the Unpacked pre-IFA event. There are very few surprises: the Galaxy Note 3 is here with a new leather-style stitched design, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and a revised version of the Galaxy Note 10.1.


Galaxy Note 3

The Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung's new flagship "phablet." It's been given a pretty huge update in terms of physical design: the rear cover is a faux leather, stitched design, combining with the banded sides to make it look like a journal. The shape of the phone is a bit more angular than the Note II as well. The Note 3 will launch in black, white, and pink color options, with a range of interchangeable back covers and flip covers in various colors.

Galxy Note3_031_set2

But enough about the looks: let's get down to the hardware. The Note 3 uses a 5.7-inch screen, slightly larger than last year's model but without adding any extra width to the chassis. As expected, the AMOLED screen has been pushed to a full 1080p resolution. Inside you'll find a 1.9Ghz Exynos octa-core processor (though some markets will probably use a Qualcomm alternative, as usual) paired to a fantastic 3GB of RAM. The Note 3 will launch running Android 4.3 plus a ton of new TouchWiz software enhancements - we'll dive deeper into those in our hands-on. Air Command, which opens a sub-menu when the user clicks the S-Pen stylus, is probably the most notable.

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The battery is still removable, and has been adjusted to 3200mAh. Storage options have been boosted to 32GB or 64GB, plus a MicroSD card. The rear camera is the same 13 megapixel model as the Galaxy S4, but now includes the ability to record in 4K. The front camera is 1.9MP. Samsung is also stressing the addition of CAT4 Carrier Aggregation to the Note 3's LTE spec.

Galxy Note3_030_set1 Galaxy Note3 FlipCover_004_Open Pen_Blush Pink Galxy Note3_003_back_Jet Black

Galaxy Note3 FlipCover_005_Front set


Galaxy Gear

The Galaxy Gear is an interesting take on the smartwatch. It eschews power-saving e-ink and similar screen technologies for a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED with a resolution of 320x320. Samsung says that the watch runs on an 800Mhz processor and uses 512MB of memory, with 4GB of onboard storage. It pairs with Samsung devices (and at the moment, only Samsung devices) over Bluetooth with the aid of NFC and a proprietary app. The main function of the device is as a notification and call extender, and to that end, it includes the ability to answer and place calls from the watch itself. An integrated microphone on the clasp of the strap will allow for speakerphone-style conversation. The Gear will be available in six colors.

Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Jet Black Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Lime Green Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Mocha Gray

Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Oatmeal Beige Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Rose Gold Galaxy Gear_001_Front_Wild Orange

But that's not all. The Galaxy Gear is the first smartwatch (or at least the first one of the current crop set to be released) with a camera. It's a 1.9MP shooter integrated into the strap, pointing out from the body when you're wearing it. You sort of point your forearm towards the subject in a way that seems like it's guaranteed to be awkward. Photos can be uploaded using watch apps or annotated with a voice note.

Galaxy Gear-008-Set1 Side_Six

Samsung is including a variety of apps with the Gear, including Auto Lock (locks your phone when it's out of range) and Find My Device. Samsung will provide its own app and allow third parties to develop for the gear, but apps will not be available on the Play Store. Evernote, eBay, and Glympse were all shown running on the Gear.

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition


The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition will release in 2013, so Samsung is now a subscriber of the auto manufacturer and Madden NFL school of yearly release names. The updated tablet trumps the former Note 10.1 with a 2650x1600 screen and the same 1.9Ghz Exynos octa-core and 3GB RAM combo as the Note 3, though LTE versions may default to Qualcomm.

N1_016_Dynamic2_Black N1_015_Dynamic_White N1_017_Pen-Detail_Black

The WiFi version is considerably sleeker and slimmer than the previous model with a depth of just 7.9mm. Styling apes the Note 3 right down to the faux leather and stylus, which is oddly housed on the side of the device. Sorry, Android purists: Samsung isn't letting go of its maddening physical controls on tablets any time soon. The Note 10.1 2014 will be available in black or white.

N1_018_Pen-Detail_Black N1_20_Set_Black N1_008_Bottom_White

Software is largely the same as the Note 3, complete with Android 4.3, a ton of TouchWiz accoutrements, and the fancy new S-Pen functionality. Storage options have been expanded to 32GB and 64GB plus MicroSD card, and the rear camera is 8MP with flash. It looks like Samsung is making the Note tablet that they really should have made in the first place.

The Note 3 and Galaxy Gear will be available starting on September 25th in more than 140 countries, and all three devices will be launching in October worldwide. Pricing for the Gear will be $299 USD, but we haven't seen any information for price of the other devices.

We've now got hands-on video with all the new Samsung hardware. Check out our exhaustive posts on the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear, and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Mehmet Fatih

    Ugliest camera lens I have ever seen.

    • Shitiz Garg


    • EH101
      • h


      • Elliot Kotis

        that isn't as ugly. IMO.

    • Ashish

      Negative, the One X still holds that title.

    • Mehmet Fatih

      So when I delete a message, it becomes a 'Guest' message? LOL nice detail androidpolice.

    • Simon Belmont

      I always stare at my phone's camera lens and ponder its beauty. It's the main reason most people buy their phones, right?

      "Boy, that's the most beautiful camera lens I've ever seen, so I'm definitely buying this phone." It's akin to disliking a car because its antenna isn't pretty enough.

      • D

        Well if i am spending money to get something i need it better be well design as a whole, the lens can throw away the design

  • SYO

    What is up with that detailing on its back edges? Looks like faux stitching.. what.

    • PhoenixPath

      that would be the leather back they mention in the article...

      • wolfkabal

        more accurately the 'fake' leather back - it's still plastic. So yes @cf0fc96ed8600e44d2224bd030ad2f24:disqus, it's faux stitching embedded in plastic to make it look like leather.

        • Justin W

          ... It's real stitching that's embedded into fake leather (or Pleather, if you will).

          • Idon’t Know

            Whatever it is it is fucking horrible.

          • wolfkabal

            Hmm, still confused then, everywhere I'm reading they're saying Plastic - not pleather, or fake leather, but actual plastic. So is it hard plastic like all other Samsung devices, or is it a vinyl/pleather (softer touch) material?

  • Mehmet Fatih

    Ugliest camera lens I have ever seen.

    edit: looks like combine elite from half life 2

    • n0th1ng_r3al

      Yall are some picky bastards.

  • Adam92Wilkins

    What did they change with the 10.1? Really interested in a tablet with an active stylus, and really like samsung so...

  • Matthew Fry

    No details about the watch? Or is it getting its own article? It looks like the leaked image.

  • TY

    I will never buy nor recommend Samsung devices to anyone until they ditch the menu button.

  • Hasnain Maec Abbas

    Was waiting for this....now i can safly say sony xperia z ultra is what ill buy.

  • Wazzifer

    I'm so getting the Note 10.1 on day 1.

    • TylerChappell

      And then the second gen Nexus 10 will come out and everyone will point and laugh at you for your gimmicky stylus, bloated Samsung apps, physical hardware buttons, slower OS updates etc.

      • Wazzifer

        Yeah? Aren't you cool! Oh you're so cool! For a student, the Note line does, and will keep kicking the shit out of the Nexus line when it comes to productivity and functionality. Don't be a tool and follow along with everyone that is hating on physical buttons, it will only make you look more of a douche than you already are. Oh and for your information, 4.1.2 on my Note 10.1 is not much different than 4.3 on my Nexus 4.

        • Thomas Wong

          Why TouchWiz "messed" Android up:

          I. Why physical buttons (on Samsung devices) are horrible:

          a) Physical buttons are in a horrible position when a tablet is used in portrait

          b) Cannot use the swipe up to use Google Now shortcut

          c) Long press "home" to access Recent Apps? Non-intuitive and not as snappy as simply hitting the Recents key.

          d) Menu button is always there. You never know if there is really a menu option. Sometimes you stare at the screen for ages only to find the option hidden in the menu, which is not shown in an action overflow.

          e) Cannot customize the navigation keys. See LG G2, CyanogenMod, AOKP and more examples.

          II. Why the UI is horrible:

          a) You do not get two sections for the notification shade. Instead, you have one space-wasting big blob, and you have to click a button to switch to Quick Settings, instead of two separate shades.

          b) Proprietary variations of Android UI elements: Menu bars, Action Bars, no Action Overflow, Recents Apps behaviour, "hamburger" drawer...

          c) Quick Settings tiles become a bunch of messy buttons. The Google+ integration is totally gone.

          d) Bloatwares which are wannabes of Google apps: Samsung Apps, "hubs", S Voice...

          • Wazzifer

            How about you go and gradually reinsert your tampon?

          • TylerChappell

            Wow, you have some real issues. I recommend seeing a psychiatrist.

          • Wazzifer

            I don't know man, I think you're just a little butthurt that 27 people who read the comments actually agreed with what I said to you.

          • TylerChappell

            No one's opinions matter. Sorry, other people's sentiments are not important to me.

          • Wazzifer

            You seem mad. That's good.

        • Elliot Kotis

          HAHAHAHA You won't even get 4.4! Which is your DP I might add.

      • didibus

        The Stylus is the most awesome part of the Note line, I wish my Nexus could use one.

      • Jillxz

        Naw they won't. You might though. Rather have the Galaxy Note 10 any day over those Nexus products. The only ones who want the Nexus devices are Google fan boys. Awww , it's Google , it's pure Google. Just gotta have that Nexus , chant the Nexus fan boys.

      • theone

        Nexus 10...lmao are you kidding. The nexus wishes it could compare... smh

  • Karan O

    any announcement about 4.3 update on GALAXY S4 variant?!

    i think we should get it before note III shipment!

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Don't stop

  • Badma Zubov

    hard buttons is bad idea for 10.1" tablet...

  • kpjimmy

    Samsung gear only for Samsung devices...I wonder why Sony didn't go that route? Because it doesn't work! LOL C'mon, even Sony released their camera lenses to attach to any phone, not just Sony devices.

    Besides,the watch looks way too big for my skinny wrist and not that appealing. I actually like the form of the Pebble better lol. And that says a lot, from a Pebble owner that has modded it out. Also doesn't this look similar to the Kreyos Smartwatch on Indiegogo? Only difference is the camera...yeah, a whopping 1.9mp cam. On the strap itself....I guess no swapping watch straps either? No thanks.

    • Mike Reid

      I really don't like Samsung only. But Samsung is popular enough they may be able to make that work.

      Sony is still an underdog and needs to support other phones.

    • sguyx

      Actually, some features in Sony Smartwatch works only with a Sony phone.

  • Guest12345

    The Home-button on the tab is absolutely hideous...

    • landscape is the norm 4 me

      I said outloud when I saw it, "Thats stupid, or is it, mind f%$k

  • WHO?

    Hmmm so we still don't know if the $300 watch is waterproof???

  • Hans Gruber

    Is it a sign that AP favours samsung...
    in that they make the samsung IFA post a sticky and sony ends up relegated to the second page?

    Z1 is more of an interesting device compared to the note 3...i mean the note is just more of the same where the camera on the sony might possibly be something to rival the quality of cams on nokias?

    Just my own opinion...but fed up of seeing samsungs plastic always getting favoured the world over.

    (From a Samsung galaxy nexus user sick of the phone locking up all the time :|)

  • Nick Sears

    is the 1.9 octa the most powerful CPU on mobile so far?

    • nameofthewind

      Snapdragon 800, the phone will not be able to use all of the cores, better to have less cores(for a phone/tablet) and go for higher/faster processing speed

      • Nick Sears

        yes it use 2.3ghz. u say correct.

  • Андрей Журавель
  • sguyx

    I have a Note 10.1 with Android 4.1.2 so the Gear won't work. So disappointing! If i really need to wait Android 5 (as i know, Samsung is jumping over 4.3), im able to buy a Gear on 2015 maybe? I would say: Gear - DOA, if Samsung doesn't provide Android 4.3 soon for a Note2, SG4, Note 10.1.

    • sguyx

      OMG, just realized - did they ruin the Note 10.1 with a button in front of the tablet??

  • WHO?

    Dammit just thought about it. Besides probably not being waterproof I can't replace the watch band either! I don't think they thought this one all the way through. I hate Apple but i think they tried a little too hard to beat Apple and half did the watch!

    • Elliot Kotis

      Apple will do worse.

    • Theone123

      Apple never had a watch... that was that was just the nano which a 3rd party vendor created/sold bands for but apple never supported or sold it as a watch.

  • Quryous


    Don't like that lump for the camera housing or that phony seam rim on the edges of the back cover. UGLY! UGLY! That housing actually makes the whole thing thicker. The effect is that they make the whole back just plain UGLY! And FAKE LEATHER? Com'on guys. How tacky. Probably has fake stitching, too.

    Thank goodness it will be covered by a nice case. With real leather and real stitching.

    Now, that so called "Smart" watch is just plain DUMB. At 1/6 the price I wouldn't want it, as I consider that there are others that actually look NICE, have more functionally, and actually cost about 1/2 as much. Not a chance, Samsung, it is as if you actually WANTED that pig to fail.

    Where is the Note 12?

    • Jose Torres

      True about the camera lump. It will never lie completely flat because of that and that is an annoyance to me, ESPECIALLY since the lower edge of that protruding part will definitely wear out over time.

  • Wesley Da’Nomad

    Any price announced for the 64GB Note 3?

  • Jose Torres

    I can imagine somebody taking pictures with the Watch in a concert setting. Before people were lifting their phones or even their tablets, now it will look like they will be lifting nothing.

    • Wazzifer

      People can probably cheat on tests with it too!

  • Vchamp2k

    If innovation is just tied to spec and screen size bump, then all the smartphone manufacturers cant make money. I currently have note2. I expected note3 to include dust, shatter and water resistant capabilities. I dont want to try htc, lg and sony, as their battery life is really really bad. I guess i am going to wait for an year to see if sammy can really innovate. Only good thing about note 3 is the camera. I dont want to upgrade to note3 just for marketing gimmicks.

  • saltyzip

    What's with the screw heads on that watch, poor design for what my opinion is worth, which is not a lot.

  • BitSound

    If you have the phone why buy a watch?

    • j¤n Gårrëtt [5,000+]

      you have a camera why buy a phone with one?

  • Patrick Rifici

    Yeesh, you people are picky. I felt like I was on MacRumors or something. I think the whole set looks pretty great! My partner is going to drool over the Note 10.1 2014.

  • Nabil Shaikh

    the previous Galaxy Note 10.1 dint have a physical home button!!

    • hkklife

      No, but it had that horrible 1280x800 screen and a proprietary sync/charge port.
      I'll take the better specs, hugely improved screen, expanded storage, slimmer design, better build, and microUSB port in exchange for the minor annoyance of dealing with buttons on the side when in portrait mode. Trust me, the Nexus 10's onscreen buttons waste a LOT of screen space. With such a high PPI spread over a relatively small 10.1" screen and so many Android apps still not optimized for anything past 720p, you'll want all of the screen real estate you can possibly use!

  • Nick Tsiotinos

    Specs are amazing - but oh that hideous industrial design. Samsung has not moved beyond their original Galaxy S2 design theme yet. Come on HTC, where is your note competitor?

  • troph

    Why hardware buttons on the tablet? Why? What happens when I use in portrait?

    • theone

      Then you stop being lazy and reach up and push the home button... Why do ppl make a big deal out of the smallest thing???? drives me crazy

  • j¤n Gårrëtt [5,000+]

    Samsung's designs are getting uglier and uglier. the Note 3 looks like the very ugly (AT&T version) Galaxy SII.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDBlrojk_4w Orlando Local SEO

    The Korean technology and electronics manufacturer has just announced that they will be holding a Samsung Unpacked 2013, “Episode 2,” in
    order to release the Galaxy Note III onto the world. Today Samsung
    begun issuing press invites to the event, which will take place on
    August 4, two days before IFA 2013 kicks off in Berlin.

  • Leonardo Baez

    now that the note 3 is a reality, can i get my S3 4.3 update please?

  • http://www.yepi1.info/ Yepi

    I find it rather nice! samsung has really peaked technology

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Galaxy Gear: "Samsung Galaxy Watch" would been better name and it would got around trademarks and confusion S watch/Swatch would had bring but a clear name for what it is.

    The "Gear" as an notification extender the right direction with product fulfilling the additional musts that is an watch that is features that includes the time, date and calendar along with optional (i.e. not everyone interested) to consumer tastes geared around fitness tasks however a welcoming surprise when it is included.

    The next wearable tech is to cater for the sense that is eyesight with glasses going mainstream along with sound - headsets/earbuds for all your sound needs would be welcoming to be able to the option to have the wires cut. - more sensible than talking to watches and tablet slabs for audio in public spaces but you can expect Samsung, Google, and Apple in particular to charge the earth for what is could be seen as simplistic diversification (earphones/headsets and glasses).

    Wireless Charging also needs to take off - it has not already and its availablity has been called into question when it currently available it not been available in such a way that consumers probably want. Galaxy S3 and S4 in the UK and European Markets for example was blinged up when the products was released with "Wireless charging coming soon" but it not really available!

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    "It pairs with Samsung devices (and at the moment, only Samsung devices) over Bluetooth with the aid of NFC and a proprietary app."

    All words that we can expect really when Apple launches its iWatch but act like they have reinvented the wheel. Samsung would be seen as doing an Apple with this exclusivity even if initially they (Samsung) genuine want to launch it to the general audience and communicate with the whole Android Platform putting in support by Samsung for its products alot easier so comes first. For the Consumer they prefer interoperability and everything should be harmonised in all markets (Be it content people purchase (applications, videos) or wearable tech such as watches they have!)

  • Ian

    I have a S4, but I think I want the Note 3 now!

  • Tom Labetti

    Interesting, I just had a conversation with VZWSupport on twitter. According to them I would have to add a Hotspot plan in order to use the SmartGear watch. I'm on a grandfathered Nationwide Talk & Text unlimited data plan. So if I were to pay full retail for the Galaxy Note 3 and decide I want to keep my unlimited data plan and get a Galaxy Gear watch I would have to pay an additional monthly fee for tethering.

    Twitter exchange:
    ME - If I get a @SamsungMobileUS #galaxygear to use on VZW @VZWSupport will using the watch count as tethering? seems like it would be tethered

    VZWSupport - @tlabetti Glad you asked! How it bills (or doesn't bill) may depend on the plan you have. Do you know which one it is? ^DGM

    ME - @VZWSupport Nationwide Talk & Text with unlimited data. Hotspot/Tethering is not included.

    VZWSupport - @tlabetti Thanks Tom! Unfortunately this would not be included. Have you considered activating a Hotspot Plan on the device? ^MTS

  • Jens Lange

    Is there a cap for the cam? It has the same problem as Goolge glass has - the cam. How can anyone in my surrounding be sure that i'm not recording secretly? Some people get even aggressive if they just THINK they are being recorded.

    And speaker style conversations? Great so anyone can hear? I would prefer a propper BT headset.

    IMHO a good screen would have done the job. Less is sometimes more.