The Galaxy Gear has been leaked, rumored, and talked about for months now, and it's finally here. Well, it exists and we've seen it, anyway. We got some quick hands-on time with Samsung's don't-call-it-a-watch smart watch, and have plenty to say.
First off, Samsung was very clear during our hands-on time that the Gear shouldn't be thought of as a watch. The question of whether non-watch-wearers will be willing to pick one up is moot to the manufacturer, as the experience and functionality provided by the watch should be enough to sway users toward adding the high-tech accessory to their wardrobe.
Besides taking a look at the Galaxy Gear here at IFA 2013, we also got the chance to play around with Samsung's new lineup of Note devices, namely the Note 3 and the Note 10.1 2014 edition.
Ignoring for a moment the devices' form factors, they share a lot of similarities and, in fact, share just about everything software-wise. Samsung's main focus with the new devices, besides their refreshed specs, displays, and hardware design, is the S Pen, which itself has received a functionality upgrade.
Besides the Galaxy Gear and Note 3, Samsung has made official a new "2014 edition" Note 10.1. While, if its name is anything to go by, the 10.1 has long to go before release, Samsung gave us some early hands-on time with the tablet.
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.
Remember the allegedly hilarious video for "The Smart Cube" from last week, which toed the line between awkward funding campaign and a parody of awkward funding campaigns? We mentioned at the time that it was almost certainly an alternative marketing campaign for a Samsung product, probably the Android-powered Galaxy NX camera. There's no way to say this without sounding a little smug, so: yeah. It is.
Update: Lookout has confirmed the deal. PR is at the bottom of the post, if you're interested.
The assortment of apps you have to wade through when powering on a new phone for the first time is about to grow by one. Samsung is expected to announced on Wednesday that is has licensed Lookout's anti-malware suit for all its upcoming Android devices. No word yet on whether or not current devices will get Lookout as an update.
The Nexus 10 might be getting a little long in the tooth, but it still has the best screen you'll find on a 10-inch Android tablet. Google is still asking $399 for the 16GB N10, but eBay Daily Deal has it for a mere $339.99. This is a brand new item – not a refurb or open box unit.
The Nexus 10 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and will probably continue to get updates for another year or so.
It looks like some images of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, or at least a mockup used in an internal Samsung promo video, have leaked out. And, based on those images, this is apparently what the Galaxy Gear will look like in proportion to your wrist.
Large, one might say. Quite large, apparently - VentureBeat claims the Galaxy Gear will have a 3.0" display and seems to runs Android (or at least is capable of running some Android apps) in some sense of the word.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 is due for a refresh along with its smartphone cousin. If you've been waiting for a high-end Samsung tablet (or just a tablet that's considerably larger than the current 10-inch breed), the folks at Korean site MovePlayer may have spotted it. A single photo of a hitherto unseen Galaxy Note 12.2 bearing the obviously huge screen and Samsung's increasingly ridiculous physical Home button was leaked earlier today.
Update:According to GigaOm, today's Galaxy Gear images are definitely of a prototype, as VentureBeat speculated could be the case earlier. Additionally, GigaOm's sources indicate that the watch will be running Android 4.3 with Bluetooth LE connectivity, a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor (with Mali-400 MP4 GPU), and the ability to make phone calls. Our original post follows below.
We're looking forward to getting a glimpse of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's rumored smart watch, expected for an IFA reveal.