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By 5 September 2013 | Categories: news

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The Galaxy Gear may have been receiving the most buzz and anticipation leading up to its unveiling, but that wasn’t all Samsung brought to IFA. The company also unveiled its new Galaxy Note III and a newly updated Galaxy Note 10.1.

If the 5.5” Galaxy Note 2 (review) left you wondering whether Samsung would opt for an even larger phablet, the answer to that question is yes, it would. The Galaxy Note 3 boasts a wider (5.7”) full HD Super AMOLED display with 381 ppi, yet slimmer (8.3 mm) and lighter (168 g) design.

Also receiving a bump is the battery, from 3 100 mAh to 3 200 mAh, and the rear camera, from 8 megapixels to 13 megapixels, which also offers smart stabilisation and LED flash.

Apparently there will be two versions, one with a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 and a second which instead relies on an Exynos Octa-core SoC processor, clocked at 1.9 GHz. Both though, will boast 3 GB of memory, and be available with either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage, naturally expandable via microSD.

From the very first Note, the Bonnie to the smartphone’s Clyde has been the S-Pen, and this too seems to have received some enhancements to be quicker on the draw.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Samsung stressed that the advanced S Pen plays an integral role in how users interface with the device, making all daily routines easier, adding that it is “designed to be fully functional as a communication driver between the phone and the user by creating essential input and control features. “

For example, clicking the S Pen button while hovering over the screen introduces users to Air Command, aimed at obviating against having to toggle between screens, memorise commands or look up different menus. To this end, Air Command boasts a palette of five features - namely Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window. In brief:

  • Action Memo allows users to handwrite a note, and automatically execute a function or convert a handwritten information into formatted content. Action Memo can also initiate a call, add to contacts, look up an address on a map, search the web and save a task to a to-do list.
  • Scrapbook enables users to organise  information from various sources including the web, YouTube and Gallery in one place, enabling them to easily see  collected content at a glance. Additionally, when users save content for future use, Scrapbook also collects source material or URLs, enabling one to refer back to the original source at a later date.
  • 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 search for content on their device regardless of the type. By inputting 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.
  • 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 multitasking experience. 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.

2012's Galaxy Note 10.1 is back for round two, this time with a better processor, improved screen and a slew of new features.

Return of the 10.1

From phablets to tablets, Samsung also announced the return of the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet (review). Called the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, the newly updated tablet boasts a 2560 x 1600 resolution, 1.9 GHZ Octa Core processor and 3 GB of memory.

As on the Galaxy Note 3, the tablet also brings the suite of Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window apps to the table. Furthermore, as would be expected for a device, the updated tablet also comes with improved S Pen and S Note functionality. Samsung has promised that the S Pen now offers improved responsiveness and efficiency enhancements. Additionally, and no less important to the tablet’s note-taking functionality, is that S Note has apparently also received an upgrade, to offer a more intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

To the point

The tablet is also slated for release globally in the month ahead, and will come in three connectivity options: Wi-Fi Only, Wi-Fi and 3G and W-iFi and LTE. As with the previous iteration, it too will be available in white or black, with storage capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB.

Alas, local release information is yet to be confirmed, with Samsung’s public relations in South Africa saying that a local launch for certain of its newly announced products is on the cards for a later date this year. 

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