The much-anticipated Galaxy Note 3 has finally been officially announced, and will be in stores before the year is up. And, it’s coming to market with a smart watch, although it’s probably not the smart watch you were hoping for and probably isn’t as big of a deal as many are making it out to be.
But first, the phone – the Note 3 is even bigger around the edges, at 5.7”, but it is slimmer and lighter than the Note 2. There will be a 1080p Super AMOLED display, and you’ll find a beefed up 3,200 mAh battery inside. The rear camera has also gotten a nice upgrade – it’s now a 13 MP camera with image stabilization and an LED flash. A previously unheard of 3 GB of RAM will be powering this smartphone, and CAT4 carrier aggregation will support a greater number of LTE frequencies. There will be 3G and LTE versions, which will run on different processors – a 1.9 GHz octa-core processor for the former, a 2.3 GHz quad-core for the latter. The Note 3 will run Android 4.3 out of the box.
The S Pen has also received some upgrades. It’s now a click pen, and clicking it will bring up a menu of options on your Note 3 called Air Command. From Air Command, you can activate one of five features – Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, and Pen Window. Action Memo allows for handwritten notes, which can be converted into formatted text and used to do web searches, create new contacts, or initiate a call. Scrapbook does what you think it would – aggregate images from multiple sources and put them together in one place. Screen Write takes a screenshot of your phone, which you can then make notes on. S Finder is a universal search for your phone, while Pen Window makes multitasking a little easier by letting you draw a window on screen, which will open a new window you can use to execute another app.
Speaking of multitasking, that’s a big reason why the screen size was upped to 5.7”. Multi Window is now on the Note, so you can do side-by-side multitasking complete with drag and drop functionality. You can use the same app twice, if you need to. Group Play, the local sharing feature that came with the Galaxy S4, is on the Note 3, and will add simultaneous video sharing and playback for up to five devices.
Nothing beats Fort Knox for security, and so the Note 3 features Samsung KNOX. It’s a special sequestered part of the hard drive built for security, which runs everything in a protected mode – ideal for anyone using the Note 3 as a hybrid personal-work device, so they can store all sensitive work information in KNOX. There’s also Find My Mobile, which can be used remotely to pinpoint the location of your Note 3, should it be lost or stolen.
The Galaxy Note 3 will be available on September 25, in a worldwide release. The Note 3 will come to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular, but we have nothing yet on pricing. We know it will come in 32 GB and 64 GB models, and will come in black, white, and pink, although Samsung plans to release back plates in many more colors that you can buy separately.