Samsung is busy running the launch event for their range of products announced at IFA in Germany earlier this month. As we thought, the Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Gear VR are all coming to Australia in the next couple of months, but if you’re looking for pricing from carriers you’ll have to wait just a little longer.
Galaxy Note 4
Starting off with the phone that finally caused Apple to copy them, Samsung has launched the 4th generation Galaxy Note, advising the phone will be made available from Samsung Experience Stores and other retailers from the 29th of October. The outright price of the phone will be $949, with pre-orders going live on the 15th of October. No carrier information has been made available at this stage.
Feature wise, the Galaxy Note 4 comes with the QHD (2560×1440) resolution display that will look simply stunning with a beautifully colour accurate 5.7″ Super AMOLED panel. The ultra large and high resolution display will come in handy when using the multi-window and resizeable windows that Samsung is introducing on the Note 4.
Samsung is also pushing the Fast Charging feature of the Note 4, which Samsung say will charge the phone from dead flat to 50% in just half-an-hour. It also comes with an Ultra Power Saving mode which will allow you to use the phone for longer.
The Note 4 contains a 16MP camera, which Samsung says will be capable of reproducing brighter and clearer images than any previous Galaxy Note. The camera features Smart Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) so we can expect to see some wonderful low-light photography coming out of Note owners in the near future. Samsung has also included a 3.7MP front-facing camera on the Note 4, with a f/1.9 aperture it will also offer wonderfully bright shots, in additon the Note 4 front-facing camera will offer 120° wide angle shots to take ‘groufies’.
The Note 4 comes with the new and improved S Pen which will offer a number of improvements, including a ‘more authentic pen experience’, which Samsung claim emulates the brush effect of actually writing on paper. The S Pen will be used to control even more Air Command functions that Samsung is bringing to the Note 4 experience with new resizeable windows and Smart Select feature.
Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung has also announced that Australia will be one of the select few countries that they will be bringing the Galaxy Note Edge to. The phone will be launching slightly later than the Note 4, with an expected release date of November 5th. The phone will be made available through Samsung Experience stores and other retailers for a price which will give pause to even the most ardent phablet fan, with Samsung pricing the Note Edge at an astronomical $1249.
The Note Edge of course offers a 5.6″ QHD resolution screen, with an additional 160 pixels added to the side to give a resolution of 2560 x 1440 + 160. The side panel is being used by Samsung to offer users a new way to access frequently used apps, alerts and functions. It’s uniquely suited to people who prefer to use a cover on their phone with interactions available even with the cover closed.
Notifications will appear on the edge of the screen while other applications and functions are in use, for example when watching video. Samsung has announced an SDK will be made available for developers to take advantage of the additional screen/notification area on the Note Edge, to hopefully give owners new and interesting experiences on the phone.
Samsung has also announced their Virtual Reality headset which has been designed in partnership with the makers of the Oculus Rift – the current, acknowledged leader in virtual reality technology – will be coming to Australia. The headset will be arriving in Samsung Experience stores and other retailers in November. The headset will be quite nicely priced at $249, but that’s sans the $949 Note 4 you’ll need to use the headset.
Samsung has arranged for access to the online Oculus store which will allow Gear VR owners access to a selection of optimised VR content to download. This will include content such as 360 degree video, games and what Samsung describes as ‘educational/experiential content’.
Samsung hasn’t forgotten the accessories either, the Gear Circle is a is a Bluetooth headset which clasps around the neck and can vibrate to indicate incoming calls and notifications. The headset can be used to receive and make calls, as well as issue voice commands – oh, and it’s a Bluetooth headset so you can listen to music or podcasts too.
The Gear Circle will be arriving in Samsung Experience Stores and other retailers in November with a RRP of $179.
We’ve largely ignored Samsung’s most recent entry to the Smartwatch game, the Gear S. The reason being that the watch will run their own home-brewed operating system Tizen. The Gear S is a self-contained watch with a curved 2″ Super AMOLED Display and a slot for a SIM card that allows you to use the watch as a phone, as well as data terminal.
The watch features a host of functions that make the watch quite attractive to fitness fanatics, with a Heart Rate Monitor, GPS and Bluetooth headset functions included. The watch will hook into S-Health apps on Samsung phones to make a complete fitness companion.
The watch is also outfitted with other funtions which will appeal to the every day user such as Wi-Fi. With IP67 Dust and Water resistance and a range of swappable bands it’s not a bad watch. If you’re interested, the Gear S will be coming to Australia in November and will be available at Samsung Experience stores and retailers for $449.
We’ll be getting lots more information over the next month from carriers, it’s widely expected that we’ll see the Note 4 on all four carriers, with rumour suggesting the Note Edge will also be made available on at least three of the four major national carriers.