South Korea-based Samsung is set to ship two new devices this autumn: the Galaxy Note 3 in September and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in October, according to Samsung-focused publication SamMobile.
SamMobile is adding some notable information to what we've already heard. Several publications have reported Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch at Samsung's 4 September media event. The shipping timeline was the missing piece.
If the publication's sources are to be believed, week 36 (2-8 September) will be specifically when the Galaxy Note 3 begins shipping. With a media event on 4 September to announce the handset, that doesn't give Samsung much time. As for the Galaxy Gear, week 40 (30 September-6 October) sounds likely. SamMobile, which has been spot-on with Samsung news in the past, does warn the dates could fluctuate.
The launch of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch comes at an interesting time, as Samsung's competitors have either announced or are rumoured to be bringing a competing product to market. It reminds us of the smartphone gold rush that began in 2008. Samsung is said to be pitching the Galaxy Gear as a companion accessory to Samsung's already existing line of smartphones, letting them access notifications and the like from their wrist.
Samsung had previously confirmed plans for a smartwatch in March.
"We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee, executive vice-president of Samsung’s mobile business. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."
Samsung has kept a pretty tight seal on exact details for its smartwatch. We know the name and that it's on the way, but actual photos of the device are yet to emerge. There were leaks of the Samsung Altius earlier this year, but it's not clear if that's the same product as the Gear.
On Monday, GigaOm's Om Malik reported on key details of the smartwatch. The long-time tech journalist says to expect a 2.5-inch screen, dual-core processor with decent battery life, a camera integrated into the watch strap, speakers built into the watch's clasp and sensors for fitness tracking.
The Galaxy Note 3, on the other hand has been leaked aplenty. If reports are to be believed we'll see a 5.68-inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, Octa-core processor with speeds at 1.8GHz (depending on which market you're in), 3GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 16GB/32GB/64GB storage options, microSD slot with support for an additional 64GB, and a 3200mAh battery.
The Galaxy Note 3 has long been an attractive product for a subset of customers who enjoy getting their hands on a larger screen. Samsung has employed such tactics to set apart from the competition with an outrageously large "phablet" - essentially to draw people to the Samsung brand away from Apple, once rumoured to be working on a larger device which is yet to appear.
As for software, the handset will reportedly feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Announced at Google I/O 2013 in May, the Android 4.3 software features restricted profiles ideal for friends and family, new notification access, easier text input, faster user-switching, dial pad autocomplete and background Wi-Fi location.
Thanks to SamMobile, we now know when to have our chequebooks ready
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