Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Do We Need an Even Bigger Galaxy Note Display? Samsung Says Yes.

It’s not the announcement you’ve all been waiting for — that would be the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch — but it is another phablet!

At the Samsung Galaxy Gear event today in Berlin, Germany, Samsung’s head of mobile, J.K. Shin, showed off the newest version of the Note smartphone — a “slimmer, lighter” device with an even “larger screen and better battery life.”

The leather-backed Galaxy Note 3 varies slightly in design from earlier versions of the Note, which first hit the market in 2011 and effectively launched the “phablet” category. It has a 5.7-inch, full-HD Super AMOLED screen, compared with the 5.5-inch screen of its predecessor.

The Note 3 is said to support faster, more seamless LTE, and will work across a variety of wireless network types. It has a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, and is running on the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, 4.3. And it still works with an S Pen stylus, also said to be improved.

It has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with a backside-illuminated sensor, a two-megapixel front camera, and captures full HD video at either 30 frames per second or 60 fps. It comes with either 32 gigabytes or 64GB of storage, and has a 3,200-milliamp battery.

And, as is featured in other, newer Galaxy Smartphones, the Note 3 includes the Smart Scroll feature, Air View and Air Gesture.

Some other key features: A multitasking capability labeled “Pen Window,” which lets you draw a box on the phone’s screen and run, within that box, other useful applications; S-Finder, which can search through the whole phone; and a scrapbook feature, in which users can drop photos, videos and Web pages.

Shin also showed compatibility with the much-anticipated Samsung smartwatch, receiving notifications on his Gear wristwatch while he showed off the Note 3 on stage.

The Note 3 will come to the U.S. market later this year, and will be available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular. We’re still waiting on pricing information, but it will undoubtedly be sold at a premium.

With Samsung introducing smartphones and tablets of varying shapes and sizes, it’s getting harder to categorize the Note as the one-off and sort of endearing “phablet.” Case in point: The company also has the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega, which falls somewhere between a very large smartphone and a seven-inch tablet.

Over five million units of Samsung’s Galaxy Note II were sold in its first couple months on the market late last year, marking it as a success for the Korean electronics maker — and offering evidence that larger phone screens may, indeed, be coming into vogue (in some markets more than others).

However, it’s safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch is what stole the show for Samsung today, with the Note 3 appearing as its main supporting actor.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald