Samsung holds dual Note launch, demos VR tech
Global smartphone leader introduces Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Gear VR
Samsung Electronics yesterday expanded its Galaxy Note range with two smartphone launches, the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
The South Korean iRival introduced a refreshed S Pen and a tweaked screen for the Note 4. The 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED display was designed to produce "clearer and more vivid images with deep contrast, better viewing angles, and response times as fast as a millionth of a second", according to Samsung.
"Due to its large screen, the refined Multi Window feature is able to maximise the user's experience providing them with the key to easier multi-tasking," Samsung said in a statement. "Users can choose how they access their applications with full, split or pop-up screens, and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one intuitive swipe."
The camera system has also been upgraded for the Note 4. The 16-megapixel rear-facing camera features a Smart Optical Image Stabiliser designed for counter-balancing camera shake and automatically extending exposure time in dark settings. It is complemented by a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9, which offers a default 90-degree shooting angle and up to 120-degree wide angle for group selfies.
The Note 4's supplementary features include a Fast Charging facility and Ultra Power Saving Mode. It also comes equipped with multiple microphones and an improved speaker phone aimed at better noise cancellation when speaking in loud environments. The Note 4 also offers an upgraded Fingerprint Scanner and a UV sensor, said to be the world's first to be embedded in a mobile device.
The Note series' trademark S Pen has been "specifically evolved" to serve as "the primary tool that users go to for common, everyday mobile device use". The updated pen is aimed at "a much more authentic pen experience, with a more natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen", Samsung said. The S Pen also enhances the Air Command functionality and includes other utilities such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select. A new Smart Select feature allows the user to piece together content from different sources, and share it.
The Galaxy Note 4 also provides users with multiple note-taking methods integrated with Samsung's S Note application. In addition to typing and writing, the Snap Note feature allows users to take a picture of their notes on a paper or a classroom board, and convert to the S Note. They can also jot down ideas with the Voice Memo.
The device features a premium-style curved metal frame that blends with the display. The 2.5D glass screen, inherited from the Galaxy S3, is designed to be hardy, while a soft-textured back cover is geared towards comfort and grip, for one-handed use.
Galaxy Note Edge
The Note Edge comes with a curved screen and provides access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality - even when the cover is closed - with the swipe of a thumb.
The Edge runs on a 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor. The display is a 5.6-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440 + 160) and it runs Android 4.4 (KitKat).
Users can also receive notifications directly on the Edge Screen while watching videos without navigating away from their viewing of the video.
Samsung has joined with Facebook Inc's virtual reality acquisition Oculus, to create VR headsets for use with the Note 4.
The VR headset is aimed at immersive games and virtual world interaction, leading to "a completely new way to experience and consume mobile content", according to Samsung.
The Gear VR mirrors the display of the Note 4 to provide 360 3D video. Samsung highlighted the ergonomics of the headset, built with "soft, flexible cushioning and lightweight materials".
"The Galaxy Note series signalled extraordinary innovation within the technology industry," said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT and Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics.
"Its larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology launched a new standard in smartphone culture. With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world. The new Galaxy Note 4 introduces the most refined Note experience to date by combining all the latest technology that users expect from the Galaxy series."
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The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in Charcoal Black, Frost White, Bronze Gold and Blossom Pink in global markets starting in October and the Galaxy Note Edge will be available in Charcoal Black and Frost White in selected markets later this year. The Gear VR will be available in Frost White through selected carriers this year. No precise information on territories, release dates or pricing details are available yet for any of the products.