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Samsung unveiled several new additions to their consumer electronics family today, less than a week before Apple is expected to announce their next-generation iPhone. Samsung started today’s announcements with the Galaxy Note 3. The new phone includes improved cellular radios, a larger 5.7″ 1080p display, 3 GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, better support for enterprise customers, and general improvements to battery life. The Note 3 is available in both 32 GB and 64 GB models.

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Samsung also announced an updated version of the Note 10.1 “2014 edition” tablet with improvements to the display, speakers, and leather cover. Once again Samsung appears to be attempting to get ahead of Apple’s rumored upcoming releases, as the Cupertino company is expected to release an updated 10-inch iPad and iPad mini sometime in October.

However, the biggest announcement today was Samsung’s apparent answer to Apple’s as-of-yet officially unconfirmed entry to the wearable computing market.

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The Galaxy Gear smartwatch is Samsung’s first attempt at a wearable companion device for their lineup of smartphones. The watch features include a 320×320 color touchscreen, built-in speaker and microphone for use during phone calls, Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to a Samsung phone, and half a gig of RAM. It also sports a 1.9 MP camera in the wristband capable of shooting photos and ten-second video clips, and a pedometer. The watch is only available in 4 GB.

While the Galaxy Gear focuses on interacting with your phone without having to touch the actual phone, Apple’s “iWatch” entry to the wearable space—which it seems Samsung is trying to get ahead of—is believed to have a greater focus on fitness and health based on a series of recent hires.

The Galaxy Gear will go on sale for $299 on September 25th, along with the updated Note devices announced today.

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33 Responses to “Samsung announces Galaxy Gear smartwatch, bolsters Note lineup with larger screen & improved specs”

    • rettun1 says:

      But in all seriousness, I’m sure the phone will sell pretty well, and maybe the new tablet will too. But I feel like the gear was just rushed to market for the sake of beating Apple to it.

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      • So what if Samsung did rush these products to market. Isn’t that the name of the game, beating the other guy.

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      • Agreed. It seems like a bit of a ripoff. I am not impressed with the general design, either.

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      • yeah…if and when Apple comes out with a smartwatch, people will forget and just say Apple is ripping off samsung. Or better yet not innovating even if the Apple smart watch blows Samsungs out the water.

        I actually think Samsung did Apple a favor. They will create the market for smart watches, which Apple likes, and Apple can learn from their mistakes.

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      • standardpull says:

        I gotta say that my experience with Samsung products is that they’re cheaply made. I had a Galaxy tab, a P&S Camera, and a printer. ALL made me happy enough when I first got them, but soon I discovered their weaknesses, and they ALL failed me unexpectedly after light-duty usage. Their life before the scrap bin was way too short.

        It’ll be a long while before I go back to Samsung.

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  1. Will be interesting to see what Apple has up.. it’s.. ehrm… sleeve…

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  2. I hope the talk of Apple devoting resources to a watch doesn’t pan out to be true. I just think it’s a huge waste. I don’t wear a watch, I dont’ want to wear a watch, and I’m certainly not going to wear one because taking my phone out of my pocket is too difficult.

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    • I do wear a watch most of the days. And ever since the Pebble came out I’m hooked. It is so much easier peeking at the watch who sent a message or which mail came in or, shocker, how late it is than trying to pull the phone out of the pocket.

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    • People said that of the iPad – that no one would use it and that it would never replace a notebook and while true, people find all kinds of new uses for the iPad. As a developer that’s what makes me excited about the smart watch. What new application can we make from it… not how to tell time.

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    • That all being said, there is a whole generation of people that have watched things like Power Rangers, Futurama, Beetleborgs, StarWars, etc that have dreamed of this type of thing. For ever one person that doesn’t buy something…there are millions who will. Look at the AppleTV. It was shit. Now, I can’t imagine not having it.

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  3. Timo Genzen says:

    When will Samsung eventually have people run their presentations who can speak English?

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  4. Wait……didn’t Texas Instruments have a watch 20 years ago that had a phone book and IR to control your TV……..not feeling this watch yet! I’m not that lazy that I can’t pull out my phone and make a call…. This also has a camera, sounds like a watch for stalkers.

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  5. great hardware specs which always seem to be better sounding than apple but then android os and software always make you want to throw the large screen device.

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    • mkimid says:

      I agree, still Apple has very big advantage in OS, they can customize their OS in Kernel level for watch. Even lower H/W, can make better and smoother functions

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    • People forget that hardware specs don’t make the device. The iPhone 4 can play games with intense and beautiful graphics, yet, the same generation of Android with much high specs could not. Androids need the “better” hardware because their OS is a hog when it comes to resources and does not manage them right. iOS has the benefit of being designed around each device Apple makes for it. The “iWatch” will be much better.

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      • standardpull says:

        That’s because marketing droids write spec sheets – most spec sheets are designed to fool non-technical people into false ideas like “more cores and more megapixels means faster and better”.

        Sadly, many fall for this nonsense. This is why Apple’s approach of not highlighting these details is the right one – the specs mean nothing unless you have a LOT more information. That more information than could not fit into a simple spec sheet. The ONLY proof of performance is using the device for the application(s) you need.

        Anyhow, this spec sheet problem is an Android problem, because there you have to compare devices based on OS capability, RAM, CPU, GPU, IO, etc.

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  6. Galaxy Gear is ugly. But at least they avoid a new Apple vs. Samsung legal battle for copying iWatch.
    Oh wait! I see a new Samsung vs. Apple legal battle for copying the Gear. :-|

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  7. mkimid says:

    I do not understand why try to put too much into the watch, it is a just supporting device.

    First, they need a light version of OS (android or iOS) for the watch device. They will need to slimming on the kernel level. in this point, Apple should has a big advantage because of they have one for iPod nano even they need to slimming also. I think, Samsung use a rip-out version of android.

    Second, the light OS will make the reduce the processor requirements such as Single 200MHz Cortex-A7 processor. and reduce the power requirements for the application also.

    Third, they need to minimize the functions, motion-sensor, gyro-sensor, if just needed, photometric heart-beat rate sensor and NFC or BT for streaming from Phone/Pad to watch.

    They need much longer battery life and more thin design.

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  8. ….and the ridiculous product creations war begins.

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  9. Why is this on the “Apple side” of 9to5? I could care less about anything Samsung does with Android. This belongs with the “Google side” at it does not pertain to Apple devices and software more than to say they got to it first.

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  10. i have seen all before by the end of the year will have the Galaxy gear Note 4 smart-watch at 7 inches.

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  11. dryeyes says:

    Here’s how you can tell Samsung has absolutely zero imagination and doesn’t know the first thing about design.
    We’re talking about an extension of your phone for your wrist. It doesn’t need to look like a watch at all – in fact there are much more creative and practical ways of incorporating an info-display around your wrist.
    Who hires these untalented people??? And why do they still have a job today???

    …nevertheless I have to admit that Samsung makes some very good refrigerators.

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  12. “The watch is only available in 4 GB” I never thought I would hear such a phrase…the times we live in.

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  13. $300 for cheap galaxy gear, then they say Apple premium products are expensive. Sorry Samsung u never impressed me, lets wait for another year may be ull sell something to me. And last but not lease life isn’t just taking notes.

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  14. frankman91 says:

    Everyone needs to calm down and just take a breath. All this ranting is making the Apple community look just plain bitter.

    The new galaxy note is a cool phone. The presentation highlighted the stylus and note taking features because its what separates it from a very crowded android market. If you owned the phone and never used the stylus, its still a nice, large format android phone. If android is not for you, than just don’t buy it. If you are unhappy with the large format, android, and even Samsung, has a phone option for you in just about every fractional size from 3-6 inches. Big hands, small hands, large pockets, small pockets, purse, no purse, they have something that will make you happy. This was just an announcement for a new phone, no need to tare it apart.

    The galaxy gear watch is just their first attempt at a watch. It has some novel features so give a little credit where credit is due. I like that it has NFC because sever shops in my area allow you to pay with it, so I could just bump my watch on the counter and have payed, that is cool. I also like that I can no bust my phone out just because annoying.com sent me spam and made my phone beep. As for the price, $300 is completely fair, my crappy fossil watch was $120 and it does nothing, no Bluetooth, no camera, no NFC, no touch screen etc. What did you want the thing to cost.

    Go on 9to5google and see how much reaction these devices got, its like 2 comments to your 30. Freakin nuts people!

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