Samsung unpacks powered-up Galaxy Note 4, curved-edged Galaxy Note Edge
As expected, Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy Note 4 on Wednesday—the company's latest addition to its signature phablet series. The company also surprised viewers with a second phablet called the Galaxy Note Edge featuring a curved screen that displays content on—you guessed it—the edge of the device.
Galaxy Note 4
The new Galaxy Note 4 (pictured above) features a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 2560-by-1440 resolution, a step-up in resolution from the 5.7-inch 1080 display on the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung is offering two different processors for the Galaxy Note 4 depending on your country or carrier. Samsung didn't specify which one was headed to the U.S., but it will be either a 2.7GHz or 1.9Ghz double quad-core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) processor.
For cameras, you get a 16 mega-pixel rear-facing snapper with optical image stabilization and a 3.7MP front-facing camera with a f1.9 wide-angle lens for selfies and video chat. Samsung is selling the Note 4 with 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and an expandable microSD slot for an additional 64GB.
Connectivity on the Note 4 includes 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and LTE.
Beyond the specs, Samsung spent a lot of time highlighting the usefulness of the S Pen--the Note's built-in stylus. With the Note 4, Samsung has added double the pressure sensitivity for what the company says is a more natural feel for handwriting.
The S Pen also has a feature called Smart Select, the lets you copy-and-paste multiple items from multiple sources simultaneously, such as images or blocks of texts. Bringing a little PC flavor to the Note 4, the S Pen also has a PC mouse-like click-and-drag feature for selecting multiple items at once such as a grid of images.
The helpful multi-window multitasking feature also gets some tweaks in the Note 4; you're now able to launch multiple apps from within the Recent Apps screen. You can also use the S Pen to manually resize apps, then drag-and-drop them around the screen; dragging an app to an edge enables a split view similar to the Snap feature found in Windows 8.
The Galaxy Note 4 weighs in at 0.38 pounds and is 0.33-inches thick, and comes in black, white, gold, and pink, framed by a metal band to give the phone a more premium flavor. Pricing and a U.S. release date were note announced, but initial global rollout for the Note 4 begins in October.
Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung also revealed the Galaxy Note Edge on Wednesday, a 5.6-inch phablet with a similar quadHD Super AMOLED display with 2560-by-1440 display. Unlike the Note 4, however, the Edge has a curved display that reaches past the right side of the screen. Samsung displayed a prototype of a curved edge device in late 2013.
The Edge's curved display allows the device to display seven different panels on the side of the device that act independently of the main screen. The side panel can display items such as most-used apps, scrolling text notifications, and camera controls. It can also be customized with the image of your choice.
Samsung will offer two different flip wallet covers to store the device and take advantage of the edge display. The side display works even when the device's cover is closed and also shunts notifications to the side of the device when using the main screen for watching full-screen video.
Other specs on the Edge are similar to the Note 4 including the 2.7GHz quad-core processor, the same rear- and front-facing cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and LTE.
The Edge comes in 32GB and 64GB flavors, with an expandable microSD slot for an additional 64GB, and 3GB RAM. Samsung's new phablet is also around the same weight as the Note.
The Galaxy Edge comes in back and white, and is slated for select global markets later in 2014.
Both the Galaxy Note 4 and the Note Edge come loaded with Android 4.4, KitKat.
Updated at 11:30 a.m. with a video report from IDG News Service.
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