It’s an exciting time to be a (sometime) tech blogger. The folks over at Samsung have given me the Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear to play with, experiment with and experience the latest gadgets that are pushing the boundaries in innovation (and size?).
The Samsung Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear. I am naming them both Bella!
The Galaxy Note III is now the top-of-the-range Android device in the market. For comparable devices in its range, it comes out clearly on top. The phablets in the market include the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Optimus G Pro. The Note III gives you the functionality of a small tablet, but at the same time the portability of a mobile phone.
In the coming weeks, I will do a detailed review of both the Note III (and reveal the cool stuff) and the accompanying Galaxy Gear. In the meantime, I’m doing an introduction to whet your appetites
The Galaxy Note III
- Best PhabletIt cannot be compared to the ‘best’ phones in the market right now (we’re talking iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nokia Lumia 1020, HTC One) because it will not be a fair comparison. It is much bigger in size, thus making room for enhanced specifications like battery life, screen size, memory and so on. Any other phablets are nowhere near in terms of specifications and user experience. So it’s a phablet in its own class.
Galaxy Note 3 vs iPhone 5s
Perhaps it can be compared with its predecessor, the Note II. Here is a post I did explaining why one may want to upgrade from Note II.
And although it might seem like a huge device, it does fit in the pocket, comfortably.
This is actually one of my more fitting jeans. I took this picture with the Galaxy Gear.
- Improved Design and SpecificationsI love the look and feel of my Note III. I have the white one and the back feels like leather (although it’s plastic).
The back of the Note III
Memory: I have the 32GB version of internal memory and I can comfortably carry Scandal and other series in addition to the countless pictures I take (of my son).
Screen Display: upgraded to High Definition. Awesome when reading or browsing the web, or watching videos.
The Front of the Note 3
Better camera: 13MP at the rear, 2MP in front.
For a complete list of features and specifications, check out the Samsung website.
- S-PenThe S-Pen is one of the key features of the Galaxy Note-series. Once you plug it out, you get shortcuts to features like the S-Note, Action Memo and air command gestures that premiered with the S4.
The Pop-up shortcuts on pulling out the S-Pen:
Pop up menu
The Galaxy Gear
- The concept for a wearable smartwatch has been around for quite a while. However, while many prototypes have been developed, the gear is the one of the few that are actually useful (and usable).
- Setting it UpTo set it up, I first downloaded the Gear Manager from the Samsung Apps store on the Note III. Once that is done, ensure NFC is on, then bring the phone near and tap with the Gear, and the two will pair. With the Gear manager app on the Note 3, you can manage applications on the gear.
Pairing the Galaxy Gear with Note III
Once they are paired, the gear automatically picks default settings from the Note, and settings such as time, weather, contacts etc. They remain connected through bluetooth.
- Look and FeelIt may look a little thicker than an ordinary strap watch, but it stands out and looks good on the wrist. The strap is adjustable to fit your wrist size. he watch has a responsive screen which you can swipe to locate apps, such as contacts, call logs, camera, gallery, S-Voice, Voice memo etc. Will get into more details in a later post.
Galaxy Gear display
- Camera, Speaker, MicrophoneIt comes with a 2MP camera that can take some decent (and discreet) photos and videos.With the speaker and microphone, the watch can be used to receive calls as if one was on loudspeaker mode on the Note III. I have found this especially useful when driving.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Gear is only compatible with the Note III at the moment. Thus if you don’t have a Note III, the Gear is useless to you.
The cost of the Note III in the shops is about Ksh 75,000 and that of the Gear is about Ksh. 25,000. So in total, you are talking Kshs. 100,000. So you can choose to just have the Note III on its own.
When together, they create an elegant image that can’t be denied, see the ad image below. If you can afford the devices, they will definitely complement your style (and class!)
The elegant Samsung lady