Samsung’s third take on its Note phablet made its much-anticipated debut tonight, featuring a revamped stylus, improved multi-tasking, more screen space and a slimmer form factor.
Showcased at the IFA tech expo in Berlin, the Galaxy Note 3 features a rethought S-Pen accessory that Samsung claims makes it “so much more than a pen”.
For the first time, the S-Pen can be used to control the handset and access functions via a floating fan-shaped menu that appears when users tap the screen with the stylus.
Samsung has also enhanced the multi-screen function, whereby users can use the stylus to draw a second window in which to run another app, and which was introduced with the Note 2.
Whereas before this could only be used for separate apps, it now enables the same app to be used simultaneously. This means, for instance, that owners could have multiple instant messaging conversations within the same app open at the same time.
Elsewhere, the handset is home to a larger 5.7-inch Super AMOLED Full HD screen – up from 5.5-inches for the Note 2 – as well as a 2.3Ghz quad-core processor, 4G LTE connectivity and a longer-life 3,200mAh battery.
The Note 3’s 168g, 8.3mm-thin frame also packs in 3GB of RAM included on the phone, plus a 13-megapixel camera with super-slick 4K video recording at 30fps.
Perhaps in response to the storage furore that blew up around the Galaxy S3, if you choose the top-end model and you’re looking at 64GB of internal storage.
Go with the entry-level model and you still get a pretty impressive 32GB. Both iterations offer microSD card too in case you need even more space to play with.
In a radical depature from earlier iterations, the Note 3 takes on the look and feel of an actual, real-world notebook, with a leather-effect outer.
Once again, this seems to be in direct response to criticism that the Galaxy S3 and Note 2's plastic construction felt cheap compared with the aluminum unibodies favoured by Apple and HTC's One flagship phone.
The Note 3 is set to go on sale worldwide on September 25th, with price points to be announced in the coming weeks.