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Headlining Samsung’s press event at IFA was the new and much improved Galaxy Note 4. This new phablet (a smartphone possessing the functionality of a tablet) improves upon its predecessor in almost every category and even throws in a few cool new features for good measure. Building on the success of the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung opted to hold on to the 5.7" display, which has been given a massive upgrade with a QHD Super AMOLED panel, complete with 2560 x 1440 resolution and coverage of up to 90% of the Adobe sRGB color spectrum for enhanced color accuracy. It also now sports a faster Snapdragon 805 chipset, and incorporates a heart-rate monitor and finger print scanner, as seen on Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone. The Galaxy Note 4 also leverages the power of the S-Pen by doubling the writing pressure for a more realistic writing experience, calligraphy and fountain pen writing options, and a long list of software options such as selecting multiple files and drag-and-drop PC-mimicking functionality. Samsung has upgraded both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras. The front-facing camera now features an impressive 3.7 MP lens complete with wide-angle selfie mode to take extra-wide selfies spanning up to 120 degrees. Powering this multi-tasking behemoth is a 3220 mAh battery that can be charged from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Galaxy Note Edge
The Galaxy Note Edge is the step-sibling to the aforementioned Galaxy Note 4, with a few tweaks; notably, a bent portion of the display that Samsung has titled Edge-Screen, and a slightly smaller 5.6" display. The edge of the phablet screen flows over to the lip of the device, creating a curved waterfall effect. With a QHD display, it features an additional 160-pixel row that makes up the bent portion of the display. This new edge-screen display allows you to extend your home screen with seven customizable scrollable panels. It can also be used as a separate screen altogether, with the ability to utilize the ExpressMe function that displays (along the curved portion) your personalized news feed from Yahoo. You can also play and pause video from edge-screen controls and even receive notifications.
Samsung Gear S
Smart watches are a thing now―and they just keep getting better and more functional. Samsung now lets you truly transform the way you interact with your watch. Until now, a majority of the function has been limited to the ability to view messages and notifications, take pictures, and receive phone calls. Additionally, smart watches always had to be linked directly to a compatible handset to utilize the true functionality of the device. Samsung effectively breaks that link with the Gear S, with its own 3G connection, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Now you only have to connect your smart watch to your smartphone to receive updates and download apps. The curved AMOLED display features an improved interface with new clock faces and simple swipe gestures to navigate through the menus. You also benefit from an integrated QWERTY keyboard, allowing you to text and respond to emails― along with much more―right from the Gear S. The Gear S is also designed to help you stay fit; it includes Samsung’s S-Health app. The S-Health app works with a variety of Bluetooth compatible health sensors, and it features a built-in pedometer, altimeter, and even a built-in UV sensor to avoid getting sunburned on those sweltering summer runs. Additionally, the Gear S features IP67 certification, which means it's resistant to mild dust and water exposure.
Samsung Gear VR
Snap the Galaxy Note 4 into the Samsung Gear VR and go on a virtual reality journey. With an integrated accelerometer and gyrometer, you can immerse yourself in a variety of multimedia content. Experience a concert from the stage; take a virtual tour of Marvel’s Avengers; try on an Iron Man mask; and much more. The square touch back and back button located on the side of the headset allow you to navigate menus, such as the app store, and activate pass-through video mode. Currently, there is very limited software for the Gear VR, since it is in its early stages but there is sure to be an ever-expanding variety of available applications once the true potential of this device is realized.
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