Samsung’s UNPACKED Episode 2 event is scheduled for September 4th at IFA 2013 and we know that the South Korean manufacturer will introduce the latest iteration of its Note devices, the Galaxy Note III.
The original Note made a huge impact in the market, creating a whole new sector of people desiring gigantic two-handed devices and it probably even helped push the size of regular smartphones beyond what the market had back in 2011.
We also started to see rumors of a Galaxy Gear smartwatch that could be introduced along the Note III and now Sammobile is confirming that it will indeed be unveiled on the same UNPACKED event. The Galaxy Gear (SM-V700) will be an accessory to Samsung’s Galaxy phones so it seems that it’s more of a wearable companion than a stand alone smartwatch. We don’t know if it will work with any smartphone, if it’s just for Android phones or if it’s exclusive to Samsung but, knowing Samsung, I think the latter is the best guess. Samsung wants their devices to be an ecosystem of their own and having this kind of device locked down to their own brand certainly helps to accomplish that.
No one knows exactly how it will look, although we’ve seen some pretty cool concept designs. Samsung already has flexible displays and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think the Galaxy Gear will have one giving the device a bigger display without adding too much bulk while at the same time helping with the ergonomics.
We’re starting to see a trend from some manufacturers to include a smaller device to compensate the increasing size of these phones. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra has a Smart Bluetooth Clip and the HTC Butterfly in China has a “Mini” device that even has a keyboard to act as a phone. Realistically, a smartwatch companion is a much better option than a second device that you have to put in your pocket or clip to your jacket which is much easier to lose.
The Galaxy Note III will have a 5.68 inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 3GB of RAM and it’s likely to come with Android 4.3 Jellybean but this is not a minor detail. If Samsung’s plan for the Galaxy Gear is to be the perfect companion for the device, it has to be able to display every single notification that comes to the phone and that means using the new notification service API. Another 4.3 feature the Galaxy Gear would take advantage is Bluetooth LE, something pretty handy if you plan to have a smartwatch connected all day.
If Samsung releases a smartwatch, then you can be sure other manufacturers will follow soon and that means the smartwatch market is about to get some serious competition which always ends up with one winner: consumers.