It is impossible not to recognize the Samsung pavilion in the huge number of IFA electronics exhibition stands. Traditionally, Koreans occupy one of the largest halls for holding their events — here you can test samples, and perform artists, and various competitions. Basically, I was ready for this. But I didn’t prepare for the fact that right during the shooting of the video, someone could come up and grab a brand new gadget or just turn their fifth point into the lens and flicker in the frame.
In the end, I managed to push everyone with my shoulders with the words “Sorry, guys, I’m shooting video” and I still felt some interesting new products from Samsung — the Galaxy Note 4 tablet phone and the Gear S standalone smart watch.
I’ll try to explain right away why there is no information about a strange smartphone in my report from the Samsung booth Galaxy Edge and a virtual reality helmet Galaxy VR. It’s all about the huge excitement around the new products of the Korean company, thanks to which there were from three to seven people around almost every test sample. In order to somehow organize this uncontrolled flow, a closed pavilion was organized with the main novelty Samsung Galaxy Note 4, where I had to stand in line for about 40 minutes. Now closer to the point.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
This is Galaxy Note 4, the latest generation of the world’s most popular tablet phone, that is, a smartphone with the largest possible screen. At first glance, outwardly, it practically does not differ from last year’s model. But something is wrong, something has changed a lot. As soon as you take it in your hands, everything becomes immediately clear. Yes, it’s metal!
This year alone, the requests of a huge number of Galaxy smartphone users were heard in Seoul, and just two months ago, sales of the first Galaxy Alpha smartphone with a metal frame around the screen started. The same trick was used on the Galaxy Note 4 — the square frame became metallic and shaped a bit like the Draco cases for the iPhone 5/5s. The colors have also changed — now there is black (exactly like Space Gray), white, gold and pink.
The rest of the case has remained the same – the back cover is still made of plastic, decorated to look like leather, and the huge screen is covered with tempered glass Gorilla Glass 3. The smartphone has become stricter and, perhaps, even more premium due to the metal frame, but unprepared for such dimensions the user will have to get used to it. Actually, as is the case with the iPhone 6 Plus. By the way, pay attention to the new “black” frame color of the Galaxy Note 4. I don’t understand why it wasn’t called Space Gray.
Now let’s move on to the second significant change in the new product. This is a Quad HD screen with a resolution 2560 by 1440 dotsmade with Super AMOLED technology. Is this an advantage over other smartphones with the same screen size? In my personal experience with the LG G3, I will say that this is more of a marketing ploy than really something useful for the user. Wow, my 40-inch Sony TV that I bought this spring has a screen resolution of 1920x1080. That is, theoretically, the resolution of a 5.7‑inch display can be increased up to 4K, but does this make sense? Hardly.
I didn’t manage to go through the Galaxy Note 4’s software innovations normally, but I tested both new cameras. They definitely got better, especially for the front camera. Directly below the screen is a 3.7‑megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture that can take panoramic selfies. It’s scary to imagine what will happen to my Instagram feed now.
We have greatly expanded the functions that the S Pen can perform, which, as before, is placed in the hole at the bottom of the smartphone. True, a minute before I wanted to take the stylus in my hands, which was nearby in a special glass, someone very overweight leaned on it with his whole body and broke it. The booth employees looked around in bewilderment and… put the pieces of the S Pen back into the cup. What happens to such styluses in everyday life is still unclear. They say it’s convenient.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 I liked more than last year’s tablet phone from Koreans and, I think, this is the most important thing. He became outwardly more serious and presentable, smarter and got improved pieces of iron. Let’s compare it soon with the iPhone 6 Plus and then we’ll talk in more detail.
Samsung Galaxy Gear S
In the pursuit of human technology that is needed in everyday life, I once again stumbled upon exclusively geeky gadgets. Meet these standalone smartwatches Samsung Galaxy Gear Swhich can work without an Android smartphone thanks to the built-in slot for a SIM card format Micro SIM and wireless modules.
With the design, the Korean Jony Ive didn’t bother much and simply reduced the Samsung Galaxy smartphone, curved it quite strongly in the shape of a hand and attached a wide strap at the back. This whole design does not look like a watch, in fact, and it performs the same functions as a smartphone. Knows how to call, poison messages, use social networks and more.
True, the functionality compared to conventional smart watches of the same division is not as wide due to the operating system on which the Gear S runs. This is a modified Tizen, which now frankly resembles Android, but does not have a huge number of developers of the young Android platform wear.
Screen Samsung Galaxy Gear S — 2 inches with a resolution of 320 x 480. Of the features — a built-in heart rate sensor, which is now no surprise. By the way, there are no cameras. It remains only to understand the ways of using these unusual smartwatches. It is important to remember that this is a standalone gadget that may not be paired with a smartphone. If you have a couple of options, share them in the comments.
From all presented, it will be interesting to look at the further development of the Galaxy Note line and what will happen to the fourth generation, which will now have a hard time due to the iPhone 6 Plus. Already in the next month or two, both smartphones will be on hand, then we will compare them. And now I have to run further, ahead of the stand of Sony and Huawei.
Other materials on IFA 2014:
— Visiting Philips
— Visiting Parallels
— Impressions of Philips TVs
— Saeco smart coffee maker that is iPad friendly
— Toshiba. Ideas run out