The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is real, and it’s right here. As is a new phone called the Note Edge, a new wearable and Samsung’s first Virtual Reality headset powered by the Oculus Rift! Here’s all the news as it happened from IFA 2014!
Image: Sean Gallup / Getty
The live blog and event kicks off in earnest at 11pm AEST tonight.
Every year for the last few years Samsung has used IFA as a springboard to launch its next-generation wearables, as well as an awesome new Galaxy Note: the phablet that started it all. It’s a fair bet we’ll see a new one this year, given the fact that the invite for the event reads “Note the date!”.
Everyone has filed in to take their seats, and the live feed has kicked off!
If you want to watch the show live, head over here and stream it with us.
Don’t forget to check back here for all the latest news as it happens.
Look at all the people!
There’s a guy playing what I assume will be the Samsung ringtone on a Synth and what might very well be a Galaxy Note 4…
I can’t quite tell…
Whatevs. We’re bound to see it soon anyway.
Oh no, wait. We’re getting more music first.
And we begin! Starting with a video of kids cutting stuff out, people getting lost at sea and then some architects. Woo!
“Are You Ready To Note?,” Samsung asks, before introducing us to our three hosts.
We’re 15 minutes in, and I think we can finally start talking about something new.
Here’s DJ Lee from Samsung to kick things off.
Looks like Mr Lee is wearing a new Galaxy S. Shiny.
Mr Lee believes the smartphone will now become your wallet, your TV, your health coach and your computer for work productivity. Those are your breakout features to look out for in Samsung Bingo then.
Something tells me this one is going to go for a while. Buckle up, folks.
And so we move onto the Galaxy Note family.
New Note time!
It’s the Galaxy Note 4!
So we get a new design, a “refined” S-Pen experience and “new features”, pictured with the Samsung Download Boost icon.
New phone alert!
There’s a new one called the Galaxy Note Edge!
The first phone to use a one of a kind edge screen to maximise the experience with new display technology. In case you can’t tell, the screen actually bends around the edge of the phone itself. Nifty!
Just a moment on the photos, folks.
We’re getting a new wearable format too. Samsung Gear VR is official!
Ok, let’s get into it.
The Note 4 has LTE Category 6 (phwoar), and “the latest software from Google”. So Android L when it ships. Gives us a clue as to ship times!
The “soft-textured” back leather case is back on the Note 4, and a full metal frame.
The 2.5D glass is back and more durable according to Samsung.
It weights 176g and is 8.5mm thick. You can also get it in four colours.
The UX has also had an overhaul, with dynamic lock screens from Flickr, a new “transparent UI” on the home screen.
The Note 4 has a 5.7-inch qHD AMOLED screen. So that’s the same size as the old one, but with a much better screen.
Multi-Window is back, and Samsung is making it easier to find. Swiping with the S-Pen now minimises the window, making applications smaller and stick them to the foreground. You can then press again to make a half-screen app, or turn it into an app bubble with another press.
Onto the new S-Pen. Turns out, it’s a key for your smartphone now. Whatever that means.
The S-Pen also has better handwriting now with doubled the sensitivity of the screen for better writing recognition. Calligraphy and fountain pen support are also in there now.
Samsung’s web clipping tool is back, and it’s now called Smart Select. Much quicker to use.
We’re now getting a demo of Smart Select, which is an overhaul of the clipping tool inside Air Command.
The Note 4 is making it easier to capture notes, with Snap Notes to take a photo of things, voice notes to talk at your phone and the enhanced handwriting recognition tools.
The Note 4 is getting better front and back-cameras. You get a 16-megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilisation on the rear, and a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera.
The front-camera now captures 60 per cent more light with a constant f1.9 lens for better “selfies” *drink*
Ok. So there’s a new thing called a we-fie. Like Ellen did at the Oscars. Samsung has invented a Wide Selfie mode for panoramic front camera shots with all your celebrity friends. The selfie has a new, awful dimension.
Samsung has spent “millions of hours” fixing the battery on the Note 4. Someone tell Gizmodo publisher Danny Allen. His runs out ALL the goddamn time.
New fast-charging capabilities means you can recharge from zero per cent to 50 per cent in 30 minutes.
Low power consumption means you get 7.5 per cent more power. That takes power from a 2300mAh battery, which is interesting considering it has to power a massive screen.
The new phone also gets Ultra Power Saving Mode too.
Take that HTC. There’s an LED cover for the Note 4.
And a horrible Swarovski one.
Mont Blanc has teamed up with Samsung to launch new accessories with the new Note.
Galaxy Gifts are back. You get 50GB of cloud storage free for two years, as well as a whole bunch of other free stuff with the Note 4.
We’re summing up the Note 4 now. The phone is coming in October!
Samsung Galaxy Edge time. This ought to be interesting.
The Note Edge is a special edition of the Galaxy Note 4. It offers an extended screen on the side of the device that developers can put stuff on.
They’re both qHD SuperAMOLED screens, and allow you to do stuff like store your docked apps, access quick tools or set it up as seven different banded panels.
It’s also handy when you’re watching content on horizontal orientation. Your notifications come up on the Edge Screen rather than in your face.
The Note Edge is coming to “selected markets” soon.
We’re moving onto the Gear S now. It has its own SIM card so you can do internet on your wrist for freedom.
This thing is MASSIVE.
The Gear S now supports 3G networks and Wi-Fi to make calls, and it has an on-screen QWERRT Keyboard.
The Gear S also has on-device speech support so it doesn’t need to talk to a server, making it faster.
There are over 1000 apps for the Gear ecosystem now, and Samsung will out a Here for Gear mapping service from Nokia for pedestrian navigation.
We’re also hearing about the Gear Circle headphones we wrote about last week.
Let’s get into Gear VR!
It’s mobile VR powered by the Note 4, which sounds terrifying.
It’s actually “powered by Oculus”. So the two seem to have that partnership going for you.
All you do is put your Note 4 into the VR headset and it customises itself to a stereoscopic experience.
By building it around Note 4, Samsung is able to make it a properly mobile, untethered VR experience. You know, if you want to look like an idiot at a bus stop.
There’s also a super-low refresh rate to trick your brain into accepting the experience, and give you a 96-degree viewing angle.
12:03am, 4 September
Oh hey, it’s John Carmack! Here to talk about cool Oculus stuff.
Carmack, the creator of Doom and CTO of Oculus, is talking about how fast the display and technology is on the Gear VR with Oculus and Note 4 to make it super-low latency and incredibly advanced.
Samsung is offering a “virtual movie cinema”, VR games and VR apps to make sure you can use your Oculus VR for lots of different stuff.
Marvel, 20th Century and Paramount are all on board, with other studios and partners for VR movie content.
And that’s all she wrote, folks!
Thanks for joining us for the live blog!
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