Samsung Unpacked IFA 2013 Live Blog: All The News As It Happened

Samsung Unpacked IFA 2013 Live Blog: All The News As It Happened

Samsung announced its long-awaited smart watch, and the next iteration in the Galaxy Note line — including the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). Here’s all the action from Germany how it happened.

All times are in AEST


And we’re live from Berlin! Forgive us for the spotty coverage but the Wi-Fi network in here redefines atrocious. We’ll do our best to bring you the news as it happens!


There’s a Ryan Seacrest lookalike hosting the event from Times Square in NYC, but we’re lucky enough to be here in the room.


JK Shin, President and CEO of the IT and Mobile Devices division is here telling us about the next generation of Galaxy Note. Get ready folks!


And there it is: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3!

Here are the specs you need to know:

It’s a 2.3GHz quad-core monster device complete with 3GB of internal RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, Category 4 LTE/4G speeds, up to 64GB of internal memory and a 3200mAh battery. The new Note even packs in 802.11 ac Wi-Fi standard for supercharged browsing on fixed networks, too.

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Australian Hands-On: Not Your Average Note

If you think that’s impressive, the international (3G) version comes with Samsung’s legendary 1.9GHz octa-core processor. You’ll have to go to some lengths to get your hands on that one, as it’s unlikely the octa-core will make it to Australia in favour of the 4G connectivity.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Everything You Need To Know

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin have all confirmed they’ll stock the Galaxy Note 3.
Pricing will be announced before pre-orders in coming weeks.


Samsung is now talking about Knox: its BYOD solution for keeping your personal and business information firewalled from each other to keep everything safe. It’s now ready for a global deployment.


But wait, here’s the Samsung Galaxy Gear! It’s gorgeous.

The Galaxy Gear is a wristwatch that acts as a smart remote to your Samsung Android smartphone.

Hands On: Samsung Galaxy Gear Australian Hands-On: The Maxwell Smart-Watch

The Gear runs an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory, a 1.9-megapixel camera with autofocus, all concealed underneath a 1.63-inch SuperAMOLED (320×320 pixel) face.

It also features a bunch of apps from Samsung and other developers currently on the Samsung Store. Apps include Samsung’s ChatON, S-Voice, Memographer for photos and videos, Pedometer, Media Controller, Stopwatch and Timer. Notable third-party support comes from the likes of MyFitnessPal, Evernote, Glympse maps, eBay, Line messaging, RunKeeper, Tripit and Banjo are all there.

As far as apps are concerned, Samsung is promising 70 third-party apps with Gear support on launch day.

The Gear comes in six different colours at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green.

Telstra has announced it will range the new Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear when it comes to Australia. Pricing and availability will be confirmed at a later date.


Samsung is pitching it as a companion device to the Note 3. More support is coming soon.


“…there’s just one more thing,” teases JK. It’s the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition! More on that one soon.


Menno Van Den Berg, VP of Samsung Electronics Netherlands is up now to go into more detail about the Note 3.

“The fun part of this is watching all the rumours leading up to it. What we noticed was people talking about big screens,” says Menno. Surely he was a little on edge when the Gear prototype got leaked in its entirety, right?


We’re now looking at a video of where the Galaxy Note came from. From right back in 2011 when the phablet became a thing, right through to the Note tablets and the new Note 3 today. You’ve come a long way, baby.


We’re now going through the colours, accessories and craftsmanship of the Note 3. It’s ditched plastic in favour of gorgeous stitched leather.


We’re now having a faux fashion show of the new colours. Very trendy.


David Park of Samsung Electronics’ marketing team is here to tell us about the new S-Pen features, including Air Command.

By hovering the S-Pen over the screen and clicking its button, you now get access to a radial menu featuring a few new features designed to leverage the Note 3’s giant screen and handy power.

You get new apps including Action Memo for grabbing quick notes, Scrapbook for highlighting and storing web, video and image clippings (a la Evernote or Skitch), S-Finder which searches your whole device including settings and hand-written notes.


It’s incredible how the new Note software looks at your handwritten notes to pull out actionable information and execute it by putting it into Maps, into a To-Do list or even into your dialler or Contacts.


We’re now talking about the new multi-window functionality which also allows you to call up more apps on top of your existing environment.

Also, you can open up the same app in two different windows, so you can have two Chrome windows open at the same time, or two ChatOn windows, etc.


There’s also a cool new feature called Multi-Vision. It’s similar to the Group Play feature on the Galaxy S4 which allowed you to stream multiple songs into an array.

With Multi-Vision, you can connect up to three Galaxy Note 3 devices to expand the screen size.


And off goes David. He’s coming back however, he tells us.

Pranav Mistry, the head of the Think Tank Team for Samsung Research America is up now.

His role at Samsung is to “imagine and create”. He’s here to talk about wearable tech and the Galaxy Gear.


“Introducing, the Galaxy Gear! Welcome to the future. We wanted to make something straight out of sci-fi,” proclaims Mr Mistry.

“Galaxy Gear is tomorrow’s state-of-the-art.”


It all connects to the new Galaxy Note 3 via Bluetooth 4.0, but Samsung is promising that the Gear Manager app will be compatible with other devices like the Galaxy S4 and other Note devices in due time.

As far as release date is concerned, the Galaxy Gear will hit the market on 25 September. We’re still waiting on price.


The remote features also work in tandem with your phone, so for example, if you’re looking at a notification on your wrist, you can tap it or even just pull your phone out of your pocket and it will take you straight to the information you were looking at on the big screen so you don’t have to go digging for it again.


The Gear also comes with a 1.9-megapixel camera mounted in the middle of the strap between the face and the buckle, designed for grabbing quick snaps when something happens that you don’t have time to get your phone out for. It’s a feature called Memographer, and feeds nicely into the Galaxy Note 3’s ideology of taking quick snaps and grabbing information fast for access later.

Interestingly, images and videos aren’t stored on the device for very long. It has a 4GB internal memory that isn’t expandable, but to it’s mainly designed for caching files before they’re transferred in the background to your smartphone via Bluetooth.


I can imagine that privacy wonks might throw up a few complaints about the Memographer functionality. It’s a stealthy camera stored on your wrist, complete with image and video capture. We’ll see how that goes.


The Gear will have its own bespoke app store. Right now there are 70 apps


Right now, the Galaxy Gear is only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1

Galaxy S III, S4 and Note II users will get an update in October for their Galaxy Gear compatibility.


We’re back on the Note 3 now, touching on the audio and video capabilities. This is pretty interesting actually:

It packs 24-bit 192-KHz audio playback for crisp sound, and depending on the model, you can even take UHD/4K footage. We’ll have to see if that’s on the Australian model.


There’s now a weird movie on about a puppet show. Don’t ask me what it has to do with what we’re talking about.


It’s worth pointing out we have an Australian hands-on of both the new Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear. Get into it!


Oh God. That movie was the actual TV ad for the Note 3. Right-o then.


Note 10.1 2014 Edition time now. Bottom line? It’s a bigger, prettier version of the Note 3 which can’t possibly be as bad as the last Note 10.1.

Here are the specs:

“Following the success of the Samsung GALAXY Note range in Australia, we are excited to confirm that Samsung GALAXY Note 3 as well as the innovative new GALAXY Gear and the GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) will all be launching in Australia soon. Pricing and availability information will be made available closer to the launch date.”


And that’s a wrap!

Here’s Samsung’s statement regarding pricing and availability of all the nifty gadgets:

Following the success of the Samsung GALAXY Note range in Australia, we are excited to confirm that Samsung GALAXY Note 3 as well as the innovative new GALAXY Gear and the GALAXY Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) will all be launching in Australia soon. Pricing and availability information will be made available closer to the launch date.

Lots of not much right there. We’ve been told you can expect it within the next two months.

Thanks for joining us for our live blog!

Disclosure: Luke Hopewell travelled to IFA 2013 in Berlin as a guest of Samsung