Top UAE #Tech Bloggers Review Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and Gear in Dubai UAE

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Samsung invited a group of influential tech bloggers, Twitterati and YouTubers for a hands-on sneak peek of the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 + Galaxy Gear at Oasi, Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai on Monday, 16 September. The event was attended and tweeted about by @4simplypurple @a_jad @Amanikins @bin_hafith @DaddyBird @Essa404 @Khaledtron @manishparashar @mazendubai @MoodyMohd @Mukitrocks @naheemu  @SalluHee @suniltjohn @SureshBhura  @tbreak_com  @TechPlugged @theregos – and of course @SamsungMobileME and myself @farrukhnaeem

Armani Hotel Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Being one of the earliest business bloggers from the UAE, and also a heavy Twitter and YouTube user, I got invited as well to try out Samsung’s latest offerings in Dubai.

Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Invite Dubai UAE

Haris Muneef, Head of Marketing – Telecommunications, Samsung Gulf Electronics, welcomed the eager tech lovers gathered around the gadgets under wraps.

Haris Munif Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Haris outlined the theme of the launch: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” A video showing this in a story followed.

Huzeifa Mustafa took us through the Galaxy Note 3 and Gear smart watch features on a large screen – from the impressive Air Command interface of the Note 3 to all kinds of fancy features like signature lock, multi-windows and ‘group play’ (enticing, isn’t it?) where many Note devices can be placed side by side and used as a single screen.

Huzeifa Mustafa Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Gear Dubai UAE Review Launch

Hovering over the screen with the S Pen and pressing its button opens up 5 functions in a ready-to-please floating window:
1. Scrapbooker: Circle around any content on your device or online and then save it in your scrapbook using simple strokes and clicks of the S Pen
2. Action Memo: Take quick memos and then perform actions on these like call, save contacts, send message or email, search, and add tasks
3. Screen Write: Make annotations on the screen
4. S Finder: This is the search feature using the S Pen
5. Pen Window: The coolest feature – draw a new window on the screen for opening another app

The S Pen lets you do numerous tasks using Dot and Press, Circle and Box combinations from selecting and free hand cropping to making searches and creating new windows.

Other functions and features include Samsung WatchON which lets you use your Note as a TV remote, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub for content shopping and ChatON for messaging and communication

Accessories for the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 in the UAE will include flip wallets with auto wake-up front covers, S View covers that show you part of the screen to carry out some tasks without opening the flip cover, wireless covers, charger kits, extra battery kits, screen protectors, S Pens, game pads, various types of docks and more.

Samsung GALAXY Gear – A Good Start

Samsung GALAXY Gear smart watch is being positioned as a fashion statement. Classy to touch, the looped menus are navigated through left-right swipes and up/down sweeps. The Gear pairs via Bluetooth to the Note 3 and shows you calls, alerts and notifications, in addition to the time and weather of course, saving the effort to pull out your Note in every instance. The watch also locks your phone if you go further than a designated distance.

A truly James Bond style camera called is mounted on to the outer facing strap of the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The autofocus, ‘zero shutter lag’ and audio-visual output of this ‘Memographer’ feature are impressive considering it’s a watch taking a photo at this time. Videos are limited to 10 second clips.

The Gear comes in 6 smart colours, a 1.0 MP camera, a super Amoled screen. The primary screen shows you the time and weather. You can make and take calls on your watch using its mic and speakers once its paired with your Note 3. It also alerts you and lets you browse your incoming social media notifications through ‘Smart Relay’.

Should you forget where you left your phone, just like a car key chain, you can trigger a phone ring from your Gear watch using the ‘Find My Device’ feature.

Samsung has planned well and has 70 apps ready to go for Samsung GALAXY Gear – many come installed. The average battery life is 25 hours.

In the bloggers’ event where these gadgets were unveiled pre-launch, both the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and the Gear were attached on theft-proof stands – which made it hard to handle the devices, and photograph them. However, I did get ample opportunity to try out all the features at ease and take pictures/short video clips. I have suggested that devices be left unattached to tables or perhaps loaned out to those wishing to review them, specially on video.

Here’s a gallery of the images from the event:

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Would you consider the features enough to buy any of these devices? What do you find exciting? What do you find predictable?

Do you think the GALAXY Gear will evolve into something cooler? Or do you see it as a trend that will pass?

Your comments and feedback on this blog post are welcome…

UAE Bloggers, YouTubers and Twitterati review the Samsung Galaxy Note3 and Gear live (wait for the tweets to load)

Useful Links:
1. Samsung GALAXY Note 3+ Gear Official Site
2. Uthmag.com’s Facebook Photo Gallery of the Dubai SneakPeek
3. TechPlugged’s Photo Gallery of the Dubai SneakPeek Event

SPECIFICATIONS – SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 3

Display

  • 5.7 inch (144.3mm) Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)

OS

  • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) Jelly Bean

Processor

  • LTE 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 3G Octa Core Processor (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad)
  • The selection of AP will differ by markets

Connectivity

  • WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (HT80)
  • GPS / GLONASS
  • NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE)
  • IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0

Network

  • 2.5G (GSM / GPRS / EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps) : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G (LTE Cat 4 150 /50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)

Sensor

  • Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB
  • Proximity, Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor

Memory

  • 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • 3GB RAM

Dimensions

  • 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g

Battery

  • Standard battery, Li-ion 3,200 mAh

Camera

  • Main(Rear): 13 Mega-pixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus camera with Smart Stabilization, LED Flash(High CRI), and Zero Shutter Lag
  • Sub (Front): 2 Mega-pixel BSI sensor with Smart Stabilization, Full HD recording @30fps
  • Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording / Dual Video Call
  • Recording: UHD 30fps (*may differ by market), Smooth motion (FHD 60fps), Slow motion (HD 120fps)
  • Camera Mode: Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, Animated Photo, Eraser, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports, Golf, Surround shot, Live effect

Video

  • Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8, HEVC
  • Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p), UHD (*may differ by market)

Audio

  • Codec : MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*), WAV(*) (*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support

S Pen Optimized Features

  • Air Command, Action Memo, Scrapbook,S Finder, Pen Window, Multi Window, Direct Pen Input

Additional Features

  • Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Video, Share Document, Play Games
  • Story Album, S Translator
  • Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View
  • Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling), Samsung WatchON
  • S Voice™ Hands Free, S Health
  • Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly)
  • Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring
  • Safety Assistance, Samsung KNOX

Google Mobile Services

  • Chrome, Search, Gmail, Google+, Maps, Play Books, Play Movies, Play Music, Play Store, Hangouts, Voice Search, YouTube, Google Settings, Play Games, Messenger

* User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate
the phones features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the mobile phone operator and may change
after software upgrades are performed.
* External Memory may be used to store media (photos, video, and music files) but not applications.
* The availability of each Samsung Hub and Google service may differ by country.
* Android, Google, Android Beam, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude, Google Play, Google Plus.
YouTube, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads are trademarks of Google Inc.

SPECIFICATIONS – SAMSUNG GALAXY GEAR

Dimensions

  • 36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm, 73.8g

Processor

  • 800 MHz Processer

Display

  • 1.63 inch (41.4mm) Super AMOLED (320 x 320)

Memory

  • 4GB Internal memory + 512 MB (RAM)

Battery

  • Standard battery, Li-ion 315mAh

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth® v 4.0

Sensor

  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope

Camera

  • 1.9 Megapixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus Camera
  • / Sound & Shot

Video

  • Codec : H.264
  • Format : MP4
  • HD(720p) Playback & Recording

Audio

  • Codec : AAC
  • Format : M4A

Samsung Services

  • Samsung Apps
  • ChatON : mobile communication service

Featured Apps

  • Atooma is a contextually aware horizontal intelligence platform that makes your GALAXY Gear smarter
  • Banjo gives you the power to see what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world
  • Evernote watch app makes it easy to remember things by quickly capturing images and memories and bringing important reminders right to GALAXY Gear.
  • Glympse allows people to easily share their location temporarily and in real-time, letting recipients see their movements on a dynamic map.
  • eBay app allows you to complete all your transactions on eBay with ease and in real-time.
  • Line is a global messaging service available in over 230 countries worldwide.
  • MyFitnessPal tracks your nutrition and exercise, empowering you to achieve your personal health and fitness goals.
  • Path is the personal network designed to bring you closer to your friends and family.
  • Pocket, the leading way to save web content to view later on any device, brings text-to-speech article playback to GALAXY Gear.
  • RunKeeper is the personal trainer in your pocket, helping you track your runs, set your goals, and stay motivated.
  • TripIt from Concur makes it easy to organize travel plans in one place.
  • Vivino Wine Scanner allows you to take a photo of view any wine and get to know all about it instantly.

Additional Features

  • Smart Relay, S Voice, Memographer, Voice Memo
  • Auto Lock, Find My Device, Media Controller, Pedometer,
  • Stopwatch, Timer
  • Safety assistance: In case of emergency, press a power button
  • 3 times continuously, and then user’s location information is
  • transferred to the saved contacts with message
  • 2 Microphones (Noise Cancellation), 1 Speaker

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4 Comments

  1. While more than I can afford at this very moment, it doesn’t actually sound all that expensive given what it can do.

    Particularly if I let the dust settle for a couple of months from release date.

    Exciting!

    Reply
    • Farrukh Naeem

       /  September 29, 2013

      Good strategy. It’s always good to wait a while and not rush into buying a top-end gadget.

      Reviews and feedback from the first wave of buyers will start coming in and then you can decide whether it is really worth it.

      Reply
  2. I am a little bit excited about this, I have always loved the idea of a note, but the sheer bulkiness has steered me away.

    BUT if coupling it with a gear, it changes the whole thing. (and I am lucky to be gifted with large wrists so the watch won’t look like a laptop strapped to my arm)

    Has there been any noises regarding how much they are likely to be?

    Also while the battery life of the watch is a useful 25 hours (suggested of course) were there any indications on what the projected battery time on the note is when permanently tethered to the Gear?

    Really excited about this.
    I am TOTALLY on board.
    Of course if cost is prohibitive (I am a student after all) it mike take some gentle begging on my behalf to let my wife see the application of it.

    Reply
    • Farrukh Naeem

       /  September 29, 2013

      Thanks for your comments, Andrew. As a writer (and reader) the size of the Note 3 is good for reading and writing (and not to mention multi-tasking).

      The watch actually looks pretty sleek and not like a contraption – I have taken videos of it and am trying to find time for edits. One would not need big wrists.

      The 25-hour battery time is for the Gear, not the Note. I think you’d have to watch the watch time more than the Note time (see what I did there!). I wonder how much battery Bluetooth tethering would consume. Remains to be seen as the Gear is not launched yet in the UAE.

      The AED prices have been announced by Samsung. The Galaxy Note III will come in 3G and LTE version. The 3G version is AED 2799 and the LTE version is AED 2999. Eros in Abu Dhabi had run out of Black models of Note 3 and only had white ones last week. Lulu had Black as well at 2999.

      The Galaxy Gear will be AED 1199 and sold separately. Samsung might bundle it later with the Galaxy Note 3. It has still not hit the UAE market.

      Overall, I think Samsung has packed a lot of power and features in the Note this time.

      Reply

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