Samsung has just held their annual Galaxy Note event and they used it to introduce not one but two new phablets, including one with a bendy-wendy curved display with dedicated notification and widget zones, but their 6th new smartwatch of the year (!) and an Oculus-powered VR visor as well. Our sibling site, Android Central was in both Germany and New York to catch all the action.
The Galaxy Note 4 is the next iteration of Samsung's phablet line. (You might hate that term that attempts to straddle the line between phone and tablet, but Samsung has no such reservations.) You can check out our hands-on with the Note 4 here.
The Galaxy Note Edge is very much the Note 4, only with one edge curved downward, taking advantage of Samsung's new flexible display technology and turning it into a 160-pixel wide secondary display. (If this sounds familiar, it's because Samsung attempted two screens on one phone with the Continuum in 2010.) We went hands on with the Note Edge, and it's an intriguing smartphone.
The Gear S, which Samsung already announced, is Samsung's first curved smartwatch with an impressive 2-inch display and a built-in cellular radio, so it doesn't need a companion smartphone to function. We strapped it on and took it for a brief test run).
And in the weird-but-cool category, the Gear VR is a head-mounted visor that uses the Note 4 to transport you inside any number of digital worlds, including the likes of Marvel's Avengers characters, Cirque du Solei, IMAX and more. You'll have to experience it for yourself, but we're bringing you as close as we can with our own hands-on.
It's typical Samsung-throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks, but that's what Samsung does. They're the crazy billionaire uncle unafraid to try any flight of fancy that comes to them at any moment. They're the polar opposite of Apple, and that's what makes them fascinating to watch. You never know what, if anything, might just catch on.
Will consumers — or developers — get any traction with the wrap-over screen on the Edge? Will it be a curved chicken and egg problem? Will left handed people use it upside down? No one knows yet, not even Samsung. They do hardware the way Google does web services. Fast, furious, and public. Consumers are part of the beta program. Anyone interested in any of it, however, should probably wait and see what Apple has in store for us at the iPhone event next week.
That way, you can take a look at the iPhone 6, the final version of iOS 8, the Apple wearable, and decide which approach, and which devices, are best for you. My guess is Apple has some great stuff coming our way.
Meanwhile, keep it locked on Android Central for all rest of their IFA 2014 coverage. Because, with competition, everybody wins.
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