Less than three weeks after its global unveiling at IFA 2013, Samsung Malaysia has announced that its latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 3, and first-ever smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, will soon available in the country. Billed as perfect companions for each other, both the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear are available from September 25 at suggested retail prices of RM2399 and RM999 respectively.
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Samsung pioneered the “phablet” device with the introduction of the Galaxy Note back in 2011, and its domination in the category looks set to continue with the Galaxy Note 3. It is the best smartphone Samsung has produced yet, combining the many features introduced in its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, with the creative output that is the S Pen. There’s also the introduction of a new faux leather back cover, which replaces the usual glossy plastic covers in recent Galaxy smartphones.
For the Malaysian market, Samsung will be bringing in the 4G LTE variant of the Galaxy Note 3, which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz chipset with 3GB of RAM – a first for smartphones. The display size has also been bumped, too, featuring a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED Full HD display. The 13MP rear camera sensor on the Galaxy Note 3 also features support for 4K video recording at 30fps – one of the first in the industry. In addition, there’s a larger 3200mAh battery pack too.
More importantly, however, is the introduction of a new S Pen. It’s been made more sensitive, and is now even more integrated into the Android OS, making the stylus essential to the Galaxy Note experience. The Air Command feature, in particular, is a powerful feature that opens other S Pen-centric features on the phablet.
In addition, Samsung’s first-ever wearable tech was also announced for the Malaysian market. The Galaxy Gear smartwatch syncs seamlessly with the Galaxy Note 3 via the Gear Manager app on the phablet, which allows users to check notifications as well as make and receive calls without taking their phones out of the pocket.
The hardware for the Galaxy Gear is pretty impressive as well. There’s a 800MHz single core processor with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, and of course, built-in microphone and speakers. There’s also a 1.9MP backside-illuminated (BSI) camera that’s also capable of recording 720p videos. The watch face itself is a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320 x 320 resolution, while the integrated battery is good for up to 25 hours of use. What’s also impressive is how all the hardware is encased in an IP55-rated device, as well as having a suite of apps available for the Gear, such as LINE, Evernote, Runkeeper and even S Voice.
That’s not all. Every purchase of the Galaxy Note 3 entitles new owners to exclusive content and services worth up to RM1500, for free. The Samsung Galaxy Lifestyle Rewards program contains exclusive services such as a free 1-month trial for The Star ePaper and 50% discount for a 1-year subscription, a 30-day trial of the Office Suite Pro app, with a special upgrade rate to the full version for only $1. There’s also Viki, which allows you to watch up to 6 Korean drama series, while Samsung Galaxy Music allows free download of up to 500 songs for up to 6 months.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch are available from September 25, and will retail at RM2399 and RM999 respectively. Unfortunately, those hoping for a bundle option will be disappointed to know that Samsung Malaysia Electronics will not be offering a bundle, and instead will leave the option to local operators. The Galaxy Note 3 will be available in three colours (Jet Black, Blush Pink and Classic White), while there are six colour options for the Galaxy Gear (Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green). For more information, do check out our hands-on with both the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear at its Global launch earlier this month, or head on to Samsung Malaysia’s official website here.