Samsung is holding an “Unpacked” event on Wednesday, and it looks like the unveiling will be one to watch.
Months after revealing the Galaxy S4, which turned out to be another global sales smash for the surging Apple competitor, Samsung is surely hoping that its new gadgets will make a similar splash in the market. What does the Korean tech behemoth have in store? Here’s what we’re expecting (and make sure to follow @YahooTech on Twitter for all the latest).
The Galaxy Note III
For this Unpacked event, we hope Samsung brought a huge suitcase.
We’re definitely expecting a third edition of the Galaxy Note, the so-called “phablet” that pushed the boundaries of smartphone screen size when it was first introduced in 2011. Leaks indicate that the Galaxy Note III will be even larger than its predecessor, with a 5.7 inch display (compared to a 5.5 inch display on the Note II, and a 5.3 inch display on the original Note).
There are also rumors that the Note III will include a fingerprint sensor, to enhance security both for locking and unlocking the device, and perhaps for more secure “tap-to-pay” payments via NFC. Apple has also been rumored to include a fingerprint sensor on its upcoming iPhone, to be announced on September 10; and though smartphones have shipped with fingerprint scanners and sensors before — predominantly in Japan — the Galaxy Note III would be the first mainstream American phone to ship with one, should the rumors be true.
A tweet from noted tech leaker @evleaks, meanwhile, allegedly reveals even more about the phone’s hardware and software: Per an alleged screenshot of the phone’s Setting screen from @evleaks, the Galaxy Note III will run the brand new Android 4.3 operating system, making it one of, if not the, first smartphones to ship with the latest version of Android. Evleaks also indicates that the Note 3 will sports a 2.3 Ghz quad-core processor and a 2.5 GB of RAM.
And, finally, one accessory we fully expect the Note III to ship with: a stylus. Each of the first two Galaxy Notes have included a stylus, or “S Pen,” and we don’t expect the Note III to be any different than its predecessors in that respect.
The Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
Reports are also leading us to believe that the world’s largest smartphone maker is likely to introduce a smartwatch at tomorrow’s event. In fact, Samsung’s purported wrist watch device may be even be packing some impressive, smartphone-like guts.
According to information obtained by AmongTech, Samsung’s smartwatch, reportedly named the Galaxy Gear, will pack a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, a 2.5” touchscreen watch face and a 4 MegaPixel 720p front-facing camera. It’s believed that the Gear will also be running a version of Android Jellybean, designed to run some Android apps, and come equipped with an accelerometer and Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities.
Though Samsung’s eventual addition of a smartwatch to its line of devices was expected, an unveiling on Tuesday means that Apple’s Korean rival may end up beating them to market. Reports earlier this year have pinned Apple to the development of an iWatch, also believed to be a smartwatch device.
One reported Galaxy Gear that turned out to be little more than a dream: a flexible, wrap around-type screen. In an interview with The Korea Times last month, Samsung Mobile’s executive vice president Lee Young-Hee revealed that the Gear “won’t have a flexible display.” Maybe next year’s model.
Not long after the rumors of a flexible watch face were squashed, several leaked pictures of what was reported to be the Galaxy Gear revealed a slightly bulky-looking, squared touchscreen smartwatch. Whether these images posted by Venture Beat are showing off a release build or simply a prototype of the anticipated device remains unclear; tech site GigaOM is skeptical that VentureBeat has the real deal.
What will the Galaxy Gear, and the Galaxy Note 3, actually look like? The best advice we can give is to tune in for our live blog on Tuesday to find out. We’ll have live video and a chat with Yahoo Tech editors and reporters starting at 12:45 PM EST.