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Samsung Puts Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Gear S Smartwatch On Display

Ramin Edmond

Samsung unveiled two smartphones and a smartwatch Wednesday during an event called "Unpacked" at the IFA 2014 conference.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the next step up from last year's release of the Galaxy Note 3, and comes with a 2.7GHz or 1.9GHz double quad-core processor behind a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. It also boasts a 16-megapixel camera and a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera. Users also get 32 GB of storage that can be upgraded to 64 GB, in addition to 3 GB of RAM. The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be released in October.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, meanwhile, is unique in that it features a curved touch screen on the side of the device that is independent from the front-facing display. The side -- or "edge" -- display is used to keep alerts and notifications from taking over the screen while the user is working on something. The two screens feel and appear to be one display but are actually separate. Users can keep their most commonly used apps in the side display for easy access.

Related: The Wearables Market Heating Up Among Apple, Samsung And LG

Samsung released an SDK to app developers to build apps to take advantage of the smartphone's unique edge screen.

As for the technical specs, the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge are quite similar in terms of the inner components, but the Galaxy Note Edge is a hair smaller than the Note 4, with its display measuring 5.6 inches compared with the Galaxy Note 4's 5.7 inches.

In addition to the smartphones, Samsung showed off its Gear S smartwatch, the sixth smartwatch in the company's lineup and, as of now, the first smartwatch to be able to take and make calls with its 3G connectivity. It also runs on Samsung's own Tizen operating system rather than Android Wear, as did some of its previous smartwatches.

During the launch event, Gregory Lee, president of Samsung North America, said the company wants to "change what consumers expect in a smartphone, all over again."

"It seems that in the phone industry you have to have a major refresh at least every year now, so it is expected just to keep up with the competition," said Robby Hill, founder and CEO of Florence, S.C.-based solution provider HillSouth. "Samsung does a better job of keeping up with technology than anybody. The specs are what we expect from everyone outside of Apple. The smartwatch trend is intriguing but it hasn't taken off yet, for sure. I think we'll see some exciting stuff in the future as apps can be improved."

The launch of Samsung's new smartphones and smartwatch comes just six days before Apple's much-hyped event, where it is expected to launch the highly anticipated iPhone 6 along with the company's first smartwatch, dubbed the "iWatch."

"This is a very busy month for mobile announcements, and I'm betting Samsung saw the Apple announcement coming and just wanted to beat them out," Hill said. "Apple is so secretive, but it works for them. It remains to be seen what earth-shattering announcement it has in store. It remains to be seen if the rumors hold up. Apple is the behemoth, but there is definitely room for the other players in this space."

PUBLISHED SEPT. 3, 2014

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