Samsung Gear S and Gear Edge

Two phones, a watch and a virtual reality visor give us some really good fare to geek out on

Samsung today unveiled four new products as part of the IFA conference in Berlin, as well as at simultaneous events in New York City and Beijing. Fresh out of South Korea are the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge, the perviously announced Gear S smartwatch, and the Gear VR virtual reality headset, which it's doing in conjunction with Oculus.

  • 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.

And that's just a taste. Be sure to visit all the device links for complete coverage, and stay tuned for more from the IFA conference.

 

Reader comments

Samsung's fall onslaught: The Note 4, Note Edge, Gear S and Gear VR

77 Comments

the flexible display tech is interesting... so is the vr idea but I bet it won't be much more than a gimmick

I'm waiting for nexus 6 and nexus 9!!!

Yeah the left part does suck but I will take it.

Another part that could suck (we have no idea yet) but I was hoping that edge display would scroll texts across the screen so you never had to open the phone for them. If it is not included maybe a dev (app) will take care of that...

So much hate, so little time for most of you.

I am not a fan of Tizen, but the watch design is different. The note 4 is improved over last year in almost every aspect and then they throw out the Edge which is a break from the norm....

But yet there is hate. I guess I expect nothing less from Nexus owners.

Bring on the Moto X+1!

I'm with you for once the note 4 will be the best available phone when it launches and the gear s is the nicest looking smartwatch out there. Just wish that it would work with other oems or if it ran android wear I would be sold on it.

Posted via Android Central App

I still am not sold on the cost vs function of any smartwatch but this thing looks good and throws another option besides square or round. I was so hoping that ASUS would be 99$ just to gauge if it would be useful at all

It would be cool if it were and Android wearable...but ole Sammy gonna probably say no on that and push Tizen (Credit to Netta)

The Note 4 is laugh out loud boring! It is the Note 3 all over again. Underwhelming to say the very least. The Note Edge at least looks mildly interesting, but it is not enough to make me want to spend money.

I love your sarcasm, but seriously, there is almost nothing different between the phones. The slight spec variations aside, it is basically the same phone running the same terrible version of Touchwiz with the S-Pen that does the exact same thing that it did on the Note 3. The UI needed a major overhaul and it did not get it. Not even close.

You would be hard pressed to actually be able to see any real difference in behavior between the Note 3 and the Note 4. They are basically the same phone and look almost identical.

I will give you one. OIS.

That will make a serious difference between the two, the other would be the screen but your milage may vary there.

Whether OIS is a big difference is a matter to be determined by the fact-finder. In this particular instance, as a fact-finder, I disagree that somehow OIS in the camera suddenly puts the Note 4 on a different plane of existence than the Note 3. Samsung's effort on the Note 4 was aggressively mediocre because they basically re-released the Note 3 with slight spec bumps. You could call this the Galaxy Note 3.01-- I would not even call it a 3.1. If Samsung had gone through and revamped the UI heavily, stripped out their overbloated Touchwiz, and actually changed the physical construction of the phone in a "significant" way (bedazzling the back cover does not count because all phones can be bedazzled), then maybe they could deserve praise.

OK but we have real world examples of the difference. Take a look at a picture taken from a Note 3 vs a picture taken from a G3. You can see the improvement clearly. It is really not all that much up for debate.

Sure lets take another one (I have quite a few for my case). While the PPI on the G3 is higher (on a smaller screen) you SHOULD see better performance with an 805 powering it while the Note 3 was pushing an 800. It is a significant difference in PPI and processing power.

Your move

The Note 3 and the LG G3 are different phones from different manufacturers with completely different software tweaks. I have no idea what you are trying to say, but clearly your argument is irrelevant as to how the Note 3 running terrible Touchwiz is different from the Note 4 running terrible Touchwiz with a slight bump in specs. . . The LG G3 really has nothing to do with this.

Are you going to compare the physical look of a Moto X to the Note 3 now and somehow argue that changes the fact that the Note 4 looks just like the Note 3, but instead of a faux metal band on the outside edge, Samsung placed a little bit of metal on the outside edge? -- That doesn't make sense, does it? That's exactly what your argument above is like.

While I agree that the 4 is not miles ahead of the 3,(would like to rom the 4 on my 3) it is a better phone spec and camera wise. The terrible TW, is a matter of taste. It has gotten extremely better in the past couple iterations. I find that on the 3, it was the smoothest it had ever been prior to the refresh, which is even better.
Also, I need to see inside to determine if its just a metal band around the phone. But, the move to higher build quality is there. That is a big improvement(if you prefer metal) to what the public has been wanting. Therefore, it is a big improvement for some, but not for others. It will be a huge upgrade for Note 2 owners more that the note 3 group.

You said that OIS is a minor tweek, and that is why I brought up the G3, so you can see the difference between non-OIS (Note 3) and a phone with it(G3) comparisons stop there.

Do you really, in any world consider the bump in screen resolution and in the processor going from an 800 to an 805 a "minor tweek"?

BTW, TW on either the Note 3 or the Note 4 (If it is similar if not improved over the s5) is not terrible by any means and it absolutely shows that you have no clue what you are talking about. Is TW as good as Sense? Nope. Is it better than what we had on the S4. By a mile.

Unfortunately I have to use Touchwiz on my Tab 10.1 (2014) given to me by my office as a test to determine viability versus iPad Air's. I have no reservation in saying that Touchwiz is laggy garbage. I hate watching it glitch a little here and a little there every time I have to do something. It is overbloated trash.

Sense is truly amazing and if Samsung overhauled their UI to be fluid like Sense, it would assist them in elevating their product as opposed to turning out the same thing every year with a minor spec bump.

How could you possibly judge the TW on the Note 3vs the Note 4 by the differences on the Tab 10.1 vs the iPad?

OK I have stated to you, which you have ignored, how this is not a minor spec bump. Explain to me how it is.

Note 3-- 2.3GHz processor. Note 4-- 2.3 GHz processor.
Note 3-- 368ppi screen. Note 4-- 551ppi screen.
Note 3-- 13MP camera. Note 4-- 16MP camera with OIS.
Note 3-- Fake leather back panel. Note 4-- Fake leather back panel.
Note 3-- Fake chrome (plastic) band on outer edge of phone. Note 4-- Metal band around outer edge of phone, but looks the same as the fake plastic one.
Note 3-- Touchwiz. Note 4-- Note 3 Touchwiz with almost no changes.
Note 3-- S-Pen. Note 4-- S-Pen with almost no changes other than software tweak for pressure and less opaque S-Pen menu.
Note 3-- Gorilla Glass 3. Note 4-- Gorilla Glass 3.
Note 3-- Silly button in middle of bottom of phone. Note 4-- Same silly button in middle of bottom of phone.
Note 3-- 3200 mAh battery. Note 4-- 3220 mAh battery.

How much more in depth do we need to go to show this is basically the same exact phone with a minor bump in specs?

I am not comparing the Tab 10.1 to an iPad Air; I am merely telling you why my office doled one out to me. I have an Android phone, so I made the mistake of volunteering for the Tab 10.1 thinking that it would be smooth like my M8. That was a big mistake. Thankfully the iPad Air tablets are going to be purchased for the whole office so I don't have to deal with Touchwiz much longer.

Maybe HTC will make a nice new Nexus tablet for Google and I can actually have something worth using.

Note 3- 800 processor, Note 4- 805.....a 2 gen improvement
Note 3-- 368ppi screen. Note 4-- 551ppi screen....big improvement
Note 3-- 13MP camera. Note 4-- 16MP camera with OIS.....huge improvement

Note 3-- Fake leather back panel. Note 4-- Fake leather back panel....Glad they kept it as opposed to going back to the S3 kinda back

Note 3-- Fake chrome (plastic) band on outer edge of phone. Note 4-- Metal band around outer edge of phone, but looks the same as the fake plastic one.....glad they improved it from plastic fake chrome to real metal

Note 3-- Touchwiz. Note 4-- Note 3 Touchwiz with almost no changes.......LOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOOOLLOOLOLOLLLOOL You know how I know that you never touched an S5? It is a huge improvement, but it is going to be better than the S5. They had another 6 months to refine it.

Note 3-- S-Pen. Note 4-- S-Pen with almost no changes other than software tweak for pressure and less opaque S-Pen menu. You know this how? When did they show off the entire s-pen suite?

Note 3-- Gorilla Glass 3. Note 4-- Gorilla Glass 3........ohhhh...got me there

Note 3-- Silly button in middle of bottom of phone. Note 4-- Same silly button in middle of bottom of phone.......... physical button > on screen for most. I like it, I also like the buttons on the G3. It is a preference and goes along with the design language they have always had. Again, so what?

Note 3-- 3200 mAh battery. Note 4-- 3220 mAh battery........I am guessing you missed this part: http://youtu.be/5c1CGkM-a8U?t=1h7m

You did compare the 10.1 to the air the same way you said about me bringing the G3 into the discussion. You are comparing two different operating systems, and not only that, bring a totally different device to the discussion and offering it as proof that TW sucks.

Your wrong. I am not usually rude like this and try to educate people but I am done.

You are just wrong if you think the Note 3 and Note 4 are not very different devices.

And the internet and many comments here on this thread disagree with you. This is a very minor upgrade.

Posted via Android Central App

"Ya, suuuuuuuure. It's ok, everything we be alright. The nice men in the white jackets will be there for you very soon. Just sit there and wait quietly til they get there."

It's ok NoNexus. He doesn't have a clue. Unfortunately you can't fix stupid. He talks as if he's actually been able to test the phone himself and it's not even out yet.

Face it, you Samsung fanboys are butthurt about your new Note 3.01 and now you are trying to justify your poor Samsung purchase choices by being rude and resorting to name calling. Your need to resort to name calling shows not only am I right, but that you are immature, uninformed commenters.

Posted via Android Central App

Hey man, I'm with you. No one can say the Note 3 isn't a fantastic phone (other than some of the materials). Now they made a great phone a whole lot better, both inside and out, and I'm actually not a Samsung fan boy like law2010 thinks we all are. He's just the ultimate hater is all. I'm surprised he's not an apple guy cause their fanaticism is the worst.

Let me tell you something. I had the LG G2 and scrolling on that phone was atrocious. It was like a dancer doing the robot under a strobe light. I currently have the S5 and there's no hiccups whatsoever, so if that's your purpose for hating TW then you're, well, we've already established what you are.

Thankfully I have had lots of hands-on time with the S5 because one of my legal assistants constantly needs help with it. The bloody thing glitches when switching between screens (nothing like my buttery smooth M8 or even a Moto X that our file runner has) and is constantly overheating.

You are merely trying to justify the fact that you bought a flagship phone that does not look, feel, or perform as well as the other flagship phones out there.

It is funny because everyone that previously praised the looks of the S5 has now come out and said it is trash and that Samsung is finally stepping in the right direction with the Galaxy Alpha in using its cute real metal band on the outside rim of the phone. The S5 is garbage.

Grab yourself a Moto X, Nexus 5, or M8 and you will see how much better they are. I would suggest the G3, but one of my investigators bought it and it lags worse than my assistant's S5.

Posted via Android Central App

You really just are trolling. I have finished with you.

You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found lacking...and kind of sense

I think the days of new phones every year are over. It seems like the laptop market now in that people will replace their machines only as needed. After all it will be years before there are apps that challenge the Nexus 4 never mind the Note 3..

For us, your right most of the time we see no big difference year to year. A lot are still on 2 year contracts so the jump is greater and more noticeable.

I can't really defend the phone as of yet since I haven't used it but where is this hate coming from. I can be honest and say I wasn't blown away but right after the introduction I went to my carriers sight and saw a bunch of really good phones and none of those blew me away.

So if you're going to judge give examples on how it's underwhelming because I will be owning this note 4 and your comment didn't sway that decision in anyway.

Posted via Android Central App

Example: Aside from a minor spec bump, the phone is identical in look and behavior to the Note 3, including the S-Pen. The laggy Touchwiz UI needed a major overhaul and Samsung failed to deliver.

The phone is underwhelming because their flagship failed to innovate beyond the Note 3's capabilities other than providing minor spec bumps. There is simply no reason to move from a Note 3 to a Note 4.

The OIS is a MAJOR upgrade. The metal construction. A better processor. The S-Pen is much more functional. The Multi-Window functionality is much easier to use.

Granted it isn't a "powerhouse" jump from one to the other, but the upgrades are more than a "minor spec bump."

Agree to disagree-- OIS is not a major upgrade. Metal construction? Are you serious? A little metal band around the outside edge of a plastic/faux leather material phone is not metal construction. The HTC One M8 and the iPhone have metal construction. This phone is stuck in the 2010 aesthetic range. And for the record, I am sure you can bedazzle the back of a Note 1, 2, or 3, so don't try to argue changing the back cover.

The multi-window stuff and S-Pen stuff is merely a slight variation (very slight) on the Note 3's version.

Have you even researched the difference in multi window and S Pen functions? Both are complete redesigns.

The multi window specifically does not have the pull out menu that is more annoying than convenience. And you are no longer limited to 2 windows plus a pen window.

In reading your posts it is clear you are simply a hater of either the Note line, or Samsung as a whole because you haven't taken the time to research anything beyond the surface before trolling.

On the surface I was disappointed too. Once I dug deeper, it is a good step forward. Definitely a bigger one than the iPhone 5S was to the iPhone 5, or the S5 was to the S4.

Hardly. I watched the unveiling in its entirety, read up on the specs after they let the journalists get their hands on them, and confirmed that this phone is hardly anything but a minor upgrade to the Note 3.

I never said that the iPhone 5s was a major upgrade over the iPhone 5; you merely assumed that. The iPhone 5s was widely regarded as aggressively mediocre over the iPhone 5 unless the reviewer was head over heals for the fingerprint scanner.

I can tell you that Samsung's Touchwiz rubs me the wrong way because I have to use it in a Tab 10.1 (2014). It is not nearly as fluid as my HTC One M8.

I can also tell you that the inferior "feel" of plastic Samsung phones really does nothing to get me going. The HTC One M8 and iPhone 5s are premium feeling phones. Merely changing the fake plastic chrome band around the Note to metal does not turn it into a metal phone-- it is still a plastic/faux leather phone.

Posted via Android Central App

NOTE 3 - Snapdragon 800 with a Krait 400 processor at 2.3 GHz. NOTE 4 - SNAPDRAGON 805 w/KRAIT 450 PROCESSOR AT 2.7 GHz.............HUUUUUGE UPGRADE.......GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT DBAG!!
Note 3-- 368ppi screen. Note 4-- 551ppi screen...................2560x1440 vs 1920x1080 pixels....................HUGE UPGRADE, BTW, IT'S 515 ppi vs 386 ppi. IF YOU'RE GONNA TRY ARGUING A POINT, AT LEAST HAVE YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
Note 3-- 13MP camera. Note 4-- 16MP camera with OIS..........................HUGE UPGRADE!
Note 3-- Fake leather back panel. Note 4-- Fake leather back panel.
..........NO FAUX STITCHING AND BETTER MATERIAL....DEFINITE UPGRADE.
Note 3-- Fake chrome (plastic) band on outer edge of phone. Note 4-- Metal band around outer edge of phone, but looks the same as the fake plastic one.........hahahaha.....you're so laughable.......HUGE UPGRADE! NOT NEARLY THE SAME LOOK, FEEL, OR DESIGN OF THE TRIM. GO TO THE OPTOMETRIST IMMEDIATELY!
Note 3-- Touchwiz. Note 4-- Note 3 Touchwiz with almost no changes.......DEBATABLE TO SAY THE LEAST. ITS BEEN NOTED ALL OVER THE WEB OF THE IMPROVEMENTS, BUT HERE'S A NEWSFLASH FOR YOU.............YOU HAVEN'T SEEN OR USED IT YET SO CLOSE YOUR PIE HOLE ABOUT IT!
Note 3-- S-Pen. Note 4-- S-Pen with almost no changes other than software tweak for pressure and less opaque S-Pen menu.............SORRY, BUT THE WHOLE WRITING EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN OVERHAULED. ALSO, READ NOTE ABOVE AGAIN.
Note 3-- Gorilla Glass 3. Note 4-- Gorilla Glass 3.......YOUR POINT?
Note 3-- Silly button in middle of bottom of phone. Note 4-- Same silly button in middle of bottom of phone.........SILLY?, HAHAHAHA, NO, YOU'RE THILLY, THILLY!
Note 3-- 3200 mAh battery. Note 4-- 3220 mAh battery.......AND AGAIN, YOUR POINT? NOTE 3 HAD THE BEST BATTERY LIFE OF BASICALLY EVERY OTHER PHONE LAST YEAR, INCLUDING THE DROID MAXX. IF IT'S NOT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT, YET THEY STILL IMPROVED IT............UPGRADE!

YOU ALSO FAILED TO INCLUDE NOTE 4's FINGERPRINT SCANNER......IMPROVEMENT, A 1440 x 2560 QHD SCREEN.......MAJOR UPGRADE! (don't try arguing you you can't see a difference, don't care and it doesn't matter. You brag about the G3 so don't be a hypocrite. READ PHONE ARENA'S COMMENTS ON SCREEN RES), THINNER BEZELS, ANDROID 4.4.4 KITKAT (Note 3 runs on 4.3 Jelly Bean upgradable to 4.4.2 KitKat), ISOCELL REAR CAMERA, 3.7 MP FRONT CAMERA, MORE ADVANCED RECORDING CAPABILITIES, WATER & DUST RESISTANT, HEART RATE MONITOR, UV SENSOR, Sp02 SENSOR, CHARGING TIME IS ALMOST HALF THAT OF THE NOTE 3, ADRENO 420 GPU. HOW MUCH MORE IN DEPTH DO WE NEED TO GO TO SHOW THIS IS A COMPLETELY OVERHAULED PHONE WITH A.....HUGE....BUMP IN MAJOR SPECS!

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU GO THROWING CRAP AROUND YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY......NOTHING.....ABOUT!!!!!!! BTW, WHO PAID YOU? NICE USER PIC BTW....HAHA!

Clearly you are the one who does not have his facts straight.

Also, it is well-known that the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitors are inaccurate and do not work most of the time, so do not laud that as some sort of improvement.

Face it, you are trying to defend the fact that the Note 4 is merely a small spec bump over the 3, which is merely a Note 3.01-- it doesn't even qualify for the Note 3S. Lol.

Your extremely immature comments and remarks show that you are absolutely hurt by the fact that Samsung is not innovative when it comes to the Note 4 and therefore you are trying to justify your reliance on the brand.

At least the Note Edge was Samsung trying to do something innovative. Whether it plays out well remains to be seen, but it was a step in the right direction of innovating.

YOU HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN THE PHONE IN PERSON IDIOTT, MUCH LESS HAVE A CHANCE TO TEST IT OUT! Nobody likes a hater dmbass!

Have you read your comments? The only person who comes across as the names you are using is you. Try to conduct yourself like an adult.

Am i the only one who is basically boycotting Samsung because if I happened to actually buy one of their products, the moment I take it out of the box they would have released a new version.

Yeah I felt that way when I bought the tab pro 8.4 and the next one came out less than six months later.
With that said though in many ways there isn't enough of a difference between the note 3 and 4 to go totally nuts over. I'll be upgrading for the screen and camera but if you're happy with the note 3 you can wait for the 5 as after I have the 4 will be waiting for the 6.

Posted via Android Central App

I wouldn't say it is a silly reason - with phones especially I, like a lot of people, have to use it for two years. I have enjoyed this last year knowing that my moto x has been the top of the line Motorola smartphone (until tomorrow at least). You can't get that same experience from a Samsung.

I personally prefer the idea of a manufacturer rolling improvements into more relevant, further spaced out launches, rather than just releasing a new device whenever they figure out how to add another gizmo or gimmick. It devalues their launches the way Samsung do it now. I mean... 6 smartwatches in a year?

You could say that about any electronic device. Just take the dive and skip a generation....upgrade every 2 to 3 years...usually the next version isn't anything special. Is this Note that much better than the 3? No, but it's much better than the 2. Just accept that each year it's better.

You are confused with Sony.

You get one Note and one Galaxy S per year. The variations meet certain markets, but for the masses that is what you get. (exception is the Edge this year for the Note series but I think that is a trial balloon like the Alpha)

I loved the look of the Edge until I saw a video of it being operated one handed with someone's right hand. It is frustratingly impossible to use right-handed because you always touch the side-screen when reaching across.

I like the Note 4. It's a little big for my needs, but I think the market it's aimed at will be well served by it.

I guess the Edge is aimed at the same market as the 4; or, at least, the right-handed in that market. I don't see lefties getting much use out of it.

I'm not sure I understand why anyone is still trying to build a VR headset. Manufacturers have been trying since the Nintendo VirtuaBoy and they've all failed.

I hate how you guys "pin" articles in the "Lastest" feed. That is so dumb. I realize this article may warrant more traffic than others, but to keep it at the top in that particular spot is dumb. Have it in the header, or in a "featured" section or something. But every time I load the page on a day like today, I keep thinking no new articles have been posted because this one is still at the top.

I feel like it's the next same old same old rather than the next big thing. I applaud their efforts with the Note Edge and perhaps this could open the door to something better in the future but as a techie I expected much more.

QHD is already on my LG G3 and I have had a camera w/ OIS for a couple years on previous phones already. Then we get the same UI. I also have a Samsung as my alternative business phone so I am in no way biased. For those who don't upgrade every 1-2 years, you will definitely see the difference. For the rest of us, perhaps in 2015 Samsung.

I guess as someone else noted in the comments, technology could be at a point now where we will only see subtle changes every year and we should no longer expect the leaps and bounds we want with every new variant of a phone. I hope this isn't true.

Will you guys please stop floating this to the top. I get Samsung made a bunch of announcements, but so have other's and I don't want to keep scrolling down to see if anything's new below the fold.

Just make everything and something gonna stick. Well I am always interested in the note. With the note edge maybe that's something to try. But a 700$ for a try? I have a oneplus and that's all I need

I just bought a Gear S and paired it with my Note 3. Not 100% compatible. The email app won't allow me to compose or reply to emails. It's really too bad because the rest of the watch functionality is pretty decent. Maybe if Samsung stopped producing new versions of the smart watch every few months and polished what they already had, issues like this wouldn't exist so much.