Welcome to the future

2013-11-30 00:00

AND the award for the hottest couple of 2013 goes to … the Samsung Galaxy Note III and the Galaxy Gear.

You’ve seen it everywhere and are probably sick of commercials and posters advertising the pair, but both are really worth noting.

If you’re into the latest techno gadgets, this pair will leave you in awe. Typically the Note II was developed as a phablet — too big to be a smartphone and too small to be a tablet.

The Note III itself has seen some major enhancements from its predecessor. Features seen in the S4 such as air gestures and controls are now available on the phablet-type device.

The S-pen stylus for the Note is no longer a stagnant tool to press finer buttons on the touch screen, but the S-pen is a tool that works in synergy with the Note III.

Pressing the button on the S-pen allows for an extra menu, bringing up the most commonly used options for the S-pen, while selecting one of the options does not even require the stylus to touch the screen, but rather air controls with the S-pen.

In the menu an option to draw a window with the S pen is available. In this window the user is able to launch a micro display for Internet browsing, Whats­App, or other apps available for the option. In this the same app can be used in different windows.

The Note III also comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera and three mega­pixel facing camera, and Android Jelly Bean operating system.

While the Note III is a larger device, it fits comfortably into the back or front pockets with its slim design. The exterior of the device is fitted with a back panel that is similar to a leather stitched backing, giving the device the feel of a real notebook.

Now for the fun part …

The Galaxy Gear has to be one of the best and most functional smartwatches on the market.

First up, you get time, date and weather at a single glance. The display becomes active once the watch is raised towards the wearer’s face.

Using one finger, sliding the screen down at the home screen activates the 1,9-megapixel camera that can record videos with sound. Swipe left at the home screen to pull up menu items on the watch and slide up for the dialling pad, to make calls from the watch.

The Galaxy Gear can also be used to answer calls and view notifications from e-mails to Twitter interactions. The Gear also has a built-in pedometer that will count its wearer’s steps and syncs with the S-Health app.

Whatever data is captured on the Gear such as images, videos and voice notes is transferred automatically to the Note III. Find your device using your smartwatch and also control your media player.

For usability and features the Galaxy Note III and Gear combo, get a 9 ½ out of 10.

• Let me know what you think

@KyleVenktess on Twitter.

• kyle.venktess@witness.co.za

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