Samsung announced the release of two versions of the new Galaxy Note 4. One version of the new device features a curved design with a separate touch screen on the side of the phone. Samsung also announced a virtual reality headset device designed exclusively for the Note 4 that offers an immersive gaming environment and enriches video playback.
According to Samsung, the Note actually outsells the more popular Galaxy S phone in some markets. Industry insiders believe that the Note started the ‘phablet’ trend-that is, phones that are almost as big as tablets. Samsung officials also claimed that Note users are among their most loyal and passionate customers.
Samsung has added PC-like abilities to its new Note. Users can resize windows for the browser, email and phone dialer, and the stylus can be used to click and highlight between those windows. The hopped-up version of the Note, the Galaxy Note Edge, features a right edge that continues the touchscreen back to the battery cover. It functions as a dock for favorite apps and has an alarm clock. The vertical screen can also function as an information ticker.
The Gear VR Headset comes with embedded speakers and hardware that immerses its users in a wrap-around on-screen experience. The VR shares many parts with the Oculus Rift, a headset that plugs into laptops and desktops. In a New York Times interview, Samsung said that they have a “deep partnership” with Oculus in developing its headset.
The VR Headset is able to have a user right in the middle of an experience, like a concert, and enables the user to look in every direction as if they were really there. Samsung said that the VR Headset will be available for purchase this year. Its initial roll-out may be minimal, since it only functions with the Galaxy Note 4 (not the Note Edge) and offers very little content, thereby limiting its potential market size.