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The IFA event in Berlin, which is underway right now, is a hotbed of new gadget reveals and debuts. Samsung, one of the world’s most prolific OEMs has more than a few new devices to show off, with its new phablets – the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge – chief among them. Interestingly, that’s only one piece of the company’s puzzle, as it has also announced a new virtual reality headset designed to work with the new phone called the Gear VR.

galaxy-note-4Samsung’s announcement for the new Notes includes the specs: the Galaxy Note 4 has a massive 5.7-inch display that clocks in at 2560×1440 pixels, with Quad-ultra HD 2K display resolution. Under all that screen is a lot of horsepower, too. It’s got 32 GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 64 GB via microSD, along with 3GB of RAM and a 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 805 CPU. Its rear camera takes photos at 16 megapixels, while its front-facing camera provides shots at 3.7 megapixels – that means some pretty good (and big) selfies.

The Galaxy Note Edge offers up nearly the same specifications, but with a few tweaks. For starters, its display is a whole tenth of an inch smaller than the Note 4, measuring at 5.6 inches. The twist there, however, is that its screen curves downward on the right side – hence the name “Note Edge.” So…what’s the point of the rounded edge on the Edge? Samsung explains:

Note Edge“Taking the Galaxy Note experience to the next level, the Note Edge provides users with a new way to access information, engage with their mobile device, and express their personality and tastes. The Galaxy Note Edge’s unique curved Edge screen provides quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality – even when the cover is closed – all with the swipe of a thumb. Users can also receive notifications directly on the Edge Screen while watching videos without disturbing their viewing.”

It’s a neat idea, and it may find an audience that’s interested in a phablet that seems like more than just an oversized smartphone (or an undersized tablet).

Gear VRThen there’s the Gear VR headset, which has been rumored and leaked for the last several months. The Gear VR is the result of a collaboration with Rift-maker Oculus VR, the company that was bought by Facebook earlier this year. The twist with this device (Samsung always has a twist) is that it requires the use of a Galaxy Note 4, which acts as the headset’s display. Users slide their smartphones into the front of the headset and plug it in. From there, they’ve now got a mobile virtual reality headset that doesn’t require a PC. As of now, there’s no release date aside from “this year” and there’s no price listed quite yet.

Altogether, it sounds like Samsung’s banking pretty hard on the Galaxy Note as a part of its mobile strategy going forward. The Gear VR sounds like a really interesting idea for virtual reality, but I have to wonder how many people will want to purchase both devices, which will undoubtedly cost a pretty penny. That said, from what we can tell, Samsung’s the only company to put out a product like this – and if it does come out before the end of the year, it’ll beat even the Oculus Rift to market.

Are you interested in the Gear VR or either of the new Galaxy Note phablets?

[Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, Gear VR]

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