Live blog: Samsung unpacks the Galaxy Note 4 and more at IFA 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 14.18.51

At IFA in Berlin, Samsung is gearing up to announce its new Galaxy Note 4 and a number of other new devices that may include its first virtual reality headset. To ensure you don’t miss a thing, and to help you stay on top of the news as it breaks, we’re live-blogging the whole thing from start to finish.

The event kicks off at 3 p.m. local time (that’s 9 a.m. ET and 6 a.m. PT) and you can follow it below.

 

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September 3, 2014 7:12 am PDTKillian Bell

Thanks for following with us!

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September 3, 2014 7:11 am PDTKillian Bell

That’s pretty much it from Samsung’s Unpacked event — and what an event it was! You can find more news on the Note 4, the Note Edge, and the Gear VR on Cult of Android now.

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September 3, 2014 7:09 am PDTKillian Bell

The Gear VR will come with Gear VR Cinema, a portal to movies and games and other 360° content built specifically for Gear VR.

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September 3, 2014 7:05 am PDTKillian Bell

Carmack describes how AMOLED displays are ideal for VR because of their ability to turn pixels on and off “almost instantly,” reducing motion blur.

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September 3, 2014 7:04 am PDTKillian Bell

The CTO of Oculus, John Camack, is now on stage talking about the partnership with Samsung, and the technology used by the VR.

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September 3, 2014 7:03 am PDTKillian Bell

When wearing the Gear VR with a Note 4 inside, it’s the equivalent of being 2 inches away from a 165-inch display!

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September 3, 2014 7:02 am PDTKillian Bell

If Samsung gets enough support from third-party developers, the Gear VR will change the way you game on your mobile device. As a gamer, I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.

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September 3, 2014 7:02 am PDTKillian Bell

VR is going to be used mostly for gaming, immersing you into your favorite titles like never before.

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September 3, 2014 7:01 am PDTKillian Bell

The Gear VR is powered by the Note 4, so it doesn’t have it’s own display, and it’s completely wireless. You just pop your Note 4 inside it, then strap it to your face.

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September 3, 2014 7:00 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 7:00 am PDTKillian Bell

The Gear VR is powered by Oculus.

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September 3, 2014 7:00 am PDTKillian Bell

“The ultimate viewing experience — mobile virtual reality powered by the Galaxy Note 4.”

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September 3, 2014 6:59 am PDTKillian Bell

And here comes the Gear VR, arguably the most interesting of Samsung’s new devices.

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September 3, 2014 6:56 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is running through some of the Gear S features, like its own apps (there are over 1,000), voice recognition, and a new and improved user interface.

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September 3, 2014 6:51 am PDTKillian Bell

We’re moving onto Gear S now, which of course, we already know about.

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September 3, 2014 6:51 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:51 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:50 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung explains how the “Edge screen” will work — displaying notifications, camera controls, widgets, and more. It also has its own flip cases, with let you use the Edge screen even while it’s closed.

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September 3, 2014 6:49 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:46 am PDTKillian Bell

Here comes the Note Edge…

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September 3, 2014 6:46 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung says the Note 4 will be here this October.

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September 3, 2014 6:46 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is bundling a lot of apps with the Note 4 (surprise!), including OnLive, Sketchnote, Dropbox, and Kindle for Samsung.

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September 3, 2014 6:44 am PDTKillian Bell

Montblanc has worked with Samsung to bring “fine writing to the digital world.” The company has announced two fancy pens that are S Pen-compatible. They also function as regular pens.

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September 3, 2014 6:43 am PDTKillian Bell

Back to the S Pen. Samsung has collaborated with Montblanc to make the S Pen even better this time around. Montblanc’s chief marketing officer is now on stage.

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September 3, 2014 6:41 am PDTKillian Bell

The Note 4 has four different cases — S View Cover, Flip Wallet, S View Wallet, LED cover, which is a lot like HTC’s Dot View case. There’s also a Swarovski one that’s covered in crystals.

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September 3, 2014 6:41 am PDTKillian Bell

Those extra mics also mean improved noise cancellation.

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September 3, 2014 6:40 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung has also added new voice features. There are 3 new mics to enhance voice recording, and they allow you to record sound from 8 different directions, then play the recording back from each direction.

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September 3, 2014 6:39 am PDTKillian Bell

The Note 4 is also a power “sipper,” so even though Samsung hasn’t made massive improvements to battery capacity and it has a Quad HD display, battery life is much better. To be fair, the Note 3′s battery life wasn’t bad at all.

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September 3, 2014 6:38 am PDTKillian Bell

Onto battery life. The Note 4 has a 3,200mAh battery, and a new Fast Charging feature, which gets you from zero to 50% in around 30 minutes.

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September 3, 2014 6:37 am PDTKillian Bell

The Galaxy Note 4′s Smart OIS (optical image stabilization) promises sharper images even faster.

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September 3, 2014 6:36 am PDTKillian Bell

The front-facing camera’s viewing angle is now a lot wider so you can capture more, and there’s a Wide Selfie option that makes it easier to capture “wefies,” which are selfies with more than one person, apparently.

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September 3, 2014 6:35 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:34 am PDTKillian Bell

The Note 4 has a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, and a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera with f/1.9 aperture. “We wanna help everyone take better selfies.” The front-facing cam captures 60% more light for better images, and the heart-rate sensor on the back of the Note 4 can be used as a shutter button.

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September 3, 2014 6:33 am PDTKillian Bell

We’re onto camera improvements now…

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September 3, 2014 6:33 am PDTKillian Bell

Here’s a new feature called Snap Note. It lets you take pictures of things — like a blackboard — then annotate it or make notes alongside it.

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September 3, 2014 6:31 am PDTKillian Bell

There’s a new S Note widget that makes it quicker and easier than ever to start new notes.

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September 3, 2014 6:31 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:31 am PDTKillian Bell

S Pen is more than just a pen, Samsung says. We’re now looking at how it acts “just like a mouse,” allowing you to click and drag to select text or multiple items at once (like photos in the gallery).

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September 3, 2014 6:30 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:29 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:28 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:28 am PDTKillian Bell

There’s also a feature called Smart Select, which lets you select multiple snippets of different things and share them all at the same time.

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September 3, 2014 6:27 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung says it has spent a lot of time improving handwriting recognition. Pressure sensitivity is doubled to make “on-screen noting feel exactly like writing.” Two new noting option — calligraphy and fountain pen — have also been added.

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September 3, 2014 6:26 am PDTKillian Bell

We’re not onto the S Pen, which Samsung believes is essential for the smartphone. “The pen is mightier than the finger or the thumbs.” The new S Pen is capable of so much more, Samsung says.

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September 3, 2014 6:25 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung has brought its Multi Window function to the recent apps key so that it’s easier than ever to access.

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September 3, 2014 6:24 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:23 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung promises 20% more color from the Note 4′s display, with the same “Super AMOLED display capabilities” as the Galaxy Tab S.

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September 3, 2014 6:23 am PDTKillian Bell

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September 3, 2014 6:22 am PDTKillian Bell

The Note 4 has a 5.7-inch Quad HD with a super sharp 2560×1440 resolution — that’s the same size as the Note 3′s.

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September 3, 2014 6:22 am PDTKillian Bell

The Galaxy S5′s “clean and vibrant” UI (Samsung’s words) has been brought to the Note 4, with the addition of dynamic lock screens.

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September 3, 2014 6:21 am PDTKillian Bell

It has 2.5D glass with a natural curve, “remarkable durability,” and it weighs 176 grams. It’s 8.5mm thin, and it’ll be available in black, white, gold, and pink. No blue.

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September 3, 2014 6:20 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is boasting about the Note 4′s metal design, which it calls a “sophisticated update” over the Note 3.

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September 3, 2014 6:18 am PDTKillian Bell

We’re back to the Note 4 now. Samsung is highlighting the large screen, the S Pen… the things that make the Note line special.

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September 3, 2014 6:16 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung says that with the Note 4, the Gear VR, and the Gear S, “your daily life will never be the same.”

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September 3, 2014 6:16 am PDTKillian Bell

The Gear VR works with the Note 4 to provide a “next-gen viewing experience.” It essentially turns your Note 4 into a virtual reality headset.

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September 3, 2014 6:16 am PDTKillian Bell

And the Gear VR is official!

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September 3, 2014 6:15 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is now teasing “a totally new form factor of wearables.”

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September 3, 2014 6:15 am PDTKillian Bell

We’re now being reminded of the Gear S, which Samsung announced last week.

http://www.cultofandroid.com/68336/samsungs-gear-s-watch-curved-glass-display-3g-connectivity/

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September 3, 2014 6:14 am PDTKillian Bell

The Galaxy Note Edge is the first smartphone with a “one-of-a-kind” curved AMOLED display, and it promises to bring the smartphone experience to a whole new level.

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September 3, 2014 6:13 am PDTKillian Bell

And there’s a second one!

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September 3, 2014 6:13 am PDTKillian Bell

The Note 4 provides “the most perfect S Pen experience,” Samsung says. It’s made out of metal like the Galaxy Alpha, but the plastic back with faux leather finish remains.

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September 3, 2014 6:12 am PDTKillian Bell

Meet the Galaxy Note 4.

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September 3, 2014 6:11 am PDTKillian Bell

The history lesson continues.

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September 3, 2014 6:11 am PDTKillian Bell

“We want to be a trigger for new mobile culture,” Samsung’s president says.

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September 3, 2014 6:10 am PDTKillian Bell

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard the word “innovation.”

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September 3, 2014 6:10 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is describing how the smartphone is basically taking over our lives.

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September 3, 2014 6:08 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung is giving us a brief history lesson on its Galaxy Note lineup.

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September 3, 2014 6:07 am PDTKillian Bell

A better screen, a faster processor, and a better camera is already being teased. I wonder what those could be for.

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September 3, 2014 6:06 am PDTKillian Bell

Samsung’s president is now on stage to kick things off.

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September 3, 2014 6:03 am PDTKillian Bell

Here we go!

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September 3, 2014 6:00 am PDTKillian Bell

Is that Weird Al?

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September 3, 2014 5:59 am PDTKillian Bell

And a Galaxy Note 3 is one of the instruments.

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September 3, 2014 5:58 am PDTKillian Bell

As usual, Samsung is kicking off with some live music.

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September 3, 2014 5:57 am PDTKillian Bell

Less than five minutes to go!

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September 3, 2014 2:44 am PDTKillian Bell

Good morning! Killian here. Samsung’s event will be kicking off in a short while, so bear with us until then. In the meantime, tell us what you’re hoping to see in the comments section down below.

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