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Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Slimmer Galaxy Note 3 Has "Heft, but Not Weight"

Samsung peeled the wraps off of its next-generation phablet, the Galaxy Note 3, which is the lighter, slimmer, longer-lasting, and leather-backed version of its predecessor. The next-generation smartphone/tablet hybrid softened up its hardware with a faux-leather stitched back cover.

The new Note has expanded its display from 5.5 inches to a 5.7-inch super AMOLED 1920 x 1080p screen. Despite the Galaxy Note 3's bigger display, the phone is thinner than the Note 2 at 8.3mm thick and lighter at 168g. There's also a new 3,200mAh battery, which Samsung says will power the device for 13 hours streaming 1080p video and almost 15 hours with 720p (vs. nine hours and 11 hours on the Note 2, respectively).

Like the previous generation, users can expect the note-friendly S Pen stylus and multitasking, which are two of the Galaxy Note line's marquee features. In addition to the hardware changes, Samsung introduced category 4 LTE technology, for faster data connection, and multiple bands. The phone runs Android 4.3 Jellybean with Samsung Knox, a privacy safeguard application that, until Wednesday's announcement, was only available for business customers.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3, available in black, white, and pink, will launch worldwide later this month, but it won't be available in the US and Japan until October. Flip Wallet and S View Window covers will be sold separately in the "Taste of Autumn" suite of colors (shown above).

In the US, pre-orders for the device are now open on Verizon ($300 for 2-year plan, $700 for month to month plan, or $29/month on Verizon Edge) , AT&T ($300 for 2-year plan or $35/month on AT&T Next; shipping Oct. 1), and T-Mobile ($200 down with 24 monthly payments of $21, about $704 total).

Get a better view of the leather-backed phablet and see all of the Samsung device's technical specifications after the break.

Leather-touch back cover with stitching detail

Samsung commented that this new softer look mimics the "timeless and enduring strengths of notebooks and planners."

Air Command S Pen feature

Hover over the display with an S Pen to reveal a dot. Tap the dot to expand Air Command, a fan menu with shortcuts to five functions: Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, and Pen Window.

  • Processor — LTE 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Display — 5.7-inch (144.3mm) Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
  • Rear Camera — 13MP, 60 fps video recording
  • Front Camera — 2MP, 30 fps video recording
  • Dimension — 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g
  • Memory — 32/64GB user memory, plus microSD slot (up to 64GB); 3GB RAM
  • Battery — 13 hours, 10 minutes showing 1080p video
  • OS — Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

What do you think of the Galaxy Note's new look? Let us know, and stay tuned for more details on pricing and availability.

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