Today is a mammoth day in the tech calendar, and Berlin is the place to be.
South Korean giant Samsung is holding its "Unpacked 2014 Episode 2" conference in the German capital, and we're expecting fireworks, not least because Sony is simultaneously holding its own launch event across the city. The small matter of Apple's iPhone 6 reveal next Tuesday has added some extra zing to proceedings too.
Put simply, we're expecting Samsung to unveil a phablet and two wearable devices this afternoon, at least.
Headlining the show will be the Galaxy Note 4, a large smartphone that comes with its own stylus. The upcoming device's predecessors have been nothing short of excellent (opens in new tab), so it will be interesting to see whether the company opts for an overhaul or a tinker.
A whirlwind of rumours also points to the reveal of a new SIM-enabled smartwatch, which we imagine would be really fun to play with. So far, Samsung's timepieces have fallen well short of satisfying consumer demands due to a combination of factors: limited functionality, poor design and inflated pricing being the magic three.
The ability to talk to people through something strapped to your wrist could either prove a game-changer or another fun new feature to get bored with over time.
Finally - though far less is known about this one - we might just witness the first appearance of Gear VR, Samsung's answer to Oculus Rift.
Excited? So are we. Stick with us for all the action as it happens.
- 04 September
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- 03 September
We hope that the event had you suitable entertained. We were certainly half-frozen on the edges of our seats over here.
Here's another picture to satisfy your tastebuds...
Well that was exciting.
The full ITProPortal hands on with the Galaxy Note 4 (opens in new tab) is now live!
Our hands-on review is now up! Check out what we really think about the Galaxy Note 4 here. (opens in new tab)
Scurrying over to get my hands on one now...
Hey, what about the educational possibilities (opens in new tab)? That, and training pilots too of course.
Let's hope there's a VR version of Doom ;)
Guaranteed clock rates? Unusual in the mobile world, and Carmac says the Gear VR has it. It's about closing the loop between how you move and what you see.
The Super AMOLEDs can turn almost instantly, killing motion blur, Carmac says. The "motions to photons latency" is all important for VR.
Enter CTO of Oculus John Carmac.
Super Accuracy Sensor + Super AMOLED.
So, the hardware? It's silver coloured glass on a white body. It processes at under 20 ms, to eliminate latency issues, which would ruin the VR experience.
Samsung Gear VR - powered by Oculus! Rachel is currently seeing virtual acrobats in the room around her. And this is all from the Note 4, slotted into the VR headset. Handy setup!
Rachel's a big fan of virtual reality. Me too. Let's see what this Samsung VR can do.
Ah yes another collaboration with Swarovski for a sparkly strap, plus other straps for watch customisation.
S Health - health and wearables is a hot topic right now, points out Riley - there's running tech, pedometer, GPS, altimeter, UV sensor to tell you what sun cream to wear.
You can get Wunderlist on it though. That could be handy. It's got native apps too.
Even with 3G connectivity, apps, S Voice to respond to texts, it just looks too big!!
Hmm. Not sure if this gets my seal of approval. I'd rather have a Sekonda.
So the Gear S is the size of your wrist... seems quite big? It does have its own functionality though, only requiring connection to a Samsung tablet or phone on initial setup.
Interesting that they'd display the new Gear S with an analogue watch displayed on the screen - that's how stylish they need to be (to get me to wear one anyway).
So what's so "S" about this new gear?
Bad PR for Samsung that, I'd say.
So Rachel Riley has mentioned cat pictures 3 times now. Definitely playing up to a dumb woman stereotype here, which she most certainly isn't. I wonder who put her up to it.
So the Galaxy Note Edge is a special edition of the Note 4. With an extending screen called "Edge Screen" which extends the home screen, housing users' apps.
And what about the extras? Samsung Galaxy Gifts through its partnership with Dropbox is offering users a free 50GB of cloud storage for 2 years.
So with digital fountain pen heads, Mont Blanc claims to offer a higher level of personalisation to notes.
So Mont Blanc, classic pen maker, are marking their first move into digital territory. Two models: the Pix and the e-StarWalker.
S View Cover, Flip Wallet, S View Wallet, LED Cover - look out for these covers. AND a sparkly Swarovski collaboration.
Hey, what about audio? Don't forget the Note 4 is a phone, says Rachel Riley. So there are three new microphones that can detect voices depending on direction.
So what about battery life? The Note 4 contains a fast charging function - 30 mins to full charge, "-ish", say Samsung.
The Galaxy Note 4 comes with Smart OIS, which can take better photos even while bumping around.
Hey now that's a great feature there - a button on the back for taking selfies. Much less awkward than clicking the screen. And a wide selfie mode. No need to ask strangers to take pics of you any more.
There's a back camera 16 MP and a front camera of 3.7MP.
There, that's the S Note widget - allows you to make notes through variety of media.
Click and drag - just the same as on a laptop. Good for copying text, grabbing and grouping.
So they're really touting the S Pen as a mouse.
So with the S Pen and Smart Select, you can select pictures simply by dragging a box round the image.
Smart Select? A new feature!
Samsung has spent time improving the handwriting ability of the S Pen - the utility of digital with the ease of analogue?
For certain tasks the S Pen is quicker and more precise, Samsung claims.
Ooo nice. Using the Stylus to move the Multi View windows looks really useful for multitasking.
Note 4 sports an enhanced Multi Window function. Let's have a look..
A 5.7in Quad HD Super AMOLED screen, giving more access to the available colour spectrum.
Clean & vibrant UX - with UX design.
The Note 4 is a sophisticated update on the Note 3.
Metal frame, 2.5D glass - Samsung says they've enhanced the durability of the glass.
176g, 8.5mm thin, released in four colours.
Does bigger mean better? Large phone or small tablet?
The Gear VR got an especially large cheer - we're excited to see more.
Samsung Gear VR - "the next generation viewing experience", Lee says.
Samsung Gear S.
The start of a new lifestyle revolution?
The Galaxy Note Edge!
Lee says of the Note 4:
1. The most perfect S pen and S note experience
2. Advanced technology
3. New design
Here we go....!
"I can promise you that we will never slow down!" *applause*
The Note 4 will have tools that will integrate entirely into our lives, Lee says.
"Creating new freedom, allowing your productivity to move with you."
"Possibly the most revolutionary and radical change that we've never seen," Lee says of the mobile technology industry.
David Lee, Samsung, will introduce the Galaxy Note 4.
Are you ready to Note?
Here are our hosts: Rory O'Neill, David Park and Rachel Riley,
Thanks to the musicians: Band of Wisdom and Grand Art Ensemble
Is that the first glimpse of the Note 4?
Is he making those synth sounds on the Note 4? Kinda sounds like God Is An Astronaut. (opens in new tab)
OK! So the Note 4 is being introduced by a live band? Looks like he's using a theramin on a mobile?
It's very dark here. Some might say too dark.
Episode 2 is about to begin. Uplifting music plays in the lead-up... Sounds like the hopes and dreams of a newer, smarter future.
So who's ready for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4? We're under 10 minutes away from the big unveiling.
Lots of trippy images being projected onto the big screens here, all revolving around the stylus.
Tempodrom Berlin is quickly filling up with sweaty, pushy, shouty tech journalists. Now this is a conference.
Things have suddenly become very hectic indeed.
Also, in case you didn't know, Samsung will be streaming the entire conference online. Here's how to tune in (opens in new tab) that way.
Not sure why a phone which hasn't actually officially been announced yet would be listed as "sold out" either.
The Note 4 has been subject to plenty of leaks over the past few weeks. One of the worst was this: a specs sheet that was mistakenly published and left online for hours.
"Unpacked 2014 Episode 2" - not quite the catchiest title we've ever seen - is one of IFA 2014's headline acts, and we're proud to bring you live coverage of everything that goes down.
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