Over the past few years there has been a rush for innovation and novelty in the smartphone industry, and in developments in wearable tech, but that is being replaced by a point of difference.
Samsung realises that its consumers demand quality as well as usability. And it is this “fashionable functionality” that sets apart the new GALAXY Note 3 and wearable GALAXY Gear both on the street and on the catwalk.
After all, the smartphone is something that many of us use every waking minute of the day – at work, at home and having fun when out and about on the weekend or on holiday.
Perhaps most importantly, today’s discerning smartphone user needs something they can feel is truly theirs. First and foremost, this means being given the choice to ‘customise’, whether that means choosing its colour or finish.
Samsung offers the GALAXY Note 3 with a cool leather-look back in three different colours: Jet Black, Classic White and Blush Pink.
Masculine black, neutral white and feminine pink, with a look and feel that makes the device tactile as well as premium.
The prominently styled stitched-look and quality feel of the hardware appeals to a consumer used to the detail of designer goods. After all, this is the age of the designer smartphone: a smartphone that needs to visually integrate with our other luxury goods.
The stunning 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display on the GALAXY Note 3 is ideal for fashion fans and designers.
The Note 3 is notably slimmer and lighter than other models, so perfect for carrying in your jacket without it ruining the line. And the long-lasting 3,200mAh Li-ion battery is particularly suited to our increased use of thirsty applications.
“Your phone is not just a piece of practical kit; it’s now the last accessory you put on before you leave the house; constantly on show or in your hand,” says Seb Law, Online Editor of Notion Magazine.
“That’s why the market in custom/designer/luxe cases for tech is booming; particularly in menswear where there’s a trend for men to carry their accessories rather than stash them away.
“See, for example, the decks of colourful clutch bags, notebooks, and tablet cases that always turn up on streetstyle blogs.”
There’s an entire generation now using their smartphones to tell the time rather than a traditional wristwatch, so it seems little more than a logical jump for Samsung to provide a watch which syncs with your GALAXY Note 3, providing a summary and instant updates from your contacts.
Hence the modish GALAXY Gear watch, which comes in six stylish colours – Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, Lime Green – as well as allowing the user to change the clock face to different styles of analogue-look or digital options.
In the digital age, everything is about speed. Being able to react quickly with a device is a massive plus. The quick-shoot camera on the GALAXY Gear means you won’t miss a thing: it’s right there and waiting.
Whether it’s shooting street-style images for The Chic Geek or simply grabbing a visual record, the discreet camera allows you to snap away. It could also be good for scenarios when it’s not really appropriate to get your phone or camera out and start taking pictures.
Plus, that handy Pedometer and MyFitnessPal application would be interesting to use to see just how many miles of walking I do during fashion weeks!
“We all have the time on our phones, so a watch is essentially jewellery, telling people about you and your status. Smartwatches now say that you are tech savvy and dialled in; purists might disagree, but a smartwatch tells people that you’re moving with the times and that you know what’s going on in the world of tech,” says Seb Law.
“It’s something I would wear if it lives up to the proposed seamless level of interaction between watch and phone,” adds Nick Bainser, social media planner and menswear writer.
As soon as you take the S Pen out of the phone, click the button and hover over the Note 3’s screen, the new Air Command options instantly appear with no need for going into different and time-consuming windows. Which makes it genuinely as quick as a traditional notebook and pen.
The S Pen doesn’t even need to touch the screen, just hover over the various Air Command options – Action Memo, Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window – and you’re away!
Action Memo is a great feature that allows you to make notes quickly and then store them as information in your GALAXY Note 3 using "Link memos to action". This is perfect for fashion press days or those “Eureka!” moments while out and about.
Also, Scrapbooker enables you to collate information from the web, be it images or video, along with the original source information, all in one place. This is great when putting together the new season’s trends or making note of something interesting and influential.
“I love some of the new Note 3 functions, especially the new S Pen features – I try and try to use my phone’s calendar as my diary but I find it too slow compared to writing it down – the S Pen removes this barrier by being able to recognise my chicken scratch scrawl!” says Neil Thornton, Online Content Editor at Arcadia.
“As a fashion blogger and content editor, I need to be able to make notes for meetings and events quickly and effectively, and what better way to do it? I can’t wait to try out the new S Finder. The Note 3 is a beautiful bit of kit too, clean and modern without being invasive.”
Screen Write gives you the ability to make notes on images, which would be good for show photos as well as keeping records of the various designers and seasons, while Pen Window allows you to stop what you’re doing, draw a new window and open something else, all without stopping: the ultimate in multitasking.
Infinite Painter Free is a cracking S Pen-optimised painting app that lets you create artworks using hundreds of brushes and effects.
This is highly useful for presentations or adding a bit of interest to collages or mood-boards. The S Pen makes a virtual paintbrush over pictures you’ve taken or images from the web.
“Using the Note 3 to be able to quickly sketch images and notes would be invaluable for note-taking on the go or for sketching on top of inspirational images and so on,” says Nick Bainser.
“Collating scrapbooks and inspirational imagery is crucial for designers and more are using new media to pull this together. Digital notebooks are becoming increasingly popular, and once they can multitask in a fast and reliable way they will become a seamless part of the designers’ tool kit.”
“There are some quirky and cool functions on the GALAXY Gear, such as Find My Device, meaning you have to work pretty hard to lose your phone,” adds Arcadia’s Neil Thornton.
“There’s also a cool Voice Memo for quick note taking, again very handy in my line of work. The Gear is undoubtedly a slick looking device. It would make a great accessory for any look, with its fresh and modern appeal complementing both edgier and classic fashion styles."
The potential for the GALAXY Note 3 and Gear watch is limitless within the fashion sphere. Collaborations will see the watch become a must-have accessory. Designers will be able to put their own brand DNA on the watchstraps or the back of the smartphone.
As an example, Samsung has recently teamed up with Italian fashion brand, Moschino, who have given their usual witty take on the phone accessory by making their signature peace sign in black/gold and white/silver combinations along with heart-shaped accessories in white/red and white/gold.
People live their lives through their smartphones and they want them to reflect their personality and taste.
“They’ve come on a bit from those ugly ones that you could turn your neighbour’s TV off with in the ’90s, and they can look actually quite chic and stylish!” says style blogger, The Very Simon G.
“From a fashion point of view, they are still in their infancy, but I could imagine a series of limited-edition collaborations with designers or longer term partnerships with fashion houses would really give wearable tech a fashionable shot in the arm.”