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8/5/2013
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Samsung Preps Galaxy Note III Reveal

Samsung expected to announce its third-generation phablet at a media event in Berlin in early September.

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Samsung invited members of the media to attend an event next month that should see the debut of the Galaxy Note III. The third-generation Note will be even larger than the first two, pushing the upper limits of what qualifies as a smartphone.

Samsung is hosting the event -- Unpacked 2013 Episode 2 -- during the IFA trade show, which takes place in Berlin. Samsung has used the Unpacked name for most of its major product introductions over the course of the last few years. The invitation said "Note the Date," an all-too obvious play on words that can only mean one thing: the Note III is on deck. Samsung used the IFA trade show to launch the first two generations of the Note smartphone in 2011 and 2012.

The Note III should see improvements across the board as far as specs are concerned. Where the Note II has a 5.5-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display, the Note III will have a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 full HD display. The Note III will come with one of two processors, depending on region. One variant will include Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa eight-core chip, while the other will include Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chip, clocked at 2.3 GHz per core. The camera will be improved from 8 megapixels to 13 megapixels.

[ Legal drama continues between Apple and Samsung. Read iPhone Sales Ban Overturned, Samsung Takes Hit. ]

The Note III represents the high end when it comes to Samsung's phablet lineup, but it has two phones that are bigger. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3 both have larger screens than the Note III, but they are lower-resolution. The Note line, with its S Pen stylus, stands at the pinnacle of Samsung's large-screen smartphones.

Though not quite as popular as Samsung's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note II saw strong sales in the U.S. during the first half of the year. It placed in the top five handsets at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The Note III's improved specs will surely lead to big sales for Samsung.

Samsung isn't the only phone maker with a new phablet on deck. Reports suggest that struggling HTC has its own big-screen device in the works. HTC's forthcoming tablet, which will carry over the appealing design of the One and One mini, will sport a 5.9-inch display and should arrive at about the same time that the Note III does. The One Maxx, as it is being called, will also include Qualcom's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, HTC's BoomSound speakers, 3,200mAh battery, and improved cameras.

Samsung's event will take place September 4.

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