New consumer electronic products promise better multimedia experience, more connectivity
At the Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin, Samsung unveils its newest Galaxy Note and camera, Ativ smart PC and Oled smart TVBy Alex Y. Vergara
Philippine Daily Inquirer
As temperatures in the northern hemisphere slowly begin to fall, consumer electronics companies are unveiling new products geared for the Christmas shopping rush. The recent Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin was proof of this.
During the fair, Seoul-based Samsung Electronics, the world’s leading producer of smartphones and smart TVs, unveiled four new products.
It was an apt debut for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy camera, Ativ smart PC and Oled TV, as IFA is one of the biggest global trade shows of consumer electronics and home appliances. Except for its TV, which will be available in Manila by November, Samsung’s latest products will start hitting stores in the Philippines next month.
Apart from a series of small media roundtable discussions introducing the products to journalists and bloggers, Samsung hosted a grand launch party for its newest gadgets at the huge Tempodrom.
Billed as “Unpacked,” the Tempodrom event drew more than its fair share of interested parties so that a good number of people, including this reporter, were unable to enter the venue. Crowds of journalists and bloggers also spilled outside the packed Berlin Room at Messe Berlin, the venue for this year’s IFA, during a Samsung press conference the next day unveiling the brand’s Oled TV.
Galaxy Note 2
In keeping with Samsung’s thrust to unleash its users’ creativity, the Galaxy Note 2 (Samsung’s unique tablet and phone in one) makes it easier, faster and more seamlessly for users to multitask. It also maximizes their viewing experience and enables them to manipulate content and input their own ideas (both texts and images) through the new, improved and more sensitive S pen.
“Apart from working together with the best software developers to give consumers better multimedia experience,” said Min Cho, Samsung’s senior manager for sales and marketing, “we’ve updated and released a better S pen to maximize new applications. For one, you can have the type of virtual brush you want by pushing the S button.”
Because of its 1,000 levels of press sensitivity, the S pen is more than just a “fingertip experience.” You can use these pressure sensitivities to achieve various effects, from thickness of strokes to degree of shading.
The input experience isn’t only faster; it’s also more precise. And like putting something on a sketchpad, you can edit and preview content before saving the image and sharing it with others.
But you don’t have to be artistically inclined to enjoy and maximize Samsung’s latest offering. Its air-view feature, for instance, comes in handy when looking for and viewing content. The technology also saves you time, as it puts an end to digging through countless folders in search of a specific material.
“In fact, you don’t even need to touch the screen to view content,” said Min Cho. “Just by hovering over the timeline of the video, you can exactly pinpoint the right moment where you want to go and start playing it.”
Apart from videos and folders, the same feature is applicable to calendar events, e-mail lists and photos. By “hovering,” you can easily figure out your files’ details at a glance. In other words, the time-saving device allows you to do more stuff efficiently and with lesser effort.
There’s no comparison between the S pen and the seemingly primitive stylus that came with first-generation smartphones.
Aside from offering users multiple-point sensitivities, the Galaxy Note 2’s S pen works in conjunction with the tablet to intuitively pair recipients with notes or e-mails at the initial strokes of their stored names and e-mail addresses. Its text recognition capabilities are also more superior compared to the earlier version.
And the danger of you leaving behind your S pen, which could be tucked inside the device when not in use, is minimized because your phone would “notify” you once you move your Galaxy device away from your S pen, Min Cho said.
The device comes in 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes of memory. Redesigned to look more rounded and streamlined, the Galaxy Note 2’s front-facing camera with illuminating sensor has a 1.9-megapixel lens, while the rear-facing camera has an 8-megapixel lens.
Crisp, bright and lifelike videos are possible, as recording and playback are in HD. The camera offers a few tricks of its own beyond the usual editing, enhancing and cropping capabilities.
“Supposed we take a series of photos featuring a group of people,” said Min Cho. “The device now offers you the ability to manually and automatically choose the subjects’ preferred faces and put them together in one picture.”
The same “face-swapping” capabilities and more are also available in Samsung’s Galaxy camera, which is designed to harness 3G and 4G signals to allow users to share photos with other people almost anywhere, anytime.
Samsung will be working with operators like Globe and Smart to make the feature work. But by itself, the camera (it has no phone capability) is an impressive piece of equipment designed primarily to help point-and-click users get the most out of their pictures.
Apart from its auto-focus shooting feature, the Galaxy camera has a 21-X zoom capability, 23-mm wide angle and 16-megapixel lens. The “smartphone-mode” camera, as its designers have dubbed it, has 4.8-inch display screen with superior photo managing, editing, enhancing and sharing capabilities. Not only does it promise seamless 3G and 4G connectivity, it also boasts of an automatic cloud backup.
“It’s a piece of equipment that takes superior pictures, which even professional photographers would find interesting and useful,” said Won Hyung Cho, Samsung’s product planner, digital and imaging division.
The company could have simply come up with a Wi-Fi-capable camera, he said, but that would have limited users to indoor areas and within places that are wired. There was also a need for a faster, more high-definition camera compared to those available in the market.
“Most of our competitors only do cameras with shooting features,” Won Hyung Cho added. “But customers have already moved to the next stage. They want to take images from their device, manipulate and enhance them directly, share those photos immediately with a social networking site or cloud.”
To offer users a more “total” experience, all cameras must have optical performance and Wi-Fi accessibility. But that’s not enough. Since a good number of camera activities also happen outdoors, a device should also offer seamless 3G or 4G connectivity. Its 4.8-inch display is also said to be the largest and most vivid of its kind among digital cameras.
And for camera-ready Filipinos, the Galaxy camera’s face-swapping feature may just be the best thing there is for unwieldy group shots.
“It’s not easy to take group pictures,” said Won Hyung Cho. “You end up taking a particular group’s photo several times because one person may not be smiling or looking directly at the camera.”
With its continuous shot feature, everyone gets to choose his or her favorite face. These selected faces can eventually be used to make up one composite picture. It may not be the absolute truth as far as photojournalism is concerned, but at least everyone ends up happy.
Finally, Samsung’s Ativ smart PC literally offers the capability and power of a PC, and the convenience of a tablet. And unlike the Samsung Galaxy, which uses the Android OS, the Ativ runs using Microsoft’s new Windows 8.
Having led the market in smartphones and smart TVs, Samsung, a relatively new player in the PC scene, has now also set its sights in dominating the market. It has to create something “very special,” said Won Park-Costof, Samsung’s VP, marketing group for IT solutions business, that would draw attention to the brand.
“With our TV and smartphone, Samsung is now the world’s leader in smart technology,” she said. “Since we can now detach and turn the PC into a tablet to allow more movability in communicating with different devices, this move further ensures the world’s connectivity. ”
The Ativ line, which will include a smart PC, smart PC 2 (for the more techie, professional stuff), smartphone, isn’t to be confused with Samsung’s Galaxy line. Ativ is a parallel line distinguished by its Windows 8 OS. As Samsung has earlier shown in its Galaxy line, the Windows 8 experience could be optimized if you have Samsung smartphone and smart TV.
The smart PC line, which would have a global launch on Oct. 26, initially comes in a sleek silver-blue color.
“You’re using a lot of other company’s notebooks,” said Raymond Wah, Samsung’s VP, PC product planning group for IT solutions business, to journalists present during the media conference. “So we still have a long way to go. But Samsung has always strived to deliver the best customer experience, and we see this (partnership with Microsoft) as a key watershed moment where we could continue to innovate and bring great value to the PC user.”
Recent Stories:FEU’s Romeo ‘suspended indefinitely’, says coach 1 min elapsed Seoul press doubtful over North Korea dialogue offer 59 mins elapsed A new way for Filipinos to connect on social media launched 2 hours elapsed Arellano banks on strong start to thrash JRU 2 hours elapsed Waterspout damages 38 houses in Polomolok 3 hours elapsed Healthy gorilla born to 1st time parents at US zoo 3 hours elapsed US teen takes Danish supermodel to prom 3 hours elapsed Santos accepts offers for Neymar; player deciding 3 hours elapsed