Do these gadget designers ever sleep?
In the near future, everyone might be using just one gadget that would function as a phone, camera, tablet and PC, with batteries that never run out of power.
In the meantime, Samsung Electronics, in its relentless bid to become everyone’s favorite gadget brand, has pushed the boundaries of what these techno tools can do—with the release of not one, two or three, but nine new products.
The items were formally launched at Samsung Premiere 2013, a media event held recently at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. Inquirer Lifestyle was one of scores of media groups worldwide invited to the affair.
Jason Bradbury, host of “The Gadget Show” British TV series, emceed the Samsung launch. He added to the media’s anticipation, as DJ Lee, president and head of sales and marketing for Samsung’s IT and mobile communications division, introduced the products.
There was a frenzied race among the IT reporters around us to send breaking news about each of the products’ features to their respective offices’ online sites. We could also hear nonstop clicking of cameras that captured images of the products beamed on a gigantic screen that dwarfed Lee.
In essence, these are what consumers should expect when the nine new Samsung products hit the stores:
Galaxy S4 mini
Lightweight and highly compact, the Galaxy S4 mini weighs 107 grams—very convenient to carry around, and allows easy operation with one hand. Along with a crystal-clear 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display and a powerful 1.7GHz dual core processor, this phone contains lots of applications and special features including Samsung Hub, which provides a single entry for Samsung contents and services like, for instance, S Health, which helps users monitor sleeping patterns, calculate weight, and get real-time heart monitoring.
Galaxy S4 Active
Designed for travel and adventure buffs, the Galaxy S4 Active is dust-proof and can withstand being submerged in one-meter-deep water for 30 minutes. It is also able to shoot photos and video underwater with its Aqua Mode setting.
Galaxy S4 Zoom
This combines the style and functionality of a Galaxy S4 with advanced photographic capabilities—dubbed as the only smartphone in the world (so far) with 10x optical zoom. One of its wonderful features is the In-Call Photo Share, which allows you to take a spur-of-the-moment shot in the middle of a call and send it to whoever you’re talking to—without having to hang up first.
Galaxy NX Smart Camera
Hyped at the launch as “the world’s first interchangeable lens Android camera with 4G LTE.” This means that, aside from boasting a 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor for professional quality shooting, it also offers compatibility with a range of NX lenses, the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, and advanced connectivity including 3G, WiFi, and even 4G.
The camera comes with Android photography apps and Samsung functions such as Sound & Shot, Drama Shot and Story Album, earlier seen on the Galaxy S4. Users can shoot and manipulate photos directly on the camera and share or back up, wherever they are.
A two-in-one device that merges a Windows laptop and an Android tablet in one high-resolution package. The ATIV Q has a unique hinge design that allows you to use it either as a notebook PC or tablet; it can also be put on stand mode for personal viewing, or “air” mode when several users need to see the screen at once. And, as earlier seen on the Galaxy Note II, it has an embedded S Pen for writing and drawing and gives users the benefits of both the Windows 8 and Android platform.
ATIV Book 9
This is the new Samsung notebook PC, available in both Lite and Plus versions. The ATIV Book 9 Lite has a slim and lightweight design and fast boot-up time due to its Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage, while the ATIV Book 9 Plus features a metal chassis and delivers high resolution with a pixel density 2.8 times higher than Full HD. It also has a nine-hour battery life.
ATIV Tab 3
This lighter and slimmer updated version of the ATIV Tab weighs 550 g and is 8.2 mm thick. It also has an 8.5-hour battery life and an S Pen, which can be used with the preloaded Microsoft Office 2013. The ATIV Tab 3 offers the full Windows 8 platform and is said to be “the world’s thinnest Windows-based tablet.”
ATIV One 5 Style
This is an all-in-one PC that has the same design aesthetic as the Galaxy S4 for visual impact. With a powerful quad core processor, high-quality SoundAlive audio and ATI Radeon HD8330 graphics card, the ATIV One 5 Style also packs the performance to ensure that users experience apps, games and multimedia smoothly.
SideSync is a software that lets you connect your Samsung Android device with an ATIV PC to share content between them and back up phone data, while charging the device’s battery at the same time. With a keyboard and mouse-sharing mode, you can control both your PC and your smartphone using your PC’s mouse and keyboard. You can also use your PC to type mobile messages, edit documents on your device, and more.
The future is here
As soon as the presentation was over, the media made a mad dash to a large backroom where all the devices were on display. Most of us got their hands on the gadgets for a quick demo. For a moment, we were dizzy with delight—flushed with the thought that the future is here. Well, almost.
The next thing to find out is what improvements these gizmos would need, after users actually buy them.
By then, Samsung’s creative team might have to lose some sleep. But do they ever sleep at all?
The new Samsung products will be launched in the Philippines on Saturday at Inquirer Lifestyle’s Face-Off Bridal Collection in Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu.