Thursday, 04 September 2014 06:58

Samsung beats Apple to the punch Featured

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In a major series of announcements in Berlin overnight, Apple’s mobile device archrival Samsung released a range of new products ahead of Apple’s own launch next week.

Samsung released four new products at the ritzy ‘Samsung Unpacked’ launch, held in Berlin’s futuristic CityCube. The flagship is a new Galaxy Note 4 phablet (phone and tablet) with a giant 5.7 inch screen and an improved ‘S Pen’ stylus.

As expected, Samsung also announced a 5.6 inch curved screen ‘Note Edge’ for those who want super trendiness. There is also a new Gear S watch and Fear VR ‘mobile virtual reality’ headset. The launch was held in conjunction with IFA 2014, the major European consumer electronics tradeshow, which also saw new products from Sony and many others.

But all eyes were on Samsung, which knocked off Apple as mobile market leader two years ago and is now achieving a reputation as a innovation leader also. Its new products are more improvements on what is already on the market rather than anything revolutionary, but they do confirm Samsung’s place in the technology vanguard.

“The Galaxy Note 4’s extraordinary 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED display reproduces clearer and more vivid images with deep contrast, better viewing angles, and response times as fast as a millionth of a second, providing a tremendous viewing experience.” Yep, it’s a nice screen.

“Due to its large screen, the refined Multi Window feature is able to maximise the user’s experience providing them with the key to easier multi-tasking. Users can choose how they access their applications with full, split or pop-up screens, and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one intuitive swipe.”

Sounds good. And all the other improvements you would expect - better camera, better battery, better most things. See specs below.

The Note Edge is the result of Samsung’s “relentless pursuit of the best in innovation through the optimisation of mobile technology.” Its curved screen is designed to provides quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality – even when the cover is closed – “all with the swipe of a thumb.” Users can also receive notifications directly on the Edge Screen while watching videos without disturbing their viewing.

All good stuff. But it is all about hardware. Samsung would like to do what Apple is doing and try to build an ecosystem around its products, but it’s just not the same.

The wearables are also pretty much what you’d expect. More details follow.

See specs on next page


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Product Specifications:

 

Network

2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz 
3G (HSPA
42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps) 
* May differ by country and carrier

AP

2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor 
1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor 
*May differ by country and carrier

Display

5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)

OS

Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Camera

Rear Facing: 16 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS 
Front Facing: 3.7 Mega pixel camera with f1.9

Rear Facing Camera : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More, Dual Camera 
Front Facing Camera: Selfie, Wide Selfie

Video

Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8
Recording & Playback: up to UHD

Audio

Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC/eAAC, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC()
(
) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support

S Pen Optimized Features

Air Command (Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip, Screen Write)
S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen Input

Additional Features

Multi Window

Ultra Power Saving Mode

Voice Recorder (Normal Mode, Interview Mode, Meeting Mode, Voice Memo)

Download Booster

S Health 3.5

Dynamic Lock Screen

Briefing

Google Mobile Services

Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube

Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80) MIMO PCIe 
GPS / GLONASS / Baidu
NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE,ANT+)
IR LED (Remote Control), USB2.0, MHL 3.0

Sensor

Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB,IR-LED 
Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, Heart Rate Monitoring, SpO2 (Dependent on market)

Memory

32 GB Internal memory micro SD slot (up to 64GB)
3GB RAM

Dimension

153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g

Battery

Standard battery, Li-ion 3,220mAh, Fast Charging (Adaptive Fast Charging & QC2.0)

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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