The goofy Samsung Galaxy Camera--a point-and-shoot with a 4.8-inch touchscreen and a full version of Android--came out of nowhere and actually impressed us. The interface is fast and efficient for changing settings, the screen is great, and the camera has some pretty decent optics to book (21x optical zoom lens, 16MP CMOS sensor). And we just got an email from AT&T telling us the camera will cost $499.99, either with or without a 4G data plan. Yoooouch. That's even more than the $450 Canon S110, the reigning champ of advanced compacts. We'll have a full review soon so you can see if it's worth it.
Samsung's new anti-iPhone 5 ad is confusing! It may not take a genius to see which list of features is longer, but it COULD take a genius--or some kind of Android super-fan--to recognize what all those items even mean.
Lots of tech writers hated the Samsung Galaxy Note, a massive 5.3-inch-screened Android smartphone. So, this is probably definitive proof that absolutely nobody cares what we think, because the Note sold (sold! Not just shipped!) over 10 million units, and the new version is even bigger at 5.5 inches. It has the usual processor and OS version upgrades, and some UI tricks like hovering the stylus over icons to show options. No word on 4G LTE inclusion, or whether it will accept regulation-sized skateboard trucks. [All Things D]
So, for the past year, there has been this ongoing legal drama between the two biggest players in the mobile computing world, Apple and Samsung. Apple, which no sane person would deny pioneered the all-touchscreen, rectangular, app-based modern smartphone we all carry, sued Samsung, the world's biggest phone manufacturer, for ripping off its designs and violating its patents. And just now, the jury handed down a verdict: Samsung will have to pay over $1 billion in damages.
This will, of course, lead to all kinds of unusually-shaped and irregular polygon-inspired smartphones as every company makes sure its phones are not mistaken for Apple's. Personally I'm looking forward to the new Samsung Amoeba. Read more about the saga here.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is going to be a wild smash hit, I'm sure. And it's a very good phone; a lot of people will be very happy with it. But stepping back to look at the current state of Android smartphones, it's interesting to look at the S III compared to last November's Samsung Galaxy Nexus—a slightly older but extremely similar phone, loaded with a pure install of Android 4.0 that Samsung wasn't allowed to mess with, on Google's orders.
This time, Samsung put their hands all over the Android install inside the Galaxy S III, and it's a phone crammed full of ideas--new gestures, camera options, sharing options, big and strong hardware, and the best implementation of near-field communication we've seen yet. But do all these new features really improve the experience? Or is it just a phone badly in need of an editor--someone to say "no"?
A firm of analysts has just issued a report predicting that shipments of giant smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, will reach a completely bonkers 208 million in 2015, which, if our math is correct, is only a few years away. That's actually not that crazy of a guess; they are defining "phablet" (an awful, influenzal word portmanteaued from "phone tablet") as any phone with a screen size between 4.6 and 5.5 inches.
Nobody expected the enormous, 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note to be anything more than a joke. Many gadget reviewers hate big-screened phones. When I first saw it, all I could think was "cheese board." "Is that the Note? It looks absurd," said our Web Editor John. Sam Biddle over at Gizmodo called the Note a "distended LED baking sheet," amongst lots of other creative things.
Now, two and a half months later, the Note has sold well over 5 million units, making it a legitimate hit. You can bet HTC and Motorola and LG will all make a competitor--HTC's has already been heavily rumored--and last week, Samsung unveiled that its new flagship line, the Samsung Galaxy S III, would have a huge 4.8-inch screen, to the dismay of myself and many other gadget writers.
What do the people buying Galaxy Notes see that we supposed professional reviewers do not? To find out, I talked to a few Note owners and lovers.
OLED TVs are as much a tradition at the annual CES electronics conference as anything else: you see, you drool, you shake your head and remember that OLEDs are still several years away. But CES 2012 seems to have broken the curse: Samsung promised to release their 55-inch OLED "this year," and LG, according to a "respected Korean business daily," will release theirs in May, after a big to-do at the Cannes Film Festival. They've even got a price: 9 million Korean won, about $7,900 USD. That sounds like a ton for a TV, but remember that just a few years ago, an 11-inch OLED TV sold for $2,500--I'm actually impressed by the $7,900 number, if it's true. We'll keep you guys updated if we learn more. [via The Verge]
One of the smaller rumors going around about today's Apple event predicts that Apple will release a new version of its little black set-top box, Apple TV. A sub-rumor suggests that this Apple TV might incorporate Siri, Apple's voice-command Lady of Wonder. Siri on Apple TV could legitimately be the first alternative way to control your TV that isn't actually worse than a black plastic stick with buttons on it.