As I explained yesterday, I am fortunate enough to be participating in Samsung and Mcann Digital’s new campaign for the awesome new Samsung Galaxy phone. As you probably know, it is an Android based phone, which means that unlike the iPhone, any app can be developed and offered in the App Market, no need for anyone’s strict approval process. The task given to me and 4 other bloggers is to review 100 Android apps collectively over the next 3 days. Each blogger took 20 apps of their choice to review and posted their opinion on their own blogs as well as Samsung’s blog.
Samsung and Mccann Digital launched a new marketing campaign for the first ever Android Samsung device, the Galaxy. They gave 5 bloggers the phone for 4 days, and we have to review 100 Android apps over that time period. The phone is definitely impressive with its 3.2′ capacitative touch screen and 5 mp camera, but to the obvious iPhone comparison question, Android still has what to improve before that comparison is really justified.
I am happy to report that after putting social media to the ultimate test, it passed, but unfortunately Cellcom did not. OK, here is the story. After writing that last blog post about how horrific Cellcom’s service has been, and after attempting to speak to a manager for months, I finally got the call. It did not take long, in fact it was around a half an hour after the post was published that I got a call from a senior manager in Cellcom apologizing for the whole ordeal and offering me a “new” phone for “free”.
In my past life many of you may not know that I was a shepard so i know that this stuff is not easy. I wonder if it’s real or a marketing stunt by Samsung.
Wow, seems like the mobile industry is really booming over the last few days. Today, we are seeing some big news come from Samsung and T-Mobile in the form of an 8mp touch screen device, dubbed the Memoir.
A lot going on in the cellular world lately. Somehow though, even with the iPhone, the G1, and the new Pre, the Samsung Omnia is able to stand its ground. Yes, a lot of these new phone have more bells and whistles, but the Omnia’s feature set still keeps it at the top of the bunch. Just to give you a quick run down, the Omnia boasts a huge 3.2 inch screen (bigger than the Pre), a 5mp camera (better than the iPhone and the Pre COMBINED) with a built in flash (hear that Apple?), insanely fast HSDPA, WiFi, a blazing fast 624 mhz processor (I do not believe anything faster exists), has 8 or 16GB built in memory AND an expansion slot, stereo bluetooth (I am still talking to you Apple), plays DIVX movies, pocket Office, built in GPS, a high quality video camera, and all that in a ridiculously tiny 12.5 mm package (that is 4 mm thinner than the Pre).
I had the chance to play with the Omnia a little and the thing is just beautiful looking, and feels great in your hand. There really is not much missing in terms of the specs. The screen is resistive, not like the iPhone’s but somehow anyone that has reviewed it, cant stop talking about its responsiveness. It runs Windows Mobile 6.1, which is said to be a huge improvement over the older WM5. All in all, we got a winner of a device here.
OK, but there is another reason why I love this phone so much. It is the first phone that Samsung is marketing by using the tool that we have all grown to love so much, social network marketing. Samsung has joined forces with McCann (click on the McCann link to see a really cool ad campaign for Web advertising) digital to market the amazing Omnia using various blogs. One of these blogs is actually one of my favorites; Blonde 2.0. Ayelet writes a lot about the Web 2.0 world and she has acquired for herself quite the reputation amongst the social networking enthusiasts like myself.
Samsung and McCann have cooperated in the past as well, marketing a Samsung SC HMX10 high-def camcorder, but this is the first time they are using this tool with a mobile device, and I am loving it. As a blogger, a social networking addict (click that link to follow me on Twitter), and a mobile lover, I say great initiative from McCann and Samsung. I only hope the campaign is successful and they decide to continue with this concept.
TechEBlog provided us with a video review of the Samsung T919 Behold (gotta love these silly names). I was fortunate enough to play with the device and was very impressed with it. The specs are close to unbeatable with a 3 inch haptic touch screen, 3.5G, built-in GPS, stereo Bluetooth, a whopping 5 mp camera, all in a very sleek 11.4 mm package.
The phone was very responsive, and Samsung included the ability to move around the home screen widgets as desired. The camera takes very impressive high quality photos and the phone got great reviews from pretty much everyone.
So what’s with my title? Well, this phone definitely has a lot of characteristics of a “futuristic” phone, but two huge factors prevented me from buying it, and essentially make it a totally outdated device I might have seen on the market 5 years ago (OK, maybe not 5, but 2 regular years is equivalent to 5 years in the mobile industry). Let’s start with the smaller of the two; lack of Wifi.
OK, it’s true, many devices do not have Wifi. I just feel that a phone with a 3 inch touch screen and built in GPS, should also have Wifi, a feature available a long time before phones had GPS and touch screens. However, I would have considered buying this device even with the lack of Wifi, if it was not for the next issue; a closed operating system.
In today’s day and age, with all the various app stores, would anyone in their right mind buy a cellular device thats functionality cannot be expanded using 3rd party software? No installing IM clients, no task manager apps, no social networking programs, and of course, most importantly, no games. I do not think Samsung was feeling well the day they thought up this concept. A phone with a 5mp camera, but no ability to download software? Now, that is a little weird.
Just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the latest developments in the cellular world. What better place to start than the infamous Google phone, which turned out, much to most of our disappointment, to not be a phone at all, but a cellular platform or more precisely a mobile operating system? I just do not get a few things, and I would seriously like some explanations here, so please feel free to make use of the commenting tool.
Why would a company like Google, who is known for their innovation and products that just work (Gmail, Picasa, and many others), agree to introduce the world to their new and exciting Android on such a (I literally sat in front of my monitor trying to think of a strong enough word to describe the G1’s ugliness) horrendous looking phone? I cannot think of one aspect of the Dream’s hardware that is even slightly appealing to me! OK, software might be more important when choosing a phone, but there have to be red lines, and the first Android phone crosses them. So, why? There must be an explanation. Anyone?
Furthermore, once Google decided to settle and use the G1, how could they agree to release this phone without a 3.5 mm headphone jack? This phone is supposedly competition for the iPhone and others like it, but as if the G1 was not ugly enough on its own, you now have to use some clunky adapter to plug your earphones in? Why, Google, why?
These are not rhetorical questions, I expect answers here. Does it really take so much to add a headphones jack? Would it really have been too much to ask for HTC to design a pleasant looking handset for the most exciting mobile platform of 2008? Maybe something like the HD? I would have even settled for a Diamond. I really just do not get it.
OK on to other topics. Phone Scoop reviewed the Samsung Behold. They gave it an OK review and were not very excited by it. I read the review and was very surprised to see that the main disadvantage of the phone was not addressed. The camera was OK, the music player was decent, nothing about the fact that it is a closed OS, with no option of installing anything 3rd party. I can tell you that this was for me, pretty much the thing that prevented me from getting the phone. Strange that they did not discuss it.
Lastly, just wanted to give a quick shout-out to the biggest disappointment of my week. The 2.2 iPod/iPhone firmware upgrade. I was so excited to use Street View on my iPod and for some unexplainable reason, that update was only provided to iPhone users and not iPod Touch users. Other updates were implemented on both the iPhone and iPod, like pressing the Home button now brings you back to your first home screen, and enhancements to the App store. So, I ask, why would Apple do such a thing? I find it very hard to believe that it is because of technical restrictions, there is no reason it would work on the iPhone and not the iPod Touch, which leads me to believe that this was a marketing decision.
It is no secret that I love the way Apple markets their products, which leads me to my conclusion that everyone makes mistakes. The hard part is to acknowledge your error and correct it. So, no pressure, Steve, but hurry the heck up and fix this, I want to see my old house on my iPod.
Just to end on a positive note, congrats to Technmarketing on their 100th post, and what a post it is, if I do say so myself.
If I would have told you three years ago that I would be trying to determine which 8 megapixel cellphone is the best handset, and there are quite a few to choose from, I don’t think you would have believed me, in fact I don’t think I would’ve believed me.
I am not sure which made bigger waves in 2008, the touch screen or the 8 megapixel phones, but what’s for sure, they are both pretty unbelievable achievements.
GSMArena has a detailed comparison between the four 8 megapixel monsters:
- Samsung i8510 INNOV8: The most feature packed out of the bunch. You already know what I think of this powerhouse, although there is no question I prefer the full touch screen over the slider form factor.
- Samsung M8800 Pixon: According to GSMArena’s conclusion, the Pixon does not meet the image quality of the other touch screen 8MP handset, the LG Renoir. However, its user interface is superior to that of the Renoir’s.
- Sony Ericsson C905: I personally like this one the least, but GSMArena claims it has the best camera interface out of the group.
- LG Renoir: Out of the two touch screens, this offers the best image quality and video performance.
In any case, I think it is safe to say we are no longer in the era that camera phones are inferior to standard digital cameras, with these 8 MP shooters, no need to carry around an additional camera.
In other big news, the HTC Touch HD is available in stores, and I for one cannot think of a better way to spend $800 right now. The only thing that can stop me now from getting myself a nice HD is some sort of a natural disaster, like say for example, a Storm.
Samsung recently released another truly amazing handset, which they refer to as the Samsung INNOV8 (get it? Innovate?). With the corny name and my resulting desire to hate the phone, I have to admit, they did a pretty amazing job with this phone. The specs are pretty much unprecedented, except for maybe the Sony Ericsson C905.
The INNOV8 boasts a ridiculous 8 megapixel camera, with crazy features that can only be found on high end digital cameras. These include geotagging, automatic panorama shooting, face detection, smile detection, and even blink detection to prevent photos of people blinking (is it just me, or have we come a REALLY long way with camera phones?).
I am not even going to mention all of the phone’s specs, just take any phone out there and the INNOV8 has all its specs. It also has a 16 million color display, stereo speakers, 8 or 16 GB of internal memory plus a Micro SD card slot (so for all you mathematically challenged people, the phone can hold 24 GB of memory with an 8 GB Micro SD card), download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, Stereo Bluetooth, GPS, up to 8.5 hours of talk time, and did I mention an 8 megapixel camera, with a video camera that supports VGA at 30 frames per second and QVGA at 120 frames per second.
This is all without even mentioning the handset’s great looks. It has a slider form factor, somewhat similar to that of the Nokia N95, only thinner and less toy looking. It really is one of the nicer phones out there.
I recently had a discussion with a friend, who claimed that there is no more room for cellphones to develop. He claimed that they might get faster or smaller, but there are no new ideas or features left to invent in the cellular market. At the time, I argued the point, but after reading about the INNOV8, I think he might just be right. I mean the thing has a freakin business card scanner.