Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
Today, large companies, especially corporate giants like Samsung, do not surprise users with extraordinary products...
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Samsung at CeBIT 2004
Samsung is one of the few manufacturers who kept most of the new models in secret before CeBIT. The explanation for this fact is the traditional will of presenting new products at this exhibition, and judging by the last two years the presentations are really big and massive. Unfortunately, about a half of the products which are presented at the exhibition are not released on the market after all. They get delayed, switched for more perfect models. This year the company is trying to change the formed stereotype and demonstrate new line-up of products which will actually be in demand on the market.
Each year a lot of people are asking one and the same question – when will Samsung release products, which will be powered with Bluetooth. The last exhibition featured such model, but once again it did not reach retail sale. Curious fact that for now the company does not plan releasing such models either. Here we can see a certain position – Samsung tries playing in the mass segments. This means that by the end of year 2004, when Bluetooth device market will start growing amazingly fast, and the number of models from various manufacturers will become large, Samsung will show its vision for this question. Most likely electronic component division is working on creating own Bluetooth-chip, this means that the models will be rather cheap and mass, the company will not have any problems with delivering the device due to any part lack. At the moment most of manufacturers are experiencing chronic lack of Bluetooth-chips, the technology became popular in no time.
Last year a lot of people were asking when the first UMTS-phone from Samsung – Z100, will hit retail sale. The answer was received in Cannes at 3GSM Congress, where the company was presenting Z105. I will not stop on its details, all pictures and description can be found in the corresponding article. Another case is that the company decided to spread conditionally all products into several categories, according such classification Z105 refers to the Next Generation phones.
In this very own category another model will be released – P710. Its outlook was copied from P100, alike Z105 it has internal display that can show up to 262000 colors (TFD), but the external screen is alike the internal one. However it is not the fact that company uses two high quality screens, which allowed calling this model a Next-Gen one. Here we see the EDGE being supported, this is the first Samsung phone that features this technology. If we look at history, we will notice that the company’s experience with implying new models was not successful, just look at GPRS for example. During the time when Samsung presented this model at European market, it was a sort of test; meanwhile Samsung did not have such experience on its home market. As a result first presented models were functionally rich, but not in demand on the market, there were just no users who were willing to pay exactly for this feature.
Other specifications of P710 are common, this is 40-tone polyphonic ring tones, MMS, Java, WAP 2.0, built-in e-mail client, SyncML, video recording, video calls (the camera has VGA-resolution). Phone’s size is 89x47x22 mm, weight 90 grams. It is not yet known when this model will be released, it will depend on how the EDGE networks will be installed. According to our predictions, it will not be available before end of summer or October. The approximate price is estimated around 450 Euros after the first month of retail sales start.
Another product category is called Mega Pixel. I believe that it will not be a problem to guess that these models are equipped with 1mpx camera, so far the company presented only one phone, but everything starts with something, more products will be announced soon. The first megapixel phone is called P730, it is built on an already known CDMA-model. The camera is built-in the back side of the phone. Rotating mechanism is not entirely usual, it is made in the upper part of clamshell, here you can see it getting thicker. On pictures such mechanism looks interesting, but in reality the device itself is rather thick (24.5 mm), it does not look elegant. And the mechanism is the reason to blame, unfortunately the model is equipped with external antenna as well, this does not give it modern outlook. But everything vanishes when it comes to camera’s possibilities, you are free to take pictures in 1024x864 resolution. Another pleasant peculiarity – presence of RS-MMC card slot, hotswap is supported. Thanks to the memory card you can turn your phone into mp3 player, in such moments the phone becomes truly multimedia.
Other features are rather interesting as well, internal display is capable of showing up to 262000 colors (TFT), external up to 256 (OLED). The camera is capable of recording video clips, the phone is triband and has 64-tone polyphonic ring tone on board. The presence of Java, MMS, WAP 2.0 looks typical. The phone’s size is 94x45x24.5 mm, weight 123 grams.
The release terms for this model are autumn of 2004, the price is still under the terms of discussions, but I will dare to predict that it will be around 500-550 Euros, perhaps even more.
Alright, we are moving to the next category, it is called Trend Leader. The slogan sounds rather eloquence – “Set new standards. Be you!”.
That’s why this category shows most unusual products, including phones equipped with slider. One of them is D410, which was reviewed on our web-site in details.
In third quarter models with sliders will get reinforcements by such prudcts as Samsung E800, E810. The E index shows that these models are fashion ones, E700 was moved to this segment as well. Both phones are have similar specifications and slightly differ by software, plus they have different design. Unlike D410, the phone’s sizes are more similar to Siemens SL55, they are small. Overall specifications are the following – GSM 900/1800, VGA-camera with flash, screen capable of displaying 65000 colors (TFT), 64-tone polyphonic ring tones, MMS, Java, WAP 2.0. The phone’s sizes are truly similar, in the first case it’s 87x43x23.5 mm, and in second 87x44x23 mm. The weight in both cases is 86 grams. In Å810 main difference is presence of camera, it is made alike X600’s technology and can be rotated by 180 degrees.
Without looking at rather poor functionality, the phones are interesting with their polyphonic ring tones, quality displays and big amount of built-in memory. This is typical for fashion solutions, presented in various colors. Considering the fact that this market’s segment is not filled (phones with sliders), we predict a big success for these models. The price after release will be around 300-350 Euros, it should be considered as approximate. In case the model will be in demand, the price can be even bigger - 450-550 Euros.
We already mentioned E700 in this category, recently we wrote that software update which will add E710’s features will be released. Company’s representatives tried to assure us that it is impossible technically, since the phones are built on various platforms. In the same time, we can say that release of new E700A (index is not yet confirmed) is possible. Basically we face the fact that the new phones will have different software inside them, and E700 owners from old shipments will be unable to receive new functions (new menu outlook, ability to bind picture to a name in phone book). At company’s booth nobody was able to confirm or decline my prediction, the answers were evasive.
Another model which is not really known to the consumer is called Å600. Our web-site has its review, that’s why we will not stop on it, please read all information from the corresponding web-site’s section.
Elder model is called Å100, it is already shipping on the market and does not contain any peculiar interest, its review can be found at our web-site as well.
The new model Å300 seems to be really interesting, since it is Samsung’s vision of average class. For the first time external display is built on TFT-technology and can display up to 65000 colors, plus it supports FotoCall. This means that in order to see who is calling us, we will not have to open the clamshell. A lot of users who fell in love with FotoCall function switched off auto-answer feature, when the clamshell opens in order to see the caller’s picture, you will not have to do that in case with E300.
The internal screen is TFT as well and can show up to 65000 colors. The phone is working in two frequencies and is equipped with VGA-camera (video is included), 40-tone polyphonic ring tones, MMS, Java, WAP 2.0. Its size is 83.5x46.5x22 mm, weight 85 grams. The E300 will be released in the middle of July, its price will range fro, 275 to 325 Euros.
I cannot exclude such product as P510 from my review, this is the second phone from the company that has automatic opening mechanism. The phone is interesting due to other functions as well, and you will be able to read its review on our web-site in nearest future. You can also read Ð400’s review, the phones refer to one and the same category.
The category’s slogan is effectiveness and high performance combined in one device. In some measure this is a try to attract business users, by offering solutions for them. The category includes smartphones which were presented more than year ago, they came to CeBIT 2004 without any significant changes. The company promises to start shippings of all three smartphones in third quarter of 2004 around Europe. Let’s hope that this time it will actually be able to do that. We will recall the products presented in this category shortly. First of all, there’s this Symbian-smartphone presented in form-factor with slider - Samsung D710.
Next model is i500, it works under Palm OS, no changes from the announced ones are around. And finally the last device i700, this is Windows-smartphone, which became the only difference, other parts are the same.
A lot of these smartphone pictures and their detailed description can be found in the last year’s review from CeBIT.
This time the company also presented Windows-smartphone i250, its specifications are similar to the previous model.
This category includes models targeted for youths, this is X-series from Samsung. Two products are already known to the consumers - Õ100, Õ600. Check the reviews for more information about these two models.
X series will be added with another model in October, its name is X900. This model combines a mobile phone and mp3 player. It has 128 megabytes of built-in memory and can play mp3, AAC files. In order to underline musical features of this phone, it got equipped with stereo headset and nice speaker in case you’d like to listening music aloud. Such speakers allow playing the 64-tone ring tones with great quality level. Built-in camera has VGA-resolution, and allows recording video besides just taking pictures. The external display is 65k, built in TFT technology, the internal one has 262000 colors and is built on the same technology. The phone is triband, supports Java, MMS, WAP 2.0. Its size is 89.7x46.4x24 mm, 90 grams.
Curious that one of the company’s representative mentioned presence of EDGE technology in that model. Since the company has huge experience in releasing phone with built-in mp3 players, he also mentioned model Ì100. This phone did not become popular in Europe, since the users did not want to synchronize their files with poor connection speed to PC. The new model allows uploading new mp3 files via cable from your PC, as well as via EDGE-networks, basically via air. The second way does not sound entirely required, but this feature was included anyway. For some reason this is reverence in favor of European operators who require services for EDGE-networks badly, this would allow loading the channels more. What else than music can be popular?
The approximate release term for this device is end of the year, exact date is not yet known. The price will be rather democratic, around 350 euros. The reason for success is hidden inside the operator’s support, they will be promoting this device.
The next model is called Õ910 and is logical successor to the previously mentioned. The only difference is that the design was taken from Õ400. You can see same button placement, the company calls it “gaming”, keypad reminds joystick. The main specifications are similar to Õ900, same two screens (65k, 262k), stereo speakers, mp3 player. But the manufacturers decided to do something different with the construction, the phone has lean on the bottom, this looks rather unusual. Additional control keys and slot for MMC cards are located on the bottom as well. Device’s size is 105x48x23.5 mm, weight 129 grams. The appearance on the market is expected by the end of year, no details about the price were given.
In the category Common Sense two models were presented, one of them is already known to our readers - Õ450 (you can read its review in the corresponding section of our web-site), which is a budget clamshell phone from Samsung, as well as successor to last year’s hit – C100. New model is called Ñ110, its difference is MMS support, few updates on the functions, extended memory amount and bigger physical screen’s size, which is similar to X100. This series is considered as budget for Samsung, there will be no models simplified more than this. Basically this means that the company is not planning to be present on the super-cheap solution segment, on which the profit for producing the phone can be possible only if the shipments are really huge for long terms (more than a year).
For the first time the company decided to draw its attention to accessories, and actually spent significant amount of time for them on the presentation. It’s not a secret for anyone that there were a lot of garnitures released recently, but most of them were not compatible with other models. Now the company is trying to unify model line, this process will take a lot of time and we will see the results only in next year.
At the moment the company presented a line of accessories for new phone line-up, here you can see separate chargers, desktop universal charger presented as small bad, Advance Handsfree Car Kit, Stylish Handsfree Car Kit. The presented accessories are somehow similar to the ones Motorola was presenting, but they have their advantages as well.
The most interesting products will be Bluetooth ones. The company presented USB Dongle, but the Bluetooth garniture was more interesting, with its own original design. What can be said, is that the company had finally decided to try its powers in this segment, let’s just hope for it.
The exposition from Sasmung traditionally attracts attention of many, that’s why this booth was the first in our list. We’d like to remind you that the company showed the models that have most chances to hit the retail stale, the less chances in our opinion are related to the Next Generation category. During the year the company will announce new products for at least two times, update its vision for the market and present new accessories. The strong sides during the year 2004 remain fashion functions (colors, polyphonic ring tones and the camera), meanwhile synchronization and data transfer can be related to the weak points. In my opinion it’s exactly 2004, when the company will concentrate on improving functionality for its products, step by step possibility improvement. This tactics will allow the company to dominate on the market. Running slightly forward, I’d like to note that on Russian market a significant event occurred in the first quarter. According to amount of sales presented in absolute numbers as well as money Samsung’s products managed to outrun Nokia. It’s hard to underestimate this fact, let’s see how the company will develop in future, it has the range for maneuvers, that’s what Nokia lacks at the moment.
Published 20 March 2004
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