Tag Archives: Samsung

A Detailed Look At Tizen on Samsung’s First Prototype Device

Tizen just hit the 1.0 release last week (codenamed Larkspur), and at the Tizen Conference I’ve had the chance to play with the prototype device that Samsung has been handing out to developers to test their applications. Its basically a super large screen device, (4.65 inch my guess is about 4.3-4.7″ inches, 1280 x 720p HD Super AMOLED) that’s running on an 1.2 Ghz dual core A9 chip, with 1 GB of RAM. There’s also an 8 MP camera. In some cases it contains a cellular radio, while some device are WIFI only. There’s no word on what clock speed are they running at, or the the size of battery that’s inside.

A Detailed Look At Tizen on Samsung's First Prototype Device

While it is a reference design, it still gives us an idea of what the Tizen UI will look like and the core functionality that will come with it. We’ve already known that Tizen has an excellent HTML5 browser that bests everything currently on the market. After playing with the phone, we now know that it is heavily inspired from what Samsung’s been doing with TouchWiz. There’s a pulldown notification area just like Android, there are WIFI, Bluetooth toggles etc just like on Touch Wiz, multiple homescreens and so on. More importantly, there’s support for tethering out of the box, there’s also support for Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts out of the box so that you can sync your contacts nicely. There even seem to be push notifications for activity on Facebook etc, although I haven’t seen it in action.  Next, there’s support for services like Picassa, YouTube to aid in uploading content.

I spent some time with the device and captured my initial impressions as I went though the process of exploring the new OS. The following 7 minute video should give you a fair idea of what to expect on Tizen.

Again, this was a reference device and the load times, speed of operation etc does in no way represent what a real-world Tizen phone would be capable of.

If you are looking for pictures of the prototype device our friends at Tizen Talk have a few. What do you think of Tizen?

Hilarious ‘Blown Away By Lumia’ Video, No Wonder Samsung Was Hot Under The Collar

Both Microsoft’s ‘Smoked By Windows Phone’ and Nokia India’s ‘Blown Away By Lumia’ campaigns have not been without their share of controversies, but one thing which you cannot take away from them is that they are fun. Not only do they get the point about Windows Phone’s deep social integration and other functionality across to those taking part, but they make for great online viewing as well.

No one is happy to loose, so watching people react to being blown away is always entertaining. I came across one such absolutely hilarious video (courtesy @labnol) which I had to share.

Most guys take their phones seriously, and when your flagship device looses, its not a good feeling. But the real burn for the poor guy was when his girlfriend couldn’t help but quip, ‘your phone is the worst piece of shit!’ Ouch. I can’t image how that made Samsung feel.

That’s why Samsung doesn’t seem to happy about Nokia India’s ‘Blown Away By Lumia’ campaign. They could possibly have digested ‘My Samsung Galaxy got blown away’ but the ‘your phone is a piece of shit’ endorsement in a Nokia video probably did it for them. Infact  Samsung got so hot under the collar that they called the whole campaign ‘unethical‘. They seem to think that Nokia was targeting their devices, but a quick look at Nokia India’s YouTube channel shows that the campaign covered devices from across the spectrum. Infact, the only reason you see more Samsung devices is because in the changed world order Samsung is commanding a greater marketshare and thus by sheer logic more people on the street will be carrying a Samsung device than a BlackBerry, HTC or an iPhone.

For their part Nokia says Nielsen validated the campaign and that the Lumia 800 emerged as a clear winner by winning 94% of the total 104 challenges timed by Nielsen. Samsung been pretty aggressive in the past with its Omnia Taxis, and Nokia is only just starting to move away from its ‘we’ll let our products to the talking’ stance and get aggressive. I’d like to see them take it up a notch.

Fun times ahead.

Nokia Chimes In On Google’s Motorola Acquisition While Its Share Prices Shoot Up

We’ve heard from the major Android manufactures on what they feel about Google’s Motorola Mobility acquisition, but it would be interesting to hear what Nokia has to say about this. After all, pre Feb 11 Nokia was contemplating putting its eggs in the Android basket. Lets look at their official statement:

“This further reinforces our belief that opportunities for the growth of Nokia’s smartphone business will be greatest with Windows Phone. This could prove to be a massive catalyst for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Additionally, with our respective intellectual property portfolios, Nokia and Microsoft are working together to build and nurture an innovative ecosystem that benefits consumers, operators, developers and other device manufacturers.”

Nokia seems to believe (hopes?) that Google’s owning Motorola would drive a wedge between them and players like HTC and Samsung who already make Windows Phone devices. May be if Nokia had gone the Android way, then Google would’ve cross licensed Nokia’s treasure trove of patents and have not needed to buy Motorola Mobility, but then again Google wasn’t willing to cut Nokia a special deal so may be Nokia would’ve repaid them in the same coin and asked for a pretty steep price.

Meanwhile, Nokia’s stock has risen by over 12.5% since the news of Moto’s acquisition first broke. This looks like a recognition of how undervalued Nokia’s stock is and the rise is perhaps being fulled by speculation that Microsoft might just follow in Google’s lead and buy Nokia. It could also mean that the market seems to think that today’s deal might just benefit Nokia and its Windows Phone decision.

Nokia’s statement also underlines Nokia’s strong patent portfolio, which combined with Microsoft is as strong as any. Infact, even without adding Microsoft’s patents into the mix, Nokia has already forced Apple to pay up in a licensing deal.

[via: TIMN, ZCJ]

Demo: WIFI Direct On The Galaxy S2, Seriously Impressive

One of the brand new features that the Samsung Galaxy S2 brings is the support for WI-FI Direct. WI-FI Direct, if you remember, is the technology that lets you transfer data between other WIFI Direct devices by creating an adhoc WIFI connection between them. In other words, it allows WIFI devices to talk to each other without the need for wireless routers.

It works much like Bluetooth, just faster and has better range. Symbian is supposed to get WI-FI Direct this year as well, but Samsung beat everyone to the chase with the Galaxy S getting certification last year itself and now the SGS2 becomes one of the first smartphones (if not the first) to ship with WIFI Direct support out of the box this year.

I have played with WIFI Direct for a while and it is definitely a very welcome feature, one you probably wouldn’t be able to live without once you get used to it. Transferring an mp3 (5-6 MB) is virtually instant and very large files also take mere minutes. For example, you could transfer a 700 MB movie wireless in the middle of the desert in under 5 minutes using WIFI Direct.

Here’s a demo of WIFI Direct on two Samsung Galaxy S2 devices:

That’s not all, if two Galaxy S2 devices were connected to the same network, then I could also send files between them without having to activate a peer to peer network which meant I didn’t have to disable the WIFI connection from my router and could browse the web meanwhile.

Impressive.

I cannot wait for WIFI Direct support to other devices. What do you think of it?

Further reading – Our In-Depth Samsung Galaxy S2 Review.

Editorial: What Will Dual Core Processors Mean For Mobile Phones?

If 2010 belonged to the 1 Ghz chip, 2011 looks all set to be dominated by dual core powerhouses. Two years ago the market was very different from what it is now, the consumers while picking up smartphones looked at some of the more conventional features of a device, the camera, the screen, storage space and brand name. Today a lot more people are interested in the processor it runs on, the RAM, if there is a dedicated chip powering graphics and so on.

This transition happened for a number of reasons. The world’s biggest manufacturer shipped a device that was not running on the fastest hardware of the time and coupled with a not so great firmware, the user experience pretty much hit rock bottom for a number of people. The key takeaway for most was that it ran poor hardware. Around the same time companies like HTC started releasing smartphones that were running on 1 Ghz chips and when coupled with Android 2.1 (which was the first nicely polished Android version) the user experience that people witnessed was nothing short of impressive. Soon we started seeing hoardings around shops, banners on the internet which began to list the processor along with the usual specs like camera, storage and the consumer was thus trained to take better notice of the internals.

What Will Dual Core Processors Mean For Mobile Phones?

Just like 8 Megapixel sounds better that 5, the key marketing message became that 1 Ghz is better than 600 Mhz (which in most cases is!).  Today we are at the cusp of seeing the market flood with dual core device, Motorola & LG have one, Samsung will announce its lot at the Mobile World Congress (the Galaxy S successor) and you cannot expect companies like HTC to not follow suit. The smaller players will also keep up, just to keep themselves in the news.

In the end, the majority of dual core devices will run Android, which will mean that we will soon see even more fragmentation on Android. The budget 600-700 Mhz device, the 1 Ghz powered ones and the superphones. Developers have two choices, first to continue making games/apps that run fine on 1Ghz chips so as to cover the largest marketshare (current gen + superphones) or start developing afresh for the superphones that handle power graphics processing with ease. Once that happens, and sooner or later it will, developers might have a hard time keeping with everything.

While all of this goes on, there will be a bunch of 1+ Ghz phones announced that, while impressive in their own right will not be given there due because a new kid is on the block. Nokia will announce its MeeGo lineup of smarthphones with 1 Ghz or similar chips, and from the day they launch you will find people cribbing about how the hardware is outdated and how the Finnish manufacturer cannot keep up anymore.

At the end of 2011 there will still only be a handful of apps (majority of them games) that will really need dual core processors to run. Therefore, it will become important for manufactures who go down the dual core route to show how their device is actually using that processing power, just like Motorola has. While putting the latest Android on a dual core chip and a nice large screen will make the device very tempting and give you bragging rights, it will offer very little value for the consumer who is upgrading from a 1 Ghz smartphone.

This is where Motorola has taken the lead with the Atrix docking solutions that actually provide value to the consumer, come 2011 the value addition beyond the now accepted smartphone functionality is what will drive both innovation and consumers.