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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked
by Daniel Payne on 08-14-2015 at 7:00 am

Apple announces their new products with much media attention to an audience of enthusiastic attendees, along with a live stream to all of us on the Internet who couldn’t be there in person. Samsung is following that same marketing playbook and today hosted an event in New York dubbed, “Everything Galaxy Unpacked 2015” introduced by JK Shin, the President & CEO of Samsung Electronics himself. I’ve used the Samsung Galaxy Note, Note 2 and now the Note 4 devices, so this event today had my full attention. Samsung basically created the category known as phablet, a tablet-sized smart phone with a stylus. Bigger displays allow us to more easily read email, browse the web, watch videos, chat on social media, and do multiple things at once.

I was pretty impressed that JK Shin did the intro in English himself, while Justin Denison the VP of Product Strategy & Marketing did the new Galaxy Note5 presentation:

Galaxy Note5

  • Larger display at 5.7″, Quad HD
  • Smaller size
  • Metal frame
  • Thinner
  • Improved S-pen, more sensitive and precise
  • Keyboard cover (looks like a blackberry)

Alaina Cotton showed off the new Galaxy S6 edge+ mobile device:

Galaxy S6 edge+

  • Two visible edges
  • Larger display at 5.7″ Quad HD (while being more slender than the iPhone 6+)
  • Metal bezel
  • Comes in Silver Titanium color
  • Live Broadcast – allows you to broadcast live to YouTube

Common Features

  • Side Sync – like DropBox, easy to share files across Android, Mac and Windows devices
  • Fast Wireless Charging – in just 2 hours (Ikea and Starbucks are adding these)
  • 4GB of RAM for more and faster apps
  • Ready for LTE Cat 9 speeds
  • 4K video recording

These two new phones are ready for sale on August 21st in USA and Canada, although you can pre-order online today.

As a Note 4 user I’m attracted to the new Note5 and would consider upgrading to this phone at the end of my contract with AT&T. I noticed this past week that AT&T is offering upgrades to the Note 4 at just $49.99 while the price was $249.99 only 3 months ago.

Apple with the iPhone 6+ caught up to the Galaxy Note 2 (circa 2012), so Samsung is still ahead by 2 years in the feature department for phablets with the introduction of these two new models today. Our family uses both Android and Apple smart phones, and each system gets the job done, so it’s mostly a personal decision by consumers on which brand they adopt. My experience using a 5.7″ display has been very positive, so I won’t go back to anything smaller in the future, although now my Note 4 doesn’t fit into the bag underneath my road bike saddle, instead I have to slip the phone into my jersey pocket.

Samsung pay – a new mobile payment system that works with existing magnetic retail terminals, unlike NFS and Apple Pay which require new hardware and software systems. Lots of companies are backing Samsung pay, like:

This system also supports store-branded credit cards, membership cards and gift cards. This system goes live on August 20 in Korea, then in USA on September 28th, followed by China, Spain and the UK. I’d love to know if Samsung pay will work on my Note 4 device as well, because there’s a dearth of retail support for NFC where I live in Oregon today.

Safety for mobile payment is designed securely through a hardware-based system that does not store or transmit private information during a transaction, rather it has one-time use security code instead.

The new Samsung Galaxy Gear 2a new smart watch will be formally announced on September 3rd, so stay tuned for a few more weeks when that product roll-out occurs.

You may watch the complete 1 hour and 16 minute archived video online here.

I’m also very curious to see the tear-down of these devices to see which chips are being used inside, and how many of them are made by Samsung. We’ll have to wait a few weeks before the first tear-down reports are ready, but we already expect that Samsung continues to add more of their own chips with each new smart phone release.

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