Samsung launched the next version of its popular phablet, the Galaxy Note 2, and its first camera based on the Android OS, the Galaxy Camera, in a glitzy event for its dealers and media guests at the Marriot Hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex last night.
We’ll spare you from having to read the long list of celebrities who showed up at the event, and only say that the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra was great.
We were impressed by the Galaxy Note 2. The UI was smooth, and fast. The new Note 2 takes a lot of design cues from the Galaxy SIII, and has more rounded corners compared to the original Note. The most impressive new features were the split screen multi-tasking mode, the “best face” photo editing feature, and the “easy clip” functionality. These features are best seen rather than described, and you should give these a try when you get a chance to use one.
Samsung also bumped up most of the tech specs, and the ones worth noting are the 1.6Ghz quad-core processor (up from the original Note’s 1.4 Ghz dual-core processor), 2GB RAM (up from 1GB), and 3100 mAh battery (up from 2500 mAh).
The screen resolution, on the other hand, was bumped down from 1280 by 800 pixels in the original Note to 1280 by 720 pixels in the Note 2. You might argue that the new 16:9 aspect ratio makes for better video viewing, but that’s still 102,400 pixels fewer, or about 11% less screen real estate to work with.
Conceptually speaking, the Galaxy Camera is a no brainer: marry a great camera with a massive touch screen and the Android OS to get all the power of terrific photo editing, manipulation, and sharing apps on the Google Play store for a complete photo and video system.
And Samsung had all the right ingredients — a 16-megapixel shooter with 21x optical zoom, the latest and greatest version of Android (4.1 Jellybean), a 1.4 Ghz quad-core processor, and design chops that resulted in the gorgeous Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note 2.
In reality, however, it didn’t turn out so well. The touchscreen interface, the advanced camera features, and Android 4.1 all worked well. Our main quibble is with the size. It’s huge — definitely not pocketable, and closer in size to micro four thirds cameras.
I guess what we were really dreaming of was a Canon S100-sized camera with an iPhone 4s-sized touchscreen at the back. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait until the Samsung Galaxy Camera loses its baby fat.
We’re still waiting for a review unit, and we’ll definitely let you know if some quality time with this unique gadget changes our mind. The camera will be available in local retail outlets by November, and will come in two colors — black, and white.
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