With the start of a brand new year, Samsung is ready to get rid of the old and offer up something new for their loyal customers; the S8300. This slider is set to replace their current flagship phone, the Soul U900. While it does look slightly less impressive in terms of design as compared to its predecessor, it does feature the same anti-scratch and anti-fingerprint coated duraluminum material used in the Soul. On the features end, I have no complaints whatsoever with its rumored specs. With a 2.8-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, 8-megapixel CCD camera with autofocus, optical joystick and 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity, how can you go wrong with that? Of course, everything can’t be considered official just yet until Samsung makes the grand reveal which will either happen in CES this month or at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. Rest assured, we’ll give you guys posted once we get the latest info on their new flagship phone.
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Consumer Reports has released their January 2009 issue, and based on their study, the Samsung BlackJack II is the no. 1 smartphone as far as the US market is concerned. This QWERTY-equipped Windows Mobile-powered mobile phone managed to beat not only the T-Mobile G1, but also the more popular iPhone 3G. Actually, neither of the two even made it to the top five which was composed of the T-Mobile Wing, Motorola Q9C, T-Mobile Shadow, and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. The first Android-based phone and iPhone both were tied at 6th place. I guess this just goes to show that consumers still value form, function and price over design and hype. Of course, this listing applies to the US and being in the Philippines, we definitely have our own set of smartphones to choose from. My personal top five picks for local market are as follows (in no particular order): 1. Nokia E71 2. Samsung BlackJack II 3. iPhone 3G 4. Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 5. Motorola Q9 How about you guys? What’s your mythical five smartphone line-up?
If you think the global economic crisis is discouraging mobile phone manufacturers from launching uber-expensive devices for the time being, the recent unveiling of the Samsung Ego GT-S9402 clearly shows that they’re not that affected by it that much. This new phone model from Samsung features an 2-inch QVGA AMOLED display, 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus, image stabilization and face and smile detection, FM radio, tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, 1GB internal memory expandable via microSD card, and is also a DuoS which means you can use two SIM cards on it at the same time. Except for the camera, the specs look pretty average, but what truly makes this model special and expensive is its use of liquidmetal composite alloy which is touted to be much better than titanium in almost all aspects. It may not be a Vertu, but the S9402 definitely provides a more luxurious option to Samsungs already impressive line-up of phones. It’s expected to cost 1200 EUR or roughly P75K when it becomes available. With such a steep and hefty price tag, I highly doubt you’ll be seeing this in the regular mall stores if ever it does make it to the local market.
Samsung has officially announced its brand new M8800 Pixon mobile phone. It’s another touchscreen-enabled device that features a 3.2-inch 400x240 display, 8-megapixel camera with a host of imaging features such as face recognition, smile detection and a bunch of others, triband HSDPA, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, DivX playback and an accelerometer as well. Unlike its other touchscreen brethren, the M8800 runs on a proprietary OS as opposed to more popular systems such as Windows Mobile and S60, and lacks WiFi. However, with so many imaging features, one can probably look past those shortcomings. It’s expected to start shipping in November with a price of 550 Euro, roughly $800 in US currency. It'll probably make an RP debut in early 2009 that is unless Samsung Philippines decides to push it for an earlier release which we'll surely appreciate.
We’ve heard and seen supposed spy shots of this upcoming mobile phone, but now Samsung has made the i900 Omnia official. GSM Arena reports that it will make its debut in Singapore on June 17, but all the details regarding its specifications are already public. It’s another touch screen-enabled mobile phone that aims at providing consumers with an alternative to the pioneering iPhone. It runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro and has a brilliant 3.2-inch Wide QVGA (240x400 pixels) display. It also manages to incorporate a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and face and smile detection which makes this device a cut above the rest of the current pack. It's a relatively well connected device with 3.5G capabilities and Wi-Fi support. Entertainment features include a built-in FM radio, multimedia player and stereo Bluetooth. Storage wise, it’s quite hefty with 8GB and 16GB models scheduled to be released. All these can be found in a very slender 12.5mm thin body. The target market availability is this month though no specifics were given as to where it will make its first appearance. Coincidentally (or not), Apple is also expected to unveil version 2.0 of the iPhone today and it seems that Samsung wants to upstage the Jobs empire. We’re hoping that the new iPhone will be as enticing as the i900 if not better, but I highly doubt that it will come with a 5.0-megpixel camera.
Catering to those who love shiny little things, Samsung has unveiled their new portable digital players: S2 ‘Pebble’ DAP and the S3 PMP. The S2 ‘Pebble’ is a straight forward compact mp3 player that comes with 1 GB of storage and is available in a variety of colors. Obviously in the same division as Apple’s iPod Shuffle, this diminuitive DAP doesn’t come with a display or a whole lot of features, but offers a multicolor LED status indicator that glows in a very discrete and fashionable manner. PC connection is made available through a specifically-made USB dongle that fits into the 35-mm jack. Design-wise, Samsung's probably got a winner here though a clip of some sort would have been great so the ‘Pebble’ won’t easily fall out of one’s pocket. The S3, on the other hand, is capable of audio (mp3, WMA) and video (mpeg4) playback. Aside from the various color choices, it’ll also be available in 4- and 8GB capacities. Style factor is provided by the LED-lit controls that automatically disappear when not in use. It also comes with a 1.8-inch 240x320 TFT display, FM tuner, screensavers, and flash games. Both have target release dates in the US in the 2nd quarter of 2008. If ever it becomes locally available, I’m guessing it’ll be middle of this year.
You’ve probably seen the huge ads in the papers promoting this new line of music phones from Samsung, but one of these three new models actually stands out as being a first for the company here in our country. The i450 is a 3.5G (HSDPA) phone that has a pretty decent set of multimedia capabilities. It’s got a 2-megapixel camera at the rear and a 2nd one for video calls as well as a dual slide mechanism with built-in speakers that come with Ice Power Technology by Bang & Olufsen . Its music player supports a variety of formats and comes with FM radio and a 3.5-mm jack for easy connection of earphones. It's likwise capable of video playback and Bluetooth connectivity. So far, so good, but nothing really outstanding; but pay close attention to the interface of the phone. Yup, you guessed it right. This is the first locally available unit to run on the S60 platform that is more commonly associated with Nokia handsets. Yes, it's true. Finally, an S60-running Samsung phone has made it to Philippine shores. It also features a unique Soft Touch Spin Wheel system for easy navigation of stored media content. Combining the body and design of Samsung with the widely-used and supported S60 software, this has the makings of a match made in heaven. While the i450’s specs alone already speaks volumes about its value, the S60 OS adds a new dimension as others who have grown accustomed to Nokia S60 phones will surely find it a lot easier to switch to Samsung knowing that it now sports the same platform.
Following up its initial active dual-SIM phone offering, Samsung has introduced the D780 DuoS. It’s the second unit from the company that offers the convenience of supporting two SIMS at the same time. Based on the photos, it looks a little more stylish than the D880, but the improvements might just end there. It comes with a 2-megpixel camera, Bluetooth, an mp3 player and fm tuner with stereo speakers. Nothing really outstanding when compared to their first DuoS phone and it still doesn’t come with 3G and a secondary camera, so don't expect to make any video calls on this phone. Nevertheless, it’s sill triband-enabled so you can use it most countries which makes it decent choice for jet-setting businessmen who are always on the go. Color variations include dark silver and a mirror silver version. It will make its first appearance in
Russia in May and is scheduled to be released in Southeast Asia afterwards.
If you’ve always had a passion for photography and you still don’t have the gear to pursue it, now is probably the best time to get one. Prices of digital SLRs are at an all-time low especially if you know where to look, and the competition is about to get even more heated as Samsung unveils their own SLR to battle it out with the big boys in the local scene. The GX-20 is a 14.6-megapixel SLR that supports Live View via its large 2.7-inch LCD display. It also has a built-in Optical Anti-shake function which is similar to how the Canon IS and Nikon VR lenses work except that this time it’s part of the camera and not the lens. Maintenance is kept at a minimum with its Dual Dust Removal function that keeps the image sensor clean at all times. One of the best and more unique qualities that I like about this SLR is that it’s also dust and water resistant which means no more worrying when the rain suddenly starts to pour. This is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. Unfortunately, due to Samsung's choice of the Pentax KAF2 mount, lens choice and availability is somewhat limited considering we are a Canon and Nikon dominated nation. But who’s to say in the next couple of years, right? Maybe if this becomes successful enough, then we might see a wider and more diverse camera industry flourish in the years to come. Price and availability is yet to be determined. Thanks to Fritzified for this bit of news.
It’s official, Adidas and Samsung have joined forces in coming up with a fitness phone that will rival the Apple/Nike tandem that has been the craze among health aficionados. The F110, which is also known as the miCoach, is a quad-band slider that incorporates some nifty tools to aide the modern health buff. Once connected to the heart monitor and step counter, you can instantly gain access to your heart rate, distance covered and time while running with just one press of a button. No need to look at the phone as the data will be delivered via the included headset. With over 220 training programs provided through a fitness website which can then be downloaded later on, this virtual fitness instructor will see you through thick and slim. The phone comes with 1 GB memory and is bundled with the heart rate monitor and step counter which they dubbed as the foot pod in the box. With more features to offer as opposed to the iPod/Nike duo, this new tag-team might prove to be a successful partnership in the long run (no pun intended).