In the madness of Mobile World Congress, you’ll quickly put together an article to meet the click-hunger that surrounds a large mobile phone launch.
Last night, as we started seeing the phones in the flesh, there was an elephant in the room. These handsets may, to some customers, look a lot like Galaxy S6 and S6 edge handsets. Sure, they’ve re-added the microSD card and the waterproof tech that got taken away in the S6, but they look fairly similar.
So Samsung, like LG, have decided to branch out. I personally think that this is something we’re going to be seeing more and more of, because – no matter what software and technical advances you achieve – the phones are going to be broadly similar to look at. So it’s not “accessories” but “extensions” of the phone that we’re beginning to see here in Barcelona. LG have already started things off with a range of add-ons and now Samsung have brought us this, the Gear 360 camera. I could dress it up and talk about it for a while, but it’s basically a camera that captures a 360 video or photo of the surroundings. Imagine Google Streetview, but in your house, in your car, at your wedding, wherever. Footage can then be watched back on a VR headset – namely the Gear VR.
The camera has three little legs that pop out to hold it steady, or you can attach it to a tripod mount. Looking at the camera we just have a menu, record and power button. It’s not a great deal to look at and has an eyeball / golf ball look to it. Pop open a door on the side and it’ll reveal a microSD card so that you can record up to 128GB of footage. There’s also a replaceable battery, and it’s splash-proof too.
Each lens is an f2.0 and has a 195-degree wide-angle view to make up the 360-degree footage. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge then grab the files and create your video. At the moment, at least, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S7 handsets are the only devices which will truly work with this Gear 360.
It’ll create 30 megapixel photos and 3840×1920 pixel video which you can either playback on your phone or through the GearVR. As we saw, Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance to throw his weight behind the little golf ball camera. He sees a world where we’ll be sharing our lives through 360-degree footage on Facebook.
As for those phones yes, they look the same, but there are some subtle differences. The S7 edge has curves at the front and the back too, giving it a comfortable and sleek pebble-feel when held in the hand. Inside, there’s some utterly cool technology that most people simply won’t see but you will appreciate. Most noticeably there’s a thin tube of water which, somehow, keeps the CPU cool by producing steam. Samsung call it a “thermal spreader” and it’s .. well, it’s water inside a phone, which blows my mind a bit.
Water, this time, won’t get into your phone. Samsung raised quite a few eye-brows when they binned the microSD card and waterproof nature of the Galaxy S5. Especially my wife, who drops her phone in the drink a lot. Anyhoo, Samsung told that they simply couldn’t “do” the waterproofing in the slender sexy Galaxy S6, but now they’ve worked hard and packed the waterproof seals inside the phone. Not only that, but there’s none of those unsightly rubber seals flapping about all over the place.
Oh, and they stuck the microSD card back in again, but you can put two SIM cards in instead and have a line for work plus another for yourself. We’ve also got that always-on display, as shown in the hands-on video below. I’d personally like to see this developed further though, as we’re restricted to showing just the date, time or one of three backdrops currently.
The camera is much improved too, and there’s less protrusion. Samsung did the same trick as last year by directly attacking the camera quality of the iPhone. This year the target was the iPhone 6S Plus, with camera images laid out side-by-side which showed the improvement made by the Galaxy S7 shooters. Here on the Galaxy S7 we have a bigger aperture – f/1.7 instead of f/1.9. What this basically means is that almost double the amount of light gets into the lens. That, means better low-light performance, but in addition to that there’s something called “dual pixel autofocus” which means that each and every pixel can record an image and determine the focus. The result is a hugely speedy focus and shutter time, which means a whole lot less blur and motion smudge. This tech was limited to DSLR cameras until fairly recently, so you’ve got to drink that in.
The only slight down-point is that the rear camera is 12 megapixels, and that’s in 4:3 by the looks of it. If you want 16:9 landscape, you’re looking at 9 megapixels.
OK, we’re at the launch event watching the madness but we now have the specifications. The always-on display on the super AMOLED screen is smart enough to
AMSUNG UNVEILS NEXT GENERATION SMARTPHONES AT THE CORE OF ITS
CONNECTED GALAXY EXPERIENCE
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge couple sleek design with powerful performance including advanced camera features, water resistance and external memory
LONDON, UK – February 21, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the newest additions to the Galaxy family of products, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Created for today’s consumer lifestyle, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge lead the industry with a refined design, more advanced camera, streamlined software functionality and unparalleled connectivity to a galaxy of products, services, and experiences.
“We believe in a world that is brighter, sharper, more convenient, and more fun. We strive to deliver on that vision with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge by marrying elegant design with functionality and providing a seamless mobile experience,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “We empower consumers with technology to help them get more out of life and will continue to push the frontier of what’s possible.”
ADVANCED CAMERA: HIGH QUALITY IMAGES NO MATTER WHEN OR WHERE PICTURES ARE TAKEN
Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge introduce the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone, delivering brighter and sharper images, even in low light. Thanks to the revolutionary Dual Pixel technology, brighter lens with wider aperture, and bigger pixel, the camera has a faster shutter speed and a more accurate autofocus even in low-light conditions. Motion Panorama, a new camera mode, brings movement to traditional panoramic photos, giving people a completely immersive visual experience.
REFINED DESIGN AND FUNCTION
The 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge are constructed with 3D glass and metal – all in a sleek design with durability and ergonomic curves for a comfortable grip. From work to play, the device’s new Always-On Display, gives users a simplified, zero touch experience where they don’t need to worry about missing a call or important notification.
Without compromising design, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both have increased utility with IP68 water and dust resistance. Edge UX, the advanced edge experience available on Galaxy S7 edge, increases efficiency by creating easy shortcuts to users’ most loved functions such as email, selfie mode, panorama mode or third party applications.
ENHANCED PERFORMANCE: FROM CHARGING TO GAMING
Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge deliver fast wired and wireless charging technology. Additionally, the hybrid SIM card tray allows users to insert a microSD card for up to 200GB of additional storage.
Samsung also made significant hardware and software updates to optimise gaming performance on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. The powerful processer and bigger battery capacity ensure longer playing time, and the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating. Game Launcher, a new add-on for gamers, allows users to manage battery consumption and minimise notifications. Additionally, people can record their gaming experience or share their screen to play with others. Paired with Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Vulkan API gives gamers the ability to play high-performance graphic games with lower battery consumption.
THE GALAXY EXPERIENCE
Samsung continues to push the boundaries of hardware, software and services to create devices that are designed to help consumers connect, share, organise and get more out of life. The company is redefining what is possible, beyond the limits of today’s technology, by introducing a series of seamless mobile experiences.
Whether it’s the seamless connection between Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge and the new Gear S2 Classic to monitor fitness, or connecting with Gear VR to “travel” the world – Samsung redefines what’s possible for the mobile experience and beyond.
Beyond the phone, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users can also get the best mobile payment service with Samsung Pay; it’s secure, easy-to-use and accepted almost anywhere. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with NFC (Near Field Communication), MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and Barcode technology, making mobile payments available to more merchants and consumers than ever before. The UK will be among several markets to launch Samsung Pay in 2016 and updates on availability will be provided in due course.
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will go on sale in the UK on 11th March and customers can pre order from tomorrow (22nd February). Customers who pre order before 5th March will also be rewarded with a special early delivery on 8thMarch so they can experience the new S7 devices before anybody else. Pre-order customers will also receive a brand new Samsung Gear VR headset bringing a whole new dimension to their Galaxy S7 experience.
For more product information, please visit www.samsung.com/uk/galaxy-s7
GALAXY S7 AND GALAXY S7 EDGE PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
|Galaxy S7||Galaxy S7 edge|
|OS||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)|
* May differ by markets and mobile operators
|Dimension||142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g||150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g|
|AP||Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad), 64 bit, 14 nm process|
Quad core (2.15GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Dual), 64 bit, 14 nm process
* May differ by markets and mobile operators
|Memory||4GB RAM (LPDDR4), 32/64GB (UFS 2.0) + microSD (up to 200GB)|
|Display||5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED|
2560 X 1440 (577ppi)
|5.5” Quad HD Super AMOLED|
2560 X 1440 (534ppi)
|Camera||Rear: Dual Pixel 12MP (F1.7), Smart OIS|
Front: 5MP (F1.7)
|Fast Charging both on wired and wireless|
Wireless Charging compatible with WPC and PMA
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), MIMO,|
Bluetooth® v 4.2 LE, ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC, Location
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro,|
Fingerprint, Barometer, Hall, HRM
|Audio||MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR,|
AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
|Video||MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM|
*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.
SAMSUNG REIMAGINES THE WAY MOMENTS ARE CAPTURED AND SHARED WITH GEAR 360
Easily create, view and share 360-degree videos and images to enjoy a fully connected experience
LONDON, UK – February 21, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the Samsung Gear 360, a 360-degree camera that lets people easily create, view and share their favourite experiences through video and still image content. Gear 360 is designed for travel, major life events and every activity in between to provide an all-encompassing visual experience. The new camera leverages the best of the Samsung Galaxy experience so users can become the creator of their own virtual reality content to enjoy through Gear VR.
“Samsung continues to push the boundaries of the mobile experience to extend beyond the smartphone,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “On the heels of last year’s Gear VR release, Gear 360 once again pushes the limits on immersive content – providing a visual experience that makes capturing and sharing life’s moments even easier.”
COMPACT DESIGN WITH HIGH PERFORMANCE FOR EVERY ACTIVITY
Samsung Gear 360 is equipped with dual fisheye lenses, which both have 15 megapixel image sensors, giving people the ability to capture high-resolution (3840×1920) 360-degree video that also supports 30 megapixel still images. Users are also able to shoot 180-degree wide angle video and images using only one side of the camera lens. Built for any time of day, Gear 360 offers Bright Lens F2.0, which creates high resolution images even in low-light conditions, whereusers can create full panoramic videos.
With a light and compact, spherical shaped design, Gear 360 is perfect for filming on the go or for indoor activities.Gear 360 also features a user-friendly tripod and is compatible with a wide selection of accessories and mounts currently available on the market.
THE GALAXY EXPERIENCE
Samsung continues to push the boundaries of hardware, software and services to create devices that are designed to help people connect, share, organise and get more out of life. The company is redefining what is possible, beyond the limits of today’s technology, by introducing a series of seamless mobile experiences.
When Gear 360 is synced with a Samsung smartphone, users will be able to preview content in real time when recording. In addition, Gear 360 will automatically bring up filmed content for users to view and save on their smartphone or to upload and share directly through social channels including Google Street View. For a real 360viewing experience, users can simply watch self-created content through Gear VR. All these features will be available through a dedicated mobile application for download from Galaxy Apps, Google Play and PC software for more in-depth editing capabilities.
Gear 360 is compatible with select Samsung smartphones including the newly released Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S6.
Gear 360 will be available starting Q2 2016 in select countries. UK specific dates will be confirmed in due course.
SAMSUNG GEAR 360 SPECIFICATIONS
|Camera||Two CMOS 15 megapixel fisheye cameras|
– Dual Lens: 3840×1920 (30fps)
– Dual Lens: 30M (7776×3888)
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG
|Memory||microSD card (Up to 128GB)|
– 0.5” (72 x 32) PMOLED
– Video, Photo, Time Lapse Video, Looping Video
– Dual/Single Lens mode
– Sharpness, White Balance, HDR, EV, ISO limit, Wind cut
|IP53 Certified Dust and Water Resistant|
|Samsung Services||Samsung Gear 360 App, PC S/W (Gear 360 ActionDirector)|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)|
|Weight||153g (including battery)|