The news of the day may be all Windows Phone, but that didn’t stop Samsung from having a launch event for the US Samsung Galaxy S 3. If you haven’t read our review, head on over there for a great look at what Samsung’s new flagship looks like in the US. Today’s event was designed primarily to discuss some new features that are premiering with the Galaxy S 3 and that may show up in some earlier devices. And at today’s event, the name of the game was sharing.
Brian covered most of these, so we won't spend too long fleshing them out. As interesting as these features are, what really struck me about today's event was the tone this establishes for Samsung's US marketing campaign. But first, let's dig into the features a bit.
AllShare branding has shown up in several different TouchWiz iterations, and up until now has leveraged the features of the DLNA spec to offer media sharing services. The latest iteration includes AllShare Play which is a DLNA screen sharing feature that mirrors AirPlay, and works with DLNA capable displays on the same network as the source. The new sharing features take advantage of WiFi Direct to enable specific sharing use cases.
AllShare Group Cast was mentioned in the review and is a collaboration tool for meetings where you don’t necessarily need to look at each other. A host user enables Group Cast from their device and creates a PIN so other users can access the session. A document open on the host device can be shared on the other devices and users can annotate the shared document, or simply view the document at their leisure. This feature obviates the need for a large shared display or “smart screen” for group collaboration. For office types this could be a great tool for pick-up meetings and ad hoc collaboration amongst a group of users. The rep demonstrating the feature wasn’t aware of any user maximum, though sharing a document with hundreds of users could get a little ungainly. Users must be within about 200 feet of the host device; and, indeed, the demo was perfectly stable from about 100 feet away, even in the spectrum crowded confines of a NYC tech event space.
ShareShot is born from the preponderance of the public who now reach first for their smartphone when taking pictures at a party or other event. Like Group Cast, a user opens up a ShareShot session which is viewable by other devices. Once activated on the devices, photos taken by the users are distributed via WiFi Direct with all of the users in the session. This really is perfect a wedding or similar event, where eschewing social network photo sharing could create a more intimate experience.
When you don’t want to share with more than just one person, there’s S Beam. Brian mentioned the effectiveness of S Beam to provide quick point to point transfer of files over WiFi Direct using NFC to simplify the set-up. This supplants the Android Beam which used NFC for the data transmission component, and is a much slower experience.
S Beam, demonstrated here as a way to place orders at a bar.
PopUp Play was a feature that, though neat, fell between stools with regards to the event's “sharing” theme. The feature provides access to your video content while within other applications. So, if a text message comes in while watching a video, it can be replied to without interrupting playback. The video content becomes a floating panel above the app. Playback was smooth and the transition wasn’t terribly jarring. Like the Mini Apps in the tablet TouchWiz generation, the video overlay can be moved around the screen and since it is at the OS level is app agnostic. On a smaller device the feature might crowd the app upon which it’s overlaid and create usability issues, but with 4.8” to work with you'll be able to livetweet Call Me, Maybe
without switching apps.
This launch event was as much about plugging the device as plugging the marketing push that Samsung is preparing for the Galaxy S 3. Like the Galaxy Note
and Galaxy S II
ads that preceded it, this marketing campaign will be a little cheeky in its derision for Apple and its diehards. Fair or not, the campaign sports a personality that can be appreciated when taken with a grain or two of salt. What’s clear from the marketing, though, is that Samsung doesn’t see their competition as the rest of the Android market. Apple’s iPhone is their target, and with a commanding marketshare there’s good reason for them to act like the Android front-runner.
And so, Samsung is focusing on what the iPhone doesn’t do, and that’s why we’re talking about the various sharing capabilities and not S Voice or pure hardware performance. Like the PC space before it, once hardware parity has been achieved (or as much as necessary for a mass consumer device) then features become the marketing linchpin. A strong component of this marketing will focus on NFC, including kiosks and posters that distribute exclusive content to Galaxy S 3 users. The kiosks serve to highlight not just the NFC features of the device, but the extensibility of the TecTile NFC tags that they’ll be selling alongside the phones at carrier stores.
And then there’s the 3D Interactive Experience. One feature briefly mentioned in the review are the various gestures that can be used through the front facing camera to control the phone. The most highlighted one is the ability to take a screen capture by simply waving your hand across the device. User and gesture recognition through cameras has become a fairly common way to draw attention to a device, and though battery life might be a concern, I can envision some gesture based controls to be pretty handy; even more so than voice control. This is the same technology behind their SmartStay feature which keeps the screen on so long as the user’s eyes remain on the display. The 3D Interactive Experience takes things to a bigger scale.
Movie goers at 3D theaters throughout the country will be treated to an interactive game that supposes to leverage the motion tracking features of two Galaxy S 3 devices. Ostensibly, the game tracks the hand motions of audiences to control a paddle in a simple game reminiscent of the early Kinect demos. Reps at the event were coy about whether the sequence is actually just a plain old non-interactive demo, but insisted that this sort of motion control was perfectly within the reach of the Galaxy S 3. If the devices are so capable, then we’re left to wonder whether the feature will be made accessible to 3rd party devs for integration into games or other applications.
Samsung is reporting that this will be their largest marketing campaign in the US ever, and for a device that has already broken new ground by being the first Android device launched on the big four major carriers unblemished by bespoke bodies, ridiculous names or feature restrictions. Even without a marketing blitz, the Galaxy S 3 has inspired a lot of excitement amongst tech savvy consumers. But it takes more than our readers to become the top selling smartphone.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
ImSpartacus - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - linkAnandtech just linked to a mainstream pop song. My life is complete.
JasonInofuentes - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - linkGo with cod.
duffman55 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - linkEven my local news channel was talking about that song today. I don't get it, because it's just as poppy and repetitive as every other popular pop song. Samsung could learn from whatever magical marketing they're doing. (Shameless attempt at pretending to be on topic.)
JasonInofuentes - Friday, June 22, 2012 - linkI think the lesson for Samsung from that song is that you can be viral because you're terrible. So staying cheeky could pay off.
xeizo - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link...You didn't get the wonderful 4 core Exynos chipset, the very high clocked Mali-graphics and the Wolfson DAC, I'm terribly happy with them, but then again I envy your 2GB of RAM.
But I guess the 4 core Exynos with Mali(hardware accellerated graphics) does more for the browsing experience, which is part of the point with a 4.8" screen and what sets it apart from a common Iphone in-app experience. Sorry you missed that, but you will get slightly longer battery life ...
JasonInofuentes - Friday, June 22, 2012 - linkSo, I'll go ahead and say that I don't have a clue why I'd want 4 cores in my phone. As it is, I haven't replaced my blown C2Q because the dual-core I swapped in is as fast for 99% of usage. And that's on a rig with which I regularly game and encode. My phone's main use is e-mail, browsing, Twitter and some light gaming. The 4210 is an excellent SoC and I would love to play with it. But I'd never want to live with it.
And if Samsung's listening, I trust you that the power saving options in the 4210 are quite impressive and keep the SoC competitive in battery life. But I just don't see I have a need for four cores in anything. And yes, I'm planning on buying the SGSIII.
Filiprino - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - linkSir, if you say that your dual core is as fast as your C2Q for encoding, you are doing it wrong. Unless your dual core isn't a core 2 duo and it's a new Core iX.
StevoLincolnite - Monday, June 25, 2012 - linkI second that. For encoding... The more cores the better.
However, you *could* leverage the GPU to do such tasks anyway...
But for gaming? Some games benefit *greatly* from 4-6 cores, like Battlefield 3, Battlefield Bad Company 2, GTA IV, Metro 2033, FarCry just to name a few.
It's amazing how well a Q6600 overclocked has kept up though, even after all these years they can happily push the best games fine with a decent GPU backing it.
Mostly you could blame it on games being console ports, so HOPEFULLY games might push the PC's power when the next generation arrive and then the Core 2 quad users will have an excuse to upgrade.
robinthakur - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - linkSo which cutting edge games or apps are you enjoying which take advantage of your 4 core CPU and enhanced GPU? I honestly want to know because I can't find anything worth downloading on my GS3 International apart from Angry Birds Space and Temple Run which is sooo cutting edge...At least with my "common" iPhone 4S you have decent apps which are optimised for your device available unlike on Android, whizzy hardware or not.
Are the Quad core and GPU used to enhance the Android desktop and scrolling experience so it is almost as good as an iPhone 4S in user experience? Most people don't just spend their time running benchmarks on their phones, and even on PC's it doesn't really matter to anyone other than tweakers with more time than things to do. I'm not sure why you would choose any Android handset based on my experience with the Galaxy 3 so far over an iOS device unless you literally just like the hardware, OS or need a big screen, for some reason.
The iPhone 4S wins on smoothness, standard navigation (without any of those annoying are-they-there-aren't-they-there menu button menus), battery life and available useful apps by a huge distance. You can have the best hardware out there, but without anything that takes advantage of it all you can do is play with all the admittedly large tweakable options list and play with that little ripple effect on the homescreen.
Mugur - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link...some comparison between US and world versions of S3. Performance, battery life, etc. Isn't it strange that we have 2 phones named the same, but with completely different SoCs?