Samsung’s new oversized iPhone/iPod Touch lookalike, announced at Mobile World Congress, causes a bit of confusion. It’s obviously the bigger brother of the equally tediously named Galaxy S WiFi 4.0. Some people say the 4.0 was formerly known as YP-MB2/Galaxy Player 50, while our very own industry insider, lebellium, clarifies that it’s actually the YP-GB1, released without Korea-specific DMB features for the international market. So where does that leave the 5.0, in the sea of all these confusing names and acronyms? I don’t know, my head is already spinning. Maybe it’s just a shrunken Galaxy Tab 10.1…
What we know is that the Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 (let’s just call it GSW5, ok?) runs on Android 2.2, uses Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, sports a 5″ Super Duper Clear LCD screen at 800×480, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a MicroSD slot, and a 5 megapixel camera with flash, for all your artsy Facebook photography needs.
The great thing about this phone-without-a-phone is that it comes with Android Market support right out of the box. This is a huge advantage over the non-phone Android offers from Archos (Gen 8 devices) and Cowon (D3), which have no official access to the Market – therefore rendering them quite inferior, software-wise, to even the humblest of Android phones, such as the ZTE Blade. While some kind hackers already gave Archos users the possibility to access the Market, there’s no such option for the D3 yet, leaving you at the mercy of Cowon to come up with some quality apps, such as scientific calculators. Samsung licensing the Market on their Galaxy players is the smartest move so far for devices without SIM card slot.
Availability of the GSW5: sooner or later.
Thanks to sideways for the tip. Read more in the forum thread. Additional info via Engadget (1, 2).
The old forms of media have seen better days. Newspapers are losing subscribers daily to internet blogs and internet media that provide up to the minute information impossible to be delivered in the classic format. No longer do people need to wait for the paper to be delivered in the wee hours of the night to their doorstep. Barnes and Noble (as well as others) has noticed this trend and is focussed on bringing content to users the way they have become accustomed to. Over a year ago they launched the first Nook, an e-ink reading device to deliver books, newspapers and magazines to their customers in an instant. The device sold well and launched B&N into the emedia segment. But, using the e-ink display had its drawbacks. Page load times are noticeably slow, magazines and newspapers looked disappointing at best, and there was still a vast amount of information and content to be consumed that an e-ink display simply cannot bring to the table Fast forward to today and they decided to give users another choice in the market, the Nook Color ($250). How does the new ereader fair in this increasingly intense market? Is the lcd screen trade-offs worth it while reading books?
update: Barnes & Noble just launched version 1.1 which adds pinch to zoom in the web browser among many other things. In real life use, the pinch to zoom does not equal the smoothness of the iPad or other Android phones. Hopefully it will get ironed out when they update with Android OS 2.2 which brought many performance enhancements to the Android platform. The overall feel since the update has greatly improved. The UI is more fluid and natural, while the web browsing has been improved when scrolling and general responsiveness.
Read the full review at our new site NothingButTablets and their Tablet Forums.
I have always been impressed with Samsung’s MP3 players. They do a really nice job build quality and have some thoughtful user interfaces so I will be sure to pick up a Samsung tablet to be released later this year in the US and September 2010 for Europe. For the US the rumors seem to be pointing to the Verizon network, but the specs on Samsung’s landing page point out that it does have all frequencies for GSM networks including AT&T. Cool for the $40-60/month-2-year-contract fans but I would really like to see a version this device free of 3G radio’s strictly with the currently included WiFi. It would reduce the cost and rid us of the potential carrier garbage that end up on build of Android.
On the topic of Android builds, the tablet will premier with Android 2.2 Froyo but recent mentions from product managers state they it will eventually get the 3.0 Android build dubbed Gingerbread. Samsung’s product planner mentions that the next generation of Samsung Tablets will feature Honeycomb builds of Android- well thanks Nostradamus!
Lazy cut and past press release below, but be sure to check out the landing page to see this device in action.