The New York Samsung event is now over and their theme of 'Do bigger things' was played out on a massive triangular stage presentation that delivered a series of visually stunning images throughout the hour as noted in our cover graphic and below. If Samsung did anything right today, it was delivering a fantastic stage presence that I only wish that Apple would modernize and adopt for keynotes. In my view, Samsung's stage presentation was the only innovation that surfaced during their entire event.
Samsung's President of Mobile Communications DJ Koh started off his keynote spending a few moments humbly apologizing on behalf of Samsung for letting down Note smartphone fans around the world for their disastrous 2016 Note 7.
Then like Apple's CEO Tim Cook, Koh rattled off some expected propaganda numbers showing how Samsung fans love their Note smartphones with incredible loyalty, yada yada yada. Though I didn't quite catch the source of their data. From Samsung you say, huh.
Koh, like other presenters, tried to take a kick at Apple at every turn. Koh and others cranked up the volume how they invented the phablet category, the Note category, the wireless charging pads, water proofing and more.
They weren't first with a dual lens camera that allowed users to take photos and apply the Bokeh effect. Yet Samsung introduced a copycat feature for their dual lens camera called 'Live Focus' as noted below.
Samsung says that with their new Note 8 you can control the level of the Bokeh effect. I guess Samsung thinks that people actually care about the level of blur that is displayed in the background of a photo. I prefer Apple's Portrait mode that is always set at a pro level and have no interest in stupid-mode offering crazy blur in flavors 'du jour.'
The presenter also showed how the Note 8 took videos that were vastly superior to the iPhone 7 Plus. In the side-by-side comparison, as noted in the photo below, the iPhone 7 video was of course all-crazy-shaky and unstable with Samsung's perfect video capture with no shake to be seen.
In the second example of Samsung's superior video stability feature against the iPhone 7 Plus shown above, it's the iPhone shot that looked stable and the Samsung Note 8 image looking like garbage. What a stupid presentation gaffe.
Later in the presentation, Samsung introduced a new Note 8 feature called 'Screen Off Message' that allows users to grab their smartphone to quickly jot notes down without having to turn on their smartphone.
Another interesting feature is tapping on foreign text on a webpage with their S Pen to get an instant interpretation that also includes converting measurements and currencies.
When talking about Bixby, their Siri-like service, they had a huge announcement. Are you ready for this? Bixby now speaks English in 200 countries. Let that sink in a moment.
Of course Siri speaks 21 languages localized for 36 countries – but Bixby is limited to speaking English and Korean. But wait a minute, that's English in 200 countries; let's not forget that mind boggling statistic. Take that Siri!
Every presentation has its moments but this was a classic belly laugh moment I won't forget for some time. This was repeated by many in the Android press over the last 36 hours which is crazy to think that this is newsworthy.
Considering that Samsung kept hammering home how everyone like Apple copies them, let's remember that Siri was introduced way back in 2011 whereas Bixby has been struggling to get out of the gate this year – in English! … in 200 countries.
While I patiently waited for that single knockout moment in their presentation where something really cool would be announced, it never came. So while they preached innovation and that they're the company that takes chances at bringing new technology forward, their empty talk this time around was deafening.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launches on September 15 in four colors with an interesting choice illustrated below in a coffee color. The Note 8 will ship with 6 GB RAM and a new Micro SD Slot. And remember, Bixby speaks English in 200 countries and more coming soon!
At the end of the day, as a non-Samsung phone user myself, the presentation did little to impress me, so I won't be on their switch list anytime soon. When Apple delivers their iPhone 8 or iPhone X smartphone in September, I fully expect that Samsung loyalists will downplay anything new that they bring to the table because that's the nature of both entrenched camps.
I'm bound to love the iPhone X, even though it probably won't come with a built-in taser that I'm so looking forward to having one day. I mean, you never know when you'll need to shock an Antifa bandit back to reality.
But in all honesty, so much of a new smartphone is in the tailor made experience of either Android or iOS. I checked out a Galaxy S8 earlier this year at a Microsoft Store of all places, and was impressed by the nice new large display. So while I'm unimpressed with Samsung's presentation today due to the lack of new ideas, I'm sure loyalists will fall over themselves to buy the Note 8. If you're looking for a deliriously positive Note 8 report, check out Engadget's report here. And one last point: I speak English in 200 countries too.
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