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August 03, 2016

Samsung Hits High Note with New Phablet

Pre-orders for the newly revealed Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablet start today.  As a Samsung Galaxy user eligible for an upgrade of my Internet ride, it was a real treat to be at the Note 7 formal unveiling at Unpacked 2016 held in New York City, which was simulcast to London and Rio thanks to Samsung’s Olympic sponsorships. 

My colleague, TMC Group Editorial Director Erik Linask, and I were honored guests at the event and you are encouraged to read his detailed posting, Personal or Business: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Stays One Step Ahead, on all of the capabilities that have been unpacked and added to Note 7.

Indeed, as Linask points out, Samsung— which introduced the phablet to the world back in 2011 as a mobile computing device that fit size-wise between a smartphone and tablet with the best of both and could still fit in your pocket—has really upped its game by delivering not just a stylish but an incredibly useful addition to the Galaxy portfolio. 

Source:  Samsung Unpacked 2016

The list of enhancements is impressive.  With a bit of repetition, they include for example:

  • Incorporating many of the Samsung Galaxy Edge functionality
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) video for first time on a smart handheld device
  • Improved storage (including to the cloud)
  • Longer battery life
  • Water resistance for not just the phone but its S Pen stylus
  • Making of the S Pen more precise and making it smarter to do such things as touch-based language translation
  • An enhanced USB port
  • Fast wireless charging, integration with virtual reality (VR) and other Samsung capabilities and apps
  • Inclusion of the superb camera from the popular Galaxy S7 smartphone
  • The Vulkan API for a better gaming experience
  • Iris scanning for better authentication and a nice Secure Folder for protecting critical data
  • The hardware embedding of KNOX at the chip set level for greater security

And, there is a lot more that has been enhanced in terms of design, ease-of-use and support for all of the activities we do in our various personae. In short, this has become a real personal communications Swiss Army knife that covers a myriad of business and personal use cases.  

As someone in the market to replace my Galaxy smartphone, I will admit that the thought of getting a phablet instead had not been a consideration.  As someone who had the original Apple Newton whose stylus I kept losing and had to replace, and was a beta tester back in 1993 for the IBM Simon (what many think really was the original smartphone, and deservedly so if you are interested), having all of that functionality under one hood that can be easily transported and charged has changed my thinking.  I want and will buy one.

The real attraction for me, along with how amazing camera technology has progressed, is the additional security being provided.  Biometrics as a substitute for passwords to prevent anyone but me from accessing my data is a game changer along with the Secure Folder capability.  It might even convince me to use the device for mobile payments, despite some lingering doubts about what happens not just between me and the merchant but how the information is secured when transmitted and the transaction stored. 

As (pardon the play on words) noted, the last thing I expected was to think I was going to be a phablet adherent.  However, having all of that functionality and security in something that can fit in my pocket is something that appears to hit all of my “must haves.”  

Finally, here is a brief note to the fashion industry.  Samsung said that its phablets have grown 400 percent in the U.S.  They are aimed at the digitally adept population, now the majority of the modern workforce.  If pockets could be made a little bigger for all of us regardless of gender, and obviously depending on clothing article, that would be helpful.

Edited by Alicia Young

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