The tech world focused its gaze yesterday evening as Samsung unleashed a volley of new hardware at Earl’s Court in London. The four main Android devices demonstrated on stage were the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom as well as the newly announced Samsung Galaxy NX Android-based DSLR camera, along with the new Windows 8-based ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 tablets.
With regards to the three new handsets, Samsung is now happy to dub the S4 line ‘complete’ with a broad range of consumers now covered by the cumulative skill set of this diverse S4 range.
The Galaxy S4 Mini, just like its predecessors aims to offer consumers a miniaturised experience of the company’s flagship of the moment, with regards to both hardware and design. The shrinking process has lowered the specs somewhat, but users can still expect a premium Samsung user experience, embodied by the phone’s 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, LTE connectivity, 8-megapixel camera, 1.7GHz dual-core processor and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean user experience.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, which we last heard about here, totes near identical specs to the vanilla S4 albeit with a lower resolution 8-megapixel camera and IP67 water certification making it both dust resistant and able to withstand a 30 minute dunk in up to two metres of water.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom is Samsung’s take on the ideal camera phone. Unlike the likes of the HTC One or Nokia Lumia 925, the S4 Zoom totes a full 16-megapixel, 10x optical zoom-capable camera on the back, which plumbed into the phone’s Android experience makes it easy to share content on the go. What’s more the Zoom can even share photos mid phone call.
The Samsung Galaxy NX camera is the first camera with interchangeable lenses to run Android. The NX uses a modified version of the Android UI we first saw on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Camera and blends it with Samsung’s pro DSLR knowledge from their camera line. Running Android 4.2.2 and offering up 4G LTE support, shutterbugs may seriously consider this versatile new offering from Samsung.
With the Galaxy lineup out the way it was then the turn of Samsung ATIV range; new products built around Windows Phone and Windows 8. The Samsung ATIV Tab 3 was the first of two new devices on stage. Toting HD cameras, S Pen integration and running a full version of Windows 8, the ATIV Tab 3 is an impressive device, especially when you consider that it’s just 8.2mm thin.
The highlight of the show was arguable the new Samsung ATIV Q tablet, which features four positioning modes. It can lay flat as a 13.3-inch tablet or the display can be pushed up to reveal a full hardware QWERTY keyboard. The hinge also allows the display to be raised up above the keyboard in what Samsung call ‘air mode’ or flipped over completely so that it sits away from the keyboard in ‘stand mode’.
Whilst this is impressive for a tablet that runs Windows 8 and utilises S-Pen integration, the party piece of the ATIV Q is that it can simultaneous run Android 4.2.2 alongside the Windows 8 OS and switching between the two is near instantaneous thanks to the Haswell-based CPU at its core.