Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
Today, large companies, especially corporate giants like Samsung, do not surprise users with extraordinary products...
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Spillikins #65. PR in high-tech or poor kings
Intentionally or not the history goes around in a circle, although some, having read too many books about spiritual development and historical perspectives of a personality, will call it “running in a spiral” rather than just “going around”. No matter how to call this process, it exists and greatly influences the state of affairs. So the time has come and we have to return to the megapixel race, when manufacturers pumped their devices with high resolution cameras that sometimes didn’t result in better picture quality. In one of the older Spillikins I touched upon it and declared this race to be over, but it looks like not all vendors, agree with it: Nokia, for instance, never a favorite in the camera race, decided to turn the tables. In the light of market situation the release of Nokia N8 doesn’t seem logical as all the other companies cancelled the race seeing it as meaningless. I should confess, I wanted to publish the pictures made with N8 as well as their comparison to other Nokia’s models, but then came to the conclusion that it would be unfair. The company has a few more months before the device will be released officially, so I don’t want to be inundated with comments that the product is not finished yet. While conducting this short test I decided to show you the pictures taken with Samsung Wave 5 MPx camera. You can see them below and assess their quality. In my blog one photo was discussed a lot. The opinions, as usual, were divided into two approximately equal parts, but I was really amazed by how many people use “smart” words without comprehending their meaning. Also, “happy” to see that many expect the pictures made with a portable camera to be as good as those taken with a DSLR. It is impossible just due to the physical limitations on the size of lens and matrix. Portable camera is always a compromise.
I was also surprised to find out that 76 percent of camera phone users never show their photos on PC or any other device. For demonstration they use the same handset or the next one where the pictures are transferred to. It’s a fact. In this light, Super-AMOLED displays are hands down winners as they make the image very good looking even if initial picture quality was rather mediocre. This effect is produced by the combination of relatively small screen size, high resolution and bright colors. Many people dislike when something gets a praise, even deservingly so. In the last month I see a whole legion of unyielding fighters disliking Super-AMOLED. They did not see it yet, but they do not like it. It’s uncomfortable, too bright, too colorful, eyes hurt. Don’t know how they cope with color TVs – Black & White give a better picture plus no
Below I selected a number of photos made with the Wave to let you assess their quality and share your opinion in our Forum. Not a dream come true exactly, but Wave’s camera offers stable quality under most of the conditions (pics were taken in automatic mode). Obviously, the photos taken from the short distance are almost always perfect, but to my taste the landscape pictures taken in dull weather are quite on the good level. The rose picture was made in a dark room without using a flash. What do you think about the pics? Is megapixels war over? Another argument for it. Samsung, who always tried to be the first to introduce the handsets with highest number of megapixels (it was a kind of a sport for the company) abandoned this approach. Many developments of 12-Mp cameras are now closed. The company is working on the solutions with 5 and 8 MPx cameras, heavily concentrating on the former (optics, matrix size, image processing algorithms). Is this approach reasonable? I would say Yes.
The article I came across on Habrahabr seemed to fit in the topic. It was dedicated to the Logitech- Performance MX mouse (I’ve missed it as MX Revolution perfectly suits me and after reading the comments I’m still not sure whether I should try it or not, so your opinions are welcome). But there is another reason for me to talk about this material: the photos seem mediocre, but right until the author mentions that they were taken with … Apple iPhone. From that very moment you look at them very differently. In terms of optics and sensor quality the phone from Apple is inferior to other companies’ solutions and yet we see such pictures. Just look.
So the secret was disclosed. To achieve high quality you just have to setup the light in a proper way. Here you can learn how to do it.Âîò ñòàòüÿ.
I should say that very often, when the companies are publishing the pictures made with their handsets they do quite the same work, i.e. arrange illumination and create the environments similar to the ideal. Ads say nothing about that it as such information is considered “excessive”. But the pictures are real, they are taken with standard handset mounted on the tripod using professionally adjusted light, make-up on model’s face, etc. So until the device has seen the light of a day it is perceived as brilliant and then the time for disappointment comes or we can call it sobering reality.
Sooner or later each company, who made a public announcement about something, has to pay its bills. In early January in Spillikins # 49 I touched upon it because of the early announcement of Microsoft based tablet. Let me quote myself:
“The question is not whether Microsoft will win or not, it is yet unknown. The question is that the whole market is standing on its head trying to present the product that is not finished yet. We are coming to the market where we, as consumers, are sold not the final products, but rather some ideas that will be implemented in products later. That is on one side. On the other side, we are seeing more of regular handsets, laptops, cameras that are becoming available on the day of their announcement. These devices are presented as something revolutionary to make us purchase them. That happens sometimes.
To my taste both things are bad. The manufacturers try to speed up the release the device at the earliest date and the market has turned into a PR-race of those who will yell about their superiority the loudest. It is not always necessary and often influences device quality very badly.”
In May already we witnessed all sides of PR-products potential. Without excessive noise and official press releases we learned that HP is scrapping the work on the tablet running on Windows 7; yes, it is that very tablet Steve Bulmer so excitingly demonstrated during the CES. Sales figures of Apple iPad that was not even announced in January are known now, as well as the fact that after that announcement many companies dropped the idea of spending their time and effort developing tablets. The vast amount of Android-tablets was scrapped and abolished. What is surprising that the process was initiated by Google itself, who actively persuaded the partners from releasing the products of this kind running the current versions of OS. The position of search giant is quite understandable. Why do they need bad PR if the rival proved to be successful and is receiving a storm of users’ applause, as well as their money. HTC Halo, for instance, passed away into nowhere. In any case, at the level the product existed since the end of 2009 it would not be liked. It wasn’t announced officially, it wasn’t shut down officially, but, it looks like we can forget about it at least in the state it was in.
Microsoft also scrapped the unusual tablet called Courier that had two screens. It has never been announced so everything is decent here. Let’s remember the picture and feel sorry about the market that became more cautious and avoids mad experiments.
LG put itself into a comical situation. At the CES and later in Barcelona the company presented GW990 as the next generation handset running on Intel Moorestown with a great noise. The company said the sales will start in Fall of 2010. The product promised to be the first MeeGo device, but suddenly LG took this statement back and officially announced that it has had no plans to release GW990. It was an exhibition sample for technology demonstration rather than the technology of the future. Strange, isn’t it? What has changed in the company remains a secret. The fact that now MeeGo is associated with Nokia cannot be deemed as the reason for it, that would likely play LG’s hand. The main reason, I think, is the exorbitant power consumption unacceptable for a mobile device.
The drama of American Palm, company, who pioneered mobile devices, is coming to an end. Rumors about the company sale roaming around the market are now official. HP decided to purchase Palm for $1.2 billion. The money will be paid in cash and the deal is to be completed by July, 31. On the way to this deal Palm has lost a considerable number of its employees, including some of the most important ones, but now the story seems to have a happy end, although many people wonder why HP even needs Palm.
Let me give you a simple explanation for this inexpensive (for HP) purchase. The company is trying to become unique in what it offers to the customers. The fact that HP-branded mobile devices are boring lies on the surface - HP enterprise smartphones are good examples of lackluster devices, which cannot be changed in something else with the help of Windows Mobile. Not with HP budgets allocated for it. But the sales of such communicators as parts of more general equipment contracts are high and they will support WebOS integration. We didn’t exactly discovered America here, everything here is obvious, just like the idea that the company gave up the tablet on Windows 7 in order to release it on WebOS. Probably. But considering the time a developing cycle takes we can expect such product to appear next summer and to be shown first at the CES in 2011. The idea has a long way to go and belongs to the plans that can be changed a thousand times.
Let’s look at these things from another angle. What distinguishes all netbooks and laptops available on the market today from each other? Price, manufacturer, design. Inside you will always find standard Windows or, rarely, MacOS. It is a nonsense to regard Linux as the alternative to these systems – mass audience wants to get a familiar product. And here we have the main problem: there is no unique offering and no possibility to create it from scratch. Thus the temptation to get the OS that can be used in “light” devices, e.g. handsets, laptops and navigational system, is too strong.
On the other hand, about a year ago Dell jumped into the fast moving Android Express. For HP that was a bad sign. Because, unlike Dell, the company hasn’t become active in mobile device development, partially due the weakness of HP R&D team dealing with them. No matter what the company says this is the fact. Look at the devices that thanks to Engadget is now widely known. They will appear at the end of 2010 and there will be more, about 10 total. Dell is going to increase its presence on the market and HP had to find a response to it. The inexpensive, quick and timely response was deemed Palm purchase. HP will decide further on how to make the best use of the company in future, but for now it is nothing more than a reaction to a current threat. Let’s wait and see.
In Andrei Kysin’s blog I came across this photo (taken on May 1st) in which two girls make a stand against HTC. Going over the Taiwanese newspapers headlines yielded no result: what they are against and, most importantly, why? Can you help me solve this mystery?
Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.
Published 08 May 2010
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