- Samsung rolled out a 10.1-inch version of its Android-based 5.3-inch Galaxy
Note, the hybrid smartphone-tablet that comes with a stylus to jot down
handwritten notes and drawings,
Here at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the
company also unveiled a new Android-based Galaxy-branded portable media player
(PMP), the Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 with 4.2-inch touchscreen. It follows last year's
launch of the company's first two Android-based players.
Samsung declined to say when or if the new
products would be available in the U.S.
Like the 5.3-inch Note, the Note 10.1 lets
users make regular circuit-switched cellular phone calls, but with a larger
screen size, the Note 10.1 is positioned as more of a productivity and learning
tool, the company said. The new model, for example, displays multiple screens
at a time for what Samsung called "true multitasking." With the 10.1, users can
view Internet pages, videos or other applications while using the included
stylus to hand-write notes or make sketches. Users can also drag and drop
images and content from one screen to another. Students could use the new Note
to watch a streamed lecture while jotting down notes on the tablet or do research
on the web while taking notes.
Unlike the 5.3-inch Note, the new version
comes with the PC-like photo-editing and drawing programs Adobe Photoshop Touch
and Adobe Ideas, both designed for touchscreens.
The Note 10.1 launch is designed "to extend
the mobile category," said J.K. Shin, president of Samsung's IT and mobile
As shown at MWC, the Note 10.1 incorporates 4G
HSPA+ 21Mbps cellular technology in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and foreign
900/2100MHz bands. The 5.3 version available in the U.S., however, incorporates
both 4G LTE and 4G HSPA+ technology. The 5.3 is available on the AT&T
network at $299. A Wi-Fi-only version of the 10.1 will also be available.
Both Notes feature dual-core 1.4GHz processor,
WXGA 1,280 by 800 resolution screen, front and rear cameras, DNLA, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n,
Wi-Fi Direct, and Samsung Kies Air. The 10.1, however, upgrades the OS to
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS from Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), and it adds
Samsung's ChatON cross-platform video-chat service. ChatON connects phones of
any platform by using phone numbers instead of IDs and passwords to provide
instant messaging and group chatting with voice and video, the company said.
The 5.3, however, is superior in some ways to its
larger cousin. The 10.1, for example, sports a 3-megapixel rear camera compared
to the 5.3's 8-megapixel camera. Both devices' front cameras are 2-megapixel
models. Both models play and store 1080p video, but the 10.1 captures 720p
video while the 5.3 captures 1080p video. In addition, the 10.1 features PLS
TFT display, but the smaller 5.3 features proprietary Super AMOLED Plus
display, which is promoted as being easy-to-read in indoor and outdoor
environments. The 5.3 features Bluetooth 3.0+HS, but the 10.1 features only
Bluetooth 3.0, company spec sheets show.
The 10.1 will come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
versions with MicroSD card slot supporting 32GB cards.
In its new portable media player, Samsung is
adding such features as a gyroscope to control games by moving the device,
ChatON video-chat app to replace the Qik video-chat app, and Sound Alive
technology to improve music playback. The new model also adds IPS (in-plane
switching) to improve off-angle viewing. The new Galaxy S WiFi 4.2 also comes
with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, whereas the current 4- and 5-inch models
shipped with Android 2.3, though they were upgradable to 2.3.
The current models and new model share some
major features, including GPS, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, DLNA, access
to the Android Market for app downloads, dual cameras and HD video storage. All
of the PMPs also use a VGA front camera, but the new model's rear camera is
2-magapixel, whereas the current models sports 3.2-megapixel camera.
new model will be available in 8GB and 16GB versions, both with MicroSD card
slot supporting 32GB memory cards.