Galaxy Tab 8.9, PMPs, Mango On Way From Samsung

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New York - Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet and two Android-based Galaxy portable media players (PMPs) will arrive in stores in October, having missed previously announced ship-date targets.


In a separate mobile-device announcement, Samsung also unveiled its first smartphone with Microsoft's updated OS, called Windows Phone 7.5, or Mango. The company didn't say when or if a version of the Omnia W would arrive in the U.S.

In tablets, Samsung Telecommunications America and Samsung Electronics America said the Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab 8.9 will join the currently available 7- and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs in stores on Oct. 2. The 16GB version will retail at the previously announced price of $469, and the 32 GB version will retail for $569, though its price had previously been announced at $599.

The Tab 8.9 had been

unveiled in March

at the CTIA convention and at the time was targeted to ship in early summer.

The Galaxy Player 5.0 and 4.0 PMPs will be available Oct. 16, with the Player 5.0 featuring 5-inch touchscreen at $269 and the 4.0 Player featuring 4-inch screen at $229. The portable media players were

announced in March

by Samsung Electronics America, which at the time said it expected May availability at pricing that wasn't announced.

By expanding the Galaxy franchise from tablets and smartphones to PMPs, Galaxy will tap new user segments, Samsung Electronics said in March. For example, kids who don't need a smartphone with an expensive data plan will choose a Player to complement a basic cellphone, the company said. The players are also targeted to consumers who will mainly consume media, browse the web, play games, and participate in video or VoIP chats, while the larger screens of the Galaxy tablets will appeal to users who want to consume media but whose priorities are email and other productivity applications, the company said at the time.

The Galaxy Player 5.0 and 4.0 feature Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread OS, though they were originally announced with Android 2.2 (Froyo). Other features common to both are Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 8GB of embedded memory, 32GB MicroSD slot, Adobe Flash 10.1, and through a future software update, the Samsung Media Hub content service. With Media Hub, users can download more than 5,000 movie and TV titles for purchase or rent.

Both players also feature 800 by 480-pixel WVGA screens, access to the Android Market to download apps, Google Mobile services, 720p playback and recording, Samsung's Allshare (DLNA technology) to stream content to and from a DLNA PC and to DLNA TVs, 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, VGA front-facing camera, FM radio and embedded stereo speakers.

Supported video formats are MPEG-4, H263, H264, Divx and Xvid. Supported audio formats are MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, OGG, WMA, FLAC and WAV.

The 5.0 adds Bluetooth 3.0, Mini USB, voice recorder, LED flash and TFT LCD screen, compared with the 4.0's non-TFT screen.

As for the Tab 8.9, Samsung promoted it and the Tab 10.1 as the thinnest mobile tablets currently available in the U.S. market at 8.6mm in depth. Both models share many of the same features, including Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, dual-core 1GHz processor, WXGA TFT display with 1,280 by 800 resolution, Gorilla Glass and a 6,100 mAh battery.

 Like the 10.1, the 8.9 accesses the Samsung Media Hub, the Samsung Music Hub to download songs from a library of more than 13 million songs, and the Samsung Readers Hub to download more than 2.2 million books and thousands of newspapers and magazines, Samsung's Social Hub delivers a single interface that aggregates email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social-network connections into a single interface.

The tablet also features Google Mobile Services, including Android Market downloads, Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps 5.0 with 3D maps, and Google Talk with video and voice chat.

Other features include Samsung AllShare (DLNA capability), rear-facing 3-megapixel camera, front-facing 2-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, 1080p video playback, and 720p video capture.

The included PolarisOffice app lets users view and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and the device sends documents and pictures wirelessly to a compatible printer for printing.

The Tab 8.9 also offers such enterprise features as full support for Exchange ActiveSync version 14, On device encryption, Cisco VPN, Sybase MDM (Mobile Device Management) and Cisco WebEx mobile conferencing.

If the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is lost or stolen, users can locate the device on a map, and track it live as it moves, remotely lock the device to prevent unauthorized access, and delete personal information stored on the device.

In smartphones, Samsung in Korea unveiled its first smartphone based on the latest release of Microsoft's Windows Phone, code-named Mango. The Omnia W features 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display, metallic finish, 1.4GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with aurtofocus and LED flash, front VGA camera, Samsung AllShare, Microsoft's Zune music and video player, Bluetooth  2.1, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 8GB of internal memory.

The Omnia W features 14.4Mbps HSPA data technology for use on foreign 900/2100MHz networks. It will be available in Italy at the end of October and gradually rolled out to global markets including Europe, Latin America, Africa, Southeast and Southwest Asia. U.S. availability wasn't disclosed.


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