Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another "iPhone killer" dies

More and more "iPhone killers" are coming each day but so far these phones are the ones dropping one by one.

Samsung started the dream of making it big in the world of touch screen phones by releasing the Omnia in 2008. The Omnia was a well designed touch screen phone with a clunky implementation of Samsung's TouchWiz UI with equally clunky Windows MObile 6.1 OS. When the accelerometer did not respond as fast as we've expected at the launch, the Samsung staff blamed the OS but continued to compare it with the iPhone. She even called the Omnia "the iPhone killer", but as the market would attest, the only phone that it killed was itself because of the price and unresponsive touch screen that needs pushing to register a command.

They may not admit it, but the Omnia was released with the purpose of riding along the iPhone's success and with its failure, Samsung is here again taking a shot at Apple's iPhone by releasing another touch screen phone -- The Samsung S8000 aka Jet.

Physically, it is gorgeous and stunning and would definitely turn heads to its direction. It has a sleek and elegant design complemented by its glossy black, slim profile with dimension of 108.8 x 53.5 x 11.9 mm and weighing only 99 g. It has a 3.1” WVGA AMOLED touch screen display that has 480 x 800 pixels. At the bottom of the screen you will see the frequently used features which includes the keypad, phonebook, messages and menu that are permanently placed even if you switch through the 3 different home screens. Not part of the touch screen found at the bottom of the phone are the designated keys for the call, menu (a hexagon-shaped button but when viewed closely is actually a cube), power/end call button which are solid, distinct and soft to touch.

It is worth mentioning that with the phone comes a custom-made case where the designated call buttons are exposed; specifically designed for a useful purpose. It is custom-made in such a way that you can actually take a call even when phone is inserted inside the case. You will no longer be in a state of panic or anxiety in missing a call just because you couldn’t get your phone out of its case. It is truly convenient. It is such a wonder how you get pleasure out of simple innovation.

Like most phones, the 5-megapixel camera is located at the back along with its dual LED flash. It features Face and Blink Detection, Smile Shot, Geo-tagging, Photo Editor and it is “anti-shake”, so beneficial for those shaky, unsteady hands like mine.

As mentioned previously, Jet boasts of its AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) touch screen. With AMOLED technology, images are brilliant and vivid no matter which angle you would want to view it requiring minimal power consumption.

Some features worth mentioning:

First, Jet is operated by the upgraded touch screen user interface the TouchWiz 2.0. With this comes the Media Gate 3D user interface. On screen, it is a cube that appears to be hanging in mid air where you can access the 6 multimedia programs such as the internet, games, FM radio, video player, music player and albums. You can flip and rotate the cube by simply running or swiping your finger through the screen. Click on the application of your choice and you can now browse through photos and tracks in a nice 3D interface.

Another feature is the Motion Gesture UI made possible by the accelerometer. It allows you to mute an incoming call simply by just turning its face down. This is the “etiquette pause” specifically useful when you’re in a meeting, in a middle of an important conversation or discussion. Also, with the accelerometer feature comes the “speaker call” where you can automatically activate the speakerphone during a call. Just move the handset away from your ear and place it on a flat surface. Lift the phone back up to your ear and it automatically goes back to the regular mode.

One other feature I am particularly fond of is the smart unlock which allows the user to program their own movement (by choosing any letter from the alphabet) to operate the handset. This involves operations such as unlock, speed dial and to launch applications.

With Samsung Jet, Internet browsing can be a whole new experience. It has the Dolfin browser that adopts a Webkit 3.2 engine. It can open to 5 internet windows at the same time. Switching from one window to the other is done at an instant.

What makes Samsung Jet different from other touch screen smartphone is their “one finger zoom”. Unlike other phones that require you to zoom with multiple hand functions, with the Samsung Jet, it only takes one and “only one finger” to zoom in and out of a photo, a file or an internet browser.

The Samsung Jet has indeed packed itself with cutting edge functions and features that puts other phones at a disadvantage. It's cool phone on its own. Naming it an "iPhone Killer" however is a different story. The only phone that it would kill once compared to the iPhone is itself.

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