By Claire Reilly in Germany
Ahead of its official press conference at the IFA trade show tomorrow, Samsung has held a dedicated “Unpacked” session in Berlin to launch a raft of new products, including a new Galaxy Note, an Android-powered camera and a series of products utilising the Windows Phone 8 operating system.
The imperative to “be creative” was the order of the day, with everyone from bespectacled film director Wim Wenders and Samsung’s president of IT and mobile communications division JK Shin taking to the stage to talk about the importance of creativity.
First off the block was the Galaxy Note II, which boasts a range of new improvements on its predecessor, including an “even mightier S Pen” as well as a 1.6-GHz quad core processor and the new Android 4.1 operating system (Jelly Bean).
The device features a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with16:9 aspect ratio, making it “slightly narrower and a little taller than the existing Galaxy Note” according to Samsung’s president of IT and mobile communications division, JK Shin.
As a result, the new Note looks less like a phablet and more like the Galaxy S III. However, the new S Pen offers more functionality, including a tap to preview feature, more pressure sensitivity and more integrated note-taking options.
Another one of the newly-launched products to bring smartphone technology into a new category was the Galaxy Camera.
The camera is conventional in that it features a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 21x optical super long zoom, but it also runs on the Android Jelly Bean operating system and has upgradeable apps and widgets that can be accessed on a 4.8-inch touch screen.
It features a range of Smart Pro modes that allow users to select the type of photo they wish to take (from the fairly rudimentary Blue Sky mode down to the more obscure Waterfall Trace mode) with the camera automatically adjusting settings to suit.
With 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, the camera also has cloud back up functionality and a sharing widget that allows users to post photos through an all-in-one social media stream.
Finally, Samsung used its Unpacked session to unveil the latest range of products to use the Windows 8 operating system, which, according to Damian Cusick, general manager of Samsung Electronics UK, the company is “really excited about”.
Centred around three buzzword pillars — simple, powerful and beautiful — the ATIV range includes the Smart PC, Smart PC Pro, ATIV Tab, ATIV S Smartphone and the Windows 8 optimised Series 9 Notebook PC.
The Smart PC and Smart PC Pro both utilise the new-and-improved S Pen and feature a form factor similar to the Asus Transformer, namely a tablet with detachable keyboard. The Pro model boosts the feature set to target “professional users who need a bit more power to get through the day”.
Finally, Cusick talked up the benefits of a native Windows ecosystem on the ATIV Tab and ATIV S Smartphone – clearly trying to appeal to consumers that are after the benefits of a mobile device with the convenience of a full suite of Office programs.
Samsung Galaxy Note II will help you create wings of desire.
Samsung's ATIV Tab could be Windows' best chance of taking share in the tablet market.
Samsung ATIV S is the Windows Phone 8 answer to the Galaxy SIII.
This is a funky fresh creation: Samsung's Galaxy Camera.
Cameras with mobile operating systems are set to be huge over the next 12 months.