Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 Event
As many of you know I am a big fan of Samsung products. You may also know that I am not a big fan of the marketing strategy and events they have done in the past. I want Samsung to do a great job because I appreciate the innovation of their products. They are doing many things right product wise but marketing wise they quite lacking. When we have seen the past brilliant marketing from Apple, I feel Samsung is not maximizing their market strategy. Here is a look at the Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event and my thoughts.
The presentation – Samsung misses this again. Why they used an orchestra last year and this year a combination of electronic ambient music and the orchestra I have no idea, but it didn’t work. They need to buck up and get a cool band with a name to come play their event both before to get people excited and after. They moved in the right direction with the marketing people who can speak English well enough to understand them, but still lack a bit of charisma. They continue to bring out top people in their company who are hard to understand at best. With words like imersaration which I am thinking was supposed to be imagination, though I may use immersaration to describe the VR experience. It is basic PR, pick someone to demonstrate your product and vision who is articulate not in charge.
I was getting a kick out of him saying, “We at the Samsung”. Classic… They totally lack the cool factor or buzzworthiness of brands like Apple or anyone who is at least trying. The format of having three people up there and contrived arguments about product features is annoying at best and kills the excitement about the product as the lady kept questioning the value of the device. Very poor strategy and kills enthusiasm for those who didn’t have those arguments or concerns. So lets get to the nuts and bolts of the new lineup.
Samsung Note 4
I owned the note 2 and 3 and generally skip a generation if there are not enough features to make the upgrade. This year they added some smart features and improvements to the Note 4. The issue was they gave a few stats but didn’t compare them to the Note 3 so I didn’t know without looking how many grams the note 3 weighed. Apple did a much better job at saying it is 10% lighter, and 25% faster. This is why people would want to upgrade. They failed to demonstrate that by simply telling you it was 176 grams and 8.5mm thick.
The screen is larger but they also failed to illustrate that with graphics, explanations, and excitement. The old screen on the Samsung Note 3 is 5.3 inches and the new one is 5.7 which sounds like a perfect upgrade. I feel like I would want a little more room but not too much. The Quad HD screen boasts 2560×1440 resolution. They also made some great improvements on the camera. Not just the stats, but actual improvements like better lens angle, smarter processing and image stabilization. The wide mode for group selfies and increased brightness for low light shots are perfect improvements.
The S Pen improvements are also a move in the right direction. I don’t use my S Pen often but the S Pen as mouse improvements like drag to select and such are just smart innovations to make the S Pen more usable. The grouping of selected images and clips is also smart. As user interface is more streamlined more people will use it. They also improved the writing experience and sensitivity of the S Pen which again bridges the gap. Just like the larger screen, people will use more of their phone when it becomes more functional and accessible.
Samsung Note 4 Edge – This looks amazing. The idea of curved screens has so many applications. I love the notifications and functionality on the edge where you don’t have to swipe for a notification or disrupt what you are using. This is a big area for development. The apps off the screen and video controls all give users what they wanted. Great UX is about the seamless and unburied features that are there when you want them without digging through actions and menus. Great innovation.
Samsung S Gear – They really improved this product. I waited on the first Galaxy Gear as it was clunky and I knew it was more novelty than function. This new installment is not the same. Sexy design with the curved Super Amoled 2″ screen. They really focused on creating a product that stands on it’s own without being just a novelty or smartwatch. They made the S voice much better which is needed when you think of the input limitations for the smaller screen. They didn’t talk about the camera or music which I think is a missed opportunity and big piece of the market. They did focus on the S Health features which are cool but they are missing a key market by not focusing on music without the smartphone.
Samsung VR – OK brilliant integration of the Note 4. At first I didn’t realize it held the Note 4 for the screen. This is so smart for them to tie it in to the line. It also allows for so many more capabilities. Like the Galaxy gear, I think the second release of this product is going to see great improvements. Games, movies, design, and learning are going to grow with this and for me they need to bridge the gap between the phone and a full fledged computer to integrate work on the go. There are huge opportunities there.
Overall, great lineup of new products, many worthy innovations, and I feel many of them are led by watching how people use their current products and looking forward which is a key to innovation. The marketing and presentation were sadly lackluster and poorly positioned, but I continue to love what they are doing as a company product-wise.