Experiencing Samsung #GALAXYLIFE

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Samsung #GALAXYLIFE pop-up event at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. At this event I had a chance to check out the their latest products including the Galaxy S8/S8+, Gear 360 and the new Gear VR.

Below are my quick impressions and thoughts after getting my hands and trying out their latest tech.

Galaxy S8/S8+

I wasn’t a fan of the edge display on Galaxy S7 Edge, but they’ve noticeably improved the comfort of the edge display on the Galaxy S8.  When I was using the S8, the edges never felt sharp or hindered my experience when using the phone.

Samsung has called the display on the S8 the infinity display, and it was impressive to look at. It’s the phone equivalent of looking at an infinity pool, the display looks like it is melting over the edges of the phone and will add to the experience of watching movies, viewing photos and surfing the internet on this device.

I’m really glad Samsung had the courage to remove their logo and home button from the front of the phone. With those two elements gone, it allowed them to make the display taller thus giving the S8 a larger display while keeping its overall size the same as the S7.

My only disappointment with the Galaxy S8 was the location of the fingerprint scanner. They moved it to the back of the phone and placed it right next to the camera lens. If that placement sounds uncomfortable to you…well it is. Honestly 9 times out of 10 I placed my finger on the camera lens instead of the fingerprint scanner. This is terrible placement and Samsung should have placed it below the camera like the on Google Pixel.

Gear 360 (2017)

This seemed like a really neat device that allows you to take pictures and record video in 360 degrees. I wasn’t able to view any sample footage but the Samsung rep informed me that it now records video in 4k, this is an improvement over last years model that was “close” to 4k.

The battery on the new Gear 360 is built-in now, this allowed them to make a smaller body but removed the ability to swap and carry extra batteries to record for longer periods of time.

Gear VR (2017)

This was my first time using the Gear VR. I had a chance to use it on a really cool 360 simulator chair called Whiplash. First you had to sign a waiver, then you got strapped into the chair (body, waist, legs) and finally you would turn, flip you upside down and make you feel like you are somewhere else.

The VR demo that they had at this event was that you got to experience being a pilot in an airshow. The combination of 360 degree video and the simulator chair gave me a really fun and immersive VR experience. I could really envision future theme park attractions using tech like this to simulate rollercoasters and other experiences that I couldn’t possibly dream of.

TL;DR

  • Overall fun event, I had a fun time geeking out on new tech toys.
  • I really want a Galaxy S8 now (please send me one Samsung!).
  • Infinity display is very beautiful and makes the iPhone look pale in comparison.
  • Gear 360 is neat but I wish it had a removable battery.
  • Gear VR + Whiplash =  Awesome!

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