Friday, December 15

The New Samsung Continuum

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So many new phones have hit the market recently that we’ve just about seen it all. Until that next big new tech comes along, what can you possibly do to a phone that really makes it stand out? Say ‘new smart phone,’ and anyone in earshot thinks: Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, built-in sensors, full range of apps, blah, blah, blah, la-di-da, so on and so forth. When people would mention the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, people would get excited. But now, noting that is not as exhilarating as it once was. Now, it barely registers. And what of all these new phones hitting the market for the holidays? How many times can you spin the same configuration? Yep, you can’t surprise us.

That’s what we though at least until news of the all-new Samsung Continuum leaked. What Samsung has done to distinguish the Continuum is give it a second OLED screen that operates as a ticker; think stock ticker or ESPN ticker. All that, and you’re probably wondering why is that such a notable thing? For one, you don’t even need to turn it on. The phone turns that portion on as soon as you hold the phone. All of the other power-consuming features remain off. While on, the ticker constantly streams information: RSS, twits, stock information, sport scores, you name it. You decide what it streams. It’s so useful and not particularly groundbreaking that we had one of those moments: Why hadn’t we thought of this?

One “problem” with this new face design is that it calls for very specific Samsung Continuum accessories. Universal accessories for those dimensions won’t work because they’ll simply cover up the second OLED window. So then, you’ll have to factor a new Samsung Continuum case and a new Samsung Continuum screen protector into the cost. However, as far as we’re concerned, that’s a small price to pay. But is the Continuum for everyone? We think so. Let’s look at the rest of the feature set.

Under the hood, the Continuum boasts a 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU, 348 MB of RAM, 512 MB of ROM, 2 GB of on-board flash storage, and a preloaded 8 GB microSD card. The main display is a 3.4-inch screen with a 480 by 800 resolution. The second display will be using a 1.8-inch screen with a 96 by 480 resolution. You also get a 5 MP camera with an LED flash that records video at 720p. The smart phone runs off of the Android 2.1, has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G mobile, and it serves as a hotspot for up to five devices.

The one downside of the phone is that it uses Bing search and doesn’t ship with Android 2.2 Froyo, but we won’t stress that until we get closer to the release. By then, we should get word from Samsung, and we’d expect an update from to 2.1 to 2.2 to be available at some point. As for the exact pricing of the phone, it seems like we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer, but we should have it by the end of the second week in November after the big Samsung event.

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