Hands-On: Samsung Continuum
Nov 8, 2010, 7:54 PM by Eric M. Zeman
Samsung debuted the Continuum Galaxy S Android phone for Verizon Wireless. The Continuum has a unique "Ticker Display" to show alerts and other content. Gimmicky, or gimme?
Samsung officially debuted the Continuum handset at an event in New York City. Phone Scoop was able to spend some time with the new Galaxy S handset.
The hardware closely follows the design cues set by other Galaxy S handsets. It is thin, has a glossy, plastic look, and is smooth all around. It feels great in the hand. The thin profile and light weight make it easy to hold and use, though perhaps some might be put off by the elongated form factor to accommodate the "Ticker Display."
The main display measures 3.4 inches. It doesn't feel small, but it comes in pretty low on the Android scale as far as screen size is concerned, with Samsung's own Galaxy S line eclipsing it at 4 inches. The Ticker Display measures 1.8 inches across the diagonal. Technically, it is one, large, 4-inch display, however, the two displays are separated by a thin black bar with capacitive buttons for the typical Android controls. The effect gives the device the appearance of having two displays, even though it is one piece of glass.
The volume rocker on the left felt a bit weak to me, as did the dedicated camera key on the right side of phone. The two ports, for microSD card and microUSB cables, were easy to access. The power/lock key up top was easy to find and use, and travel and feedback was good.
The main deal with the Continuum is, of course, the Ticker Display. The display pulls out a number of alert features that can be viewed and/or accessed when the main screen is otherwise occupied.
For example, say you're on a phone call and a test message arrives. The Ticker Display will light up and show you a preview of the message without leaving the phone call. Alternately, if you're browsing a web site, the ticker display will let you ignore or answer a phone call without interrupting your browsing session.
Beyond these functions, the Ticker Display can be used to access a number of different content types, such as missed called/message alerts, media player controls, RSS feeds, time and weather, and so on. There is a button that, when pressed, will wake the main display and take you to a full mune for interacting with Ticker Display alerts.
The Ticker Display can be turned on without waking the main display by gripping two sensors on either side of the Continuum that are located close to the Ticker Display itself.
It's a neat concept, and definitely a bit gimmicky, but I like it. Will it lead people into Verizon stores, and will the Continuum sell more than the Fascinate? That's a hard call. Personally, I'd prefer to have that 4-inch main AMOLED display than two different displays that are separated by a set of capacitive buttons.
The Samsung Continuum takes the winning Galaxy S formula and adds a slim display at the bottom of the phone. Does it prove useful, or is it time to reformulate?
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Off Topic a little
not two displays
I am so ridiculously undecided on this concept