Samsung: Experience Shops, Galaxy S4 & Note 8 = Awesome

Note: Samsung provided me with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to review, all thoughts and photos are mine.

We bought the first generation iPad a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. You can imagine how tired that poor thing is right now. Like, when we turn it on, it actually makes a sighing sound and kind of shrugs.

We were considering a new iPad Mini this summer, because while I am highly dependent on my MacBook Pro + iPhone, there are really times when I need something in the middle. (Yes, we are a gadget family. I know this.)

Samsung emailed about an event here in Denver at Best Buy recently; they were debuting their store-within-a-store concept and asked me to attend. Basically, they have built Samsung areas called “Experience Shops” at 1,400 Best Buys nationwide where Samsung products are all gathered in one spot. They still will have Samsung products in their respective mobile, tablet, and accessory aisles, but they are really working hard to show how well their products integrate with each other. Smart.

My first question was: WHO IS MANNING THESE STORES? Because nothing is more annoying than asking questions of someone who does not know or care about the product. Samsung will have their own employees there plus specially trained Best Buy peeps. Cool.

At our little meetup, Samsung went through all of their products and how they work together, and yup – I was impressed. We got to play with the Galaxy S4, which is, in my opinion, the only real alternative to an iPhone on the market right now. I especially loved the ability to use hand gestures to control the phone without even touching it. To be more specific, I would like my son to use hand gestures and keep his grimy fingerprints OFF MY PHONE.

The other feature I really liked was “Easy Mode.” As a web and former app developer, I was skeptical at first – because usually when something needs a simple mode, it means they didn’t design the user interface well enough. But as Samsung went through Easy Mode, I realized they pulled together only the features that beginners use and made the buttons really large (a great plus for the visually impaired or seniors). Nice.

Samsung also showed me their new smart cameras that connect directly to social networks like Facebook and YouTube. But with upwards of 20 megapixals and interchangeable lenses. Ummmmmmmmmmmm. Drool.

As I mentioned, I was really interested in something that would put our poor old iPad out of its misery. Samsung has let me play with the Galaxy Note 8 and I am in love. All my main apps that I need are there: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter (although I am waiting for Tweetbot), Google+, Google Drive, YouTube, Rdio, Dropbox, Evernote, Skype… Not to mention Netflix, Kindle and Angry Birds (and a million other games that I don’t have time for). I also have my calendar and email all synced up to my Apple stuff. Perfect.

Size-wise, it is very comparable to the Mini (5.35″ x 8.3″ for the Note 8 vs 5.3″ x 7.87″). It has a solid feel to it and reacts blazingly fast. (No, I am not comparing that to my old iPad, ha.)

I have been taking it to client meetings and it’s great to sit down with the Note in the deli to go over projects one on one, which is the way most of my work is. I can show clients a nice gallery of my photography, web site layouts, design comps, etc. without having to be clunky on my laptop. Not to mention, it is a perfect size for me to lay in bed and watch movies.

Yup. This Apple girl has put an Android in the middle. Woot!

This article has 6 comments

  1. WilderJanie

    That looks interesting!! Thanks.

  2. zipper

    I have always been Droid and have really been eyeing that 8. Glad you like it.

  3. Sarah

    My husband just switched from the iPhone to the S4 and he is IN LOVE! I have the S4 too and I really like it, I think it is my favorite phone ever 🙂 I would love a Note!

  4. Angie

    How cool!

  5. WilderJanie

    Wow that looks COOL!!!

  6. new

    Thanks for sharing. I love samsung

Comments are now closed.
Send this to a friend