Samsung does as much competing in the low end of the smartphone market as in the high end. In the former, where RIM and Nokia are major adversaries, the Chat offers a BlackBerry-like perk.
Samsung launched a new Galaxy
smartphone in Seoul July 4, the Samsung Galaxy Chat. Featuring a 3-inch QVGA
touch-screen and a dedicated QWERTY keyboard, it looks a whole lot like
something that BlackBerry users might be interested in.
Like the Galaxy S III, the Chat will
launch abroadstarting in Spain this month and expanding throughout Europe and
then Latin America, the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia
at "a competitive price point."
Whether the Chat will complete its
world tour with a visit to the United States, Samsung wouldn't say. Nor could a
spokesperson confirm whether the Chat will be Samsung Approved for the
Enterprise (SAFE), as the Galaxy S III is.
"SAFE is a U.S.-only
program," a Samsung spokesperson told eWEEK
. "As specific
plans regarding U.S. availability of the Galaxy Chat have not yet been
announced in the U.S., I am not able to speculate whether or not the device
will be SAFE-certified."
What it does have in common
with the Galaxy S III is an emphasis on socializing. Samsung says it's designed
for "socially active users," and it has a dedicated key for launching
Samsung's ChatON, a communication service that connects users from any phone
platform into a single community, enabling, again according to Samsung,
"spontaneous group chatting and messagingwhether with text, animations or
The Chat runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream
Sandwich, and so it has a Favorites tray, into which users can put items they
want easy access to, widgets they can resize and reposition, and all the other
ICS perks, like the ability to launch the camera from the locked screen.
Despite ICSa version that many
users of fancy Android phones are still crossing their fingers forthis is not
a highest-level Samsung phone, and in that way, it stands a good chance of
attracting users in markets where low-cost RIM and Nokia phones find traction.
The Chat runs an 850MHz processor
and has a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera, the Samsung TouchWiz user interface,
a Document Viewer and QuickOfficewhich enables users to view and edit Office
documents, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
The expected Google appsincluding
Search, Maps, Gmail, the Play Store, Google Talk and YouTubecome preinstalled,
and connectivity options include WiFi (b/g/n), USB 2.0 and Bluetooth.
The device has 4GB of memory, an
external microSD slot that supports up to an additional 32GB, an accelerometer
and a digital compass.
The Chat measures 2.3 by 4.7 by 0.46
inches and weighs just under 4 ounces.
Samsung's smartphone success has
come from its mix of high- and low-end devices that hit a variety of price
points. During the first quarter of the year, the company posted 267 percent
year-over-year growth, according to research firm IDC
, which wrote that "propelling"
Samsung's growth was its expansion into all directions"new and old
smartphones, product and market segmentation, and multiple price points, screen
sizes and processor speeds."
During the company's second quarter,
which Samsung announced early details about on July 6, it anticipates that
strong sales of high-end smartphones, most particularly the Galaxy S III, will
enable it to post a record quarterly profit.