Samsung at MWC 2015: smartphones, payments, VR, furniture

Samsung made several announcements at MWC, including the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, an Apple Pay competitor, a Gear VR update and furniture.? More on that in a minute, but let’s start with the expected.

Smartphones

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The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge feature a glass body made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4, and is available in an array of colors: white, black, gold, blue and green.

JK Shin, Samsung Electronics CEO and head of IT & Mobile Communications division:

“With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda. By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options.”

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have an 5MP front and 16MP rear camera to give “superior image quality.” Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR), Smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and IR Detect White Balance provide “advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions.” Furthermore, a new “Quick Launch” feature gives users direct access to the camera in “just 0.7 seconds” by double clicking the home key.

With fully embedded WPC and PMA certified wireless charging technology, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge work with any wireless pad that supports both standards. They also sport wired charging about 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5 to give “about four hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.”

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge’s 5.1-inch Quad HD (2560×1440)Super AMOLED display offers users a 577ppi display with enhanced outdoor visibility.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will be available starting April 10th in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions in the aforementioned colors. Here are the spec sheets:

Galaxy S6

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Dimensions: 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm, 138g

 

Galaxy S6 edge

 

      • Android 5.0 Lollipop
      • Dimensions: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm, 132g

 

 

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is a direct competitor to Apple Pay that allows consumers to use their mobile devices to pay at existing point-of-sale terminals.

Samsung leverages both NFC and a proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission to make mobile payments “more accessible.”

Samsung has partnered with MasterCard and Visa for the payment service, and financial partners like American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Bank.

Shin:

“Samsung Pay will reinvent how people pay for goods and services and transform how they use their smartphones. The secure and simple payment process, coupled with our robust partner network, makes Samsung Pay a truly game-changing service that will bring value to consumers and our partners in the ecosystem.”

Samsung Pay has the potential of being accepted at 30 million merchant locations worldwide. Consumers can use Samsung Pay in merchant locations regardless of whether the terminals support NFC or a traditional magstripe, which is in the majority of existing terminals.

Adding a card requires a few simple steps. Once added, the user swipes up from the bezel to invoke the Pay app, chooses the desired payment card, and authenticates with the fingerprint sensor. Tapping the device to the point-of-sale terminals allows for a fast, secure, and easy purchase.

Samsung Pay doesn’t keep personal account numbers on a consumer’s device.

The service will initially be available in the United States and Korea this summer and expand to other regions, including Europe and China with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.

Furniture

Samsung and IKEA are expanding their involvement with the Wireless Power Consortium. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge and IKEA’s new home furniture range for wireless charging, users can enjoy a “plug-free charging environment.”

IKEA is building wireless charging technology directly into its home furnishing, turning bedside tables, lamps and desks into chargers.

Jean-Daniel Ayme, Samsung European telecommunications operations deputy president:

“Mobile devices have become a natural part of our lives — our ability to pair a simple wireless charging process with IKEA’s household furniture gives everyone the opportunity to more comfortable and conveniently enjoy their smartphone experience like never before. Samsung strives to deliver the best mobile experiences for consumers, especially in the comfort of their own home or office, and we have a long-term commitment to innovative charging solutions.”

Jeanette Skjelmose, IKEA lighting and wireless charging business area manager:

“Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess. They worry about not finding the charger and running out of power. Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make like at home simpler.”

The new wireless charging collection from IKEA will be available in Europe and North America in April followed by a global rollout.

VR

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Samsung also updated its Gear VR Innovator Edition for the Galaxy S6.

The 15% size reduction makes Samsung Gear VR more comfortable to wear. Ergonomically redesigned straps give better weight balance with mechanical ventilation supporting an “extended” VR experience.

The Gear VR can now be powered with its USB port for extended usage.

Gear VR content is also available for download on the Oculus Store. Users can download optimized games and content like Kurios from Cirque du Soleil.

Source: Samsung

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