Hands-On with the Samsung Continuum, the World’s First Phone with a Ticker Display

The latest member of the Samsung Galaxy S series of smartphones is going to tick you off, but in a good way. That is because, the new Samsung Continuum is the world’s first phone to sport a dedicated ticker display. The front face of the device is actually divided into two displays – a 3.4″ touchscreen Super AMOLED display on top, and a 1.8″ Super AMOLED Ticker display on the bottom that is designed to stream real time information to you without interrupting what you’re doing on the top half of the display.

Samsung says that the ticker was actually inspired by New York City’s, Times Square and its famous stock dicker displays. But it’s not just stocks that the ticker display shows off – but also missed notifications for calls, messages, RSS feeds, weather forecasts, time, etc. The ticker display is also able to be context aware of what you’re doing on the top screen at the moment, so for example – when running the preloaded navigation software, the ticker display will be used to show you the next set of directions. The ticker display can also display a set of music player controls when you’re listening to music while running other apps.

Finally, the Continuum has one last ace up its sleeve – a grip sensor. All a user needs to do is gently grip the side and the ticker display will be activated to show your most recent alerts. If there are none available at the moment, the ticker will default to showing you the current time and weather.

The Samsung Continuum is a Verizon exclusive and will retail for $199 after a $100 rebate on a 2 year contract. The device runs on Android 2.1, but a 2.2 upgrade is on its way. Other notable features includes its 720P camcorder, a 1GHz Hummingbird Application Processor, and Verizon Hotspot service.

Key features and specifications:

  • 3.4-inch Super AMOLED Main Touch Screen Display – Main display provides user-customizable homescreens and widgets in a brilliant screen display
  • 1.8-inch Interactive Super AMOLED Ticker Display – Dedicated ticker display enables zero-click access to news, social networking, sports and entertainment feeds; users can select what content they want on the ticker by selecting from menu on display
  • Grip Sensor – By touching the bottom sides of the device, the ticker display lights up to give users real-time weather, social networking services (SNS), message, IM and e-mail notification updates
  • Super AMOLED Screen Technology – Brilliant screen makes watching movies, viewing videos and playing games come to life like never before, even in bright light and outdoor environments
  • Android 2.1 platform – With support for Google Mobile Services, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk and Android Market
  • Preloaded with Bing Maps and Bing Search
  • Full HTML Web browsing capabilities
  • 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities – Allows customers to transform their phone into a wireless modem for up to five compatible Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • Advanced touchscreen gestures capabilities, including multi-touch pinch to zoom, double tap to zoom and horizontal swiping, which provides easier and quicker access to many applications, including location-based services, Web browsing and digital photos or videos
  • Multiple file formats supported, including DivX and Xvid support
  • Samsung 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Application Processor – Produces amazing graphics, faster upload and download times, and HD-like multimedia content
  • Six-axis sensor that works with the smartphone’s accelerometer to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user is tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right
  • Virtual QWERTY Keyboard Featuring Swype Technology – Input text faster and in a more intuitive way with one continuous finger motion across the screen keyboard
  • Full suite of messaging options – Text, picture, video and voice messaging; corporate and personal e-mail accounts supported
  • 5.0-megapixel camera/camcorder – Auto-focus and LED flash with HD video recording and playback capabilities to capture photos and videos for playback on your HD television; playback (720p) on the screen display
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Stereo Bluetooth® Technology – Support for headset, hands-free, stereo, phonebook access, and object push for vCard and vCalendar
  • Corporate Email – Supports Android Éclair Exchange ActiveSync e-mail to synchronize corporate e-mail, contacts and calendars from office e-mail accounts
  • Music player features lock screen, ticker display and quick side panel controls and 3.5-millimeter headphone jack
  • 8 GB microSD™ card preinstalled expandable up to 32 GB

Lifestyle features:

  • V CAST Music with Rhapsody®, V CAST Video on Demand, V CAST Song ID, Visual Voice Mail, V CAST Tones, VZ Navigator®, Mobile IM, City ID, Bing Search and Maps, and Blockbuster Application
  • Dedicated ticker displays up-to-the minute news, weather and SNS updates, as well as music player controls and incoming e-mail, IM, and text messages without interrupting the activity on the main display
  • Samsung’s Social Hub – Built around messaging, contacts and calendar sync, which allows users to send and receive information, whether it is e-mail, social network updates or SMS messages

o    Integrated Calendar information from portal calendars, on Exchange, Google Calendar™ and SNS, including Facebook®

o    Integrated Contacts syncs with Exchange, Google, Twitter and Facebook – Facebook contacts display in four categories, including Info, History (previous calls and messages), Activities (status updates and notifications on social networking sites), and Media (Facebook profile photos and photo gallery)

  • AllShare™ – Enables inter-device connectivity through Digital Living Network Alliance® (DLNA®), so users can send multimedia content wirelessly to other DLNA Certified®-enabled devices such as TVs and laptops
  • Daily Briefing – Instant access to weather, news, stocks and schedules
  • Write and Go – Quickly jot down an idea and later decide on a format, such as SMS/ MMS, e-mail, calendar or memo, to send or post to popular SNS sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace
  • Smart Alarm – Natural alarm sound and display automatically illuminates
  • Weather Clock – Displays current time and weather of the selected city (ability to add and select other cities)

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