A dual-screen 'Ticker' brings a new look to Verizon

Samsung Continuum

We've been talking about the Samsung Continuum for a while now.  We were able to get a hands-on with it before it released, so we've hashed over the hardware, and I don't think there's anything more that can be said about TouchWiz. This is a Galaxy S phone, after all.

But something as potentially innovative as the "Ticker" needed some attention, and we're about to dive head-first into in on Verizon's newest Samsung phone.  Hit the break to see what this Ticker is all about, and what it can do for you, for Android, and for the world.

The Hardware

Let's get the formalities out of the way first.  In case you're not familiar with the Continuum, we're about to fix that.  It's the latest Samsung Galaxy S phone to launch on Verizon, and in addition to sharing many impressive specs with the rest of the Galaxy S line, it has a split display-- the top 3.4-inches of the Super AMOLED screen acts as your main touchscreen interface, the bottom 1.8-inches is the Ticker, and they are separated by a strip about a half-inch high that has the four capacitive buttons you'll find on most Android devices.

Samsung Continuum face  Continuum ticker layout

If you haven't seen it, it sounds a bit confusing.  That's easy to fix.  Because it brings a new feature to the standard black-slab, we've been following it closely and have a few good hands-on videos with it -- both pre-release and post.  Have a look:

  • Phil has a look at a pre-release Continuum, ninja-style, here and here.
  • Dieter was live at the Continuum event in New York, and had some time with it here.
  • I had a quick look at the final version from Verizon right here. I'll include the video in-line so you don't have to go page jumping.  We aim to please.

 

YouTube link for mobile viewing

One thing to clear up that I've learned while checking out the Continuum -- the camera button does not control the Ticker in any way, it's all done via touch sensors on the bottom outside edges of the phone's plastic shell. 

The rest of the specifications match up with it's Galaxy S siblings -- same Hummingbird cortex A8 CPU as the rest of the Galaxy S line, the same 5 MP camera with Flash (and software) as it's big brothers the Fascinate and the Mesmerize, SAMOLED screens all around, 2 GB on-board memory, 512 ROM and 384 RAM, plus the usual Bluetooth, A-GPS, and WiFi.

rear view  assploded view

camera hardware

The power button is up top this time (welcome back my little buttony friend) and the microUSB port is on the left, under the volume rocker.  No little slider to keep the filth and grime out of the port like other Galaxy S devices, and with the port in a place where it will be under your finger it could have been useful.  A great touch that we're starting to see manufacturers moving back to is an exterior microSD card slot.  You'll find it right beside the camera button.

Continuum USB port  top view

microSD slot 

As a phone, the Continuum works, but it's not all you would hope for.  Callers had few complaints on their end, but sound through the phone's earpiece was a bit crackly unless the volume was fairly low.  This wasn't a reception issue, as the speakerphone, while a little "tinny" didn't have the issue, nor did a Bluetooth headset. 

I won't comment too much on battery life, because most of my time with the Continuum was in an extended network area.  Without knowing exactly how often the phone was polling for a home tower, judging the battery life just wouldn't be quite fair.  I did the next best thing, and asked around.  Battery life is on par with the Fascinate -- be careful how much you use it and you can get through a day without issue, but if you keep it in your hands all day long, bring a charger.  Unfortunately the idea that a small backlit screen to see messages would save battery doesn't work as well in practice as in theory.

The Software and the Ticker window

The software is all pretty familiar, too.  TouchWiz is TouchWiz, until you slap the Ticker on it. 

Think of the Ticker as another notification bar, that some of the included applications can use to give you an enhanced notification of events.  This can be incredibly useful -- imagine playing a full screen game, and a text comes in.  You can see at a glance who it's from, and just how long you can safely ignore it. 

Ticker bar - alerts  ticker-bar-sms

It's also incredibly frustrating.  The API isn't (yet) open to third-party development, so the apps that can interact with the Ticker are limited. Pretty severely limited in fact, as only these apps communicate via the Ticker.

  • Samsung's mail client
  • Twidroyd
  • Facebook
  • Verizon Navigator turn-by-turn directions
  • Samsung's RSS feed reader
  • Samsung's IM client (supports Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger)
  • Missed calls and SMS messages
  • Verizon Voicemail
  • Weatherbug

ticker-mail  ticker-twitter 

ticker-verizon navigation  ticker - rss reader

ticker-caller id  ticker-weatherbug

The fact that the Gmail client, Google Talk, and Google Maps Navigation don't work with the Ticker is maddening.  They have to be installed, they are always signed in, and I don't see how they were left out. 

The Ticker itself, as well as the integrated apps have a few user definable settings.  You have the expected notification and sign in settings for social media, feed management for the RSS reader, location set-up for the weather client -- all things you would take for granted are there.  The settings for the Ticker window itself are pretty useful.  You can control the backlight display brightness and time on, and set sleep settings so that the bright yellow text on the Ticker doesn't blink all night while you're trying to sleep.

ticker-display settings  ticker-sleep settings

The Ticker is cool, and a very welcome contrast to the typical faceless Android phone.  I really think version two (if it ever materializes) will make even the skeptics take notice, because the untapped functions are just dying to be used.  But as it stands it's a bit disappointing  because of the limited application integration.  Developers could have a field day with an open and documented API for the split display, and we really hope Samsung will make that happen.

Hackability

Samsung has done nothing out of the ordinary to try to lock up the Continuum's hardware.  Thumbs up for that, Samsung.  The phone is easily rooted with the Z4root application from the Android Market, and from there you're free to do as you please -- just like any other Galaxy S phone.  Performance after cleaning up a few things is right in line with the rest of the Galaxy S series.

Continuum Linpack  Continuum Quadrant

The Continuum suffers from the same slow RFS file system as every other Galaxy S device.  It's just screaming for a decent kernel and remapping of the file system, and I hope someone does it. 

The GPS

OK you unlucky folks with a bum GPS on your Galaxy S device, make room for a friend.  I know it's been frustrating seeing reviewer after reviewer have GPS that seems to work while yours seems to have a mind of its own, but we can't help being lucky -- until now.  I know Phil's been through his share of Galaxy S phones with working GPS, both reviewer's units as well as his own.  I had a great GPS signal on the Mesmerize, and even used it through the mountains without any issues.  But this unit just isn't going to cut it.  Randomly it will work well for a few minutes, then lose signal, then put me somewhere I'm not.  This happens regardless of location settings, on both Google Maps as well as Verizon Navigator.  Of course it's nothing we didn't already know, but at least now you can point and laugh at the blogger with a bad GPS.  Here's a few images to help vindicate y'all, I'm sure it's nothing you haven't seen before.

GPS status Continuum  Verizon Nav, no GPS -- Continuum

Busted GPS -- Continuum

Yes, Samsung says they will address these issues, and it looks like they are trying to help with some fixes already.  Here's hoping they hurry.

The big question is, which Galaxy S phone should I get on Verizon?  The answer depends on what you're looking for.  Both the Fascinate and Continuum perform about the same, and besides physical dimensions they are pretty identical in the hardware department.  The Continuum gives up a little real estate on the main screen, and it's a little narrow to hold.  You get used to that quickly though.  On the plus side, it's not the same run-of-the-mill black slab we see so often in today's smartphones.  If you're a communicator -- always sending and receiving some sort of message -- the Continuum may be just what you're looking for.  

 

Reader comments

Samsung Continuum review

18 Comments

After reading that, I think this is a fail. It's fine it it's just ONE screen, but why have these buttons "painted" on? I'm still all for the possibilities of the ticker, but if this can be done all on ONE screen, why not make it even more customizable by making the 4 main buttons movable or customizable in some way. It just seems off.

I like the idea of the "Ticker", but it seems like wasted space unless there is an active notification. It seems if they modeled this a lot like the Palm Pre did where the notification area pops up when you have an active notification it would be much better -- that way that wasted space could be utilized by the applications running on your phone.

Oh GAWD not another Continuum review. Really, guys you've said all there is to say about this phone. Jerry, when you are done reviewing it mail it to Rene Richie so we don't have to read more reviews here.

just remember 5 million Galaxy S users are still waiting for the android 2.2 update promised in June and still yet to be delivered...

It is now possible to addition your brain power with avant-garde afflatus technology. Reseaccomplished and abstracts show that adapted states of alertness or burning brainwork can be accomplished to accouter on the brain power by use if academician wave entrainment....,how does hypnosis work

"Quite right, were operating to a very tight schedule," said Dedalus nodding at his watch and tucking it back into his waist coat. "We are attempting to time your departure from the house with your family's Disapparition, Harry thus the charm breaks the moment you all head for safety." He turned to the Dursleys, "Well, are we all packed and ready to go?"
None of them answered him. Uncle Vernon was still staring appalled at the bulge in Dedalus's waistcoat pocket.
"Perhaps we should wait outside in the hall, Dedalus," murmured Hestia. She clearly felt that it would be tactless for them to remain the room while Harry and the Dursleys exchanged loving, possibly tearful farewells.
"There's no need,sexy v neckline satin cummerbund cocktail dresses," Harry muttered, but Uncle Vernon made any further explanation unnecessary by saying loudly,
"Well, this is good-bye then boy."
He swung his right arm upward to shake Harry's hand, but at the last moment seemed unable to face it, and merely closed his fist and began swinging it backward and forward like a metronome.
"Ready, Duddy?" asked Petunia,chiffon beading strapless applique layer wedding dress, fussily checking the clasp of her handbag so as to avoid looking at Harry altogether.
Dudley did not answer but stood there with his mouth slightly ajar, reminding Harry a little of the giant, Grawp.
"Come along, then," said Uncle Vernon.
He had already reached the living room door when Dudley mumbled, "I don't understand."
"What don't you understand, popkin?" asked Petunia looking up at her son.
Dudley raised a large, hamlike hand to point at Harry.
"Why isn't he coming with us?
Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia froze when they stood staring at Dudley as though he had just expressed a desire to become a ballerina.
"What?" said Uncle Vernon loudly.
"Why isn't he coming too?" asked Dudley.
"Well, he\a151doesn't want to," said Uncle Vernon, turning to glare at Harry and adding, "You don't want to, do you?"
"Not in the slightest," said Harry.
"There you are,sexy deep v neckline halter wedding dresses," Uncle Vernon told Dudley. "Now come on we're off."
He marched out of the room. They heard the front door open, but Dudley did not move and after a few faltering steps Aunt Petunia stopped too.
"What now?" barked Uncle Vernon, reappearing in the doorway.
It seemed that Dudley was struggling with concepts too difficult to put into words. After several moments of apparently painful internal struggle he said, "But where's he going to go?"
Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon looked at each other. It was clear that Dudley was frightening them. Hestia Jones broke the silence.
"But\a133 surely you know where your nephew is going?" she asked looking bewildered.
"Certainly we know," said Vernon Dursley. "He's off with some of your lot, isn't he? Right, Dudley, let's get in the car, you heard the man, we're in a hurry.
Again, Vernon Dursley marched as far as the front door, but Dudley did not follow.
"Off with some of \iour\i lot?"
Hestia looked outraged. Harry had met this attitude before Witches and wizards seemed stunned that his closed living relatives took so little interest in the famous Harry Potter.
"It's fine," Harry assured her. "It doesn't matter, honestly."
"Doesn't matter?" repeated Hestia, her voice rising considerably.
"Don't these people realize what you've been through? What danger you are in? The unique position you hold in the hearts of the anti Voldemort movement?"
"Er -no, they don't," said Harry. "They think I'm a waste of space, actually but I'm used to -"
"I don't think you're a waste of space"
If Harry had not seen Dudley's lips move, he might not have believed it. As it was, he stared at Dudley for several seconds before accepting that it must have been his cousin who had spoken; for one thing, Dudley had turned red. Harry was embarrassed and astonished himself.
"Well... er\a133 thanks, Dudley."
Again, Dudley appeared to grapple with thoughts too unwieldy for expression before mumbling, "You saved my life,"
"Not really," said Harry. "It was your soul the dementor would have taken\a133"
He looked curiously at his cousin. They had had virtually no contact during this summer or last, as Harry had come back to Privet Drive so briefly and kept to his room so much. It now dawned on Harry, however, that the cup of cold tea on which he had trodden that morning might not have been a booby trap at all. Although rather touched he was nevertheless quite relieved that Dudley appeared to have exhausted his ability to express his feelings. After opening his mouth once or twice more, Dudley subsided into scarlet-faced silence.
Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry.
"S-so sweet, Dudders\a133" she sobbed into his massive chest. "S-such a lovely b-boy\a133 s-saying thank you\a133"
"But he hasn't said thank you at all!" said Hestia indignantly. "He only said he didn't think Harry was a waste of space!"
"Yea but coming from Dudley that's like 'I love you,'" said Harry, torn between annoyance and a desire to laugh as Aunt Petunia continued to clutch at Dudley as if he had just saved Harry from a burning building.

CutTBook-�ֽ�TXTl��С˵������
IXIAOU STUDIO http://hi.baidu.com/ixiaou

相关的主题文章:

Using a multi layered sole, we all like tory burch transforms flat, hard, bogus surfaces into natural, asperous ground. Abundant like walking in sand,Yves Saint Laurent Boots, the different adorning batten bounce activity of thetory burch sole challenges the amount deepening anatomy to be added active. This reactive, added admiring beef activity creates acceptable aspect and increases shock assimilation for all the joints, decidedly tory burch heels abbreviation muscular-skeletal compression.

Recent Post: