Samsung Galaxy S4 event

It's good to take a look back sometimes. The mobile business moves ridiculously fast. It has its hits. It has its misses. Sometimes it has both simultaneously. 

I can't say I'm a theater connoisseur. Haven't been to enough shows to get anywhere near calling myself a critic. Is it good theater? Is it bad? I dunno. I do think you generally have to take it with a bit of a nod and a wink. Working on the stage means over emphasizing. Expressions and emotions have to reach folks in the back row.  And there was a pretty big difference in watching Thursday night's night's Samsung Galaxy S4 event at Radio City Music Hall from the fourth row than when I watched it again today on YouTube, with multiple camera angles and close-ups. (It also makes a big difference when you watch it instead of work it.)

But I couldn't help think that we'd seen a bit of this before.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4​; Galaxy S4 forums

I'm also not going to wade too deep into the torrent that is outcries of sexism or misogyny. I'm not dumb enough to tell people what they should be offended by. If the stereotypes portrayed in the presentation offended you, by all means speak up. Maybe it was outright offensive. Maybe it just wasn't the best theater in the world. Maybe it was a bit of both.

Samsung in 2010What I kept flashing back to, though, was the original Samsung Galaxy S presentation in 2010 at CTIA in Las Vegas. Controversial content this year notwithstanding, the parallels are tough to miss. That event in Vegas marked the birth of S Life, with actors walking us through how the new features would fit into your life. Your new S Life. Now? The Galaxy S4 is your "Life Companion."

Fast forward a few years. The Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 events (in Barcelona in 2011 and London in 2012) were lighter on the storytelling. This year, though, everything old was new again.

Some folks have made a big deal about how little the word "Android" was mentioned. As we've said any number of times here, once the manufacturers do their thing, you cease to have an "Android" device and instead have a "Samsung device that runs Android." A "TouchWiz device," if you will. Or an "HTC Sense" phone that runs Android. I'm OK with that. Android is an embedded operating system. The manufacturers are doing exactly what they were intended to do.

But in watching the 2010 presentation followed by the 2013 event, it's also interesting to see just how many Google services have been supplanted by Samsung's own. Have a look.

Samsung Galaxy S presentation (2010)

This was shot by yours truly from the second row.

Samsung Galaxy S4 presentation (2013)


Reader comments

From 'S Life' to 'Life Companion': The original Galaxy S presentation meets the Galaxy S4


I enjoyed the presentation. It was definitely goofy, but overall I thought it told me what I needed to know and got me excited for certain features such as Group Play. I think it's a nice, refreshing off of the Steve Jobs style presentation. AndroidAppsForWork_com

oh ok, so that weirdness was normal for Samsung.. I guess I've never watched any of their events before. lol

I thought this year's presentation was way better than previous presentations. This year there was less talking and more action items from actors emphasizing the real world uses of the new features.

They even went to an extent on explaining why and who would use certain features. for example they explained why and who would use air navigation.

The way they delivered the list of features was very nice, as it stuck in my head way better than just 1 person talking away the features.

If you notice in your 2010 video, he goes on and on about swype, which is kind of annoying similar to the alarm talk.

Nice write-up, Phil. While I did purchase a Fascinate as my first Android based smartphone, I can't say I remember anything in terms of hype surrounding the original S launch. It's kind of nice to see where we started on this galactic journey.

As for this "sexism of misogyny," I'm not entirely sure you could call it an outcry if I had to google for it... using three different phrases... to find one article... that was linked from a result I clicked at random... ellipses.

But I guess it's true what they say: the squeaky wheel lives to fight another gift horse by its cover.

What an odd presentation. Seems like a waste of money to hire all those actors and write those skits and have the host talk about how it's all fake the whole time. There is winking at the audience, but this was overkill.

>"outcries of sexism of misogyny"

Tomgirls can outcry all they want, that part of the skit looked fairly accurate based on my experience on this earth. There was no misogyny.

The whole thing still sucked though.

I HAVE tried to answer a call after just having put lotion on my hands. I HAVE tried to answer a call without messing up my wet nails. It wasn't sexist to demonstrate how this phone can help those situations. People like that CNET Molly woman just need to get over themselves and stop being offended by stupid stuff.