2016 started off as a great year for Samsung. The release of the Galaxy Note 7 Edge put Samsung back on top of the smartphone world. However, by September, the Korean company was dealing with one of the biggest PR disasters in technology history. Let’s take a look at some of Samsung’s biggest product releases in 2016.
Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
2015’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were well received, but didn’t sell well. However, with the S7 and (especially) the S7 Edge, Samsung hit a home run. CNET, which barely gives products a perfect rating, gave the Galaxy S7 Edge five stars.
“Here’s the phone you should buy right now: This one. What catapults the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge to such heights? Is it the excellent camera, the beast of a battery, the expandable storage or the seductive design that’s worth more than the sum of its parts? Yes, and more.”
Reviewer Jessica Dolcourt was especially impressed with the screen and battery life, which lasted even power users more than 24 hours. The only thing that she didn’t care for was the price. However, judging by sales, it’s obvious that consumers didn’t have a problem shelling out hundreds of dollars to purchase the latest in Samsung’s Galaxy S series.
Gear VR 2016
The first consumer version of Samsung’s portable virtual reality headset earned mixed reviews in 2015. The headset had problems with fogging lenses and image shadowing. However, the new version of the Gear VR, which was released with the Galaxy Note 7 (but compatible with previous Samsung smartphones), finally hit the sweet spot.
“The new Samsung Gear VR is a functional, accessible, and affordable way to play with VR if you have a compatible Galaxy phone, and anyone with even a passing interest in VR should seriously consider giving it a shot,” noted PC Magazine, who gave Samsung’s updated VR headset four stars.
The Gear 360 was supposed to be the go-to camera for taking your own virtual reality videos to use with the Gear VR headset. However, according to most, Samsung certainly fell short. The Verge noted that the Gear 360 was a decent experiment, though it had some major drawbacks. Venture Beat was less kind, though not cruel. They described Samsung’s camera as one you won’t love — or hate.
“Although it’s relatively easy to use and performs as promised, the Samsung Gear 360 doesn’t stand out as much as it should, especially considering all the resources the company has at its disposal.”
Galaxy Note 7
Samsung would have had a great year if their new products ended with the Gear 360 release. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Note 7 happened, and the phone will forever be known as the “Galaxy Nuke 7.”
A review from the Inquisitr that came out soon after the Note 7’s release claimed the Note 7 could convince iPhone users to switch. Paste Magazine said it was a “perfected phablet,” and Phone Arena gave Samsung’s new smartphone four-and-a-half stars, calling it an almost incomprehensibly versatile smartphone. Things were going great for Samsung, until the Note 7 started blowing up cars and other places.
Samsung had to pay a huge price, in billions of dollars, for forgoing quality control in trying to get the Note 7 to the market before the new iPhone. They first recalled the phone in September and rushed replacement units to replace the “bad” units. Samsung Note 7 customers loved their smartphones so much that they forgave Samsung. Then, it was revealed that the replacement units were defective as well, and the explosions kept happening. If you still have a Note 7, you would probably save a lot of lives by getting rid of it.
[Featured Image by Sam Santos/Getty Images]