Sunday, April 3, 2016

A visit to the Verizon Smart Store to checkout new tech from Samsung

** A Geek Daddy was compensated for attending this event. Opinions are my own**

I had the opportunity to stop by the Verizon Smart Store that recently opened in my neighborhood for a hands-on demonstration of some great new tech from Samsung.  Staff from Samsung and Verizon Wireless provided me with a nice overview of three items they are particularly proud to show off: a Galaxy S7 smartphone along with a VR Gear mobile virtual reality headset and a Galaxy View super-sized tabletAfter getting a run down on the specs and details on each of these gadgets, I got the chance to play around with and try out each of these cool new products from Samsung.

Have you seen the television commercials from Samsung promoting their Galaxy S7 smart phones are water resistant?  Whether it is a couple of average everyday citizens accidentally dropping a phone in a fountain during a vacation photo op or celebrity hip hop artist Lil Wayne going crazy pouring champagne all over his phone this is a feature that really catches people's attention because frankly we all are worried about ruining our expensive phones by getting them accidentally wet.

The question for most consumers is are Samsung's water resistant claims overstated marketing hype or a practical reality people can depend on?  Well I had the chance to put the Samsung Galaxy S7 to the test during my visit to the Verizon Smart Store by dropping one in a bin of water.

Wow! I poured water over a Galaxy S7 and also submerged it.  Getting it wet had absolutely no impact on the phone.  It was incredible!  According to the product rep from Samsung the Galaxy S7 can be submerged in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes without hindering its operations or damaging it.  They've engineered it so in addition to water not breaching the smartphone's outer shell it won't seep in through the earphone plug input or recharging port either.  From witnessing first hand this phone being exposed to water in a variety of ways, I believe that the Galaxy S7 being water resistant is the real thing.  I wouldn't recommend carrying it with you while swimming in the deep end of a pool but for the most part everyday fear of exposing your phone to water is a thing of the past with the Galaxy S7 smartphone.  The S7 is IP68 certified for being water resistant.

A few other nice features about the Galaxy S7 is that despite it being incredibly water resistant the phone is incredibly slim and lightweight.  If you find that your phone is normally lacking in memory or you don't want to use cloud storage features, the S7 allows users to expand its memory to 200GB with a microSD card option.  Samsung has also upgraded the camera making the S7 the first smartphone to use duel-pixel technology allowing it to better take photos in low-light environments and focus your photographic view faster than the blink of an eye.  Another feature that really stood out for me is the wireless charging capability.  Who hates plugging and unplugging cables, that often get tangled up, when it comes to charging a phone?  The wireless charging feature allows the Galaxy S7 to quickly be powered up while simply setting the phone down on a Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad. I have to say I really like that!

While playing around with the Galaxy S7, I had a lot of fun trying out a neat accessory to it, the VR Gear, which allows the phone to be inserted into a headset to create a mobile, virtual reality device.  The VR Gear provides 3D imagery combined with a 360 degree perspective to create an impressive virtual reality experience.  Utilizing the VR Gear a user can walk through a historical site, museum or zoo for example and be able to look up, down and all around them and see everything as if they were actually at the location.  I've always wanted to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium but because it is located on the far other side of the country from me that is not particularly likely to happy.  As a practical example of the value of this technology, the aquarium could potentially create an app to sell for the Galaxy S7 that through the VR Gear would allow people like myself to take a virtual tour of the facility providing an experience similar to being there without actually ever stepping foot in the place.

The VR Gear also does a wonderful job of simulating motion.  Better be prepared if an app incorporates motion within it or your feet might just fly out from underneath you.  I didn't realize an app was going to start racing me through a video game maze and lost my balance having to quickly pull off the headset to keep from falling over.  That experience highlights just how amazing the experience can be when it comes to enveloping you within a virtual environment that not only presents stunning environments but can mimic the feeling of motion without you actually moving.

Once I got the hang of using the VR Gear though racing through apps became no big deal.  I became a champ at one game where you steered around obstacles by moving your head in sync with the VR Gear once I became accustomed to using the device.  While the VR Gear may look heavy and bulky it doesn't feel that way when using it.  I was surprised just how comfortable the device was to wear.

What is really nice about the VR Gear is that while it has lot of entertaining options to play around with there are also a variety of business, educational, medical, technological and scientific uses that this device can be beneficial for as well.  Often times the success of technology like this is dependent on mass consumer appeal and demand for it.  Since Samsung is marketing the VR Gear as an affordable accessory to its popular line of Galaxy phones, I believe it has a great shot at making virtual reality a more common aspect that people begin to regularly utilize not just for fun but also as a productive tool.

Finally, I took a look at the Galaxy View which is a mobile tablet that has a screen big enough to double as a television set.  It comes with a built on curved stand which makes it as easy to prop up and display someplace as to hold in your hand.  With an 18.4" screen, 8 hour battery life and a handle to carry it by the Galaxy View allows you to easily go from working with it on your lap to taking it outside to enjoy some music on the deck or upstairs for some bedtime television viewing.  I personally thought this would make a great addition to our kitchen where while making a meal we could utilize its wireless connectivity to look up a recipe or watch some TV.

Congratulations to Katia from Culver City, California who won our Verizon Gift Card Giveaway

Are you interested in any of this tech?  If so, A GEEK DADDY has a Verizon Gift Card to giveaway to help one lucky blog reader or social media follower to help get some for themselves.  To be eligible for this giveaway must follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet our original contest tweet which is embedded below before April 10, 2016 @ 11:59 pm EST.  Must be a US  resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per person and we'll randomly select someone from all eligible entries to receive a $25 Verizon gift card that can be used for buying a new phone, an accessory like a new pair of headphones or even towards paying your monthly wireless bill courtesy of Samsung and A Geek Daddy Blog.

 Which of these new Samsung products would you most like to try out and why?

FTC DISCLOSURE / DISCLAIMER:  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest and providing for delivery of the prize by the U.S. Postal Service.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion.  Winner must be following the twitter account @Geekdad248 at the time winner is randomly drawn to be eligible and so he or she can be notified.  Must reply to DM within 48 hours of notification or a new winner will be selected. Must be a US  resident over 18 years old. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. A Geek Daddy Blog was financially compensated for this blog post and hosting the contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.



  1. I'd like to try the phone. That is my worst nightmare to have my phone fall in the toilet or in any water for that fact.

  2. Haha - you got me at the water. I've lost more than one iPhone by getting it wet. I'm off to look at the samsung...Thanks for the review!

  3. Wow can't believe you were able to submerge the phone. I know that my kids would benefit from that feature.

  4. waterproof? Thats unheard of!?! I love Galaxy phones :)

  5. Looks like you learned a lot and had a lot of fun with some great gizmos! I had heard the Samsung was waterproof. My daughter needs that - she drops her in the sink all of the time.

  6. I've heard many great things about the new Galaxy. I love the new commercial.

  7. That is amazing that the phone can be submerged in water. That's a great option for so many reasons...toilets, pools, wash machines, etc.

  8. I need that phone! I am always dropping my phone or having my son spill his drink on it. Will have to check it out

  9. I've been seeing those commercials everywhere (especially the Lil Wayne/champagne versions)! I have to admit that I'm a Mac/iPhone user, but that Galaxy S7 is starting to make me reconsider!

  10. Awesome gadget and great features and accessories too! How I wish I can have my hand on it soon. Really amazing phone!

  11. That's awesome! I really wish my phone was water resistant and shatterproof. I don't think I'll get a new iphone til they are... or switch to samsung.

  12. I've heard many great things about the new Galaxy. I've lost a phone to water damage, so I loved reading your post!

  13. My husband dropped a previous phone in the toilet and it was ruined. Gone are the days of putting your phone in a bag of rice, haha!