Thursday, March 31, 2016

Playing with the Galaxy S7 & other new tech at Verizon, plus a giveaway {ends 4/8}


*Disclosure: I received a Verizon gift card for attending this event. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past Tuesday, I got to play with some new tech at the Verizon store in Troy, MI - and Verizon has some cool new phones and toys that I enjoyed.

I currently own a Samsung Galaxy S6, which I bought last year when my previous smartphone (a Galaxy S3) decided to finally kick the bucket. Although I'm more of an Apple girl when it comes to tablets, I may have to reconsider that after playing with some of Samsung's new tablets (see pic above), as this one was HUGE and more like a TV than a tablet.

The first tech we looked at is the new Galaxy S7, as well as the S7 Edge, both of which have some new features compared to the S5 and S6. The first thing we were shown is that the S7 Edge is waterproof - I was a bit nervous to see a phone SUBMERGED in water, but it turns out it is indeed waterproof:


(Normally when you dunk your phone in water, you'd expect immediate phone death ... not so with the S7!)

The phone is waterproof in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. After we removed the phone from its bath, we were able to just shake off the water and use it immediately after. The Samsung rep did caution that if your phone does get wet, don't leave it in your car in this cold weather and expected it to be okay, though - in that case, it could freeze and might get damaged. (sorry, fellow Michiganders and Midwesterners)


The S7 was very similar to my S6, except the icons (Phone, Message+, etc.) seemed a bit bigger. Some of its new options compared to the S6 include a "selfie flash" (flash for the front-facing camera) which should be useful. The S7 Edge also has a lot of interesting features, including 2 panels on its side (the S6 Edge only has one) for quick access to contacts and shortcuts, and a 200G micro SD card.


The best part of the demo for me was definitely trying out the Gear VR - described on the Verizon site as a "mobile, virtual reality headset." The best way I can describe it like you're watching a 3D movie, except you're IN the movie - I was able to play one of the games on it and things were flying at me; I almost felt like I needed to duck.

credit: Verizon.com

I was also shocked when I found out that the Gear VR is only $99 - I figured it would be $500+, but because it's mostly your phone doing the work, it's a little less expensive. It's compatible with Samsung phones such as the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7, and the Galaxy S7 edge.


I played a game on the VR and also got to be "in" a Cirque du Soleil performance - when I twisted my body around (I was sitting down), I saw the chairs where the audience sits, and when I moved the other way, I could see the performers; it was quite an experience. You can also choose locations from all over the world to look at, including Paris, London, and other international cities, and see their 360 degree landscapes.


The last tech I briefly looked at was the Samsung wireless charging stand ($69.99), which uses Samsung's adaptive fast technology to charge your phone FAST - it can charge up to 50% in a half-hour, which is great if your phone is low on juice and you need a quick charge before going somewhere.

Because I already own a Samsung phone, I already was aware of this awesomeness - the wall charger that came with my phone, and also the one that comes with the S7 and S7 Edge, is a fast charger - but I didn't know that Samsung now makes stands with the same technology. I myself own a charging stand, which I love (I keep it next to my bed, and put my phone on it before bedtime), but it's not a fast charging stand.

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


GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a $25 Verizon gift card! Use the gift card to purchase something fun at Verizon, or even to pay your Verizon bill.

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Friday, April 8th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day and must reply within 24 hours, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

I already have the gift card in my possession and will be mailing it to the winner.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

$25 Verizon

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