Calvin is live and kicking within all of us. He isn’t just a seemingly prickly comic-book character fantasizing and creating stories of aliens or wilfully experimenting with smart and rather tricky ideas to keep himself entertained… he is also a loving soul who forever needs to keep talking and debating with Hobbes, his stuffed tiger. This morning I actually heard them talking of rather techy things on the screen of my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 750…
‘You’re talking to me, Calvin?’
‘The alien is looking at me through the portals of time, Hobbes!’ shouted Calvin and then continued his sharp observations with his eyes screwed up tightly as if trying to pierce me with a glance, ‘We need to stop him use his finger and send us into oblivion…’
‘No, I wouldn’t,’ I said, ‘and anyway I can always bring you back riding on my high speed wifi connection.’
‘I’ll know you’re a friend if you can get me that example of wizardry, that evolved gizmo from the future,’ he demanded, pointing to the link announcing the arrival of the new Samsung Galaxy Note to India. Saying that he hopped on to my finger touching the screen and I helped him pluck an image to take it back to where Hobbes sat, petrified.
‘Well, what will you do with this…’
Cutting me short, Calvin motioned me to stop talking and then, with his characteristically scientific temperament, he began deciphering the future for himself.
‘Smart,’ I thought, ‘how could he drag a mere picture from a link to his own page?’
Calvin suddenly looked at me, smiled and replied as if he had heard my thoughts too, ‘Easy. That’s easy. I can do anything because I am able to think it out… like the tech guys who have possible created this.’
‘Yes,’ I said, trying hard not to lose my way into a time zone that seemed to be full of insane moments.
‘Hobbes, this is what we always wanted.’
‘Yeah?’ drawled Hobbes.
‘This smartphone is the difference between ‘not this’ and ‘note this’. This 178 gms phone with a 5.3 inch display is the difference between ‘not now’ and ‘note now’…’
‘I understand what you’re saying, Calvin.’
‘Alien,’ he was addressing me, ‘I like you and I will tell you more about this phone. Then you can think about dumping that insipid streaky phone you’re carrying in your pocket.’
He doesn’t just see my face and my hovering finger, he knows what is there in my pocket… and my thoughts were on the verge of hopping across to the land where sanity and insanity fumble together with existence.
‘Stop your rambling thoughtlessness…’ shouted Calvin from his screen, ‘and just listen to what I have to say.’
An imperceptible nod told him that I agreed.
Calvin was suddenly completely composed and fully in charge of this little tutorial. Now he was also able to open the note on the phone with him, swipe sentences and phrases and even tilt it to show me what he had written.
The first message he swiped for me was:
Samsung Galaxy Note: A tablet with smaller screen or a phone with a big screen?
And I had already been admonished to keep my ‘uneducated comments’ and ‘sluggish awareness’ so I thought it better to pay attention to Calvin as he said with a might flourish of his hands, ‘The USP of this smartphone is its note-taking abilities.’ Saying this he again swiped something on the phone screen. He had written:
And Sriram Vadlamani writes: “Samsung Galaxy Note works as a great cross between a smartphone, Tablet and a notepad. One more step towards a paperless world.”
‘If you’re on the move… always… from here to there… rushing around… then this is what you need, Hobbes. Perch on trees and note. Zip and zoom down the hill on my cart and you can still take notes,’ Calvin was breathless as he spoke, ‘You can now be my personal biographer, Hobbes.’ And Hobbes nodded in deference.
‘And alien, you must know that it has a 2500 mAh battery which gives 13 hours of talk time on 2G and 4.6 hours of talk time on 3G.’
Hobbes made some quick calculations on his fingers and carefully said, ’This means it has a standby time of 370 hours on 3G to 570 hours on 2G.’
Predictably, Calvin caught his trick then and there and with a majestic swipe of his index finger, replied, ‘I can see that you have been reading the tech specifications carefully. Stop fooling me. You aren’t my math teacher.’
Hobbes gave a sheepish smile and, as if to make up for his silliness, he asked, ‘Calvin, what do these people mean when they say that this smartphone has a Super AMOLED display?’
‘That’s easy,’ said Calvin, ‘this happens when a capacitive touchscreen is integrated into the display instead of overlaying it on top. This is how Samsung has managed to evolve a thinner design that uses less power, reflects less light and works better even out of doors. Got it?’
‘Wow!’ I was unable to restrain myself at his depth of knowledge, ‘and I remember that AMOLED is the acronym for Active Matrix OLED that pairs the active matrix backplane from a traditional TFT display with an OLED display.’ Before anyone could say anything, I tried to sound less erudite by saying, ‘I learnt this up by heart, you see.’
‘’You Indians really need to change your education system. Over-hauling is what they need, Hobbes.’
‘Yes,’ Hobbes agreed readily.
‘What you should know is that AMOLED displays have a faster pixel switching response time as compared to the traditional ones and so there won’t be any ghosting when displaying fast animations on this phone.’
Calvin walked from one end to the other end of my Galaxy tab screen and then turned to Hobbes in a perfect mime of a strict teacher. ‘Hobbes, you tell me one advantage of a large 5.3 inch display.’
‘I can do more tasks.’
‘Now it’s your turn, alien,’ Calvin directed his glance towards me.
‘Hmmm…,’ I thought for a while before hesitatingly uttering, ‘I can create more and I can consume more.’ My answer seemed to please the poet in me as the answer said it all without it sounding childish.
‘Reason. Give the reason,’ snapped Calvin.
‘Calvin, as there will be minimum scrolling and screen transitions, I’ll be able to save time to do more.’
‘Good. So now we all know the advantages of a large 5.3 inch HD super AMOLED touchscreen. Right?’
I found that Calvin’s straight-forward no-nonsense attitude was charismatic enough to get acceptance from everyone. I liked it… and I presume, so did Hobbes. Calvin was quite often as blunt as blunt could be and even now he looked Hobbes in his eyes and blurted, ‘You have large unwieldy paws and you would not be able to do anything on this screen.’
For this once though, Hobbes seemed to have scored another victory over his intellectually superior master and friend, for he triumphantly held out something that resembled a stylus and announced, ‘I have my S-Pen. This has advanced pen input technology. I know I will use this digital S-Pen for my sketches and artworks of you when your Mom punishes you, Calvin.’ I knew then that Hobbes wasn’t a passive stuffed tiger but a sharp and shrewd comic character! Calvin chose to avoid this comment and casually remarked, ‘The S-Pen helps you to instantly capture ideas freely before they float away.’
He then helpfully added, ‘The S-Pen, and I am reading out from the press release, is an advanced pen-input technology combined with the GALAXY Note’s full touch screen to introduce a new type of user-experience. Through this, consumers are able to freely capture and create ideas while on the go.’
Hobbes was all the while trying to peer into the Galaxy Note from all angles and seemed satisfied because he proudly announced, ‘I was confirming if this gadget indeed had a 180 degree viewing angle. It does.’
‘Obviously,’ said Calvin, ‘this smartphone is made by smart people for smart people and so I think the S that we see everywhere, can be rightly expanded to be smart.’
No one dared to refute this seemingly correct analogy, though I strongly felt that the word Samsung was an equally strong contender there. But we were gracefully informed that the phone also included an S-Planner which was, quite obviously, a smart professional planning tool that integrated the phone’s To-Do list and schedule too.
‘And if you need to capture, edit, annotate, or even share pictures, voice recordings, typed text, handwritten notes or drawings, all you need is the smart S-Memo, the multi-media application for all kinds of user-created stuff.’
This was when Hobbes jumped up and told Calvin that he would be on the wrong side of his mother’s temper if he got home any later than this. ‘A smart phone is fine, Calvin,’ said Hobbes in his philosophical tone that meant he was going to pun, ‘but a fine will make us smart!’
Calvin cocked his head in a thoughtful pose and slowly nodded an agreement. He turned to me then and said, ‘Alien, you have a sharp mind and a good heart. Just write about all that I have told you and I’ll ask Samsung to reward you with a Galaxy Note! Remember, I call this smartphone a ‘NOTE THIS! NOTE NOW!!’ phone and not like any of the other phones that keep shouting ‘Not this, not now!’
He then quickly scribbled the vital stats of the phone and turned them towards me to take a fast and trusty mental note… and then, just as suddenly he put his hand up to exit from the browser page.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
World’s first 5.3 inch HD SUPER AMOLED Display (WXGA 1280×800, 285ppi)
1.4 GHz dual-core processor Samsung-made dual-core 1.4GHz processor
9.65mm (0.38 inches) thick
178 grams (6.3 ounces)
8 megapixel camera with LED Flash
2 megapixel front-camera
Full HD Video recording and playback support
WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, A-GPS, micro SD card slot
2500 mAh battery
Can take hand-written notes on Pen UX S Pen
Calvin, Hobbes, and the discussion went on reverberating in my mind until I sat down and wrote it all down to be used as my newest blog upload. I really like the way Calvin described this latest Galaxy Note… ‘Note this! Note now!!’
10 October 2011
Image credits: Images of the Samsung smartphone and Calvin and Hobbes taken from Google images.