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TheStreet Open House

Samsung Comes Out Blazing With Smartphones

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Are we looking at Samsung as the new smartphone giant? Maybe so.

As if buying a cell phone is not complex enough, Korean conglomerate Samsung is betting that a "more is better" strategy is well, better when it comes to phones. The company is releasing not one, but four (!) versions of its so-called Galaxy S Google Android-powered touch-based smartphone. Branded as the Captivate, Vibrant, Epic 4G and Fascinate, each will be sold in slightly different configurations by AT&T (T), T-Mobile, Sprint (S) and Verizon (VZ), respectively. Yes, there will be a quiz.

And Samsung has maxed out the techno boosters to get to this Galaxy. The unit sports a dazzling screen technology called a super active matrix organic light emitting diode -- dubbed Super AMOLED here in the geek trade. And it packs an Apple (AAPL) iPad-equivalent 1 gigabyte Hummingbird processor that fully supports the latest versions of the Android OS.

So the question becomes: Do these tech chops translate to the bottom line? AT&T sent over a demo Galaxy Captivate ($199) last week, and I have been giving it the small-business once-over.

What you get: The Galaxy is a bright, powerful, touch-based smartphone. Duh.

Samsung clearly knows its tech: The unit simply vanquishes the bulk problem that plagues such smartphone monsters as the Sprint HTC EVO. And the fast processor is further juiced by a full 16 gigabytes of onboard storage, which rids the unit of most of the multitasking issues that clogged previous Androids. Web browsing is brisk, as is the nice mobile banking app. I liked an integrated messaging client called Write and Go that makes mobile messaging a bit more business ready. Voice search, while still flawed, was more stable than in previous Android phones. And you can expect business apps such as mail, docs and calendar tools to run great.

But the news here really is the screen. The Captivate presents information clearly. Detail is excellent. And this sucker is bright -- like perfectly clear, driving-on-the-Garden State Parkway-at-noon-on-the-way-to-a-job bright. This is a heck of a display.

In all, the Galaxy is a fast, flexible small-biz device that can handle most on-the-go work tasks.

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