Samsung's Comeback Strategy for 2017 is... Freebies?

By Holly Brockwell on at

Samsung's press conference at Mobile World Congress started on a slightly sad note: an inevitable mention of the Galaxy Note 7 and the new testing processes Samsung's put in as a result. The company went on to thank people for sticking with the brand, and to announce all the new things they're launching to tempt everyone else back in.

Soundtracked with the O'Jays 'Give The People What They Want,' the conference became the launchpad for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Book, S-Pen and Gear VR controller - the latter two of which are essentially freebies. That's giving the people what they want, alright.

New Samsung S-Pen

The new S-Pen comes with a smaller tip (0.7mm) and is apparently much closer to writing with a real pen - although as ever, that's very much a matter of opinion, and opinion outside Samsung seems to be that it's not really true.

Nonetheless, pressure sensitivity has been upped and there are new features like being able to write memos with the screen off, PDF annotation and new drawing tools.

The new S Pen comes in the box with the new Galaxy Book and Galaxy Tab S3. OK, so that means it's not technically free, but close enough.

Samsung Gear VR controller

Meanwhile, the Gear VR controller comes with the newly redesigned Gear VR. The curvier headset weighs in at 345g, with dimensions of 207.8 x 122.5 x 98.6mm. The headset includes 42mm lenses with the same 101-degree field of vision as in the previous version, and as before it works with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. Presumably, it'll also work with the new S8 and S8 Plus when they're unveiled in March.

To get around the different connectors on those phones, the new headset will have a converter in the box to switch between micro USB and type C.

Here's what Samsung tells us about the controller:

Various Motion Input for a Better VR Experience 
The Touchpad provides quicker selection and interaction in VR apps, enabling various forms of motion, including the ability to point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences.
Minimised Movement for Long-time Use
The Home, Volume and Back keys located on the Controller give users everything they need in easy reach so that they can keep their focus on immersive content.
A Secure Grip for Comfortable Play
Even during the most active movements, the Controller’s wrist strap offers a secure grip for comfortable and secure play.

Ah, wrist straps. What could possibly go wrong?

Giz UK is on the floor at MWC in Barcelona! We're going to have plenty of coverage coming in over the next few days, and you can catch up on it all here.