With plans for other countries.

Earlier this week Samsung invited a select group of media to its immersive experiential zone, Galaxy Studio, at Westfield Parramatta. The hub invites shoppers to be among the first in the world to get hands-on with its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones and see how they interact with the Samsung ecosystem, as well as its Gear S3 smartwatch, Gear 360 camera and Gear VR headset for an Australian-first 4D virtual reality experience. It will be live until 7 May, 2017 with 26 Samsung staff on-site.

“This is the first time Samsung has given Australians this kind of access to immersive experiences that are built around our latest mobile innovation. People can now have hands on experience with our new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones, as well as virtual reality and wearable technology,” Samsung Australia vice president of IT and mobile, Richard Fink said. “Australia is one of the first countries to launch the Galaxy Studio as it rolls out to a range of countries in Europe and Asia.”

According to Samsung Australia event and experience manager for mobile division, Jamie Skaltsounis, customers were most interested and impressed with Samsung DeX, which provides an Android-based desktop-like experience that enables users to seamlessly access apps, edit documents, browse the web, watch videos, reply to messages and more, directly from the smartphone on a larger display, keyboard and mouse. It is compatible with the Galaxy S8 smartphone.

Galaxy Studio is built around the following product experience zones, including:

  • Gear VR ‘4D’ Virtual Reality Theater – Designed to transport people to a new world through a ‘4D’ cinema experience utilising Samsung Gear VR virtual reality. It is the first time in Australia that this experience has been showcased by Samsung.

  • Gear 360 Snowstorm (pictured below) Visitors can capture unique 360 degree video with the Gear 360 in a simulated snow experience. Positioned in the middle of a ‘snow’ blizzard, visitors can capture content as they move around the zone.
  • Watercolour selfies – Take a selfie with the new Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone and dip it in water to see it transformed into a liquid animation. At the zone, guests can choose to add one of four filters to their selfie that mimics the style of a water colour painting.
  • Fitness challenge – Using the Gear S3 smartwatch, guests can try out either a virtual swimming or tennis experience. Sensors track the participant’s heart rate and motion, and then customises the exercises to encourage more movement.
  • Digital display – Learn more about the ecosystem of Galaxy devices with an interactive table experience. As guests place devices on the interactive table, different prompts will be displayed, that when selected, showcase key features of the devices.

Top-secret Telstra lab

Samsung also invited media to Telstra’s top-secret lab in western Sydney, where new mobile devices and software updates are tested.

The lab was established in 1993 when the nation’s first digital mobile network (2G) was launched by Telstra. All the devices the telco offers need to pass a barrage of tests to ensure they operate at a high standard across its coverage footprint.

Telstra engineering experts perform 8,713 unique types of tests for each device – spanning protocol, performance, antenna/receiver sensitivity tests and user experience tests for voice quality and data throughput, including new technology areas such as 4×4 MIMO, 4CA and VoWifi/ViLTE.

The Samsung S8 and S8+ have undergone three rounds of testing for throughput performance, antenna sensitivity, protocol conformance, user experience, field testing and stability tests. In total, more than 1,864 hours of testing were performed, involving data transfers in excess of 2.0 Terabytes on Telstra’s commercial network and in the lab.