Galaxy S7: Behind the scenes at Samsung Unpacked at MWC 2016

There’s nothing quite like being at a product launch. There’s a certain exhilaration to every good one. But sometimes events stand out more than others. Samsung’s Unpacked event in Berlin last fall for the Gear S2 was one of them. In the round, elevated, in the special venue that is Berlin’s Tempodrom. The pacing, the quality of the executives (and the diversity as well — something that was a little lacking this evening), and the product itself made that a fun event to cover.

I didn’t think Samsung would be able to top that event so soon. But this evening in Barcelona, it did exactly that. And it needed to. This was the first Unpacked event with DJ Koh at the helm instead of JK Shin. (I thought Koh did great.) Tonight’s event stands out for any number of reasons. First it was walking in and seeing a Gear VR headset sitting on every seat. (And also under the seat as a giveaway for all the attendees.) It was the cube in the middle of the room, making us think (at first) that the entire event might be done in Gear VR. But then the cube opened and Koh quickly established that Samsung’s not going anywhere but up in the mobile business.

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And it was the agape jaws as we removed the Gear VR later in the program only to find Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on stage, ready to talk about his company’s promise to the Oculus/Samsung partnership. (I had no idea he’d snuck up on us. That was brilliant.)

And maybe more important is that it was the announcement of a Samsung Galaxy S7 that built upon an already well-grounded platform of 2015 — marrying the best of the Galaxy S6 and the Note 5 with a few new features, and a few that we’d wished would return again.

And, dammit, it was just fun. You don’t have to be a Samsung Knight to enjoy an Unpacked event.

This is a little of what it was like to be there. Thanks for coming along with us.

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