Samsung Moves Upmarket

Once a maker of cheapo gadgets, the Korean giant is churning out cutting-edge stuff that's cool to own

Only a few years ago, cell phones were built just for talking. Then along came a company called Samsung Electronics, little known to most Americans, selling us phones that are voice activated, that surf the Internet, that play MP3 tunes. Last year Samsung rolled out stylish models that keep our calendars in color and can pinpoint our exact location. Now the South Korean company is introducing phones with always-on text messaging and wireless video that lets us play games and watch movie clips.

Like a lot of Samsung's new devices, these combine cutting-edge technology with award-winning design--at premium prices. That's something...

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