Ruggedness and durability have both been themes for Samsung's African operations in recent years and the Africa Forum 2012 was no different.
The event, now in its third year, sees Samsung and journalists descend on an African city each year.
The first Africa Forum took place in Johannesburg and the second in Nairobi, Kenya. This time, the event took place in our backyard at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The company showed off a range of gadgets and devices tailored to the African continent, in addition to the top-tier mobile devices.
Tailor-made for Africa
While the usual dual-SIM mobile phones and energy saving home appliances were shown off, there were plenty of other innovative and exciting wares on offer.
One of the cooler devices was the classbook, a netbook that makes use of solar power and has a ten hour battery life, retailing for R4399.
The netbook was part of the Built 4 Africa programme, boasting a carry-handle, preloaded apps and a rugged design. In fact, a Samsung executive dropped the device on-stage to demonstrate its toughness, the computer landing with a thud.
Staying with solar power, Samsung also demonstrated its mobile, solar-powered, internet-connected school. An innovative design, the classroom is housed in a container and uses the Sun to power students' netbooks and an educational e-board. The classroom can also operate without solar power for up to three days.
Samsung then continued their Built 4 Africa announcements with their PowerSurge+ LED TV that's protected from power surges. In fact, one in four damaged TV sets on the continent were due to power surges, according to the company.
The high-tech stuff
Samsung also took the opportunity to announce that its Video Hub service for mobile devices and TVs will be rolling out to Africa this year, with over 1000 titles available to rent. In a cool touch, you'll also be able to watch a video as it downloads, a necessity due to our slower web speeds.
And if that wasn't enough video content for you, the company announced that it would offer satellite TV broadcasts to six African countries. Oh yeah, the service is free, with users only needing a satellite dish.
Samsung also had plenty of high-end television sets on hand, featuring gesture-recognition, voice-control and seamless sharing between devices. Interestingly enough, I didn't spot any 3D TVs during my walkabout, with internet-enabled sets ruling the roost.
Then there were the mobile devices, and while there were no real surprises this year (that means no Galaxy S3 of course), there were plenty of previously announced devices to get our hands on.
The Galaxy Tab series continued its winning ways with the yet-to-be-released Tab 2 range, and we managed to get our mitts on both the 7-inch and 10-inch model.
Both devices were pretty much an evolution of the previous tablets rather than a revolution, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The tablets are of course, equipped with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing plenty of improvements to the table.
The first noticeable tweak is in the user-interface, which sees the new Roboto font being used. The UI also has a notable level of polish over Honeycomb and Gingerbread, with little details to be had.
For instance, when you've reached the end of your apps list, the icons all tilt to denote that you can't scroll anymore. It's the kind of polish that Honeycomb and Android in general has been lacking all along, and a little something the platform needs to stand up to Microsoft and Apple's sleek operating systems.
There are also practical improvements, such as a native bandwidth log, showing you how much data you've been using. It's an invaluable feature on the continent, where, for the most part, bandwidth is still a commodity rather than a flowing resource.
A brief hands-on with the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 was pretty positive, with the 5MP camera taking great snaps and the aforementioned Ice Cream Sandwich polish being very welcome. Fans of holding oversized devices to their ears will be pleased to know that the 7.0 also has phone call capabilities.
Our time with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 was also encouraging thanks to the sharp display and slew of applications. The tablet also comes pre-loaded with S-Pen applications, with users able to buy an S-Pen for the purpose. It's arguably a better fit for stylus input than the Galaxy Note, with the larger screen being great for photo editing, drawing and other tasks.
The Samsung Africa Forum didn't have had any major global announcements, as expected, with the big reveals kept for this year's Mobile World Congress and the Consumer Electronics Show.
Nevertheless, the company proved that it was very serious about its commitment to the continent, showing off plenty of great, practical technology for the average African consumer.