Samsung is expanding its smartphone line with the Galaxy R, a slightly smaller version of the company’s fastest-selling handset, the Galaxy S II. While smaller, the Galaxy R has many of the same features, including a dual-core CPU and high-definition video recording, although Samsung did use a few lower quality components. The new Galaxy R debuts in Sweden and will later launch in Northern and Eastern Europe, South East and West Asia, Middle East Asia, and China.
Looking at the specifications, the phone appears to have a blend of mid- and high-end components, suggesting that it will be priced less than the Galaxy S II:
- 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor with GeForce GPU
- 4.19″ Super Clear LCD touchscreen, 800×480 resolution
- Google Android 2.3 with Samsung TouchWiz UI
- 5-megapixel rear camera with 720p HD capture, LED flash; 2-megapixel front camera
- 1080p Full HD playback (Divx, WMV, MP4, H.264 B/P only)
- 8 GB Internal memory; support for 32GB Micro SD card
- Size: 125.7 x 66.7 x 9.55 mm
- Weight: 131 grams
Given that Nvidia’s chip is powering the Galaxy R, the chip-maker has one of the first looks at the device, showing the general similarities between the new R and the S II.
Apart from the smaller screen — the Galaxy S II uses a 4.3-inch display — one big difference is the lack of Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus technology on the Galaxy R. There’s nothing wrong with the company’s Super Clear LCD, but the colors won’t likely be as vivid, or “pop” off the screen. The new handset’s video capture is also limited to 720p resolution. And although the Tegra 2 is a peppy processor, Samsung chose not to use its own faster 1.2 GHz dual-core chip inside.
It’s interesting that Samsung is expanding the Galaxy line, because it deviates from the currently successful strategy of designing a single smartphone with small carrier customizations around the world. That worked well for the original Galaxy S and based on 5 million sales in 85 days, is working even better for the Galaxy S II. Perhaps Samsung sees demand for the market just below its top-notch phone, however. We’ll know soon enough if a similar phone with a few hardware corners cut is a winning play as Samsung attempts to be the next smartphone king.