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Don’t let the branding fool you. The Galaxy S II TV is a new smartphone from Samsung with ties to the original in name only. This phone uses a built-in television receiver and retractable antenna to deliver broadcast television right to the device.
Here’s how it works: Inside the phone is a TV receiver that allows you to view channels broadcast via ISDB-T, a digital television standard developed by the Brazilian government and widely used throughout South America. (The Galaxy S II TV is being released in Brazil.) The retractable antenna on the bottom of the phone is there to help you pull in a good signal.
I’m not sure what Samsung was thinking with the Galaxy S II branding for this phone. Spec-wise, the Galaxy S II TV is actually a slight step down from the original, two-year-old Galaxy S II. It features a 4-inch, 800×480-pixel display, a dual-core 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. Compare that to the Galaxy S II, which has a larger 4.3-inch display (albeit at the same resolution), a 1.2GHz dual-core chip and an 8-megapixel camera. Really, the only improvement here is the television receiver. It also comes running Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) out of the box.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a smartphone with the ability to deliver broadcast television content. Last year Samsung released the Galaxy S Lightray 4G on MetroPCS, which was the first smartphone to use the Dyle mobile TV service.
The Galaxy S II TV is yet another curious entry in Samsung’s ever-widening roster of smartphones. Despite dual-SIM support, it is unlikely this phone will see a release outside of South America.