Samsung Announces Galaxy S II Plus With 4.3-Inch Display, 1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor

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Samsung has today announced the Galaxy S II Plus, a slightly improved version of its hugely successful Galaxy S II, which first launched in April 2011. The handset boasts a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card). The handset looks identical to the original Galaxy S II, which only makes us even more confused as to why this handset exists.

Before I get into why this handset is puzzling us, let me tell you more about this device. In addition to its 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 8GB of storage, the Galaxy S II Plus boasts 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It has a 1,650 mAh battery and its 4.3-inch display offers a slightly disappointing 800×400-pixel resolution.

The Galaxy S II Plus is almost identical to its predecessor, then — both inside and out — until you take a look at its software. It comes with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean pre-installed right out of the box, with the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. So, essentially, you get the Galaxy S III’s software on the Galaxy S II.

And that’s really the biggest thing here. Almost everything about the Galaxy S II Plus is identical to its predecessor, except its software. So who is this handset aimed at? Well, presumably it’s aimed at those who want a capable smartphone running the latest version of Android without paying high-end prices for devices like the Galaxy S III.

What’s confusing me is that Samsung’s already released a handset to cater to that crowd with the Galaxy S III Mini. The only thing is, the Galaxy S II Plus has better specifications — there’s a larger display, a faster processor, and better cameras. So it looks like Samsung just made the Galaxy S III Mini look like a bad purchase.

The big difference, of course, will be the price tag. Samsung will have to price the Galaxy S II Plus more expensive than the Galaxy S III Mini to ensure the latter is still a worthwhile purchase, and yet cheap enough that customers won’t just fork out the extra for a Galaxy S III.

Unfortunately, pricing or availability is yet to be confirmed. So we’ll keep you posted.

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