This morning, Samsung officially announced a new phone. No, it isn’t the next Galaxy Note. No, it isn’t the next Galaxy S. What it is, though, is an old Galaxy S. If Samsung was looking to surprise folks with a phone announcement, I’m not sure they could have done a better job than what they did announce, and what they didn’t. It might have been nice to see something really new, like the next models in the company’s flagship series’, but that’s not what we were destined. So, let’s take a look at what we did get.
It’s called the Galaxy S II Plus, but there aren’t many “plusses” here when we compare it to the original Galaxy S II. As you can see from the image above, this device looks exactly like the original model. The specifications reflect the same uniformity between models. We’re looking at a (very slightly) large display on the Galaxy S II Plus at 4.3-inches, with a Super AMOLED Plus display. The resolution is still 800 x 480. There is an 8MP camera on the back, with a 2 megapixel front-facing shooter. You’ll find a 1.2GHz dual-core processor running the show, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The new device supports NFC, and has a battery measured at 1,650mAh. And, finally, Samsung is packaging the phone with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
You probably need a refresher with the original Galaxy S II, considering it was announced way, way back in February, of 2011: It packs a 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, with a resolution of 800 x 480. Inside, you’ll find a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, and 16GB of storage. There’s an 8 megapixel camera on the back, and a 2MP shooter on the front. It launched with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the device is now running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung has confirmed that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is incoming to the device, though, at some point in the future.
There are a lot of different Galaxy S II models out there. Probably more than need to be, in fact.
And this device doesn’t help the situation. As you can see from the specifications we just went over, this new device isn’t packing anything in the box that should really cry out to potential consumers. Yes, it will probably be cheap wherever it lands, but so is the original Galaxy S II. Actually, that original device should be cheaper than this new device (but we know phone prices are crazy, so anything’s possible). Yes, you get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box with this new Galaxy S II Plus, but is that really enough?
More to the point, we’re in the year 2013. You know what that means, right? Samsung has a new Galaxy S coming down the line, and that should mean that you’ll be able to watch the Galaxy S III, a truly current device, drop in price pretty quickly. Unless Samsung is planning on launching the Galaxy S II Plus soon, there’s a chance that it comes to market right around the time the Galaxy S IV (or whatever they’re going to call it) lands on the market. Then, ultimately, the Galaxy S III drops in price. The Galaxy S III would be a better purchase, hands down.
It would seem to me that the Galaxy S II Plus is destined for pre-paid carriers. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that this phone would launch on one of the bigger carriers, even any of the regional options. Even as a free option, it’s just too outdated. Sure, it’s running Android 4.1 out of the box, but we know that the current Galaxy S II is set to receive its own taste of the newer software, so why should a current owner of the Galaxy S II upgrade to the same phone?
As a pre-paid option, though, the Galaxy S II Plus makes the most sense, especially if it has a competitive price tag. It wouldn’t be a bad phone for a carrier like Straight Talk, for instance. Then again, with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 headed that way, I wouldn’t be too shocked to see people wait a bit longer to get Apple’s offering. It all comes down to pricing, as usual. Well, unless you just hate Android or iOS. Then the choices are probably pretty easy.
I just have one question for you, Dear Reader. Should Samsung retire the Galaxy S II brand? It’s been around for quite some time, it’s seen plenty of life, and a plethora of different models. In comparison, the Galaxy S III has only seen one new model based on its name since its launch. (Instead, the Galaxy S III just keeps popping up with new colors for different carriers.) Let me know what you think.