Samsung Electronics has released an upgraded version of its Galaxy S II smartphone - the Galaxy S II Plus with nature-inspired user-interface and intuitive features that boost its usability and functionality.
The announcement happened at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013, at Nevada, Las Vegas. It comes in the wake of hints that arch-rival Apple is gearing up to launch low-cost versions of iPhones for emerging markets.
The Galaxy S2 Plus is based on the Galaxy S2 but it has been extensively tweaked with an updated design, a processor boost and a new version of Android.
It runs on Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, with 1GB of RAM. The battery has been jumped up to 1,750mAh.
The 8.5mm thick chassis also uses the Galaxy S3’s ‘hyperglaze’ glossy plastic, available in white or blue.
The rest of the hardware, from the AMOLED screen display to the storage and cameras is the same as the original Galaxy S2.
Its nature-inspired user-interface is complemented with intuitive features that make the phone really easy to use.
The handset has some special software features like Direct Call, Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Popup Video, and S Voice.
Direct Call enables users to automatically dial a call by taking the device to the ear – Smart Stay recognizes whether the user is looking at the screen to dim the screen accordingly, and Smart Alert lets users know about missed events or status updates just by picking up the phone.
Features such as Popup Video allows a video to play anywhere on the screen in a resizable pop-up window while simultaneously running other tasks, eliminating the need to close and restart videos when checking new emails or surfing the Web. S Voice lets users control the phone using their voice; and Voice Unlock lets users unlock the phone using their own voice.
The Galaxy S II Plus also spots a range of additional features that boost performance and the overall experience in entirely new ways.
The rear camera, for instance, features a zero-lag shutter speed that captures moving objects easily without delay. Additional features include Group Facetag and Face Zoom to deliver a complete photographic experience.
So far the retail price in India is $444 (GHC837.2), but postpaid deals in parts of the world range between $165 and $800, depending on which network and the length of the contract.
Samsung Ghana has confirmed the release of the handset but it is not yet in Ghana officially so it is still not clear how much it would be sold for in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Apple’s has also hinted the launch of low cost iPhones for emerging markets and analysts have predicted that it would trim Samsung’s market lead and margins, particularly in developing markets.