Samsung uncovers Galaxy S II smartphone, GalaxyTab 10.1 tablet

BARCELONA, Spain--Samsung, the world's second largest handset maker by volume, updated its flagship line of "Galaxy" branded smartphones and tablets, an effort intended to reinforce the company's strengthening position in high-end handsets.

At a crowded press event here preceding the start of the Mobile World Congress trade show, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S II phone, which runs the Android 2.3 operating system and features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, a Samsung dual-core processor, HSPA+ 21 connections, an 8-megapixel camera, Samsung-powered voice-recognition technology and NFC payment offerings (the NFC technology can work in a variety of scenarios, including via the SIM card, and Samsung also plans a version of the device without NFC technology). The phone is set to be released in Europe later this month and Asia next month, though the company did not disclose pricing. The company also wouldn't announced a U.S. launch date, though it's likely on Samsung's calendar, since all of the major Tier 1 U.S. carriers offer iterations of the company's current Galaxy S smartphone.

Samsung also announced an upgraded version of its GalaxyTab tablet, the current version of which features a 7-inch screen. The company's new GalaxyTab 10.1 tablet features a 10.1-inch screen and runs Android 3.0, which is specifically designed for tablets. The GalaxyTab 10.1 features Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor and support for HSPA+ 21 networks. It will first go on sale this spring with Vodafone. Samsung did not disclose its U.S. launch plans for the tablet, though again, based on its strategy with the GalaxyTab--all of the nation's Tier 1 carriers sell the device--it likely will arrive in the U.S. at some point.

Interestingly, Samsung announced a range of new content and services offerings. The company said it will sell games, books, music and other digital goodies though its recently announced Samsung Hubs storefront. Samsung executives also discussed the company's efforts to bolster the company's services for enterprise users, which includes adding device management and security offerings from the likes of Sybase and Cisco.

Samsung executives also promised the company would expand its line of cloud services later this year.

And, as is becoming increasingly common during high-profile electronics launches, Samsung sought to cast its new products as revolutionary rather than simply evolutionary. To push its point, Samsung played a few promotional videos showing fictional customers using the devices. One elderly user noted that "with this Galaxy S II, I'm living the best years of my life," hyperbole that drew groans from some in the audience.

For more:
- see this Galaxy S II release
- see this GalaxyTab 10.1 release

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