A new Samsung Galaxy device will be unveiled in London on 3 May, the company has just announced, sparking hopes that it could be the company’s successor to the popular Galaxy S II smartphone.
Samsung refused to confirm, however, whether the announcement related to a much anticipated forthcoming phone or to a range of new devices. Samsung’s Galaxy line includes several phones, but it is the Galaxy S II that is the company’s flagship.
The device remains officially unnamed, but has already been gleefully welcomed as the challenger to Apple’s ‘iPhone 5′ (or, as sticklers woud have it, the company’s 6th-generation device) rumored to launch this year.
The launch at London’s Earl’s Court will, nonetheless, be the closest Google’s Android operating system comes to an event on the scale of an Apple launch.
Though Samsung raced ahead of Apple in sheer numbers of smartphones shipped last year, Apple snuck ahead to take the lead in the final quarter of 2011 thanks to booming sales of the iPhone 4S.
Samsung is close at Apple’s heels, yes, but if leading phones are going head-to-head, Samsung’s Galaxy S II, though popular, has some ground to cover before it sees the sales numbers that Apple’s iPhone enjoys.
Unconfirmed rumours include a slight increase to the screen size of the product, enlarging the SII’s 4.3-inch screen to 4.6-inches, bringing it into line with Samsung’s current flagship the Galaxy Nexus.
Such an increase could be due to an edgeless’ design, rather than to an enlarged overall device. An improved camera, possibly up to 16MP, is also a possibility, and wireless charging has also been mentioned as a possibility.
The invitation for the event reads simply “Come and meet the next Galaxy”, and gives details of the location of the next “Samsung Unpacked” event. However, the company hasn’t hosted a recent Samsung Unpacked event at which it has unveiled a single product.
Samsung’s Galaxy range, however, also includes the popular miniature tablet, the Galaxy Note, which includes a stylus and handwriting recognition, as well as two ‘Tab’ models, that use either 7” or 10.1” form factors in a bid to produce and Android rival to the Apple’s iPad.
A number of ‘leaks’ of the Samsung Galaxy SIII phone have already emerged online, but none of these devices, which are usually slim and tapered, has been confirmed as genuine.
Many smartphone manufacturers are now producing ‘quad core devices,’ using improved processors that provide improved performance but have been criticized in some instances, such as the HTC One X, for compromising battery life. If Samsung’s new devices are not keeping pace with their rivals, however, the manufacturer is likely to face criticism.
Earlier last week Samsung announced pricing and availability details for three upcoming Android-powered devices that will soon join the vendor’s ever expanding lineup of Galaxy-brand devices.
Continuing its efforts to address a variety of price ranges and screen sizes in order to give consumers as many options as possible, Samsung will launch two new Galaxy Player devices and two new Galaxy Tab tablets between now and mid-May.
Already available nationwide at Best Buy, Samsung‘s entry-level Galaxy Player 3.6 offers a 3.65-inch HVGA display, a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, a 2-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front-facing camera, 8GB of internal storage expandable to 40GB, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
The budget Wi-Fi-only player aims to take on Apple’s iPod touch at an iPod nano price point, costing just $149.99.
Samsung‘s Galaxy Player 4.2 is a new addition to the Galaxy Player family, featuring a 4.2-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 8GB of internal storage expandable to 40GB, Samsung‘s SoundAlive audio enhancement engine, Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the TouchWiz UI.
The company announced that pre-orders will be made available for the Galaxy Player 4.2 beginning May 4th, and it will launch on May 13th for $199.99.
Finally, Samsung has announced pricing and availability for two of its next-generation Galaxy tablets. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 features a 7-inch 1,024 x 600-pixel display, 8GB of internal storage expandable to 40GB, 50GB of free Dropbox storage for a year, a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the TouchWiz UI. It will launch on April 22nd for $249.99, and pre-orders begin on April 12th.
The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 includes a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel display, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage, microSDHC support, 50GB of free Dropbox storage for a year, a 3-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front-facing camera, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the TouchWiz UI.
Like the 7-inch model, the tablet features a built-in IR blaster and Samsung‘s Smart Remote software capable of controlling a huge range of HDTVs and components, as well as any other device that can be controlled with a universal remote. Pre-sales kick off on May 4th and the Tab 2 10.1 will launch on May 13th for $399.99.