Samsung unveils Galaxy S2 Plus with a shot of Android 4.1

The Galaxy S2 Plus comes with a helping of Jelly Bean but otherwise is a minor update to the original S2.

Samsung

A new Galaxy S2 phone is coming to town, though it isn't much different than its predecessor.

Announced today by Samsung, the Galaxy S2 Plus builds upon the S2 by including Android 4.1.2, aka Jelly Bean.

Initially outfitted with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the original S2 received an update to Android 4.0 last June and is finally due up for Android 4.1 sometime soon.

Otherwise, most of the tech specs between the S2 Plus and the original S2 are the same.

Like its precedessor, the S2 Plus will offer a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 4.3-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display. An 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash is on the back, while a 2-MP camera graces the front. But the rear camera now comes with a zero-lag shutter speed that can more easily capture fast-moving objects.

The new phone offers 3G in the form of 21Mbps HSPA+, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0.

The Plus's built-in storage has been trimmed in size to 8GB from the original's 16GB or 32GB. But the new model's SD storage can handle up to 64 gigabytes of data, while the original maxed out at 32GB. The Plus also includes an option for near-field communications support so people can use the phone for mobile payments.

Though the hardware improvements are minimal, the S2 Plus will provide a host of new software features.

The Direct Call feature allows users to automatically dial a call by placing the phone next to their ear. Smart Stay can tell if the user is looking away from the screen and dim it in response. And Smart Alert notifies users of missed events or status updates when they pick up the phone.

A Popup Video feature displays a video anywhere on the screen in a resizable window. S Voice lets users control the phone using just their voice, while Voice Unlock lets them unlock the phone via voice.

Rumors about a Galaxy S2 Plus kicked off almost a year ago. Samsung did release a Plus version of the original Galaxy S phone in 2011.

Samsung has yet to reveal the price, launch date, or availability of the S2 Plus. A spokesman for the company also told CNET that no announcements have been made about the new phone reaching the U.S. market.

Updated 7:00 a.m. PT with response from Samsung.

 

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