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Samsung launches Icon smartphones for Australia

Samsung will launch four very different touchscreen smartphones under one name, calling them the Icon range.

If you follow technology news on our sister sites CNET Asia and CNET UK you'll have heard about Samsung's enormous range of new handsets, including a family of new Omnia-branded smartphones. In Australia, the company will whittle down this list to four of its most exciting new releases.

Meet the Icons: Preston, Galaxy, Omnia and HD. (Credit: Samsung/CNET Australia)

With the range called Icon, each of the touchscreen handsets will be differentiated by their operating platforms. Omnia Icon (known as the Omnia II overseas) runs Windows Mobile, Galaxy Icon runs Google's Android, HD Icon (formerly Omnia HD) runs the Nokia-owned Symbian platform, and the Samsung Preston Icon operates on the company's own proprietary touchscreen system.

While the differences in these platforms will give each phone a distinct user experience, the phones share a very similar aesthetic. Each features a glossy black finish and full-touchscreen operation; there isn't a keyboard in sight. Impressively, all four phones employ AMOLED screen technology, offering superior colour depth and contrast to the current TFT display panels and being more visible under direct sunlight.

Samsung has displayed the entire line-up of new handsets at CommunicAsia 2009 in Singapore this week, including several models not yet included in the Icon range. Notably absent from its Australian announcements are the Samsung Jet, a low-cost touchscreen, and the Omnia Pro, a BlackBerry-esque messaging handset with a full-QWERTY keyboard running Windows Mobile. Though not part of the Icon announcement, Samsung has not ruled out introducing these models later in the year.

Samsung plans to begin rolling out the Icon range in August.

Joseph Hanlon attends CommunicAsia as a guest of Sony Ericsson.