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Taking a peek at Samsung's early 2011 Android plans

The Nexus S is not the only thing on Samsung's Android plate, as the handset maker is rumored to be working on a new flagship device. Will it be evolution or revolution?

Samsung's flagship for first half of 2011

Last week, Engadget posted photos of another Samsung Android handset, and quite a promising one at that. Listed without a codename, the device should be a flagship phone due in February of next year.

Although images appear to be mock ups hastily thrown together for the sake of presentation, it's the rumored hardware that I'll focus on. The slides show the smartphone as having either a 4.3-inch or 4.5-inch "sAMOLED2" touch display. I don't know about you, but I love the idea of Samsung releasing a phone with a screen size that rivals the Evo 4G and the Droid X, but with the clarity and brightness of a Galaxy S. As to what a "sAMOLED2" screen actually is, it's logical to assume it's the net evolution in Samsung's screen technology. Perhaps it's even thinner, or maybe it has a higher resolution?

If there was one specification that helped define a "super phone" in 2010, it was likely the 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Samsung appears to be pushing things forward a bit with this new device with its 1.2GHz chipset. It's not mentioned which manufacturer is behind the processor or whether it's dual core, but if it's anything like the performance of the Hummingbird (Galaxy S), then we'll be just fine.

The camera is said to have an 8-megapixel resolution and be capable of 1080p video recording. Neither specification is much of a stretch. Though Sammy's Galaxy S series features a 5-megapixel shooter, the high end of the smartphone spectrum currently hovers around 8 megapixels, so I look for minor advances. Typically, Android phones recording video in HD are running at 720p, which means the 1080p will be a welcome improvement.

Internal storage is listed as 16GB, which puts it right on track with the current models being offered by Samsung. Assuming microSD expansion of up to 32GB, there should be more than enough room for apps and data. Other details listed on the slide deck are Bluetooth 3.0, 14.4Mbps HSPA, DLNA, and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n). Again, par for the course for Samsung's Galaxy S phones.

Taken as a whole, these specifications sound like a natural evolution from Samsung. After a rocky start with the Behold II and original Galaxy, the handset maker has developed a strong Android reputation. And as terrific as the Galaxy S phones are, it's difficult to not get excited over an even faster processor, bigger screen, and better video recording. I wouldn't go so far as to say this device will be revolutionary, but Samsung's evolution is moving along quite nicely.

Indeed, the first half of the year is a busy time for the cell phone industry. The year kicks off in January with CES, followed by Mobile World Congress in February, and CTIA in March. If the rumored February debut turns out to be right, Samsung could be unveiling its Galaxy S follow-up at the biggest event of the year. That doesn't sound too far-fetched to me. How about you?