Feb 02 AT 10:46 AM Taylor Wimberly 51 Comments

Is a Samsung Galaxy S II Plus really in the works? And is it really needed?

samsung-galaxy-s-ii-plus

Yesterday we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S III would be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, but the company is still looking forward to “introducing and demonstrating exciting new mobile products” at Mobile World Congress 2012. According to Anton Nagy of PocketNow, one of those products could be the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus.

Anton posted an An3DBenchXL result which listed a device with the name “Galaxy S 2+”, 1.5 GHz processor, Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, and a WVGA display. The low resolution display is a little puzzling, but it could have been altered for benchmarking purposes. Like most of these leaks, the results could have been easily spoofed, but it still raises some interesting questions.

Early this week we were discussing the possibility of a Galaxy Nexus Plus, so Samsung might have decided to refresh their current lineup as filler until the Galaxy S III is ready this summer.

Today my friend Kote from the Spanish blog Xataka sent me a picture of a new Samsung phone that appears to be this mysterious Galaxy S II Plus. You can see from the post image above that this device is running Android 4.0 and features three capacitive buttons that are similar to other Ice Cream Sandwich phones (Back, Home, Multitask). Again, this could totally be faked, but someone spent the extra time to add Mobile World Congress to the calendar widget and Barcelona to the weather widget on the desktop.

If Samsung were to release a Galaxy S II Plus with a 1.5 GHz processor, then it could feature the new dual-core 1.5 GHz Exynos 4212 that was announced last year. This chip is the first to market with Samsung’s advanced 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) low-power process, which promises “30 percent lower power-level over the previous process generation.” It also features a faster clocked GPU that promises “50 percent higher 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung.”

We have already seen what feels like a dozen different variations of the Galaxy S II in the U.S., so it wouldn’t be a total shocker to see a couple more. The carriers run the wireless world, so if they requested an updated phone for the first half of 2012, I’m sure Samsung will deliver.

What are your thoughts on a possible Galaxy S II Plus? Would anyone buy this phone or would you just wait it out for the Galaxy S III?

Via: PocketNow

Source: An3DBenchXL

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • @CaseyRain

    I guess this will be a mid-range 2012 device in tandem with the S3.

    All I’m saying is, Sammy better roll out some ICS to the S2 before this hits the shelves!!! :)

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      That could be true. Apple still sells a ton of iPhone 4, and iPhone 3x devices even though the iPhone 4S is out.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        I really wish more Android manufacturers would go with that idea for their top-end products. I think the ideal would be 1-2 flagship products a year (every 6 months if you do 2), and 2-4 “alternative” products (physical keyboards, smaller devices, gaming controls, etc.). Do this and try to make them all top-end or nearly top-end specs and let the “mid-range” be dominated by 6-18 month old devices.

        This would allow the manufacturers to increase their profit margins by a LOT by decreasing the R&D costs as well as the maintenance costs of their devices. In addition, this will even INCREASE their accessory profits by being able to do all of this same things (reduce R&D costs, increase quantity therefore lowering manufacturing costs, etc.) for the accessories while offering more, better accessories for their fewer devices!

        If this were done, the for Samsung, it might make sense to release in 2012:
        Galaxy S3 <- flagship in April ($299)
        Galaxy S3 Key (S3 + keyboard on 4.0" screen, same internals, $299)
        Galaxy Nexus 2 <- flagship in October (drop S3 price to $199 and 2011's GNex to $99)
        Galaxy Nexus 2 Mini (Nexus 2 on 3.7" screen, same internals and drop S3 Key price to $199)

        So in this example, I'm just throwing out the Mini and Key ideas as the "alternative" options. Whatever they want those to be, go for it! This would be MUCH more manageable for a manufacturer to do. FOUR phones a year, all of which are contenders for top-of-the-line devices and command a premium yet are fairly quickly discounted (better than Apple) while at the same time, giving your customers many options for different types of devices. In addition to doing this, you stop trying to "differentiate every product" and instead start trying to differentiate "your line of products". Pick something unique and apply that one thing to ALL of your devices! Don't try to make each device you have try to compete against everybody else (including your own products). Instead, make ALL of your products compete on the same team against all of your competitors. And find some interestingly unique way to do this (replaceable cases allowing people to change their standard black phone to be any color they want with a $30 replacement case would be incredibly profitable and popular, you would think).

        • delinear

          It’s an interesting idea and the Galaxy range can certainly stand on its own merit now. Where Apple do get this right is with software updates though, that’s one area anyone wanting to imitate their high-mid-low tier model range needs to really nail. That means rolling out some ICS goodness across the range as soon as possible…

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

            I totally agree with the software updates thing. That’s the primary reason behind 1) having many fewer devices and 2) Having the “alternate” devices essentially be identical to the primary device internally: So you can actually support them for as long as they’re being sold! And sell them for 1.5-2 years – that’s only ~4 platforms (2-3 variations of each platform) to support while providing users with 2 full years of updates. That sounds like a MUCH easier task than what they have now.

            I think one thing I might be underestimating is the various carriers/frequencies will need their own variations but hopefully that is a very minor point and hopefully the adoption of LTE by CDMA carriers continues making that less of an issue.

  • Daniel

    I question the feasibility of a phone with those capacitive buttons. How would you access the menu on older apps?

    • Daniel

      Continuing: having a black button area with icons that light up (like HTC did with their higher-end 2011 devices) would allow for a menu button to appear, but I don’t see how that would work when the icons are black, hence presumably painted.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        Good point but keep in mind what you see above is only a rendering of the phone. The phone will have to have the ability for the Navigation Bar (where the soft keys are) to be dynamic. Images in SystemUI.apk are what drive those images and they’re not always on screen. It very well may be possible that they invert the colors there so it’s usually a white background with black buttons but those won’t be old school capacitive buttons like that – they’ll be dynamic like on the GNex.

        • Daniel

          And make them incredibly battery-hostile in the process? SAMOLED screens consume roughly 3x more energy when displaying white pixels than LCD ones. They’re also much more prone to display burn-in. And a white area on the screen would never blend in with the phone’s bezel, on LCD or SAMOLED.

          • Jon Garrett

            all I hear is complaints about Android batteries. since switching from the iPhone 4 back in October, Ive had nothing but great pleasure with my Galaxy S II and I have ZERO battery issues with it.

            depending on my use, the S2 battery last just as long or longer than my iPhone 4 battery.

            today for example, I went from 100% to 30% in 12 hrs. which included 2hrs of games and music.

          • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

            I have a white theme on my GNex (have for ~48 hrs now), which means a white background behind black softkeys just like we’re talking about, among other things. I am not noticing any obvious change in battery life. I’m even switching all of my apps from “dark” to “light” display modes to get everything very bright.

            That said, just because you have a white background behind the softkeys doesn’t mean the entire screen is white. It simply means ~8% of your screen is white. So if your numbers are correct, then that means 8% of your screen will consume 3x’s more power. Or in other words, your overall screen consumes 16% more power. If your battery lasts for 6 hours with the screen on 100% of the time, this will drop that battery life by ~1 hour, which is certainly significant and a problem! HOWEVER, that’s not the case. As I said before, I’ve switched my GNex from a mostly black to a mostly white interface (status bar, softkeys, and even apps). If my phone used to get ~6 hours of screen-on use, it can’t now be worse than 5.5 hrs of screen-on use (I’m using 5.5 as a number because I’ve not notice any change so I’m assuming the worst in that it lasts 30 minutes less than it used to – much more than that and I would notice a difference). So that is CERTAINLY not cutting my battery life in a third. So that 3x number must be off for some practical purpose.

            One thing that I’ve noticed is that I tend to keep my screen brightness on a slightly dimmer setting now that I have a white background, so for that reason, even though white is more battery-consuming than black, the backlight is even more important and a white background decreases my dependency on the backlight. So this might be the practical reason why it’s not 3x worse. That said, I don’t truly believe it would be 3x worse even if I kept it at the same brightness levels.

            ** VERY non-scientific observations, but I am an engineer, so it’s nonetheless valid to give you an idea. It’s most certainly NOT the end of the world.

  • seo

    Samsung should not make the same mistake as HTC did: too many models with too little difference. They already have too many Galaxy S and SII versions, adding a SII “Plus” wouldn’t be a wise move. Just give us the SIII already!

  • spazby

    Come on sammy, do 1 flagship device per year and name it count.

    • BiGMERF

      that will never ever happen…

  • Trinhbo

    For those who already own a Galaxy S II variant, this phone probably would not appeal to them. However, if you had the first generation Galaxy S and were nearing the end of your 2-year contract, this may be a worthwhile upgrade.

    However, I am afraid though that the Galaxy S II Plus will sell for $200 with new 2-year contract and the Galaxy S III will be priced at $300. I can’t stand the $300 price point.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      I too hate the $300 price point. But you know what? I still pay it. grrr…..

  • SGB101

    not one, then they would be apple,

    i think every 4 months would be a big enough gap to be a decent upgrade, but long enough to not saturate a market

    this way, todays latest device will be next years entry model, but your only 3 or 4 hops from the latest device. it make the basic users not feel like they are scraping the barrel.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    Samsung Galaxy HD S II Plus Pro Maxx 4G will be the Sprint variant. ;-)

    • kazahani

      You forgot Epic…

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        Oh yeah, my bad.

        Samsung Galaxy EpicHD S II Plus Maxx Pro LTE 4G Global

  • Darknight42020

    Flooding the market. That seems to be all that is happening nowadays. It’s going to get to the point where filtering out the worthwhile devices from the cookie-cutter devices is more than the average consumer is willing to do and manufacturers are counting on it and making a mint off the demand and ignorance of these so said consumers.

    HTC did right by holding back on too many devices. If you have a handful of good solid devices to meet the demands universally, no need to pick up stray sales from other pointless devices in your portfolio.

    If the manufacturers would put out a solid good device that would hold it’s ground for six months, they could then take that time that they reserve for starting up the cookie-cutter and apply it to making a tremendous change to their devices instead of wasting R&D money on a device that already exists. That would equal out to a stronger device, lower consumer cost, and gained monetary in the areas where they were just dumping money in unnecessary areas.

    Also, keep in mind that if they let the demand for a forth coming device build up, the profits from splurge spenders and those who “have to have it” would be 10 fold to what they see now. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”…. or some shite like that… Lol

  • spookz

    If Samsung is gonna make a Galaxy Nexus Plus, they better make it have the 3300 Mah battery like in the Droid Razr Maxx. If they can do it, why can’t Samsung?

  • Billy

    so …. assuming is on Sprint and they don’t add their own tag to it

    Samsung Galaxy SII Plus Sprint Epic 4G Touch …

    Samsung Galaxy SII+ Sprint Epic 4G Touch …

    or
    SGSIIPSE4GT
    SGSII+SE4GT

  • Wilson Lara

    There are already too many Galaxy S variants. But Samsung’s “flood the market” approach seems to be working for them, I just wonder how long it’ll be until it backfires.

  • BiGMERF

    there are always people eligible for upgrades. even those with SGS2′s will be selling there phones via some outlet just to get there hands on this one. especially if ICS launches with this phone and the sgs2 is not yet updated

  • Nate B.

    This is pointless. They have like 5 of these basically. What’s the point? The original SGSII will get the update and it can still stand its own easily. The SGS III will be out a month or so later. So what’s the point of this?

    • honourbound68

      nod. a small bump in specs isn’t worth it. the sgsii is a terrific phone (regardless of which variant). I don’t quite understand why sammy would do this because any backstock a retailer would have would instantly be devalued. why not deplete the backstock and release the sgsiii with ics and a big spec jump?

  • Darknight42020

    I’ve been kanged…

    • Darknight42020

      Sorry, had A&M running in background and it posted in wrong place. “Kanged” wasn’t meant for this thread.

      • droilfade

        Lol!!

  • droilfade

    Why so many devices with so little to tell them apart? Do you know how hard it is to root and get ROMs and put CWM on all these variants? SII SII AT&T SII SkyRocket, come on, sammy! What’s the deal?

  • Oskar Wismierski

    Why? They release phones so often there days and once u buy one, it’s already “out of date” what is the point in all this

    • delinear

      It’s because the competition are doing the same. If your phone is three months old and a competitor has a shiny new phone with better specs, chances are people will buy the new and shiny. It annoys the existing customers but it attracts the new customers, and for a handset manufacturer all the money is in the new customers (Apple, remember, get money from the App Store so making sure their existing customers are happy is important, the other manufacturers only make money if they’re selling hardware). Of course, it’s a balancing act, because if you annoy existing customers -too- much they might not come back next time they’re due to renew their contract, that’s why we get at least some level of support for updates etc.

  • n25philly

    Well, this could be nice for the US since they are likely going to make us wait 8+ months for the GS III

  • jenskristian

    I have the international Galaxy S II and would not switch to this one. Waiting the Galaxy S III or the next Nexus.

  • Oskar Wismierski

    Some people claim it to be fake.. wouldn’t mind that :P

  • yankeesusa

    Not worth it without amoled plus. If it includes that and under $150 then it may sell pretty good. Other than that I don’t see this doing too good

  • Orion78

    I’m smell bs on this one.

  • Matt

    a + should mean thats it better then the one before…worse screen and gingerbread? wtf!!

  • Nathan D.

    hopefully some of the specs rumored get better since it not that much of a plus so far but I really don’t care if there is a refurbish since it going to be better phone (hopefully).

    • yankeesusa

      Yeah some of these specs are probably rumors. I’m sure they’ll be better or the phone itself is just a rumor and will just be turned into sgs3 with lte on sprint. he he

  • Kenneth Ohonba

    This is so not necessary cause once the Galaxy S3 arrives, this would be so pointless.

  • Drake

    I’m just saying Sammy…You could do better…I know you heard that lately….

    • yankeesusa

      They have done better… lte g nexus? and the gnexus should have faster processor when it comes to sprint and by then they’ll have another samsung with even better specs.

  • masterpfa

    This just doesn’t make sense. Most people want the Galaxy SIII why would those potential customers want anything else. The Samsung Galaxy SII is already, in most peoples opinion, the best smartphone currently available and probably currently the most in demand Android phone.

    The new phone could just be another member of the ever increasing Galaxy family, but IMHO not an SII+

  • aranea

    I’m bored of all these plus’es and little improvements. Just focus on upgrading the sofyware until the next big new phone comes along.

  • fake

    Sorry to crash the party but that picture is fake. Lines on the widgets are not aligned also when you look at the Folder on the homescreen its spot is awkward …is it total 4 rows? 5 rows? And apparently the market icon is not the new one.

  • Kelly

    Personally, I’m holding out for the Samsung Galaxy S IV Plus+ III. In White.

  • Joe

    I would like them to add native AWS support, so I can buy it unlocked. I’m not a fan of T-Mobile’s 4.56″ monster.

  • dh33r4j
  • Chris

    This is great idea since the s2 competed with the iphone 4, this phone can take an even greater advantage over the 4s