Categories: MobilityWorkspace

Rumoured Galaxy S II Chip Upgrade Before It Ships

The Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone, scheduled to begin shipping on May 6, is already getting an update.

Several sources – including the Facebook page of Samsung’s Estonia offices – have confirmed that the smartphone will receive an upgrade from its Exynos chipset featuring a 1GHz dual-core Arm-based Cortex-A9 processor, to a 1.2GHz A9 instead. GSM Arena reported that the switch will boost the Galaxy S II “to the top of the Cortex-A9 class, in pure computing power”.

Engadget added to the buzz about the smartphone, saying there was word that the phone might suffer a release-day setback but that Samsung, in a tweet, clarified that all is going according to schedule.

Samsung Galaxy S II will be first released in April, as planned”, came a tweet from the Twitter account SamsungTomorrow. It was followed by the addendum: “It will be gradually rolled out in each market according to the local launch timetable”.

Cameras Front And Rear

Samsung first introduced the super-slim smartphone – a follow up to its popular line-up of Galaxy S phones, each tweaked for Samsung’s numerous carrier partners – at the Mobile World Congress event February 14. It runs the Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system and features a 4.3-inch WVGA Super Amoled-plus (active-matrix organic LED-plus) touch display, Samsung’s 3D TouchWiz user interface, an eight megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, a two megapixel front-facing camera, and WiFi, Bluetooth and assisted-GPS connectivity. Plus, at 8.49mm thin, it manages to out-skinny the 9.3mm Apple iPhone 4.

The Galaxy S II can be personalised with a feature called the Samsung Live Panel – a magazine-style layout that aggregates frequently used content, such as email, music, weather or photos on the home screen.

There are also various Hubs – including a Social Hub, a Music Hub and a Game Hub. The Readers Hub, for example, offers access to 2.2 million books, 2,000-plus newspapers and 2,300-plus magazines in 22 languages. Plus, “Crisp, sharp text makes reading a pleasure, and your experience will be easier to manage with magnification, text only and page views,” according to Samsung literature. For those that fear the book is dead, chin up. “Believe in books,” Samsung goes on, “but look beyond paper.”

For enterprise users, it has on-device encryption and supports a VPN connection, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, the Microsoft Exchange Server, and office applications like email, calendar, contacts and tasks. Samsung has also worked with Cisco to offer WebEx support on the device, and with Sybase so that corporate security policies can be applied to the Android platform.

Samsung has also introduced Kies Air – a way for users to manage the contents of their smartphone on their PC via a WiFi connection. It is called WiFi Direct and enables users to transfer information between devices – send a photo from the phone to a printer, say. Plus, NFC (near-field communication), the new must-have technology that Google and Apple are also behind, is additionally on board.

Lastly, the Galaxy S II also supports HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) at 21M bps, according to Samsung, which should let you stream video easily.

One of the only details Samsung has not provided about the Galaxy S II is its price. UK device retailer Play.com has listed it at £539.99 unlocked – a price that may be heavily subsidise by carriers.

Michelle Maisto

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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