Even though they didn’t do a god job at keeping these devices under wraps, Samsung’s press conference went as expected in Barcelona today with the official announcement of two new devices: The Galaxy S II, a new smartphone, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Tab 10.1 was rumored to be called the Tab 2, but the larger screen size prompted the new name to set the two devices apart.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has largely the same specs that were rumored earlier in the weekend, with a few additions. It’s got a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, either 16GB or 32GB of storage, dual cameras with 2MP up front and 8MP in the back, and Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Based on the pictures and video Engadget posted, it looks likely that this is a “Google Experience” device, meaning that TouchWhiz is nowhere to be found (thank god).
Initial impressions of the Tab 10.1 seem positive with CNET UK saying “The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 combines a big screen with a light body, making it a potential hit among weak-limbed Web surfers. It doesn’t have as many ports as the Motorola Xoom, but otherwise matches its Honeycomb rival punch for punch, and it’s more portable too.”
There’s no U.S. release date set for the Tab 10.1 as of yet, though Samsung said it’s slated for a March release in both Europe and Asia, so we’d assume a U.S. release would follow soon after.
Check the chart below for official specs:
We also have the Samsung Galaxy S II, a new, jumbo-sized version of the hugely popular Galaxy S line (Fascinate, Epic 4G, Vibrant and Captivate). The Galaxy S II has the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen that leaked yesterday, a whopping 1080p video capture and 8MP still capture on the rear camera and 2MP on the front-facing side, and a brand new dual-core chip from Samsung called the Exynos. It’s also the thinnest smartphone on the market today–even thinner than the iPhone 4.
The S II also has Android 2.3 Gingerbread with “TouchWhiz 4.0,” meaning that Samsung still thinks they need to put a skin on top of one of the nicest-looking mobile OS’s around. Initial impressions of TouchWhiz 4 have been positive, but the truth is that most Android users still prefer the stock experience and all that custom skins do is slow down the release of new versions of Android to Samsung devices.
That being said, it seems like the Galaxy S II is a worthy successor to the original phones. Engadget, one of the first blogs with their hands on these devices, called the S II “Gorgeous,” ¬†and said that “You totally notice how ridiculously thin the phone is as it rests in your hand, and the effect is amplified by the fact that it’s got so much surface area — the screen-to-edge ratio is off the charts.” CNET UK also likes the device, saying “The Samsung Galaxy S II looks sleeker and more powerful than its much-loved predecessor.”
The Galaxy S II is slated for release in Europe and Asia as soon as this month, but like the Tab 10.1, no U.S. release date has been set. Keep an eye here for that date when Samsung announces it.