The Galaxy R is a slight variant of the popular Galaxy S2 Android phone from Samsung. At first glance the two phones look almost indistinguishable, although there are some noticeable differences between them. The Galaxy R is ever so slightly smaller, comes with a different screen and some hardware changes but most importantly of all retails for a more modest price. The phone is also known as the Galaxy Z in some markets such as Sweden.
Although the Galaxy R adopts the same physical design as the S2 it is marginally smaller in its proportions. This is due to the fact that the Galaxy R has a slightly smaller 4.2 inch screen (compared to the S2’s 4.3 inch display). The screen is not just slightly smaller, as it also features a different design. The S2 uses Samsung’s exceptionally vibrant Super AMOLED Plus technology but the Galaxy R uses a Super Clear LCD display instead.
This is still one of the best screen technologies in the smartphone market, although it is perhaps not quite as vivid as Super AMOLED Plus. It does perform better in direct sunlight compared to SAMOLED+ and most importantly of all is one of the things that brings down the cost of the Galaxy R.
At the time of its release the Galaxy S2 was the most powerful smartphone on the market with a dual core 1.2GHz Exynos chip powering everything on offer. The Galaxy R instead runs on a dual core 1GHz Tegra 2 chip. While this is a slight step down in processing speed it does not result in any notable difference in performance.
There is very little you can do on the Galaxy S2 that really pushes its processor to its limits and the same is true of the Galaxy R. Perhaps the Galaxy R will age a little quicker as more intensive apps and features become available but for the vast majority of phone applications it performs like a dream.
There are some slight differences with 3G and Wi-Fi connections, although you can still achieve the same results with things like Samsung’s AllShare and Kies Air Wi-Fi sharing apps, allowing you to easily transfer pictures, music and videos to a TV or home computer over a wireless network. Internally the Galaxy R comes with a little less storage with just 8GB, although this can still be topped up with 32GB microSD cards.
The last feature that really separates the Galaxy R from the Galaxy S2 is the camera. The S2 features an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording although on the Galaxy R this has been downgraded to a 5 megapixel camera with 720p video. This is the same level of quality as the camera found on the iPhone 4 and for all intents and purposes will suit most day to day needs. Although it does come with an LED flash it also shares the S2’s camera deficiencies in capturing good quality photos in dark lighting.
Aside from these changes the Galaxy R offers pretty much the same experience as the highly popular S2. It runs on Android Gingerbread with TouchWiz on top and comes with exclusive Samsung features such as Samsung Apps, Social Hub, Music Hub and Game Hub as well as access to Android Market and excellent YouTube support.
If you were to hold the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy R side by side you would not instantly notice a difference. More observant people may notice that the home button has a slightly different design and that the Galaxy R is marginally smaller (although slightly thicker). The Galaxy R manages to take all of the best features from the S2 and put it into a more affordable package without really detracting from the overall experience in any way. If you are looking for a more reasonably priced way to enjoy what the Galaxy S2 has on offer then the Samsung Galaxy R is an excellent compromise and a phone that will no doubt prove to be equally popular.
Key Specifications of Samsung Galaxy R
– GeForce GPU – Tegra 2 super chip
– 4.19″ WVGA Super Clear LCD touchscreen
– 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
– Android v 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system
– 720p HD video capture and 1080p Full HD playback (MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player)
– Built-in memory of 8GB and support for 32GB Micro SD
– 1024 MB RAM, 2048 MB ROM
– Standard battery, Li-Ion 1650 mAh
– Size: 125.7 x 66.7 x 9.55 mm
– Weight: 131 grams