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Samsung Unveils Android-powered Galaxy S Smartphone

At this year’s CTIA expo in Las Vegas, Electronics giant Samsung has announced its new Galaxy S smartphone, a new Android-based device that features a 1 GHz processor, a 4-inch 800 by 480-pixel outdoor-friendly AMOLED display, the capability to offer “rich augmented reality content,” and advanced location-based services. And the Galaxy S will be running Android, rather than Samsung’s own still-simmering Bada smartphone platform.

“The Android-powered Galaxy S will set a new standard for smart phones,” said Samsung president and head of mobile communications JK Shin, in a statement. “The Galaxy S is the perfect device for people in all corners of the world who want that extra edge; to be more effective, productive, better connected, and in tune with their smart life—both personal and professional—all in a very easy and simple way.”

The Galaxy S will support 3G HSDPA/HSUPA connectivity (along with 2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE), and pack in a 5 megapixel camera, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and USB 2.0 connectivity. The phone will sport 8 or 16 GB of integrated storage along with an unspecified memory slot that will offer u to 32 GB additional removable storage—and all that will be crammed into a phone just 9mm thick.. The Galaxy S will feature an integrated messaging “social hub” that pulls together status updates and other information from a variety of communications and social networking services, and well offer location-based and augmented reality applications like Layar Reality Browser. The Galaxy S will also feature a “daily briefing” (pulling together, weather, stock, news, and schedule information) and the ability to view and edit Microsoft Office 2007 documents.

On the media front, the Galaxy S won’t be a slouch: it can play back and record 720p video and will support DLNA connectivity with other devices for sharing media around a home. Samsung also says it is partnering to bring full-length movies and televisions shows to the Galaxy S; Samsung also hopes to make the Galaxy S an eReader platform with ebooks downloadable via Skiff. And, of course, being an Android phone means heaps of Google services are available, including Google Search, Gmail, and Google Maps.

Samsung hasn’t announced any availability dates or pricing information for the Galaxy S, saying only that it will be available in Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia, and Asia “soon,” which industry watchers are taking to mean later in 2010.

Samsung may not have the largest presence in the smartphone market at the moment, but the company’s embrace of Android could make it a major player: remember that Samsung is the second largest maker of mobile phones in the world, lagging behind only Nokia.

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