Samsung Galaxy R Preview

Introduction and Design

The Samsung Galaxy R (also known as I9103) is the first handset to walk in the shoes of the Samsung Galaxy S II. A slightly stripped down version of Samsung's flagship, it wears similar looks, packs an equally powerful core and only downgrades the camera to 5 megapixels. Actually, the Galaxy R is the first of many other versions of the S II that we expect to follow – just as was the case with the original Galaxy S, which got a separate version for each major US carrier. The Galaxy R on its part is said to hit a couple of European markets including the UK, and come with a slightly cheaper price tag.

Packing a slightly smaller, 4.2” display than the S II, the Galaxy R also comes with a new processor – dual-core Tegra 2 replaces Samsung's 1.2GHz Exynos. Additionally, Samsung has done a bit of redesign – while the S II could compete with the thinnest and lightest smartphones in the world, at the same time being made out of plastic, the Galaxy R feels solid, crafted out with both metal and plastic, all coming in a body that's a hair thicker.

You can compare the Samsung Galaxy R with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Before we look deeper at the device, though, we should note that we tested a prototype unit, so both hardware and software are subject to change. We've seen renders of the Galaxy R showing that up front the final version might look much like the original Galaxy S II.


The handset looks and feels solid. A 4.2-inch Super Clear LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels dominates the front. When put side to side to the screen of the Galaxy S II you hardly notice the difference in size, but you surely notice the difference in colors. The display on the R looks much brighter, with slightly more natural, less exaggerated colors, but those of you looking for punchy contrasts, vibrant colors and super deep blacks will prefer the Super AMOLED Plus screen on the original S II. With good viewing angles and above average sunlight legibility, though, we were impressed with the screen of the Galaxy R as well.

In the Galaxy R, the phone itself has undergone a redesign. It's a bit thicker adding 0.04” of girth to the its profile which measures at 0.37” total. It's also heavier tipping the scales at 4.76 ounces. The difference in size and weight is noticeable, when holding the Galaxy R you feel the solid body, which is no longer the record beating super slim contender that the Galaxy S II was. A removable brushed metal back plate covers the 1650mAh battery and adds to that feeling, making the device look more premium in comparison to the plastic build of the S II.

Samsung Galaxy R 360-degrees View:

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