Samsung Galaxy R Preview

Interface and Functionality:

The Galaxy R features Android 2.3.3 skinned with the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI, 4.0. There's a slight change in the visuals – some of the Samsung Hubs icons were redrawn, but largely it's the same interface as we've already seen on the S II, so we wouldn't go into great detail here.

The home screen greets you with up to seven side-scrollable panes, where you can pinch to zoom out and get an overview of all of them.

We should also mention that funky and not so funky features like turn-to-mute, sensor-powered gestures like tilt to zoom in the Gallery or Browser, voice commands, widgets and all sorts of customizations are also present on the Galaxy R. Feel free to check out our deeper look at the interface in our Galaxy S II review.

Camera and Multimedia:

The camera department is where the main downgrade for the Galaxy R happens – a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with a single LED flash takes care of your photographic needs with support for 720p HD videos. Perfectionists might be disappointed as the dual-core processor could support full HD footage, but that's one of the shortcuts Samsung has taken. Except for that, though, the camera menu mimics the one on the Galaxy S II.

The most notable difference in the software seems to be the lack of tap to focus, but overall the software here is far from final and we wouldn't draw any final judgments from the current samples. As you can see, they turned out overexposed, but many of those issues will hopefully be fixed in the final version of the Galaxy R. There's also a 1.3-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera, a great asset for video calls.

Video capture at 720p HD offers settings similar to what you get on the camera, which is great. Video capture however seemed even less ready for prime time than the camera, so the video sample below should only serve to give you a very rough ballpark about what's to come in the final version.

Samsung Galaxy R Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy R Indoor Sample Video:

When it comes to multimedia playback, the Galaxy R is a powerhouse – it supports DivX/Xvid-encoded movies along with MPEG-4 encoded files. You can expand the 8GB of built-in memory via a microSD card slot located under the battery and accepting up to 32GB cards.

Internet, Connectivity and Software:

Browsing the web on the 4.2-inch screen is pure joy – the Galaxy R features an excellent browser with plenty of space for viewing as menus don't get in your way. Surfing the web is one area where the dual-core processor makes a difference – reasonably heavy Flash content (we mean no HD or full HD videos), pinch-to-zoom and double taps worked without even stuttering.

When it comes to software, Samsung has four hubs up its sleeve to complement the stock Gingerbread apps. First is the Social Hub, aggregating social networking and IM updates and messaging, which you can easily filter; second comes the Music Hub allowing you to buy music online and preview tracks; third is the Readers Hub acting like a bookshelf with newspapers, magazines and books which you can purchase or preview; last, but not least is the Games Hub, a neat place bringing together games from the Market, but also third-party devs creations like Gameloft games which are not available on the market.


The Galaxy R is a variation on a successful theme – that of the Samsung Galaxy S II, and comparisons are inevitable. The only major concern for some might be the downgraded 5-megapixel camera, but except for that both the dual-core Tegra 2 chip and SC LCD screen on the Galaxy R seem to match what the original S II has to offer. Actually, the two have so much in common it makes us wonder what Samsung's strategy for differentiating them would be or would the company just launch the Galaxy R in markets where the S II is not avaialble.

But with that similarity, comes an excellent outlook. Even though the Galaxy R is slightly thicker and heavier, on a practical usage level it aims to offer nearly everything the Galaxy S II offers for a cheaper price. It's exactly how much cheaper that will decide its future and with a release date set for the end of July/beginning of August we'll know the answer very soon.

Samsung Galaxy R Video Preview:

More content with (Galaxy R)




Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Who wants to bet this is the version of the phone the US gets. Ugh SMH

3. megamrambo

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2010

Actually that may not be such a bad thing since it looks better than the original SGSII. I know the specs are a little bit watered down and lackluster compared to it but you have to keep in mind that most people who by cell phones are idiots because they have no idea what they are buying. They only want it because of the design or because no one else has it.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Smaller display, not super amoled plus, only 5 megapixel camera that can only shoot 720 video, and worse of all a much slower processor. No I don't think this is "not such a bad thing". Let's hope its just a cheaper version for other countries.

7. megamrambo

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2010

I think it may be cheaper. But knowing Samsung, they will day that its premium build would be a reason to price it more. While it is still a great handset, the differences only drastically change in the camera department. I'm a country kid from Southwestern Georgia where Alltel still operates. lol I would be happy with either handsets.

15. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

as if u can distinguish who's the fastest when both of them are already the fastest... we know in benchmarks... exynos wins... but in gaming it is tegra which is better... but in real life... no significant changes will be noticeable among the 2. if exynos can move mountains... sure tegra 2 can. if exynos can move mountains... tegra 3 can move oceans.

17. Galaxy Player unregistered

For the display, I use Galaxy Player which has Super Clear LCD. I believe although the device is only 4" I think the Super Clear LCD is better compared to AMOLED displays (I use Amoled, Amoled +, Super Amoled and Super Amoled+) Adding on, 1ghz dual core is actually good to use.

5. WM6.5Sucks

Posts: 42; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Don't say such things!.... :'(

2. Domenico unregistered

Can you tell me what's the kernel version displayed in the Settings->Info menu? Thanks.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

3500+ score on the Q benchmark as a "pretty good score"? That's an understatement of the year. My Dual core Droid 3 can get a max of 2500. That is a REALLY good score.

8. Griphine unregistered

Hey Victor, what was the kernel numer ? Thanks.

9. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Whos gonna take this over the original? I'd rather pay 50 bucks more and get the real deal, wouldnt you?

10. megamrambo

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2010

It really wouldn't matter. Both phones are good but just for two slightly different demographics.

11. Alui unregistered

Since I got my iPad 2 I did not download any app from Android Market on my Galaxy S. So now I'm not looking for a better smartphone. I can say that the iPad 2 killed Samsung Galaxy S II or any high performance phone for me:). Why play on a 4-4.3 inch phone screen, when you can play on a 9.7 inch screen? I might be looking for a batter table though in the future:).

14. San Francisco unregistered

You're comparing a tablet with a smartphone? It's the same as saying, why play on a psp when you can play on a ps3. It just doesn't make any sense at all! Try fitting your (overpriced) iPad 2 in your pocket.

12. Spider unregistered

It has Gorilla glass?

13. lixism unregistered

can you put your ipad2 in your pants pocket?
Galaxy R
  • Display 4.2" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1650 mAh(9.00h talk time)

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