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Samsung Galaxy S Plus: Hands-on shots and first impressions

We’d barely spotted the Samsung Galaxy S Plus popping up on Vodafone’s site when we got the opportunity to have some brief hands-on time with the S Plus itself, courtesy of Vodafone.

The Galaxy S Plus is very much a scrubbed up and rethought version of last year’s Galaxy S; it’s got a much faster 1.4GHz processor thrumming away, a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED screen and a front-facing camera along with the 5-megapixel one on the back. These specs tally with the so called ‘Galaxy S2 Mini’ that was leaked back in March.

Underneath all of this is a decent 8GB of internal storage which can be bumped up to an extra 32GB through the old microSD slot. As you can see, it’s running Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI skin instead of the regular Android look and feel seen on Samsung’s lower priced phones like the Galaxy Fit.

Vodafone told us that Samsung has tweaked the battery to be 24 per cent more efficient than the regular Galaxy S. It also runs on Android 2.3 out of the box, so no thumb twiddling and waiting around to get updated to Gingerbread.

Available to order from Vodafone now, the Samsung Galaxy S Plus can be had for free from £31 a month on a 24 month deal, which gives you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. This online-only deal bungs in 2GB of monthly BT Openzone Wi-Fi access for good measure.

Check back here soon for our full review; until then click through for some early pics and our thoughts and first impressions of the Galaxy S Plus.

Like the original Samsung Galaxy S, the S Plus is very very light, practically weightless. It’s even got that same faux-metal trim around the edge and the same curved chin on the back.

The Samsung Galaxy S Plus is barely distinguishable from the first Galaxy S at a glance. Everything’s the same more or less, same screen size (4-inches) same positioning of the volume rocker and power switch, same Menu, Home and Back buttons down there on the bottom.

See? Power switch in the exact same place. The back cover even retains that reflective plastic jacket. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to do that screengrab trick with the power switch and the menu/home button. Another one for the ‘no’ list then.

The Galaxy S Plus weighs 119 grams, according to the specs on Vodafone’s page. We swear that Samsung has emplyed some kind of reality-distoring technology here; it feels like it weighs nothing at all.

The camera unit of the S Plus, framed by the same old squared off lens cover of, yes you’ve guessed it, the original Galaxy S. External speaker there up on the top right, yet again in the same place.

Up on the top you’ve got a micro USB connection protected by a sliding cover next door to the 3.5mm jack.

The backplate of the Galaxy S Plus torn off. The microSD slot is positioned so that the battery need not be taken out which is always a, er, plus.

A motely crew. The Samsung Galaxy S Plus rubbing shoulders with its Galaxy S2 bigger brother and HTC’s Evo 3D and HTC Sensation. Though it looks a lot smaller compared to these phones, all of which pack 4.3-inch screens, 4-inches is still a decent amount of touchscreen real estate.

Side by side with the Galaxy S2.

The main camera of the Samsung Galaxy S Plus. There’s no flash on the back so you’re going to be limited to the times and places where you can take pics with this. Touch to focus is supported though, so you can tap at whichever object or face in the crowd you want to be the centre of attention.

You get the usual raft of settings and scene modes along with controls for exposure and white balance. The little icon top left, as you can probably guess, allows you to switch between the main camera and the front-facer.

Top resolution here is 0.3-megapixels. Not the highest resolution of all the front facing cams we’ve seen this year but we imagine that it’ll be enough for wobbly Skype video calls, once the Skype for Android app updates to include this.

The little ‘Samsung Galaxy S Plus’ image that glimmers in to life when you switch the phone on.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread comes installed on the Galaxy S Plus out of the box. No more months spent waiting around for updates to drop out of the ether. At least until Ice Cream Sandwich arrives…


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