Samsung, the Korean consumer electronics powerhouse, has refreshed the Galaxy S, by some the most popular Android smartphone out there, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The company added the unusual "II" suffix to the brand name and hence – the Galaxy S II was born. For starters, the new Galaxy is the thinnest smartphone on the planet, says Samsung.

Just 8.49 millimeter thin, it’s thinner than both the Xperia Arc (8.7 millimeter) and iPhone 4 (9.3 millimeter).

Besides a slimmer profile, Samsung’s new baby runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread release and features the new Super AMOLED Plus display technology that we first spotted at CES in January on their Infuse smartphone.

Super AMOLED Plus has a 50 percent higher sub-pixel count, resulting in a wider viewing angle, greater contrast and outdoor readability.

Here’s how Samsung pitched this tech in a press release:

Super AMOLED Plus introduces the best in quality in color gamut, contrast ratio and edge sharpness. Using RealStripe screen technology and a greatly increased sub-pixel count, Super AMOLED Plus complements the mechanics of the human eye to recognize images look clearer and more detailed than ever before.

Besides unbelievably crisp picture with unmatched sharpness and true blacks, Super AMOLED Plus requires less power, which led Samsung’s engineers to cut on the battery size, resulting in a slim form factor. The phone’s 4.27-inch capacitive touch display has a 800 by 480 pixel resolution. It’s powered by a dual-core processor and some models have an NFC chip to support wireless payment terminals. If you’re a photography fan, you will love an eight-megapixel camera on the back with LED flash that records 1080p video in 25 frames per second. Those who prefer to go full frontal will certainly make good use of a two-megapixel front camera.

Network performance has also been brought up to date with support for much speedier BlueTooth 3.0+HS and up to 21Mbps download speeds on 3G HSPA+ cellular networks. Software-wise, the phone comes with an updated version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface layer that runs on top of Android and  four new hubs for quick access to music, games, digital publications and social networking services.

Other new software features include Live Panel that aggregates live web and app contents to a single customizable homescreen with the magazine-like layout, WiFi Direct wireless printing to WiFi-enabled computers and printers and Kies Air that lets you download phone images, listen to music, check missed calls and send messages via your computer’s browser.

Finally, the Korean consumer electronics powerhouse also announced plans to work with Cisco to make the Galaxy S II more enterprise-friendly by including Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support, in addition to a secure remote device management from Sybase. The phone goes on sale in Europe and Asia this month, with no US launch date set at the time of this writing.

Source: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S II specs
  • Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSPA+ 21 850/900/1900/2100
  • Operating system: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Display: 4.27-inch WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED Plus
  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core application processor
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel back camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front camera
  • Camera modes: Single, Beauty, Panorama, Smile, Action, Cartoon
  • Video codecs: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX VC-1
  • Video playback: Full HD (1080p) at 30 frames per second
  • Video recording: Full HD (1080p) at 30 frames per second
  • Audio codecs: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eACC+
  • Audio capabilities: 3.5mm earjack & speaker, stereo FM radio with RDS, voice recorder
  • Sensors: accelerometer, light, digital compass, proximity, gyroscope
  • Memory: 16/32GB + microSD (up to 32GB)
  • Size: 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, 116g
  • Battery: 1650mAh
  • New app hubs: music, readers, game, social
    • Social hub (availability differs by country and mobile operator)
    • integrated contacts and calendar, unified inbox
    • premium: SNS push notification, email and IM
    • basic: POP3/IMAP email and IM
  • Corporate features:
    • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support for corporate email, calendar, contacts and tasks synchronization with a Microsoft Exchange Server
    • on device encryption
    • Sybase Afaria Mobile Device Management
    • Cisco AnyConnect Virtual Private Network
    • Cisco WebEx
    • Cisco Mobile VoIP solution
  • Adobe Flash 10.1 support
  • Samsung TouchWiz
  • QuickType by SWYPE
  • Document viewer and editor
  • Android Brower, RSS Reader
  • Google MapsTM with Latitude, Places, Navigation (beta)
  • A-GPS
  • Google Voice Search
  • Lost phone management
  • Bluetooth technology 3.0 + HS
  • USB 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11 (a/b/g/n), WiFi Direct wireless printing
  • NFC connectivity (optional)
  • MHL
  • DLNA (AllShare)