When you talk about Samsung and smartphones, there is no doubt as to which phone will come to mind and – just in case you are still unsure – that is the Samsung GALAXY S II. It is one tremendous phone in terms of performance and has won many fans across the world. Now we have the Samsung Galaxy R which looks to settle in as the second best to come out of Samsung’s stables. Lagging just a tiny bit in terms of its specs offering, the Samsung Galaxy R definitely feels like one phone you shouldn’t be reckoning with.


The Samsung Galaxy R is going to remind you of its big brother for sure but it measures in at 4.39 x 2.6 x 0.37 inches making it that tiny bit fatter than the Samsung Galaxy S II. Adding to that, it’s also quite a bit heavier – by smartphone’s standards – as it weighs 4.76 oz which means it tips the scale 0.67 oz more than its older brother. Nevertheless, it feels classier and gives you the best because it has a brushed metal finish rather than the plastic feel from Samsung’s very best. On the front sits a 4.2 inch Super Clear LCD screen that has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and apart from the size, there’s not much in the way of difference when you look at both of them next to each other.

On the left side of the Samsung Galaxy R is the volume rocker while on the right we find the power key. We are happy that these buttons can be easily distinguished from the chassis and they give good tactile feedback too. You also won’t have to worry about mistakenly calling someone when the phone’s in your pocket as the buttons are hard enough to avoid that. On the top of the phone you will see the standard audio jack. The microUSB port is safely placed at the bottom. Flip the phone and there sits a 5MP camera waiting to be used, however this is one of the few noticeable downgrades from the Samsung Galaxy S II which has an 8MP sensor.



The CPU has also seen a downgrade – in terms of numbers at least – as the Samsung Galaxy R is running on the 1GHz Dual Core Tegra 2 Cortex-A9 chip instead of the 1.2GHz Dual core Exynos SoC chip on its older sibling. There’s also a 1GB RAM onboard to help increase the speed. Using the phone felt like a smooth sail the whole time as it showed no signs of slowing down or lags.

The phone runs on Android v2.3.4 Gingerbread and as always Samsung’s very own UI, the TouchWiz 4.0. This is where the two phones start to look very alike as you get the smooth transition animations as well as pretty icons thanks to them having the same UI. As we have come accustomed to now, the UI offers seven homescreens and the cool pinching tool is still there to give you an overview of what’s happening on all the screens at one go. Thanks to the great CPU that the Samsung Galaxy R runs on, navigating through the phone is as smooth as silk. Even when you have a few apps running at the same time with live wallpaper, things don’t seem to be affected so much.

You can also still resize your widgets to fit your menu the way you like it. There is also a bunch of software that’s included in the phone to make your life easier. For instance, you get a mini diary, downloads manager and photo editor all pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy R. Kies Air is another app that’s onboard and it allows your phone to wirelessly connect to a computer. If that’s not enough, Samsung has kept the Social Hub as it’s a really handy app to let you connect to the various social networks at once. Other than that, there is also the Music Hub for you to browse through your music as well as buy songs whenever you feel like it. For gamers, they can look forward to the Game Hub while those who love to read have their own thing to love with the Readers Hub in the Samsung Galaxy R.

The Samsung Galaxy R boasts a 4.2 inch Super Clear LCD screen which if not for its lack in terms of vibrant colors would actually be a much better screen than the one on the Samsung Galaxy S II. This is because it is much brighter and also gives more natural colors. It sports a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and also has some pretty good viewing angles to put it up there as one of the better smartphone screens.

In the past, we have mentioned numbers are not everything especially when it comes to cameras, but this 5MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy R definitely does lose out to the 8MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S II. When taking pictures in low light conditions, there is a stark difference in terms of quality between the two phones. Nevertheless, the camera still gives you pretty accurate colors plus does well in giving you details in your photos. There are also various shooting modes to be play around with like the panorama and candlelight mode among others. On the video side of things, Samsung Galaxy R is capable of taking 720p videos and it gives mixed results. Videos taken under good lighting are good, but videos taken indoors are grainy.

In terms of browsing the internet, the CPU shows its capability as the stock browser loads pages with ease. There is support for Flash and navigational tools like pinch to zoom and double tap to zoom all work super smooth. If you have many tabs opened, pinch out and you can view all the tabs in a side by side view and from there you also get to open more tabs or close those that you don’t need any more. You also get 4G internet speeds on the Samsung Galaxy R. The usual connectivity options like Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and also Wi-Fi which also comes with support for Wi-Fi direct.

Moving on to the performance of the Samsung Galaxy R, call quality was pretty good. There were no issues for parties on both sides to hear each other although we would have loved the earpiece more if it was louder. The secondary microphone on the phone also helps a lot as it cancels out active noise when you are making calls. Sporting a 1650mAh battery means you get up to 9 hours of talk time which is great and we can say with average use you can get away with a day without needing a recharge.

Pros and Cons

Albeit having a smaller screen, it was an amazing one. The Samsung Galaxy R also has great call quality and good battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy R is a little heavier and is also priced almost as much as the Samsung Galaxy S II. It can’t record videos at 1080p either.



This is definitely another one of Samsung’s great phones but the Samsung Galaxy R if you have the money for one of these, then you might as well chip in a few extra bucks for the real deal, the Samsung Galaxy S II.

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