Samsung announces Galaxy S II Plus with Jelly Bean, challenges us to understand why

Daniel Bader

January 10, 2013 1:33 pm

Samsung has announced the Galaxy S II Plus, a 4.3-inch device that bears an unmistakable resemblance to the original Galaxy S II i9100 released over 18 months ago.

The device will be marketed as a discount device in some parts of the world, though there has been no Canadian release information just yet. Not only does the GS2 Plus look like the original, but its internal specs are largely identical, too. With a 4.3-inch 800×480 pixel Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.2Ghz dual-core Exynos processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, 8MP back and 2MP front cameras, a 1650mAh battery, all running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, the only notable upgrade is a newer version of Android that should come to the i9100 at some point, too. In fact, there are already leaked versions of the official Jelly Bean ROM for the original GS2.

So what’s the deal here? Why would Samsung market a device that has been supplanted in specs, design and software nearly 18 months after its original release? You only have to look at Apple’s strategy of repurposing its once-flagships as entry-level devices to understand the move. Samsung is attempting to bring focus back to one of its best and most popular products, sprucing up its software and calling it new again. It’s a well-worn strategy that has worked across many industries and businesses and Samsung, the market leader for Android devices, is in a tremendous position to continue that tradition.

No word on price or availability, but considering the original Galaxy S II i9100, which has working versions of CyanogenMOD 10.1 and may be updated to Jelly Bean officially in the coming months, can be had for around $200 second-hand.

Source: Samsung
Via: Engadget

  • DL

    The reason for S2 plus is simple, S2 S would have generated heavy lawsuits!

    • Tminusp

      Instead they chose to steal HTC’s naming scheme. HTC One X Plus anybody?

    • Brad F

      its like them retro Jordans. people will kill to have old shoes

  • Sean

    The reason is now they can say “hey look we have a new phone that is like the old S2 but a + which must mean it’s better, also it’s more expensive”

    Frankly this phone symbolizes all that is wrong with Android ORM’s

    • Waiting for Razr M HD w/3300mah

      The + just means more expensive.

    • JUST SAYING

      NO IF THE SAY S APPLE WILL SUE THEM BECAUSE APPLE IS THE ONE WHO DISCOVERED THE LETTER S AN ALPHABET

    • Brad F

      that’s the same with everything in this world. that’s how they get u to buy new things like cars, cameras, computers.

  • Brad F(anboy)

    Innovation!

  • Pablo Moses

    It’s look great for a budget phone.

  • Chris Dunphy

    Actually CM 9, 10, 10.1 does NOT run well on the GT-i9100 because Samsung’s open source support for the Exynos 4 series is awful. I sold my GS2 for that very reason.

  • Simon Fitzbay

    At First, there’s the GS 2 , Then the GS2 X, ans then, the GS2 LTE (skyrocket) ! Ain’t that enough ?

    • 45

      Clearly it isn’t. At least according to Samsung.

  • John

    Samsung, go home, you’re drunk.

  • zzZZzz

    Don’t get why the outrage. Could be a good midrange phone around the 300-350$ mark, assuming the fixed the quirks with the original. As for the reason? They don’t really have a midrange phone. Sony has one, HTC has one, Motorola has a few. It’s a lucrative market.

    Heck, at my store, the GS2 is still an excellent seller.

  • Andrew

    After LG’s successful launch with the Nexus 4. This should come as no surprise. Anything over $299 purchased outright, would come as a shock.

    • Alex

      The words “successful launch” and “Nexus 4″ should never be used in the same sentence.

  • Alex Cruise

    Probably cheaper components, likely due to a die shrink. Game consoles do this too; they start out as loss leaders, but as the semiconductor process technology improves, the silicon parts get cheaper and cheaper.

  • Henaway

    Hey, as long as my original i9100 gets Jelly Bean before a re-branded version of the exact same phone does, I’ll be happy. I’ve been tempted to go CM10.1, but nothing I’ve read tells me it’s truly ready to be my daily driver. Come on Samsung, show your brand loyalists some love, or you’ll see a bunch of people jump ship to an LG Nexus or something from Motorola. (My original Milestone is still a solid, working phone … just horribly dated.)

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    Cheaper cases are available for older models.

  • Herp Derp

    It looks like a GS2 with GS3 guts inside. I like the looks of the GS2 more than the GS3 so I think this is pretty cool.

    • Um..

      It looks like a GS2 with GS2 guts inside.

  • StEC

    I just want Jelly Bean on my S2 i9100 already, starting to get impatient!!!

  • TKG26

    Nexus 4 is 309$? This better be 199$ outright and unlocked.. Stupid suckered that take this on a 0$ three year contract lol

    No problem here bringing back an old successful phone as a cheap mid range phone.. Just it better be cheap.. I wish we could buy phones direct some times

  • John

    This is worse than what apple does. At least change something on the inside…

    I bet some poor galaxy s2 owner is going to buy this because the + means it’s better lol.

    • Tomatoes11

      How is this worst than what Apple does? Sure Apple doesn’t add a plus on the title but they halve the internal storage and call it the iphone 4 8gb before they could lower the suggest retail price.

      No one is worse than Apple.

    • Tomatoes11

      Besides, this won’t be coming to Canada anyways, unlike the iphone 4 8gb, so why do you care.

      The asian markets are like that where the populations are so big that you can find anything there literally, so Samsung might as well make the knock offs themselves.

  • David

    I would totally buy it if it was less than $300 outright.

    • ToniCipriani

      You can. Virgin Galaxy S2 is 49.99+150 tab at Future Shop and Best Buy, total to $199.99. I think they are giving gift cards as part of the offer. Simply activate then cancel or move the plan to prepaid.

      Same phone anyways… free unlock too.

  • Dalex

    I’m using my old GS2 as a daily driver with CM 10.1 and it runs just fine. Yes Samsung have been lame in terms of supporting the community, but it still runs incredibly smooth and you get access to features from 4.2.1 which are really cool, especially considering its an April 2011 device.

    This device they are releasing is pretty dumb, but hey its Samsung, they will just throw out stuff and see what sticks. Can’t blame them for it, they are incredibly successful.

  • gjeff12

    Its probably just a i9100p. The p signifying it comes with 4.1 preloaded as opposed to needing an update.

  • Tomatoes11

    All hail the living legend! The Galaxy S2 i9100. Only phone that did and ever will dominate the landscape for an entire year.

    Sure they got a bit lucky that the Qualcomm S3, Omap, and Tegra 2 all sucked donkey that year. They were also lucky that the 4s was underclocked to 800mhz and didn’t even use HSPA+ but hey, they did it.

    Only handset to pull off the equivalent of the perfect season in sports in this day and age. Nowadays handsets are outdate on release or 3 months tops.

    All hail! The Samsung Galaxy S2!

  • Bill Murray

    This is actually a very good phone minus the low res display.

  • Jonathan W.

    All those case and accessory makers/resellers should be happy. And if the phone turns out to be pentaband, even better.

  • Frederick

    8gb internal? Thats a downgrade from the SII, how is this “Plus” ?

  • jess

    Too many galaxies. They should just give them actual names of galaxies.. milky way, andromeda etc. Im starting to get confused with all these galaxy phones, ace, ace 2, discover, s3, s2, s2pro, note note2 note 3. bleh

  • gtp20

    I loved my Galaxy S2. I’ve had 5 Android devices to date and it was my favorite. I think its an excellent idea that Samsung is loading it with Jelly Bean and marketing it to entry level customers. Its a great device.

  • WC

    I guess they got some S2 in the backroom they need to sell off but seriously while the S2 was no doubt one of the best phones of it’s generation it’s over now. Move on Samsung, get me that damn Youm flexiphone thingie.

  • User

    Is this Android Key Lime Pie?

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    I think this bloated Jelly bean will slow down this phone even more than ICS. I don’t want a camera to look at my eyes and tell me when I am not looking so it turns OFF the display! I can do that on my own thank you very much.

  • Bernie

    Well, for an entry-level device, the S2 is a fine product. I owned it prior to the S3, and it would still do very well as a daily phone today!

    It better be under or around $200 though.

  • coop3422

    I have an i9100 and love the size. That said, WTF Samsung? You couldn’t give us an hd screen, or upgrade the phone at all? I love the size. If they put higher end specs in this, I’d of sold mine and bouht one. Since they didn’t I’ll be buying an N4 in the next month or so.

  • Shūji

    Love the rectangular design of the SII+ :) just like the original S/Note
    not sure where Samsung got the ovalish ends on the SIII Note II