Samsung Galaxy R pictures and hands-on

In Samsung's latest mobile phone nomenclature, R stands for Royal and is second only to the S or Super range. So, to take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy R - the first R of its kind - when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S II, was a good insight into just where this group of phones will be pitched in the future. Fortunately, IFA 2011 provided that perfect opportunity to get our hands on.

With a 4.2-inch LCD screen, the difference between the R and the first edition S II was actually quite similar to that between the S II and the S II LTE. That said, the R's form factor is probably more similar to the LTE version with a slightly thicker frame and smoother, although still brushed, back metal finish.

On the inside, things take a bit of a hit with a more standard dual-core 1GHz processor but, in our play time, that made little difference to the slickness of the TouchWiz-topped Android Gingerbread operating system. There's also a drop in megapixels to 5MP rather than 8MP but, with 720p video recording still possible, and the AF hunting on the SGS II a bit of an issue anyway, it's no major loss.

The place you're going to worry on the spec sheet is with the screen technology itself. Samsung has gone for a more price-conscious Clear LCD than the Super AMOLEDs of the S series. The good news is that, although it wasn't possible to put the R through its paces, what we did see of the brightness and colours were impressive enough. The bottom line is that, if you didn't know, you might well mistake this phone for one of its bigger brothers.

We still don't know how much the R is going to cost or when it's coming, but the answers are: not as much as the SGSII and soon, in that order.