Samsung Galaxy S II Plus brings Jelly Bean and optional NFC to aging superstar

Samsung has announced the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus, bringing another Galaxy handset to an already crowded market.

Remember the Samsung Galaxy S II? Yes, the phone that really saw Samsung hit the big time in Android? It had our man skydiving out of a plane. Well the venerable old Android has been updated by Samsung, looking to capitalise on the good name of the handset.

The big sell of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus seems to be the updated software. It will launch on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, along with a full run of the normal Samsung customisations and additions.

You'll get pop-up video and S Voice, for example, features that made their debut on the Samsung Galaxy S III, along with some of the other TouchWiz tweaks like Smart Stay, S Beam and so on.

In terms of hardware, you get a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel resolution Super AMOLED display and a 1.2GHz dual core processor, with 1GB of RAM.

There's 8GB of internal memory, with microSD card support so you can add up to 64GB for expansion. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. 

NFC is listed as optional, so we're guessing this will be only in selected markets (along with the S Beam feature), but otherwise you get GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and a bunch of sensors as you'd expect. It's a 3G model, there's no 4G being added here.

The NFC model will be slightly thicker, adding 0.4mm to the body, not that you'd notice, that otherwise measures 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm (for the non-NFC model) and weighs just 121g.

The battery is a 1650mAh cell, which you'd hope would see you through most of the day, given the fairly restrained hardware (by modern standards).

No word on pricing or availability, we're not sure that this phone would make it into the UK or US given the already saturated market. The specs suggest it will be a reasonable mid-range handset, in a design that's somewhat iconic in the world of Android phones.