Following up the old Star from back in 2009, Samsung's revised model -- named Star II, of course -- carries over the same 3-inch WQVGA display and 3.2 megapixel camera but adds in a healthy dose of TouchWiz 3.0 along with tweaked social networking features (because, you know, that's what all the kiddies are using these days). T9 Trace comes preinstalled -- kind of a strange move, actually, considering that Samsung has OEM deals in place with Swype -- along with Facebook, Twitter, and an IM client that supports Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, AIM, and Facebook chat. Owners of the Star will probably appreciate the Star II's refined, more squared-off looks, but may lament the fact that you still don't have any 3G here -- if you want high-speed data, you'll be relying on the 802.11b / g / n radio. Look for it in Germany next month followed by other parts of Europe, Russia, South America, India, and the Middle East; follow the break for the full press release.

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The Samsung Star II, Star Reloaded with Social Networking

Samsung announces the Samsung Star II, the follow up to the bestselling Samsung Star phone – with enhanced social networking capabilities

Seoul, Korea, January 18, 2011 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today announced the Samsung Star II - the successor to the 30-million selling Samsung Star phone.

The Samsung Star II has been designed to deliver a superior mobile social networking experience, bringing together a user's total social life in one device and giving constant connection to networks, groups, friends and family. The personalized user-interface is complemented by the full-touch screen, providing an easy-to-use and intuitive experience. The Samsung Star II will be available from February in Germany followed by other European countries, CIS, South America, India and Middle East.

JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business, said "The original Samsung Star exceeded all expectations; with its successor, the Samsung Star II, we have delivered a stunning full-touch device that meets the increasing demand for social networking services and enables unrivalled personalization. With the Samsung Star II, we have worked to tightly integrate social networking capabilities and give users choice how they stay in touch with the people important to them. We fully expect it to mirror the success of its predecessor."

Supporting Samsung's SocialHub, the Samsung Star II enables contact integration between your phone and your social networks, allowing you to interact across social media platforms from your phone. The Social Hub also enables users to choose the way they interact with friends and family, with access available to all of their social media accounts within the same interface.

The Samsung Star II also comes equipped with preloaded social networking applications such as Facebook and twitter as well as multi IM 2.0, which offers users an easy way to keep in touch with friends across instant messaging platforms including Facebook chat, Yahoo Messenger, Gtalk, and AIM.

Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 user interface provides an intuitive and personalized user experience; the home screen and widget bar are fully customizable, allowing users to adapt their phones to the way they use it. Widgets provide up-to-the minute news feeds, meaning that you'll know everything that's going on in your social circle. Upgraded features like QuickType by t9 Trace offers a faster and easier way to input text than standard texting - instead of pressing keys, users can trace a finger in a continuous motion over the letters of a word and the device intelligently determines which word is being spelled.

The increased social networkingcapability is made possible by the improved hardware on the Samsung Star II. Pictures taken on the built-in 3.2 megapixel camera will look stunning on the sleek 3" WQVGA screen; they can then be shared with friends or posted to social network services via super-fast WiFi connectivity.

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Samsung Star II: like the original, but with more social networking