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Samsung Refreshes Galaxy Smartphone

The sleek, curved model has a 4in display and runs Gingerbread, but the Galaxy S Advance won't hit the U.S. for months.

Samsung pulled the wraps off another slick-looking smartphone Monday.

While the model's name doesn't quite trip off the tongue -- the Galaxy S Advance -- it does have some tantalizing features like a four-inch AMOLED display with 480 by 800 resolution and 1 GHz dual core processor.

According to Samsung, the processor in the new Galaxy model launches applications faster, offers smoother screen transitions, processes images more rapidly, and enhances uploading, downloading and browsing performance.

In addition to supporting HSPA and EDGE/GPRS, the svelte unit -- its dimensions are 123.2 by 63 by 9.69 mm and weight is 120 grams -- has a curved body that makes it more comfortable when pressed against the side of a face.

As has become de rigueur for any smartphone these days, the new Galaxy model has front- (1.3 megapixels) and back- (5 megapixels) facing cameras. The back-facing autofocus camera with LED flash can capture 720p video at 30 frames per second and supports a variety of formats including MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX and VC-1.

The unit runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Samsung has pledged to start upgrading its Galaxy lines to the latest version of Android, 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) early this year, but apparently not early enough for this latest Galaxy offering, which will be launched in Russia in February and rolled out to the rest of the world -- excluding North America -- gradually after that.

Samsung isn't the only laggard when it comes to adopting the newest version of Android. Distribution numbers released by Google earlier this month showed that less than one percent of Android devices are running Ice Cream Sandwich.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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