Ina Fried

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Samsung Does the Expected, Introduces Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab Sequels (Video)

Samsung’s press event on Sunday night was one of the more anticipated of the pre-Mobile World Congress festivities, but if you caught any of the leaks, you got the basics of its news.

The company showed off just two products, both sequels to existing models, during a drawn-out two-hour affair at a palace high above the city of Barcelona.

The Galaxy S II adds a brighter 4.3-inch screen, dual core processor and even thinner design to an already popular Android line that has sold more than 10 million devices. It also packs Android version 2.3 Gingerbread, an eight-megapixel rear camera, two-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p HD video recording ability and an optional Near Field Communications (NFC) chip.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a larger-screen sibling to Samsung’s first Android tablet and adds, among other things, Android version 3.0 Honeycomb. The new tablet is “coming soon,” Samsung said, offering no specifics on stage.

“This is just the beginning,” Samsung mobile communications president J.K. Shin said, adding that the company sees further growth in 2011 for both smartphones and tablets.

The event started with energy as a selection of performers from the Royal Academy of Music played classical music–half on instruments and half on tablets and smartphones. From there, though, Samsung spent more than an hour on the Galaxy S II, talking about every imaginable feature, but not stating when it would be available or how much it might cost. The tablet was introduced a la Steve Jobs as “one more thing” after Samsung feigned ending the event after introducing the phone.

Samsung spent a good deal of time on the business features of the phone, touting VPN, Wi-Fi calling and Web-Ex capabilities provided by Cisco and mobile device management software from Sybase. Adobe was also brought up to talk about the phone’s Flash playback capabilities, which Samsung said will top the performance of any other phone on the market.

Although Samsung claimed the top spot among Android phone suppliers on the back of strong Galaxy sales, it faces continued competition from industry heavyweights including HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG, all of which are planning improvements to their line. Sony Ericsson aims to grab gamers with its Xperia Play model, while HTC is believed to be readying a Facebook-centric model and LG a 3D-capable model.

Here’s a short video of the Samsung Honeycomb tablet in action.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik