Samsung Intros Galaxy Spica Android Phone, No U.S. Launch Date

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Samsung on Monday announced the availability of its newest Google Android-powered smartphone, the Galaxy Spica (I5700). Featuring solid specs and a powerful processor, the Galaxy Spica is now headed to Europe, with no U.S. launch in sight yet.

The Samsung Galaxy Spica (I5700) is a follow-up to the company's Android-powered Galaxy (I7500) smartphone. The device features a 3.2-inch (320 by 480 pixel) capacitive touch screen and a (less powerful) 3.2 megapixel camera (5MP on Galaxy) with autofocus, along with a speedy 800MHz processor (versus a 528MHz chip on the Galaxy I7500).

Samsung's newest Google Android phone packs a punch in the slim 0.51-inch design, has a now-standard 3.5mm headphone jack and can accommodate up to 32GB of data via the built-in microSD card slot. The storage should also come in handy, as the powerful processor in the Galaxy Spica helps it to be the first Android phone to support DivX format movies.

Unlike the Motorola Droid, the Samsung Galaxy Spica comes with a now-older version of Google Android OS, namely version 1.5 Cupcake (versus 2.0 on the Motorola Droid). Although the phone features Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS, the Google turn-by-turn navigation software found on the Motorola Droid will not be available at the beginning on the Galaxy Spica.

Samsung has kept mum on pricing or U.S. availability details of the Galaxy Spica (following the tradition of the previous Galaxy mole) and said only that the phone should be available now across Europe. The Galaxy Spica is a 3G phone, so if a carrier will pick it up in the U.S., it would be on either AT&T or T-Mobile.

'Bada' Boom

With the Galaxy Spica, Samsung is continuing its multi-OS approach to smartphones. The company already delivers Windows Mobile-powered phones, alongside the Google Android devices. Samsung also ships entry-level smartphones running on its own proprietary operating system.

But Samsung wants a cut from the lucrative market of operating systems and applications stores as well, as the company announced Bada, a software layer on top of Samsung's proprietary OS, which will allow for app development. Samsung says phones featuring the Bada OS and adjacent app store should be on the market early next year.

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