Samsung Galaxy R Runs 'Gingerbread' on Nvidia Tegra 2

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy R, the OEM's first Android smartphone powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core processor instead of its own application chip. The phone launched in Sweden today.

Samsung Electronics unveiled the Samsung Galaxy R smartphone, a handset that runs Google's Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system powered by Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core chip.

The device,which measures almost 5 inches long and weighs only 4 ounces, is available now in Sweden, but is coming to north and eastern Europe, southeast and southwest Asia, Middle East Asia, and China soon. Pricing was not revealed at this juncture.

With an unusually-sized 4.19-inch WVGA LCD touchscreen (800-by-480 resolution), the Galaxy R is a tweener at a time when most high-end smartphones come to market with 4-inch or 4.3-inch displays.

The presence of the Tegra 2 chip in the Galaxy R is also interesting: It's Samsung's first Tegra 2 chip-powered handset.

Samsung has used the Tegra 2, which renders multimedia content such as videos and gaming smoothly, for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. But the OEM has used its own application processors in its Galaxy S and Galaxy S II Android handsets to date.

The Galaxy R also has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and 2 megapixel front-facing shutter; 720p HD video capture; and 1080p Full HD playback. Topping it off is 8GB of internal storage, expandable to 32GB with a microSD card.

Will Park, social media content editor for Nvidia, provided a hands-on for the Galaxy R. In the video, he showed off Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, which was just added to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 last week.

Park also said the GeForce GPU and Tegra 2, which also powers the Motorola Xoom tablet and smartphones such as Motorola's Atrix 4G, Droid X2, and Photon 4G, form a formidable pairing to let Galaxy R users access Tegra-optimized games through the Tegra Zone application on Android Market.

The Galaxy R won't be mistaken for the red-hot Galaxy II proving so popular in Korea and China, but it could be a hot seller in Europe. Meanwhile, U.S. consumers are chomping at the bit for the Galaxy S II from the top carriers here.