Almost four years since the debut of the Galaxy S5 Mini, Samsung attached the branding of its Galaxy S series to a non-flagship device once again, having launched the new Galaxy S Lite Luxury Edition in China earlier today. The new product is a mid-ranger that appears to be using the physical footprint of the Galaxy S8, featuring a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, albeit one that sacrifices the QHD+ resolution of the company's high-end smartphones and instead comes with 2,220 x 1,080 support. Samsung is now offering the Galaxy S Lite Luxury Edition in Midnight Black and Burgundy Red color options on pre-order terms at 3,699 yuan, i.e. some $580. Following the Android handset's release on June 1, its regular price will amount to 3,999 yuan, or just over $625.
The newly announced phablet is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 chip and 4GB of RAM, ships with 64GB of flash memory, and boasts a Hybrid SIM setup allowing users to choose between a second Nano SIM card or a microSD one with up to 256GB of storage space. The rear camera of the device uses a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 lens but lacks the variable aperture of the Galaxy S9, whereas its front-facing unit is the same 8-megapixel (f/1.7) module found on the company's last two Android flagships. IP68-rated elements resistance is also part of the package, together with an iris scanner, facial recognition support, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Android 8.0 Oreo-based Samsung Experience 9.0 enhanced with a number of third-party apps and services which are popular in China. The Galaxy S Lite Luxury Edition weighs 150g and is 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm in size, thus being slightly smaller and lighter than the Galaxy S9, i.e. identical in size but lighter than the Galaxy S8. The device features a 3,000mAh battery with wireless (PMA and WPC) and Fast Adaptive Charging support.
As was the case with the W2018 flip phone and a broad range of other mobile devices from Samsung, the Galaxy S Lite Luxury Edition is extremely unlikely to ever make its way outside of China in an official capacity. The company's strategy in the Far Eastern country is comprised of exclusive devices meant to cater specifically to Chinese consumers in a bid to revert Samsung's dwindling fortunes in the region. Some half a decade after being considered the largest smartphone vendor in China by both sales and shipments, Samsung's share of the local market fell to less than a single percentage point, according to several industry trackers.