The smartphone war is getting stiffer. Samsung is hoping to counter Apple’s iPhone 4 price reduction plan with the launch of cheaper Samsung Galaxy S2 prequel known as Samsung Galaxy R aka Samsung Galaxy Z.

The Samsung Galaxy R is the successor of the original Samsung Galaxy S smartphone purportedly offering high end specifications and performance. Usually major Samsung smartphones come with Super AMOLED Plus display but Galaxy R has SC-LCD display support and it has a Tegra 2 processor, which is different from Galaxy S2’s Exynos chipset.

When Apple releases a new version of iPhone, the previous version's price drop is expected and more consumers may hop on to the cheaper version of iPhone in the form of iPhone 4. With iPhone 4 price likely to drop to $99 or less, Samsung is not averse to counter any move from Apple in the smartphone market. Samsung’s Galaxy S2 is experiencing major overhaul as the smartphone topped the UK charts of late to overtake iPhone 4 and became the second best selling smartphone of all time.

However, the Samsung Galaxy R version has most of the features to rival the much-awaited iPhone 5. Here is a comparison between Samsung Galaxy R with Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4 and the expected or leaked iPhone 5 specifications.

Size:
Samsung Galaxy R has a dimension of 125 x 66 x 9.5 mm and weighs 135 g compared to iPhone 4 which has 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm and weighs 137 g. Galaxy S2 has 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm and weighs 116 g.

Display:
The Galaxy R has a 4.2-inch 480 x 800 pixels SC-LCD capacitive touchscreen display which is one inch less than Galaxy S2’s 4.3-inch display but bigger than iPhone 4’s 3.5-inch 640 x 960 pixels LED-backlit IPS TFT display. Most rumors point towards 3.5-inch or 3.7-inch 960x640 pixel display for iPhone 5.

Input Features:
The input features found in Galaxy R and Galaxy S2 are almost similar with multi-touch input method, accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, TouchWiz UI v4.0, touch-sensitive controls, proximity sensor for auto turn-off and Gyroscope sensor. But Galaxy S2 has added the support of Gorilla Glass display for scratch resistance.

Apple’s iPhone 4 has scratch-resistant oleophobic surface, multi-touch input method, accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, three-axis gyro sensor and proximity sensor for auto turn-off. These features can be expected in iPhone 5 as well.

Memory:
Samsung Galaxy R has 1GB RAM, 2GB ROM and 8GB storage internal storage whereas Samsung Galaxy S2 has 1 GB RAM and there is 16/32 GB internal storage. Apple iPhone 4 has 16/32 GB storage and 512 MB RAM. However, iPhone 5 is expected to come with an improved storage capacity (possibly 64 version also) and better RAM (expect a 1 GB RAM) memory compared to iPhone 4.

WLAN/Bluetooth/USB:
The Galaxy R phone has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot support while Galaxy S2 has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot support. And both these phones from Samsung have Bluetooth version 3.0+HS and microUSB version 2.0 support.
The iPhone 4 has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot support along with Bluetooth version 2.1 with A2DP and microUSB version 2.0. The iPhone 5 may also have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot support but other features are yet to be revealed.

Camera:
The Apple iPhone 4 has 5-megapixel 2592 x 1944 pixels camera with features like autofocus, LED flash, touch focus and geo-tagging whereas Galaxy R has 5-megapixel 2592?1944 pixels camera along with autofocus, LED flash, video-calling and geo-tagging. Both the phones can capture video at 720p and have secondary camera.

Samsung Galaxy S2 has 8-megapixel 3264x2448 pixels camera with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection and image stabilization support. And Galaxy S2 can capture video at 1080p whereas iPhone 5 will come with 8-megapixel camera and is expected to have dual-LED flash support.

Operating system:
Both the Samsung smartphones have Android OS version 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system while iPhone 4 has iOS 4 support. The iPhone 5 will have iOS 5 operating system which may be upgraded in iPhone 4 in near future.

Processor:
Samsung Galaxy R will have 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H dual core processor compared to Samsung Galaxy S2’s dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400MP GPU Exynos chipset processor. But iPhone 4 has single core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 PowerVR SGX535GPU Apple A4 chipset processor support whereas iPhone 5 will feature Apple iPad 2’s A5 processor.

Battery:
The same Li-Ion 1650 mAh battery is featured in Galaxy R which is found in Galaxy S2 but gives 9 hours of talk time compared to Galaxy S2’s 8 hours 40 minutes . Apple iPhone 4 has Li-Po 1420mAh battery while iPhone 5 battery is yet to be revealed.

The Galaxy R will not have NFC support and TV-out (via MHL A/V link) features found in Galaxy S2 but will have other features like SMS threaded view, MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS, HTML, Stereo FM radio with RDS, A-GPS support, Java MIDP emulator, SNS integration, digital compass, MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player, organizer, image and video editor, document editor, Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration, voice memo-dial-commands and predictive text input (Swype).

With Samsung Galaxy S2 becoming a major hit in UK, Galaxy R is expected to follow suit. CNET has revealed that Samsung Galaxy R is expected to be launched in UK by the end of July and US release date is not yet confirmed. Samsung Galaxy R may hit US later just as it happened in UK after the Samsung Galaxy S2’s debut in the market.

Shin Jong-kyun, President of Samsung Mobile Business and Digital Imaging, told Korean media early this week that the Galaxy S2 will be launched in the U.S. market sometime in August.

A new ChangeWave survey says nearly half of its respondents (48 percent) who are planning to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days said they would get an iPhone -- up 1 percent since its previous survey in March, reflecting the highest level of demand in the smartphone industry.