It’s been a long wait…seriously, like months overdue. I was VERY excited about the Galaxy S II at the time when the European version came out. I hoped and hoped for the US variants to land some time during this past summer, but they never came. Today was the day though…the long wait finally came to an end as Samsung announced the Galaxy S II for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. So, the core hardware and software experience on each variant is pretty much the same as that of the international version, but there are a few minor differences between the variants. Here’s how I feel about each carrier’s respective Galaxy S II:
AT&T – simply called the Samsung Galaxy S II
The original Galaxy S II had a pretty nice design. It had a nice sized display and a pretty polished and clean looking backside. AT&T’s version resembles the international version more than the other carriers’ versions. Some important things to point out is that the display on AT&T’s version is also 4.3-inches (diagonally). If the Sprint and T-Mobile versions didn’t come with 4.5-inch screens, I probably wouldn’t have bagged on this, but I feel they should have just given the AT&T version a 4.5-inch screen too. Just my opinion, I’m sure there are people out there who’d rather have the smaller screen/phone, but I for one think the extra .2 inches is going to turn more heads in public and gaming and web browsing will just be better. Also, the AT&T variant has a smaller battery compared to those found in Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s. It seems like they decided to upgrade more specs in the other two carriers’ respective versions. Poor AT&T.
T-Mobile – like AT&T’s, it’ll just be called the Samsung Galaxy S II
In case you haven’t read about the Samsung event on tech news sites yet, bloggers weren’t able to get their hands on the T-Mobile variant at the event because it was boxed up in a display case. I don’t know why, but it was. Perhaps certain aspects were not finalized and they didn’t want to show off buggy software. I personally think it has to do with the apps on there not running well yet, but whatever. I like that the T-Mobile version has a bigger screen than AT&T’s and most likely a bigger battery (they couldn’t confirm this since it was boxed up, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bigger battery than AT&T’s and the same as Sprint’s). In regards to design, all they were able to say was that the phone was the curviest of the 3. That’s probably gonna be a good thing because with such a big screen, it’d be a little less ergonomic if the device was more squared off and boxy. None of the pictures I’ve seen on any of the blogs were able to show off the T-Mobile variant’s backside, but I’m sure hoping it looks like those leaked Hercules pictures from before where it had what looked like a black, brushed aluminum back plate. This thing is supposed to be able to utilize T-Mobile’s 42 Mbps HSPA+, so it’s a shame that they weren’t able to showcase that.
Sprint – Samsung Epic 4G Touch (I think this name is stupid by the way)
So Sprint’s version has one neat little feature that I’m sure many of us like, and that’s the little LED notification light at the top right corner. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s certainly nice to have. As for the phone’s design, I like that it’s more rounded thans AT&T’s. It doesn’t seem to be as curvy as T-Mobile’s though. I particular am not too excited about the oval design of the camera pod. I like the square pods from the European and AT&T versions better. This baby will support Sprint’s 4G WiMax, which I don’t think is as fast as T-Mobile’s 42 Mbps HSPA+, but I guess that’ll vary depending on location…then again, it doesn’t matter for me, because I’m sure T-Mobile’s speeds are better in my location than Sprint’s, and T-Mobile’s my carrier so, hmph!
So, to round this all up, I’m feeling kinda just…blah. This whole thing was big news a few months going heading into summer, but now, it just feels a little too late. In a few short weeks, we’ll probably hear some news about the next Nexus device and version of Android, 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The Nexus Prime is rumored to have some amazing specs (such as the next generation of Samsung’s Super AMOLED display), along with Ice Cream Sandwich. Those two features alone are enough for me to hold out on the Galaxy S II until I hear more about Google’s next big thing. If you want more info on the unveiling event of the Galaxy S II, hit the links below for some reports by some big tech news sites: