Samsung Galaxy S II comes to Sprint; Verizon passes?(Read article summary)
The highly-acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S II smart phone is coming to the U.S., appearing first from Sprint. But there are indications that Verizon might pass it over for a newer Samsung handset instead.
The Samsung Galaxy S II launched overseas in April to pretty much universal acclaim. (Engadget gave the phone a 9/10 rating and opined, â€śIt's the best Android smartphone yet, but more importantly, it might well be the best smartphone, period.â€ť) Itâ€™s been slow making its way stateside, but at a media event in Manhattan on Tuesday, Samsung finally announced a U.S. launch date: September 16.
Well, sort of. See, Sprint gets it on that date; its version of the handset will be branded as the Epic 4G Touch. The phone will be on AT&T and T-Mobile later this year, too, though the dates havenâ€™t been announced yet. And according some reports, it might not show up on Verizon at all.
First, hereâ€™s a little more about what we know for sure: the Galaxy S II is among the most high-end Android smart phones. Sprintâ€™s version, the Epic 4G Touch, sports a giant 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, along with an 8-megapixel camera and 1.2GHz processor, running on Android 2.3 â€śGingerbreadâ€ť (the latest Android phone flavor, at least until the fall). T-Mobileâ€™s version will have identical specs, but in a different form factor, and AT&Tâ€™s version will be the same under the hood but will shrink the screen slightly, to 4.3 inches.
So why no love from Verizon? Well, nothingâ€™s official yet â€“ Big Redâ€™s absence from todayâ€™s event doesn't necessarily indicate conspiracy. After all, its lineup does include several of the original Galaxy S phones. But rumor site Boy Genius Report, which has a pretty good track record in this area, thinks Verizon is passing altogether on the Galaxy S II in favor of exclusively releasing a new Samsung phone, which theyâ€™re calling the Droid Prime, â€śsometime in October.â€ť Boy Genius Report adds that the Droid Prime will be the first smart phone to launch with Android 4.0 â€śIce Cream Sandwich,â€ť which has already been announced for the fall.
Weâ€™d be remiss if we didnâ€™t point out that the Galaxy S II, in its various carrier-specific flavors, will be coming out right around the time Apple is expected to release the next iteration of the iPhone. The Samsung handset certainly has a hardware edge against the iPhone 4, but as weâ€™ve noted before, there are lots of predictions to suggest that the next iPhone will have a bigger screen and more power. As usual, the true indication of a phoneâ€™s cultural cachet -- consumer response -- will take a little while longer to determine.
What do you think? Ready to pull the trigger on a Galaxy S II, or are you holding out to see what Apple unveils? Sound off in the comments.