Hands On: T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze 4G

We dropped by a special T-Mobile press event to get an up-close look at two of the carrier’s hot new handsets, the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze 4G. Let’s just say we liked what we saw and can’t wait until these 42-Mbps 4G phones arrive for review.

First we examined the Samsung Galaxy S II for T-Mobile, which was locked away under glass at Samsung’s recent U.S. launch event. The phone features a massive 4.52-inch super AMOLED display, bigger than the screen on the Sprint Epic 4G Touch. The handset is also powered by a blazing 1.5-GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and is rated for 42 Mbps downloads on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network. 

We can attest to the beauty of the Galaxy S II’s screen. It offered rich, vibrant colors and deep blacks, and offered a huge viewing area that allowed us to see details even at extreme angles.

Next, T-Mobile showcased the HTC Amaze 4G, which boasts design elements of other HTC phones such as the Thunderbolt and Sensation 4G. The device is encased in a metallic uni-body frame with smooth, rounded edges and rubbery soft-touch Teflon accents.

Like the Galaxy S II, the Amaze 4G connects to T-Mobile’s 4G network at a rated speed of 42 Mbps. Running a robust 1.5-GHz dual-core CPU, Android Gingerbread, and HTC’s Sense 3.0 UI, the phone flipped through its interface with virtually no lag. Images and text on the Amaze 4G’s 4.3-inch qHD Super LCD screen appeared sharp as well.

Another feature worth highlighting is the HTC Amaze 4G’s 8-megapixel camera, which uses the same electronics as the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide. The camera feels fast and features all the advanced functions we loved in the myTouch 4G Slide, plus some new abilities. For instance, SmartShot is a technology that can fix group photos where some subjects aren’t smiling or are caught with their eyes closed. It works by combing through a series of pictures to find a version of the shot with your friend or family member posed correctly. Then it overlays that subject’s image into the proper picture. Also of interest is the PerfectPics function that scans your on-board gallery and picks your best images automatically.

If your interest is piqued, you should know that these two phones won’t be as cheap as some competing devices:  the Samsung Galaxy S II costs $229 and the HTC Amaze 4G includes a hefty $259 sticker price. Expected availability is October 10th for online orders and October 12th for purchase in T-Mobile stores. We hope to get product samples soon, so check back for in-depth reviews.

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