Samsung showcased its new Galaxy S II superphone at its launch event, and we were lucky enough to spend a little hands-on time with the new device. Coming to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, the phone will be available in three variants, all with lovely AMOLED screens, dual-core processing, and 4G data access. Here are our first impressions.
The first phone we got our hands on was the Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T. Judging from what we saw, the handset closely matches the original design of the unlocked Galaxy S II. It’s ultra-thin, and has much of the same rectangular shape used by the European GSII. It also sports a big 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with eye-popping contrast and rich colors. The phone ran very smoothly, flipping through its Android 2.3 Gingerbread menus with pep. Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 UI, which sits over the OS, definitely looked spiffy, complete with slick animated wallpaper and Live Panel re-sizable widgets. All in all, an impressive machine and we can’t wait to see how it fares on AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ hi-speed data network.
After this we moved over to check out the new Epic 4G Touch, Sprint’s re-branded variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II. Taking a slight departure design-wise from the original GSII model , the Epic 4G Touch has more rounded edges and smoother surface, giving it a thicker appearance. That said, the handset features a larger 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen which makes a big difference. Imagery and colors practically jumped off the display and blacks were rich and endless. Coupled with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the TouchwWiz UI, and impressive animated backdrops, the phone really put on a show. The only handset to have announced pricing, the Epic 4G Touch will run for $199.99 with a September 16th ship date.
Lastly, we looked at T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II which was unfortunately kept under glass. Like the Epic 4G Touch, the Galaxy S II for TMO is sculpted in clean, rounded edges but has a classy metallic band ringing the device. We also noticed that the handset appeared to be running a toned down version of TouchWiz, which looked more like the stock Gingerbread UI. Of course that could just be because all the fancy animations were switched off. Additionally, the Netflix app was placed front and center on the homescreen, so clearl,y access to the popular service is pre-loaded.
Be sure to check back soon for more details and full reviews. In the meantime, take a gander at these hands on videos with the Samsung Galaxy S II (AT&T) and Sprint Epic 4G Touch.