Samsung’s Galaxy S II, which reviewers around the world hail as the best smartphone currently on the market, has been noticeably absent from American shores. Yesterday we got a peak at the AT&T version of the device, and it’s been heavily modified with the addition of a QWERTY keyboard. What use are physical keys when you’re banging out text messages on a 4.3 inch screen? Anyway, many of you have started wondering when your particular operator will start offering the Galaxy S II? Sprint customers should be pleased to know that a WiMAX enabled variant of the Galaxy S II has just hit the FCC, and while it looks to have the same slate design as seen in Europe and Asia, the addition of WiMAX has made the device 5 mm taller and 3 mm wider; no word as to thickness. Considering Shin Jong-kyun, President of Samsung’s Mobile Business and Digital Imaging, told reporters at a media briefing last week that “we expect to release the Galaxy S2 in the U.S. market sometime in August“, it’s safe to say that the wait for this puppy will be minimal at best.
Should you buy it is another question all together. It’s hard to recommend anything other than the Samsung Nexus S, for two reasons. One, you’re first in line to get software updates, so when a new version of Android comes out, chances are you’ll get it less than a month after it’s been announced. Two, the skins most handset makers throw on top of Android slow the device down considerably. Myriam Joire, during a recent episode of the Engadget Mobile podcast, noted that despite being able to use any Android device on the market, including the Galaxy S II, she consistently returns to the Samsung Nexus S.
If anything we recommend you wait until Q4 of this year for the next Nexus phone, which will most likely be the flagship device to show off what Android Ice Cream Sandwich is capable of.