For those of you eagerly awaiting the glorious arrival of the Galaxy S II, you’ve probably seen some of the multiple leaks and reports of the many varying flavors of the Galaxy S II. If we go back to this time last year, the original Galaxy S came stateside as the AT&T Captivate, Verizon Fascinate, T-Mobile Vibrant and Spring Epic 4G. Likewise, back in late May about a month after the Galaxy S II debuted in Korea, a wireless accessory retailer revealed the naming of U.S. carrier versions of the Galaxy S II:
AT&T Attain, Verizon Function, Sprint Within
Let’s take a brief look at what we’ve seen about each of these devices in the last week or so.
Our first glimpse of the AT&T attain came at the hands of Samsung Singapore’s Facebook Page where it was nestled into a desktop dock/stand.
As you can see, the AT&T version does away with the international version’s physical homekey/3 button layout. Compared to the Infuse 4G on the right of the image, the Galaxy S II bears a jet black rather than gunmetal finish and has a chrome power button.
Curiously we saw a second Galaxy S II model from AT&T appear out of the blue and it featured a sliding QWERTY keyboard:
Although initially billed as the I927 Galaxy S II variant, according to BGR this will be a completely separate model. Nevertheless this new sliding model still packs a similar punch to the Galaxy S II posting a score of 3000+ on Quadrant Standard.
While initial reports on the Verizon Function were very promising with a Tweet by Verizon Support’s official Twitter stating that “The Samsung Galaxy S II will have 4G.”
It appears that Verizon Wireless Support had made a typo and had instead meant to say that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would be available with a 4G LTE radio. The absence of 4G LTE on the Verizon Function is further supported by Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha’s statement that the Droid Bionic, slated for release in September, will be the first dual-core 4G LTE phone. This unfortunately will mean that the Function will be the only 3G variant of the Galaxy S II in the U.S.
Sprint’s Within is the first of the bunch to to get leaked as well as pass through the FCC making it our current leader in the race to release:
Thanks to some TIMY, we got some insider pictures of mystery device that was touted to be Sprint’s Galaxy S II, the Within: model SPH-D710. There are some cosmetic changes that you should take note of; aside from the vertical canera/LED arrangement, the device will be 5mm taller and 3 mm wider.
What about T-Mobile?
Amidst all the news of the Galaxy S II for Verizo, AT&T and Sprint, we haven’t heard a squeak about T-Mobile’s slice of the pie. Back in May we reported on the Samsung Hercules, a 4.5 inch version of the Galaxy S II that had both AT&T and T-Mobile 4G compatibly and cost a Herculean $350+. Since that leak, we have seen no further development on the phone which brings to question what T-Mobile’s game plan is for bringing their customers a competitive option against the iPhone 5.
The air is still thick with speculation as to when an exact release date will be announced, but according to industry analyst Paul Mueller, Verizon stores in Los Angeles could be set to receive the smartphone starting August 12th. Although he couldn’t guarantee the date, he was certain that Verizon would indeed be the first provider to carry the Galaxy S II. I find this a tad strange as Verizon’s Function is currently the most mysterious of the bunch with no leaks or FCC filings, but I guess we’ll have to take his word for it at this point
With the iPhone 5′s release looming in the near future as well, it will be interesting to see how well Samsung as well as the carriers can market the phone to the non-enthusiast demographic. Although many of us are hardcore Android lovers, most consumers are looking for the most convenient (read: path of least resistance) phone and carrier combo. Let’s hope that we can see some great synergy between our favorite carriers and Samsung so they can continue the Galaxy S II’s incredible growth!