Yesterday we attended the launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S II – the follow up to the incredibly successful Galaxy line of Android devices. You probably remember last year the Galaxy S devices were announced together in New York, on June 30. Each of the four major networks had their own with T-Mobile launching three days before AT&T then Sprint and finally Verizon.
T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant – July 15,
AT&T Captivate – July 18, 2010
Sprint Epic 4G – August 31, 2o1o
Verizon Fascinate – September 9, 2010
US Cellular Mesmerize – October 27,2010
Cellular South (basically the Fascinate in everything but name),
MetroPCS Indulge – Feb 21, 2011 (The first 4G LTE Android device to launch in the United States).
This event was rather muted there were no insane parties being thrown by the carriers a rather subdued presentation. While the biggest star in the Galaxy would be the Exynos dual-core processor, the updates made to the screen, the cameras, and network connectivity options add up to a very significant update to the product line. The software too feels as if it were updated along the same lines. Nothing will outshine the updated TouchWiz. (I am not a fan of OEM overlays but this new version is MUCH nicer than the outgoing version.
Samsung did not quit with the updates once they completed updating the phones. They have been busy behind the scenes working on improving the support for the enterprise. Support for Exchange Active Sync, Encryption now happens on the device (both hardware and software), the VPN features have been beefed up and the SGS2 supports SSL VPN.
For the consumers: Samsung Kies Air service allows users to connect their PC or Mac via WiFi without a preloaded application to easily view and manage your content. Media Hub has also been updated and strengthened offering users the ability to manage content across all the devices that have Media Hub capabilities – any of the devices that have Media Hub installed will be able to acquire content, giving you access to your media anywhere – and all of the Digital Rights are stored in the cloud. Samsung said this about the cloud component,
“This is actually the first commercial release, as an OEM to deliver this kind of capability. What this means as a consumer is you have the ability to buy content one time and then consume it again, on another device, without having to pay for it again.”
They also have FINALLY enabled the ability to watch content that you have purchased (in my case it was the Infuse) on a tv with a SmartTV adapter. This smart adapter is, in fact, an MHL adapter, though the only other requirement is that the television/monitor must be HDCP compliant. Samsung has also teamed up with Vlingo to provide a deeper level of voice control features.
The only device that happened to be under a cover was the T-Mobile version. The reason they stated was that they were launching later than the other two, so they did not want to share some of their exclusive content (read: bloat). Sprint had their model loaded up with several pre-installed applications so I decided I would attempt to remove one of the applications – and like the Evo 3D I was able to uninstall an application.
Samsung Exynos dual-core CPU at 1.2GHz
Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 with TouchWiz 4.0
8MP autofocus rear camera with 1080p video
2MP front camera for video calls
HDMI out (1080p)
WiMAX on Sprint, AT&T HSPA+ 21Mbps, T-Mobile HSPA+ 21Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/a
1800mAh battery/1650mAh battery (AT&T)
16GB of internal storage plus microSD slot (up to 32GB)
Gyroscope and accelerometer built-in
LED Notification light (Sprint)
800×480 Super AMOLED Plus
4.3″ on AT&T
4.52″ on T-Mobile and Sprint
AT&T: 4.96″ x 2.60″ x .35″
Sprint: 5.1″ x 2.7″ x 0.38″