Aug 30 AT 10:58 PM Sean Riley 18 Comments

AT&T stays true to the international Galaxy S II


The Galaxy S II has been a bestseller around the world, and AT&T, for one, isn’t going to mess with a good thing. Not only are they letting the Galaxy S II keep its maiden name, but they’re also sticking with the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display seen overseas.

Consensus from those who’ve had hands-on time with the phone is that giving up an extra bit of screen real estate may have been worth it; 800 x 480 looks that much better on a 4.3-inch screen. They also may have wanted to avoid thoroughly confusing customers by placing a 4.5-inch Galaxy S II right next to their existing 4.5-inch Infuse 4G.

The AT&T version has the distinction of being the thinnest of the US-bound Galaxy S IIs at 8.89mm. Coupled with the fact that it will support AT&T’s HSPA+, it will be the slimmest “4G” smartphone in the US when it launches “in the coming weeks.”

The rest of the specs largely fall in line with its Sprint counterpart–the T-Mo version is an enigma wrapped in a riddle at the moment–with the one notable exception being a slightly smaller battery for AT&T (1650mAh). But its more diminutive frame excuses that difference, and the lesser screen size likely means the battery life will remain comparable. The dual-core 1.2 GHz Exynos processor is a welcome alternative to the Tegra 2 that we are all familiar with at this point. The 8MP rear camera with 1080p video, 2MP front-facing camera, WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and full complement of sensors are all what we have come to expect from a high-end Android phone today.

The Galaxy S II will ship running Gingerbread (2.3.4 to be specific) with Samsung’s TouchWiz twist. Launching with the current version of the OS is about all we can hope for at this point (and it’s more than some are capable of), so I’ll take it.

Unfortunately AT&T couldn’t quite manage to let the Galaxy S II slip into customers’ hands without the bloat treatment. A number of unwanted  preloaded apps such as myAT&T, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Family Map, etc. are featured on the device. We’ve probably left the point where complaining about bloat makes any sense, but old habits die hard.

So what do you think of AT&T’s take on the Galaxy S II? Are you glad to see someone opt for the smaller form factor of the international version? Or are you pining for a 4.5-inch screen with a dual-core processor on AT&T?

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II homescreen AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II back AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II side AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II lockscreen ATT-samsung-galaxy-s-II-front

Pictures and video courtesy of Engadget and IntoMobile.

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • mjforte

    AT&T 4G? I’d like to see what they are going to call it once they get LTE. 4G LTE *with Super Duper Enhanced Backhaul

    • Sean Riley

      If they have learned anything during their time with Apple I’m going to assume they’ll call LTE their “4GS” network.

  • randy

    this phone is obsolete

    • geah

      Your face is obsolete.

  • Celdurant

    I honestly don’t see the appeal of a 4.5 inch screen. That really is pushing it. 4 inches is perfect, and 4.3 is fairly reasonable, but I think 4.5 is on the big side. I would get the AT&T Galaxy S II over the T-Mobile one, but sadly I’m on T-mobile (and got a Vibrant last year.)

    • Nate

      I used to think 4″ was the perfect size until I got the international version of this phone a few months back. 4.3″ is now the perfect size IF the phone is crazy thin like this one. I still remember trying out the EVO back in the day and that thing was too big.. mainly because it was too thick for my tastes.

  • IOS 5 is TRASH

    Spec wise not a bad phone at all but N3/prime would b my only Samsung choice

    • kazahani

      800×480 is weak sauce on a 4.3 or bigger screen. They took too long so I’m waiting for 720p =)

  • Beth

    In all the websites that have articles about this phone, NONE mention internal storage size….anybody know? 16G?

    • johnson

      It comes with 16 gig internal storage

  • Alex Nguyen

    I’m glad that the variants stayed true to the original in terms of general design, most hardware, and software. Each has their own appeal, but I think Sprint and T-Mobile got the better variants. More on how I feel about each carriers’ respective Galaxy S II on my blog:

  • Justin

    After months of waiting, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think I am going to pass. My Infuse already has gingerbread, plenty of storage, great camera, and is OC’ed to 1.6ghz. I LOVE the 4.5″ screen…and for anyone who has used it, knows its not too big.

    I just don’t think I can justify the “upgrade”. I’ll wait to see what Samsung comes out with next.

    • Kennon

      I agree, If this phone had come out this spring or even as late as June timeframe I would have been first in line to replace my Captivate. But at this point here we are, basically in September with Christmas right around the corner and Cyanogen Mod 7 running so well on Captivate I think I will wait to see what comes out between now and the end of the year. Doesn’t make sense to me why a phone can come out internationally 4-5 months before it does in the US.


    I like thephysicl figure on this one the most. IMO

  • Nathan

    I frankly don’t care about which one is better in design because they all look bit similar to each other plus they are all beast.

  • osatrevor

    Where is NFC? When this phone launched in Korea, having NFC was one of the things that really interested me… They waited to long and watered it down too much, I’m waiting for the Nexus.

    • kazahani

      Ditto. If we had this phone 4 months ago like everybody else, then I would have one. Now? I’m waiting for a 720p screen ICS phone. Samsung needs to stop letting carriers dictate to them how they want the phones to look. There was nothing wrong with the international S2.

  • mj-davies

    Well, apart from the fact they removed the three-button layout, this is identical to the European SGS2. But from what I can gather all the US Android devices have this 4-button layout. Does the order still change depending on carrier/manufacturer?