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Why the U.S. Needs the Samsung Galaxy S II



I’ve made it very clear why the Samsung Galaxy S II is in danger of missing out on a full-fledged launch here in the United States and I’ve also touched on why it might fail even if it does decide to make it to American soil. I’ve been giving it some thought though and I no matter how I tried to spin it in my head, I couldn’t shake the fact that there are some very legitimate reasons why the United States absolutely needs the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Galaxy S II

Here is a look inside my head.

Not Everyone Wants the Motorola Droid Bionic

I have been touting the Motorola Droid Bionic as the phone to get and I’ve also outlined some reasons why this phone could be better than the iPhone 4S/iPhone 5. However, I also realize that people might not want to pick up the Droid Bionic. Maybe it’s because they don’t like Motorola’s hardware or maybe it’s because the possibility of a 4.5-inch screen scares them. Lots of people I know hate MotoBlur and refuse to buy a Motorola phone until it’s gone.

Bionic Red Eye

Some people also just love Samsung hardware and they want to get their hands on the best phone that Samsung has ever made and who really can blame them?

Not Everyone Wants 3D

One of the hottest phones of the year, the HTC EVO 3D for Sprint, is certainly another option for those looking to get a high-end Android device but it’s also a device that alienates people. Personally, I hate 3D and the reviewers of the EVO 3D have, for the most part, found 3D on the device to be gimmicky. Sure, it can be switched off, but I would honestly just prefer not to have it.


The LG Thrill 4G for AT&T is another phone that I probably would never make my personal phone, just because it has 3D on it. I know that this is a stretch for most of you, but I can’t be the only person that wants a phone devoid of 3D.

Not Everyone Wants the iPhone 5

iPhone 5

Face it, Apple’s iPhone is looking more and more like it’s going to be a fairly minor refresh of the iPhone 4. As many of you know, I dislike the iPhone 4’s design and if the iPhone 5 is anything like it, I’ll be taking a pass. Many others out there will be too.  The Galaxy S II would definitely be a sexy Android alternative, especially if Samsung outfits it with that upgraded processor.

Not Everyone Wants 4G LTE

I’ve been a pretty loud advocate against early adoption going as far as saying that you should not buy a 4G LTE smartphone right now. The Droid Bionic has started to sway me to the dark side but I can still understand why people wouldn’t want or need the faster network right now. Verizon won’t finish rolling out 4G LTE until 2013 which is conveniently two years from now, the same length of a contract. That means that if you don’t have 4G LTE right now, the Galaxy S II would certainly make sense as an option.


In addition, if you’re an average smartphone user, you honestly don’t need 4G LTE until it becomes the standard. A lot of you just use your phone for email, web surfing and the occasional video and 3G works fine for that. If there is a 3G Android phone that will keep over the next two years, the Galaxy S II is probably the one to do it, at least in my opinion.

Everyone Wants Good Hardware

Samsung Galaxy S II Insides

Photo via ABI Research.

It’s pretty much a consensus in the mobile world that the Galaxy S II is one of, if not the, best Android phone to date. It has incredible cutting edge technology and Samsung really went above and beyond with this phone. As I’ve said a zillion times, software is the anchor of the hardware and you want a phone that is going to be able to handle all of the amazing software that is going to be coming out over the next two years.

Everyone Wants Carrier Choices

Galaxy S

Last but maybe the most important reason of them all is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S II would likely be hitting multiple carriers here in the United States. The fact that the original landed on so many U.S. carriers was one of the key reasons why it was so successful. Beyond a business level though, it also gave consumers a choice. They could decide what data plan on what carrier suited them best and then grab the awesome hardware.

Think about it. If you’re getting an HTC EVO 3D, you have to get it on Sprint. If you’re looking at the Droid Bionic, it’s only on Verizon. The next iPhone may or may not be on more than AT&T and Verizon. The amazing HTC Sensation 4G is only on T-Mobile.

The U.S. needs a top of the line smartphone available on all four carriers and the Galaxy S II is that phone.




  1. JP

    07/15/2011 at 9:06 pm

    Agreed on all counts.  Now, it would be really awesome if Samsung stepped up to the carriers and convinced them not to gimp the beautiful Galaxy S II design with their hardware changes and software choices (I’m looking at you Verizon and Microsoft)!

  2. JP

    07/15/2011 at 9:06 pm

    Agreed on all counts.  Now, it would be really awesome if Samsung stepped up to the carriers and convinced them not to gimp the beautiful Galaxy S II design with their hardware changes and software choices (I’m looking at you Verizon and Microsoft)!

  3. Rex_D

    07/15/2011 at 10:12 pm

    The problem is that the phone is not the same on all carriers.  One Galaxy S phone had a keyboard, one had touchscreen only, one had 2.1, one had 2.2, one had 16gig internal memory, one had 2 gigs, and there were several different battery sizes.  They also looked very different.  If the Galaxy S II were on all carriers, it would end up being different phones too. Using the name Galaxy S or Galaxy S II should have a specific set of specs or a specific standard behind it, and should mean something.

  4. Thatdroidguy

    07/16/2011 at 12:25 pm

    If I had read this a week ago, I would have been in your corner about Sammy.
    But after learning of their decisions to ditch American chipmakers like Qualcomm for Via Telecom (east Asia) I’m having 2nd thoughts about my money leaving home with no chance of returning. I’ve had the OG Droid and Droid X and refuse to get the Charge….. so maybe their delay was to get it right I’m the Bionic……..I will keep my money home….. Let’s Go Moto!

    • Rex_D

      07/16/2011 at 6:34 pm

      Haven’t many Samsung phones used the Hummingbird, which is a chip made by Samsung, not an American chip?

  5. Rex_D

    07/16/2011 at 5:16 pm

    I’d appreciate if they (Samsung and Motorola) would pick a version of their UI to stick with and just improve upon it with each version.  My partner bought a Charge because he wasn’t his phone to “match” his tablet (Galaxy Tab), but the UI has differences so it’s not a complete match.  I have been waiting for the Bionic, but have read that the MotoBlur may be a skimmed down version.  Since the UI is the method that manufacturers use to differentiate their Brand, it would be nice if they established what their UI was and didn’t change it so drastically with each version of phone.

  6. Stdavids1879

    07/16/2011 at 6:44 pm

    Your point about waiting for 4G doesn’t make since for the millions of people who already have 4G in their area. Do you know have fast it is? Why wait for what you already have?

  7. Trob6969

    07/16/2011 at 7:49 pm

    He “hates” 3D?! Without even explaining why?! He MUST be speaking of the old ’80’s version of it. I don’t see how anyone could ‘hate’ the current digital 3D. After he made that statement I lost interest in anything else he had to say.

  8. Alan Robertson

    07/16/2011 at 9:38 pm

    Totally agree, especially about 3D. Of course if the US networks used GSM rather than their own standards, then you’d be able to just buy an SGS2 over here in Europe SIM free and just get a SIM-only contract from your mobile network provider :-P

    • Brian Durden

      07/19/2011 at 4:27 pm

      And would also be dog-slow compared to US mobile speeds :)

  9. Anonymous

    07/17/2011 at 12:26 am

    Didn’t realize the GS2 would arrive without 4G LTE. Is that true for sure? I’d be shocked. Here’s hoping the delays are due to Samsung insisting on a clean, consistent product that is easily supported by the carriers and Samsung.

    • Brian Durden

      07/19/2011 at 4:31 pm

      Lots of people have claimed this but can’t back it up with evidence.  It’s only speculation based on the 1st gen LTE radios being large and hard to fit into the packaging making it not fit into the S2 as it sits (a very thin phone).  Most of them don’t understand that the Charge already runs a 2nd gen LTE radio (and gets way better battery life to boot) and isn’t nearly as large.

      Most don’t realize either that the Bionic was delayed because Tegra2 and the 1st gen LTE radio overheated the battery and caused premature failure and very poor life between charges.  Motorola delayed the Bionic so they could build their own LTE radio instead of outsourcing.  To make it more appealing to current tech, they also increased the screen-size and may possibly have ditched the Tegra2 in favor of a faster OMAP 4x device (like the 4430 in the Droid 3 for instance)

  10. Anonymous

    07/31/2011 at 12:13 am

    Agreed. I just hope we get the same form function and not carrier specific but I highly doubt we will.

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