AT&T Samsung Galaxy II

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy S II. And the Samsung Galaxy S II. We've got AT&T's version in our fat little fingers and have given it the what-for, alongside Sprint's Epic 4G Touch for good measure.

By now you've read our Epic 4G Touch review. (If not, go ahead. We'll wait. ... OK. Ready?) Much of what you read there stands for AT&T's version. They both have the same 1.2GHz processor and 1GB (more or less) of RAM, and so they pretty much feel the same in our initial use.

But the ATTSGSII has a smaller display -- a mere 4.3 inches in diagonal -- plus a few other tweaks. Some of them are physical -- there's a different tetxure to the battery cover, the battery itself is a lower-capacity, the power button's been moved. AT&T's initial setup of the home screens isn't nearly as good as Sprint's, which is a shame, because Samsung's got some nice widgets in Touchwiz.

But what's really confounding us is the inclusion of near-field communication -- that's the NFC you hear everyone raving about -- with no clear apps or settings to take advantage of it. On the only other U.S. phone with NFC -- the Samsung Nexus S -- there's at least some options in the wireless/network settings. There's none of that here. But the ATTSGSII's battery clearly states that it has NFC. We'll have to track that down in due time, and note that NFC was never mentioned in any of the press releases.

For now, hit the break for our initial walkthough with the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II, and a comparison to the Sprint Epic 4G Touch and Samsung Infuse 4G.

Youtube link for mobile viewing

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S IIAT&T Samsung Galaxy S II

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S IIAT&T Samsung Galaxy S II

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S IIAT&T Samsung Galaxy S II

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S IIAT&T Samsung Galaxy S II


Reader comments

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II vs. Sprint Epic 4G Touch


Samsung is like a Holiday Inn Hotel - everyone gets a stay. I think they have too many models of phones and due to this it is hard for them to provide timely and needed updates to their phones. My next phone will not be a Samsung no matter how great it is.

I would much rather have the (porky) little LTE radio in my phone. My porky little radio is getting me around 22 mb on the download and about 7.5 mb on the upload. Call it porky I just call real fast. Between Sprint and AT&T neither have a descent Network. AT&T is big and no balls and Sprint is just over crowded. Much rather be on either Verizon or T-Mobile with real fast speeds.

My only problem with the sprint version is lack of NFC, and sprints horrible network. It's so unreliable, both 3G and 4g. AT&T may not have a "4G" network but atlesst in ny its reliable and consistent .

Just a quick correction:

"It's so unreliable WHERE I LIVE..."

Because it's great where I'm at, far superior to at&t.

I was just about to say the same thing. I get 3G all over town with average speeds between 500kbps and 750kbps with some parts of town up to 1.7Mbps. I also tested out my 4G today on my Epic Touch and with one bar of 4G I speed tested a score of 5650kbps down and 2400 up. Not too bad if you ask me.

I agree. I just left Sprint after 18 years because the voice/data network coverage got so bad I could not place reliable calls and the data dropped to 1x frequently. I came from an EVO 3D.
I have the Samsung Infuse and really like it, but I can see where the dual core will come in handy to make it that much more snappy.
Can't wait! I've only had my Infuse for two days now so I think I should be able to swap up to the SG2.

Same here; I have an older phone on Sprint's network and on my 15 mile country commute it has poor or no service. I took my wife's HTC Inspire (AT&T) with me the other day and had good service. I'd like that Epic Touch but some day when I'm stuck in a blizzard and it won't work... Of course this is just me, someone else may find the opposite to be true. I'm sure I'll be at the AT&T store next Sunday.

YOU ARE SO RIGHT! I tried Sprint for a month but i had to go back to ATT ..Sprint data was not reliable at all...same with the phone calls...its like day & night.ATT's 3G is faster than Sprint's 4G (if you get it at all) .I am so glad i got back to ATT...Samsung Galaxy S2 is my next phone along with my HTC Inspire ...both great devices...

Are you out of your mind? att has the
worst network out of all 4 carriers. Sprint in my opinion never drops calls for me and always worked well even with one bar. When I had att, calls would drop regulary...

Am not, but in the same time, I never thought big red that bad until I truest it. So you can believe it or not. I don't get pay from Sprint or from VZW.

Wish everyone would get over the fact of which carrier is worse for them. Every carrier has its good and bad in different locations. Sprint works bad for most people in the many states I have been to but it is good in other places you wouldn't expect. All in all, I believe we should quit talking about worst...

I disagree with you, am with Sprint for nine years, I never had any drop calls, and on their 4G network I managed to download 13.4 Mbps on my Motorola Photon.
And just for your info. I want to try VZW for few week, so I did, I had the TBLOT and am living in the middle of VZW 4G LTE, never passed the Sprint network.

then your in an area with not fast 4G signal, Ive seen way higher than 13mbps on verizons LTE, anyhow sprint 4G coverage is limited with no signs of expanding, anyhow im glad it works in your area but in most other areas they have terrible coverage, like in mine no 4G signal anywhere, and they map it saying there is in their coverage locator.

Not really up on all the specs for NFC. Is NFC tied to the battery? I want to make sure I don't loose this feature with an extended 3rd party battery...whenever NFC of activated :)

Tied to the battery, no. You do have to have the battery in the phone and the phone powered on for NFC to work.

Loving my Google Wallet!!

I can't wait for the AT&T GSII next week. Honestly, everyone needs to stop being SO picky about every minute detail of every phone. I'm upgrading from my Blackberry Curve 8900, still has a seeing people complain about lack of widgets or .2" differences in screen sizes just upsets me. There will always be a better phone around the corner with a faster processor, newer OS, etc...somewhere you just have to commit and enjoy your new device. If I can go 2.5 years with my BB 8900, I think we can all live with an incredible phone like the GSII!

I have the International i9100 SGS2 running on AT&T, love it. Looks very similar except for the home button on the i9100. The back of both are identical except for silkscreening.

As far as the vid goes, you can set the clock and weather widgets up so it looks like the Sprint version. Oddly Sprints home screen is set up very much up like mine. And yes, I customized it.

If you get this on Sprint or AT&T, it is a great choice.

I've also had the international version on AT&T since June. First off, this phone is absolutely amazing. Browsing is faster/smoother than most desktops out there, including on super heavy flash sites such as Pocketnow. Secondly, for all those HTC and Moto fanboys out there complaining about Samsung's supposed lack of firmware updating, please inform yourselves and realize that it was the US carriers that held all that up on the first Galaxy S. I've gotten at least three firmware updates from Samsung since I've had the SGS2. Thirdly, for all of you constantly lambasting Samsung's build quality, while the SGS2's exterior is plastic, it has a metal frame and feels very solid in hand. Zero flex and feels well balanced when holding one-handed. Lastly, the GPS situation is fixed. Oh and Touchwiz 4 is miles above TW3 and for the first time actually adds value to the phone.

Does the AT&T version have a notification light like Sprint's version?

Agree with everythIng except the updates. I left the GS2 after about 4 months. Never got an official 2.3.4 update. I think the polish and neverlands version got it, but not the europen version. Samsung is notorious for not updating their phones in a timely manner. Great phone though.

Screen transitions in the Youtube video for the Galaxy S II look quite impressive compared to my Infuse. I will have to see how much AT&T intends on punishing me for wanting to make the exchange after having already renewed my contract two months ago.

With AT&T you only have a 30 day return window. If you try to get it now, you will have to pay full price. If you wait till 6 months in, you can do an exception upgrade and just pay $75 on top of the 2yr renewal price.

Just thought I'd give you a heads up before you went in.

I'm definitely getting this phone though. I already told my wife that I was getting as soon as it hit.

Anyone want a Captivate?

Well I hope it has a better camera for one and better volume control than the Infuse. The camera on the Infuse I had and the Motorola Atrix had way too much red in photos taken and had trouble getting the correct volume during phone calls.

I want the SGSII on AT&T, for sure now.
One thing, though, you said the Nexus S was the only US phone with NFC, but the BlackBerry Bold 9900 has it, too. Unless you mean just phones running Android.

the new curve series devices should too, at least the 9360 does for sure... But I think given the site we're only paying attention to Android phones.

*****On the only other U.S. phone with NFC -- the Samsung Nexus S******

FYI, the new Blackberry Bold Touch 9930 also has NFC, so technically 2 phones with NFC, only one android though. Maybe that's what you meant.

i noticed in the video that at&t's had the memo app. my et4gt doesn't! i used that all the time on my epic and miss it every day. why oh why sprint did you leave that out?