Adding to the pile of news surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S II this week, we have some new info -- some good and some bad . The good news is that the AT&T and T-Mobile variants will both be equipped with NFC. Engadget (along with François Simond) took a peak earlier today into the system files of AT&T's S II variant and found conclusive evidence of NFC presence, including a pre-installed app, but whether mobile payments will be one of the SII's capabilities remains to be seen. Additionally, FCC filings from T-Mobile confirm NFC is onboard for its GSII as well.
In the ongoing saga that is the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, yet another bump in the road has surfaced. This time it's directly from the United States government, who says that if the AT&T/T-Mobile merger were to go through, it would "remove a significant competitive force from the market." As a result, the U.S. has filed an antitrust complaint looking to block the proposed deal.
While this doesn't mean a guaranteed rejection, it is most definitely going to make progress much harder for Ma Bell. If the estimated $39 billion deal does get rejected, however, AT&T will still have to pay $3 billion to Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile USA, as well as provide T-Mo with wireless spectrum in some areas and reduced charges for use of AT&T's network.
The official Galaxy S II press conference has only just begun (it's streaming live now), but all 3 carriers we've been expecting to see the S II on - Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile - have already sent out their press releases.
The Galaxy SII is already available in Europe and Korea, debuting as Samsung's fastest selling smartphone to date. The 3 variants in the U.S. will share many of the same specs, but some aspects, such as the screen sizes, battery capacities, and mobile radios, will be different.
Here are some of the common specs:
Blazing fast 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor
Super AMOLED Plus display
8MP camera capable of 1080p video - the S II takes some of the best video we've seen on any phone
2MP front-facing camera
16GB built-in storage
microSD card slot with support for 32GB
HDMI out at 1080p
Android 2.3 (most likely 2.3.4)
4G of some kind (HSPA+ on T-Mobile and AT&T, WiMax on Sprint)
802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- On-device encryption of user data
- Voice Talk voice commands (this is not the same as Google Voice Search)
- Screen Capture built right in (press the Power+Home keys simultaneously)
One specific spec worth highlighting is Samsung's Exynos processor, which should be quite a bit faster than the Tegra 2 that most dual-core phones have been using so far (with the exception of the TI OMAP on a few models).
In order to combat weak signal-strength inside the home, T-Mobile will unleash a new program that offers signal boosters to its customers beginning on September 7th. The boosters will increase the available signal of T-Mo's 3G and 4G networks, but, like with most things, has certain downfalls:
- Signal Boosters are not available in multi-family residence (i.e. apartment, condo, etc)
- You must be able to receive at last one bar of 3G service anywhere within the house
- The booster is T-Mobile's property and a fee of up to $500 may be charged if the device is damaged or not returned upon cancellation
- The booster will require a two-year agreement with the associated line
Despite the fact that a two-year agreement is required and the user is held responsible for any possible damages, the booster will not cost any additional monthly charges.
HTC has been steadily making good on its promise to unlock the bootloader of its more recent models -- first came the EU Sensation, followed by the EVO 3D. Continuing along this same path, today HTC updated the unlock portal on HTCdev.com to include the T-Mobile variant of the Sensation.
Keep in mind that if you plan on making use of this process that it will likely void your warranty, so tread with caution.
With that said, you can head over to the official HTC Dev site now and officially get your unlock on.
With the launch of the 404 page design contest a few weeks ago, we wanted to achieve 2 goals:
- supply a premium giveaway that didn't involve social media for a change and
- give the talented readers of Android Police a chance to showcase their creativity and leave a permanent imprint on this website's design and identity
After over 140 submissions - some great, some not so good, some incredibly creative and witty, and some hilarious, I've requested your help in selecting your winner by picking the top 20 designs and putting them up for a reader vote.
To be clear, the poll's purpose was to gauge the general public's opinion on the designs to help us select the finalist, but some people took it as a popularity contest and an invitation to cheat.
Update: On further reflection, we're going to tentatively call this image a "rumor" for now, as we have no way to confirm its authenticity, but we have no reason to think these images are fake, either.
Finally, visual proof that unicorns do exist! Someone, somewhere, has leaked a shot of the upcoming Galaxy S II US market handsets headed for three of America's big four carriers (ATT, T-Mo, Sprint). Without further ado, here they are:
Where the image is from, we're not sure (pocketnow provided no details), but it could very well be a slide from Samsung's upcoming press conference to announce the arrival of the first US-friendly Galaxy S II phones.
According to a reliable PocketNow tipster, an upcoming HTC phone codenamed Ruby is set to land on T-Mobile under the moniker Amaze 4G. That's a mighty strong word to live up to, but after seeing the rumored specs of this monster, I pretty sure it will be able to fit the bill with room to spare:
- 4.3 inch qHD display
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8MP rear shooter with dedicated hardware button
The Amaze is rumored to hitting T-Mo retail stores on October 26th alongside the Samsung Hercules, in what is sure to be one beast of a day.
Still holding out for the mythical (pun intended) Samsung Hercules, leaked via a T-Mobile roadmap a couple months back? While we don't have any pricing or release info just yet (though that September 26 release date certainly seems possible), TmoNews has gotten a hold of a few pictures of the device that confirmed it as the 4.5" Galaxy S2 T-Mobile variant.
These pictures don't confirm everything that is rumored about the phone, but they do have some good information in them:
- The Hercules will officially be marketed as a Galaxy S2 phone
- Runs Android 2.3
- TeleNav GPS Navigator and Netflix pre-installed
- 4.5" display
- TouchWiz 4.0
- 8 megapixel camera
- Four capacitive buttons (unlike the international version of the GS2)
Yeah, September can't come soon enough.
Alright, we heard from a lot of you that social contests just aren't up your alley sometimes - so we've listened. Our latest contest gives you the chance to win a T-Mobile LG G2x (courtesy of NVIDIA and Android Police) using only your super-awesome design skills.