Optus will launch Samsung’s hotly anticipated Galaxy S II Android smartphone on 1 June, and it will be available for $0 on Optus' $79 cap over 24 months.
Read our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone, and check out all the details for the phone's May 27 Australian launch. Techworld Australia: Nokia N9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S 2
Detailed on a dedicated page on the Optus Web site, the Galaxy S II has been made available for pre-order through the telco. The page states that any pre-orders before 28 May will aim to deliver the phone on 1 June, "the day the Samsung Galaxy S II is released in Australia."
The Optus page also states that pre-ordering the phone is exclusive to online customers only, and if customers order online after 28 May, the Galaxy S II will not be delivered to them until after 1 June 2011. Optus will also give away an official Samsung desktop dock with the first 200 pre-orders.
Optus will offer the Samsung Galaxy S II on a range of plans, starting at $0 on Optus’ $79 cap over 24 months. The plan includes $900 worth calls, unlimited SMS and MMS, 3GB of data and unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eBay and Foursquare services in Australia.
In addition to the $79 cap, Optus will also offer the Galaxy S II for $5 per month on the $59 cap ($700 calls, 2GB data), $0 on the $99 timeless extreme plan (unlimited calls, text, MMS, 5GB data) and $0 on the $129 timeless extreme plan (unlimited calls, text, MMS, 6GB data). All plans detailed are over 24 months. For online orders, Optus will offer the first two months of these plans for free.
The Samsung Galaxy S II has a 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 800x480, an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls. It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. The phone runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platform, and features Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 UI overlay. Samsung exclusive features include social hub, readers hub, game hub and music hub, while enhanced corporate and security functions include the implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, on-device encryption and Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client.
Perhaps the most interesting point on the Optus page is the mention of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. NFC is a short-range wireless communication technology; the same used in many new credit cards, whereby the card can be simply swiped across a smart chip to make a purchase. This technology is rumoured to be an inclusion on the upcoming iPhone 5, but we've seen conflicting reports of its inclusion in Galaxy S II devices across the world. Globally, Samsung says it will ship two versions of the Galaxy S II, one with NFC and one without. The latter is what the company has started shipping in Europe, while the Korean version of the Galaxy S II includes the NFC chip. The mention of NFC on Optus' Web site suggests the Australian version of the Galaxy S II will include NFC. (UPDATE: The reference to NFC has since been removed from the Optus Web page).
Although Optus is the only telco so far to officially reveal its plans, the Samsung Galaxy S II will also launch through Telstra and Vodafone. The device is a quad-band 3G smartphone, so it will work across all three network bands used in Australia, including Telstra's 850MHz Next G network.