Samsung is set to launch the highly anticipated dual-core Galaxy S II Android phone on 26 May in Australia, following its launch in Korean and UK markets.
Read our detailed Samsung Galaxy S II preview, and see how the Samsung Galaxy S II stacks up against the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc in our smartphone showdown.
The company sent out a media invite this morning for the Galaxy S II launch event, describing it as "the biggest mobile phone launch for Samsung this year." The event is set for an afternoon start on Thursday 26 May, and will run overnight and finish on Friday morning, 27 May.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone will launch across all Australian networks including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, though it is not yet known if the device will initially be released on a single network with an exclusivity period. The Samsung Galaxy S II 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.
The 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 best feature of the Samsung Galaxy S II Android phone is its design; the smartphone is just 8.49mm thick, making it thinner than the iPhone 4 and likely the thinnest smartphone in the world. Although it features an all-plastic design like its predecessor, the Galaxy S II has a carbon-like finish on its rear battery cover.
The Samsung Galaxy S II may also come with an integrated Near Field Communications (NFC) chip. 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 smartchip 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. 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. It is not yet known if the Australian version of the Galaxy S II will include NFC.
Although the Galaxy S II launch event is scheduled for late May, the phone is unlikely to be available in Australian stores until June. The device has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from experts around the world, and the hype seems to have done Samsung plenty of favours -- it claimed earlier this week that three million Galaxy S II devices have been pre-ordered globally.