Verizon confirms sales of its Galaxy S II 'superphone' start in July

Other major carriers are also expected to have the hottest new smartphone, made by Samsung

Verizon Wireless Wednesday confirmed that it plans to start selling the Samsung Galaxy S II "superphone" sometime in July, making it one of several U.S. carriers that are expected to sell the device.

In a crowded smartphone market, the Samsung Galaxy S II has garnered unusual attention as it joins a new category dubbed "superphones."

The device has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor and a 4.3-in. Super Amoled Plus touchscreen display. Such features have impressed reviewers around the globe. A reviewer for PC World in Australia recently said the Android device outdoes even the popular Apple iPhone 4.

The Samsung Galaxy S II, first shown at the Mobile World Congress in February, is already on sale in Asia and Europe.

A Verizon spokeswoman said via email that the device is expected to go on sale by the carrier in July, but added that there's "no date just yet." Verizon is reported by Engadget to be using the name " Samsung Galaxy S 2 Function," for the device. Engadget adds that AT&T will use "Samsung Galaxy S 2 Attain" and Sprint will use "Samsung Galaxy S 2 Within."

A Sprint official wouldn't comment on the release date. AT&T couldn't be reached for comment.

The Samsung device has been tested and reviewed on the network of T-Mobile USA by a PC World US reviewer, though the carrier has yet to disclose its name and availability there.

T-Mobile did not respond to a request to comment.

A PC World US review called the device "stunning and speedy" on T-Mobile's network, but criticized call quality as "just average" with some distortion.

That review noted that the Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), an upgrade over the Android 2.2 (Froyo) mobile OS that still runs most other devices. The reviewer said Galaxy S II compares well with other powerful smartphones on the market, such as the HTC Evo 3D, Motorola Atrix 4G and HTCThunderBolt.

Galaxy S II is 4.9 x 2.6 by 0.3 inches, and weighs 4 ounces, less than many powerful superphones that can weigh 5 ounces or more. Reviewers have been impressed with its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, making it comparable to other high-end phones. Video calls are supported by a front-facing 2 megapixel camera.

The Wall Street Journal reported on a Galaxy S II launch in Hong Kong this week, and quoted one official saying that the device will roll out to 140 carriers later this month. Bloggers, and now Verizon, however, are citing ship dates in July.

Unlocked, the device has been priced by various retailers at between $700 and $800. U.S. carriers, though, are expected to subsidize the price for users that buy a two-year service contract. The price tag with such a contract is expected to be between $250 and $300.

The first-generation Galaxy S went on sale last year. Some 14 million units have reportedly been sold.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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