Probably one of the chief reasons that the major mobile carriers in the United States have been mum about the Samsung Galaxy S II’s arrival on American shores is that the blockbuster Samsung smartphone is not arriving at all as the black slab of beauty and power that the rest of the world has come to know and love. Instead, a Samsung Galaxy S II variant bearing a slide-out horizontal QWERTY keyboard is heading to U.S. mobile carriers–the one that’s heading to AT&T anyway.
The latest word says Verizon will be the first to get its hands on the Samsung Galaxy S II, to be called the Samsung Function, with handsets appearing in Verizon stores as early as August 12. Daryl Deino of Examiner.com quoted Paul Mueller, an industry analyst based in Los Angeles, who tweeted that the Samsung Function “will arrive first on Verizon and then the rest of the carriers within a month. Samsung will market this directly against the iPhone 5.” We have yet to verify whether the Verizon version will be the same variant as AT&T is getting or the same plain candybar as the rest of the world saw.
Meanwhile, photos of the rumored Samsung Galaxy S II slider QWERTY variant expected to reach AT&T next month have cropped up. Tech blog Boy Genius Report has gathered exclusive live images of the handset and its keyboard. The device will take on the name Samsung Attain on AT&T, according to earlier reports, although that currently stays within the realm of rumor and speculation.
The leaked photos show the device’s model number as SGH-I927, with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread onboard. The keys on the 4-row QWERTY keyboard are floating, completely separate from one another, flat rather than domed, and generously spaced apart. QWERTY lovers will probably love the spacing between keys, as that would mean avoiding accidental hitting of two keys at a time.
The back cover has a rubber-like stud-textured finish–not quite like the one on the original Samsung Galaxy S II, whose back cover we find to be more elegant-looking. The camera array is wider than in the original S II and also houses what seems to be the phone’s speakers.
The AT&T variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II will expectedly be thicker than the original Galaxy S II because of the slider keyboard, although Boy Genius Report finds the phone’s depth to be still relatively thinner than other slide-out QWERTY smartphones.
All the other delicious hardware specs in the original Samsung Galaxy S II seems to be intact in the AT&T variant–that is, the dual-core 1.2-GHz processor (some rumors say the clock speed will be raised to 1.4 GHz, allegedly to take the iPhone 5 head-on), 1 GB of RAM, 8-megapixel primary camera, 2-megapixel secondary camera, and 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen.
Reactions about the presence of a QWERTY keyboard on the U.S. variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II have been mixed. Some love it, other’s don’t. What about you? Do you want your Samsung Galaxy S II with or without a sliding QWERTY?
Image credit: Boy Genius Report