Despite rumors and speculations about the possibility of the Samsung Galaxy S II’s bypassing a U.S. release, recent leaked photos of carrier-branded handsets provide a glimmer of hope for Americans. The most recent one was of a photo of the back of a Sprint handset bearing not only the logos of both Sprint and Samsung but also the Samsung Galaxy S II’s famed 8-megapixel camera.

The This is my next (TIMN) blog received the pair of photos, which it believes to be those of the Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II. Rumor has it that Sprint will rebrand the Galaxy S II as the “Galaxy Within.” Other carriers are also rumored to have their own rebrands of the Galaxy S II: Galaxy Function for Verizon and Galaxy Attain for AT&T.

TIMN’s tipster also said that the Sprint phone will carry Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, which means that it will have native support for Google Talk’s video chat feature.

No release date has been leaked for the Sprint variant, although, it is reasonable to estimate that the Sprint Galaxy Within will start appearing in Sprint stores in summer–if ever the Galaxy S II will make it to U.S. soil.

So, for now, the mantra for eagerly waiting Americans is “hope and pray.” If the Galaxy Within comes, are you getting it from Sprint? Or are you rooting for the HTC EVO 3D?