One of these things is not like the other…The event was filled with hands on demos of the Galaxy S2 on AT&T as well as the Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch on Sprint. We knew going into the event that for some reason Verizon was not participating in the Galaxy S2 launch. That doesn’t mean for sure that there’s not going to be one, and the rumor mill is practically vibrating at the notion that Big Red didn’t participate because of the impending “Nexus Prime“. While that’s fun speculation, it is a fact that T-Mobile basically didn’t show up tonight. The press release for the T-Mobile Galaxy S2 phone, believed before the event to be the T-Mobile “Hercules”, was non existent. No specs, no details, no launch date. During the event, the T-Mobile phones were kept under glass boxes and no one was allowed to touch them. The T-Mobile employees that were manning the table explained that there were “special features” to the phone that they weren’t ready to announce. As for what it could be? We have some ideas:NFC: It’s possible that the software for NFC, maybe even Google Wallet, is just not ready yet.Not the same chipset: It has been speculated on a number of occasions that the nVidia Tegra2 chipset would end up in one or more of the Galaxy S2 devices. As the manufacturer of the iPad’s A5 chip, which we’ve heard at length from dozens of sources would be in the next iPhone. If Samsung is unable to manufacture the quantity needed to power both the Exynos volume and the A5 volume, they would turn to nVidia. The Tegra2 chipset has been in Samsung products in the past, so maybe there’s a Tegra 2 hiding in the Magenta GS2? Additionally, it has been speculated that there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon inside, in order to take advantage of the 42mbps HSPA+ network that T-Mobile has been touting recently. The Exynos processors in the AT&T version of the phone are only capable of reaching 21mbps on the same network, so maybe T-Mo just went for the full 4G experience?Quad Band: The Galaxy S2 for Tmo might also be insulated for the switch to AT&T by allowing it to function on both networks. This would mean that AT&T would have three large screened Samsung phones that all look pretty similar. So, is it worth it?Samsung’s future across the world might seem unstable, what with Google’s Motorola deal, Apple breathing down their neck, and the rumors that they might be looking at WebOS. The Galaxy S2 is already a couple of months old in the rest of the world, but the US audience has been clamoring for these phones to hit the US. On September 16, the Galaxy S2 will be a staple in the US market, just in time to become a huge success over the holiday season. Unless, of course, the phone gets usurped by any of the phones we’ve heard are on the way that would upstage it. For example:Verizon didn’t even get a Galaxy S2, and while the speculation is that there’s an LTE one inbound, Big Red also has the Droid Bionic and the superhyped Nexus Prime is suspected to be coming to Verizon. Even if Verizon eventually gets a GS2, would it be drowned out in the noise of newer and potentially better phones?Since no one was able to access the T-Mobile version of the device, there’s nothing to confirm or deny that this is the “Hercules” we have heard so much about in recent weeks. While this phone would certainly be a powerhouse on Magenta for a little while, would Samsung usurp it’s own headlining phone?Ice Cream Sandwich is on its way, and Samsung’s decision to switch to Kies Air gives me both good an bad feelings. The good, as I wrote earlier, comes from being able to have one less group to blame when the time comes to ask about updates. The bad is the added complexity of Kies Air. While yes, Samsung has gone a great deal to simplify their Kies application, it still requires installation, download, and the ability to use the app. There will be at minimum a base of technical knowledge needed to update your device, unless the carriers will let you bring the phone in and they offer to do it for you.All in all, the phones are still some of the best on the market, but Samsung’s update history causes me to question how quickly the phones will have the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. Unlike the upgrade from 2.2 to 2.3, this version update promises to be significant, dare I say paradigm shifting in terms of the affect it will have on how Android phones get used. Samsung needs to prove that users will not, once again, be left with a brand new outdated phone.samsung galaxy s2 t-mobilesamsung galaxy s2 t-mobilesamsung galaxy s2 frontsamsung galaxy s2 backDSCN4810DSCN4806DSCN4803 Last evening in NYC, Samsung held a press event to launch the highly anticipated US reveal of the Galaxy S2 suite of devices. As the successor to the original, immensely popular Galaxy S phones, this new wave of phones have some pretty big shoes to fill. The parent device to this series, the original Galaxy S2 European version, has been met with tremendous sales and popularity, and it is expected that there will be just as great interest in the US.A worthy successor Compared to the Galaxy S line, these new phones are really amazing. Dual core, super AMOLED+, 4.3-5-inch screens, and crazy thin and light. The specs really are not what make these phones true upgrades of the former line. In order to be a real upgrade, these phones need to improve the things that were broken in the previous devices, and Samsung has done that.GPS: The scourge of the Galaxy S phones remains to this day some of the worst GPS of any Android phone I have ever used. Some versions of the phone got patches that made it better, but still not great. The Sprint and AT&T Galaxy S2 phones we saw last night locked onto GPS inside a building within seconds and stayed connected with no issues.“Bloatware” removal: While not all of the Galaxy S phones have bloatware as bad as others (I am looking at you, Samsung Fascinate), it was a consistent issue that a lot of software on the phones was impossible to remove. The Galaxy S2 devices, on the other hand, come with much less of the unnecessary software, and the software was just as easy to remove as any other app.Kies Air: Samsung’s Kies software has been used in the past to update Samsung phones since before Android, but it got abandoned slightly for the Over The Air promises made with Android. When a device doesn’t get an update in a timely manner, the blame machine gets pointed in every which direction with incredible delays sometimes. By removing the carrier from the equation, Samsung has opted to use their own software solution to update their devices. This could possibly be a move by Samsung towards the update alliance proposed by Google at this year’s IO, but what it will do for sure is remove one less person to blame.