Samsung Galaxy S II: Why I’m Not Buying It (Yet)

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Bravi, Samsung and U.S. wireless service providers. You’ve finally brought the Samsung Galaxy S II stateside, four months after the rest of the world began enjoying the phone’s ultra-thin design, dual-core processor, Super AMOLED display and 8-megapixel camera.

In the tech world, that’s a lifetime. I remember having serious gadget lust for the Samsung Galaxy S II, around the time that some tech publications were reviewing the international version of the phone. “It’s the best Android smartphone yet, but more importantly, it might well be the best smartphone, period,” Engadget raved. “I’ve rarely had reason to look around at the competition since getting my first iPhone, but the Samsung Galaxy S II does a very good job of turning my head,” GigaOM cooed. “But if you’re after a one-word summary of the Samsung Galaxy S2: awesome,” TechRadar marveled.

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still interested in the Samsung Galaxy S II, which launches for $200 on September 16 through Sprint (as the Epic Touch 4G), and sometime in September on AT&T and T-Mobile. As an AT&T customer, I’m particularly happy that its version of the Galaxy S II will use a 4.3-inch display, which I prefer over the 4.5-inch screens of the Sprint and T-Mobile models.

But as the holiday season approaches, curiosity is getting the best of me. Verizon has opted not to sell the Galaxy S II, reportedly because the carrier has something better around the corner called the Droid Prime. According to one rumor from Boy Genius Report, this phone will run a new version of Android, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, and it may pack a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. Google hasn’t detailed what Ice Cream Sandwich will bring to Android, but until I find out, I’m skittish about committing to Samsung’s Android 2.3 smartphone.

There’s a lot happening beyond Android as well. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5 in October, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is getting a major update, with new hardware from HTC, Samsung and others. Why jump the gun on the Galaxy S II when there will be so many more options in about a month?

Four months ago, I would’ve bought the Galaxy S II, probably on some momentary impulse. My iPhone 3GS is looking pretty stale. It’s begging to be replaced. But at this point, I’m willing to wait a little while longer to see what Samsung’s competition brings.

MORE: ‘Nexus Prime’ Rumored for October, Just in Time for the iPhone 5

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