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Samsung Galaxy S II (T-Mobile)

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

With the Samsung Galaxy S II you get a smartphone with a 4.52″ Super AMOLED+ touchscreen. It’s 4G capable with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Enjoy the speeds of the 1.5GHz dual-core processor that will help run the Android Gingerbread operating system. The rear camera is capable of up to 8 megapixel images and you can record 1080p full HD videos. Show your images and videos with the HDMI out port. There is a front-facing 2 megapixel camera for apps that are like Apple’s FaceTime. There are 16 MB of internal memory which can be expanded using the microSD card slot. Access Netflix and T-Mobile TV on the phone.

Features List:

- 4.52″ touchscreen

- 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

- 1.5GHz dual-core processor

- Android Gingerbread

- 8 MP camera

- 1080p HD video recording

- 16 MB internal memory

- Netflix, T-Mobile TV

Digital Trends’ Cell Phone buying tips:

Apps

If a building is only as good as its foundation, then a smartphone is only as good as its app store. Even as manufacturers continue to stack their handsets with YouTube support, instant messaging, and other essentials right out of the box, the features just don’t add up to the amount of capability a phone can take on in the hands of the right developers: You name it, a good smartphone can do it.

The app store you buy into will have a longstanding effect on the way you use your phone – perhaps more than any other feature. But it’s tough to get a feel for every smartphone app store when you don’t get to push a cart down the aisles until you have a carrier contract in your filing cabinet and there’s no turning back.

Apple’s App Store has been leading the market in sheer numbers of apps since the original iPhone was release. Android is catching up in total numbers and offers a higher ratio of free apps in the Android Market than Apple does. Nokia’s Ovi Store, RIM’s BlackBerry App World and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace all offer quality apps but currently lag far behind Apple and Android.

Best time to buy cell phones

With all major U.S. carriers announcing new phones around the clock and a dozen manufacturers all working overtime to produce the next killer device, keeping track of all the different models in circulation at any given time can seem like a Herculian task. But this frantic pace works to your advantage: Any time is a good time to buy a cell phone, as long as you keep your eyes open.

Jamie Lendino, a contributing editor at PC Magazine, recommends spotting three or four phones that suit your needs, then jumping on whichever one dives in price first. With the rapid pace of cell phones, you shouldn’t have to rest on your laurels for long. “Remember that ‘old’ in the tech world could mean just a few months from now,” says Lendino. Even the original iPhone, a high-demand handset which originally sold for $600, dropped a whopping $200 a little over two months after launch.

Of course, to take advantage of the most attractive phone deals, you’ll need to agree to a two-year service contract with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon. For potential buyers locked into existing contracts, this could mean riding it out with an older phone for a few more months in order to grab the massive rebates available upon renewal. Always call your provider to see if you might be eligible for an upgrade prior to an existing contract expiring. AT&T, for instance, allows customers with monthly bills over $99 to upgrade after just one year – as long as they’re willing to lock into another two years of service.

Mobile operating systems

If you decide to go for a smartphone, choosing the right operating system can be an important factor. The big ones are Apple’s iOS, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, HP/Palm WebOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone (formerly Windows Mobile). Individual preferences reign supreme here, but Apple’s iPhone iOS offers the widest selection of apps and the simplest user interface, RIM’s BlackBerry OS is less intuitive but powerful and reliable, HP/Palm’s WebOS strikes a nice balance between the two, Google Android is among the most flexible, and Microsoft Window Phone 7 offers a refreshing design but it’s still finding its groove.

Different form factors

Even after choosing between a smartphone or feature phone, you have a lot of choices to make to decide what your phone will actually look like.

A full touch layout like the iPhone has become popular for smartphones, but you’ll usually forgo a hard keyboard as a result. Some smartphones like the Droid 2 or the BlackBerry Torch offer a slide-out keyboard as a compromise, but get thicker as a result, too. Many smartphones also dupe the popular BlackBerry design: small screen on top, small keyboard below.

In feature phones, the flip or “clamshell” form factor has proven especially popular because of its small size and the fact that it protects the screen and keys when closed. Phones with both the screen and keypad on a fixed rectangular slab are typically called “candybar” phones. As with smartphones, you’ll many feature phones with dedicated QWERTY keyboards, which can be handy for frequent text messagers.

Whichever you decide to go with, make sure to physically handle the phone at a kiosk or store prior to buying. Pictures can often drastically misrepresent the size of phones.

Choosing a carrier

Because most U.S. cell phone carriers heavily subsidize phone purchases in exchange for two-year contracts, and lock the phones to their networks, your choice of cell carrier will have more impact on which type of phone you end up with than any other factor. If you already have carrier and feel satisfied with it, the choice is easy. If not, you’ll need to choose one.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon dominate the cell phone market in the States. Speaking in very general terms, AT&T has a reputation for having the hottest phones but somewhat flaky service due to its overloaded towers, Verizon has the best reception but expensive rates, T-Mobile and Sprint offer some of the most affordable plans but have  more limited phone selection.

Prepaid carriers like Cricket, Tracfone, and MetroPCS often appear to offer excellent deals, but caveats like poor customer service, limited phone selection and inferior coverage have to be taken into account.