Samsung Galaxy S2 — Question about where to purchase unlocked S2 and using it in the U.S. (+ some other general Q's about the phone)

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Jul 18, 2011 11:02:12 PM

Hey guys. After researching many possible smartphones in the market right now, I am going to go with my first smartphone ever and possibly the best one right now (in my opinion): the Samsung Galaxy S2.

However, I live in the U.S. in which I do not think the galaxy S2 will ever be coming out here. Rumors has it that there’s a downgraded & underclocked S2, titled the “Samsung Galaxy Z” (or Samsung Attain on AT&T) coming out. I do not feel like this cell phone would even be worth getting because if rumors are tread, then this phone will not have the full potential of the S2. Buying a much more inferior version seems useless.

Anyhow, I was hoping people who have bought the unlocked version of the S2 would be able to help me. My questions are as follows:

1) Which online marketplace is the best place to buy an unlocked version of the S2? I have been researching many possible sites for the past few months. It seems NewEgg.com, Amazon.com, and Expansys-usa.com are worthy contenders, but most likely they are outsourcing it from international places. The question then becomes… which one to buy from? Who to trust? Anyone have experience in this arena? There is also another rumor in which Canada is supposedly getting the S2 on July 21st, which is just a few days away from this post. If this proves to be true, maybe the people in the U.S. like me can outsource it from Canada instead…

2) From several reviews online, it seems people worldwide have been getting unlocked S2s with different starting languages/manuals. Are they all the same? Are there any fundamental differences in hardware? If so, which one is best? I only can understand English, so would it be best to buy from a UK source (or another country that has English by default)? Or are all unlocked phones the same? I assume there is an option to change language since it would seem like a smartphone of this caliber would have universal language settings (similar to the iPhone).

3) My main carrier is AT&T. What would I need to do to experience compatibility with this network? I would like to see if I can still get HSPA+ (~ 4G speeds as claimed by AT&T, so to speak). Is there a special SIM from AT&T or tweaking within the phone I need to do to achieve this? Do I have to tell notify AT&T as well? What do I need to do to ensure compatibility with that network & the speeds I would like to achieve?

4) Since there is no manufacturer’s warranty on this unlocked version, do you know if resellers off their own coverage/return policy? Say I buy an unlocked version, and there are problems with it 10 days out. Technically, I could not ask Samsung for help because there is no warranty, but would I be able to return it to the place I bought it from? Anyone here who has had problems with this phone, but resolved it somehow?

5) What is a good screen protector for this phone? I have used the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD before, but I’ve heard that it does not work too well with the S2 due to the screen? Some people have mentioned SGP Oleophobic.

6) Last, but not least… would an unlocked Galaxy S2 still be able to update to the latest Android OS?

Phew. That is all. Thank you!!!!

Jul 19, 2011 2:42:23 PM

Hi Jordan,

welcome to AndroidPIT!

So, here are my 2 cents:

1 + 4) I would buy it on amazon.com... big site and almost no problems if you have to use the warranty

2) As long it is not chinese we could solve a language problem together... don´t you think? :grin:

3) The S2 isn´t capable using LTE or 4G

5) I can´t answer

6) Why not? The only problem might be with custom roms.

Jul 19, 2011 7:57:42 PM

Hi Andreas,

Thank you for getting back to me!

1) Do you know which reseller on amazon.com would be the best one to buy from? It seems on the actual site, there are many other stores that I could purchase from, all of them are sold through the big amazon website, but they are probably shipping differently in different places/languages/etc. Do you have any experience with any of them? Current ones I see are actual amazon.com (which says it ships in 2-5 weeks, too long for my likings), Go4Computers, WorldWideDistributors, OEMShop, and so forth.

3) I've heard that this phone can achieve HSPA+ speeds (from gsmarena, it lists around HSDPA, 21 Mbps) which are not quite 4G. In the U.S., my carrier AT&T has another phone: the Samsung Infuse i997 4G, in which it is currently using those speeds. Would the S2 be capable of using those speeds? I originally wanted to get the Infuse, but it was too big and lower spec than the S2 for my likings. I read somewhere the S2 would be able to achieve this speed since the Infuse (with AT&T) can.

Thank you again!