Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tabs launched; we go hands-on

We’ve just come from the A-Venue hall in Makati for Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S II. While we’ve seen the Galaxy S II several times before, this is the first time we’ve managed to hold and use the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9.

The Galaxy S II is a 4.3-inch Android 2.3 smartphone that uses a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The display is a Super AMOLED plus deal that’s extremely bright and nice to use. The Galaxy S II is slimmer than its predecessor clocking in at 8.49mm. Samsung’s touting the voice recognition tech that’s inside the Galaxy S II, but until we’ve used it ourselves (the venue was pretty noisy during the event, so testing it was a bit difficult) we’re going to remain skeptical . The whole thing is extremely responsive and quick, which to be honest isn’t much of a surprise – this is a Samsung device after all. And if Globe is to be believed, the Galaxy S II is able to use the telco’s newly minted HSPA+ network, meaning it’s able to surf the web significantly faster than current smartphones. Naturally, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI overlay makes an appearance, which isn’t surprising at this point.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 is the company’s latest foray into the tablet scene. Both sport Android Honeycomb 3.1, and both uses dual-core NVIDIA Tegra processors.

Samsung’s TouchWiz makes an appearance here, although at this point we’re not sure if an entirely new overlay, or just a new theme with a couple of widgets thrown in for good measure, though we’re leaning on the latter. The devices feel light without feeling cheap, and build quality is spot on.

There will be keyboards available for both the 10.1 and the 8.9. Speaking of keyboards, there apparently will be two types – one is designed for your desk, while the other doubles as a nice carrying case.

There’s a 3-megapixel camera on the back, along with a 2-megapixel camera on the front for some sweet, video chat action.

We asked Samsung about their plans for an LTE offering of the Galaxy S II (there is a version of the S II for LTE out in the wild, after all) – alas the Samsung execs were pretty tight lipped about their partnership with Smart, though they haven’t ruled anything out.

Try as we might, there’s still no official word on the prices of the Galaxy Tabs, or when it’s officially going to be available. The Samsung Galaxy S II is already heading to the hands of Globe customers and the unlocked, retail versions will retail for Php 29,990. Samsung is giving discounts to people who preorder the unit – hit up this link. Hopefully we’ll be able to snag units for our own review.