updated 01:10 pm EDT, Sun October 2, 2011
Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy S II hit US in earnest
Samsung brought two of its longest-in-waiting Android devices to the US on Sunday. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 (preview) is now shipping from Best Buy for its promised $470 in a 16GB Wi-Fi version and $570 for a 32GB edition. Both have the same dual-core Tegra 2 chip, three- and two-megapixel cameras, and 0.34-inch thickness of the Tab 10.1, just with a smaller screen.
Also shipping at the same time is AT&T's version of Samsung's smartphone flagship, the Galaxy S II. It stands as the closest a US carrier will have to the original, international version and shares its 4.3-inch screen, dual-core 1.2GHz Exynos processor, eight-megapixel rear camera, and two-megapixel camera.
AT&T's primary additions are a currently inactive NFC chip for short-range wireless payments and tags and a more conventional four-button Android control scheme instead of the more iPhone-like controls outside the US. It sits in between the Sprint and T-Mobile versions for Internet speed with support for 21Mbps HSPA+ data instead of Sprint's 10Mbps on the Epic 4G Touch or the 42Mbps of the T-Mobile edition.
The AT&T model carries 16GB of built-in space and sells for $200 on a contract. Its timing is unusual as it comes just two days before Apple unveils the next iPhone and risks overshadowing Samsung's hardware.