It was a long wait between the release of the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S II and a version for AT&T, but the U.S. carrier has now ended up with two of them. One version is pretty faithful to the original (check out our review here), and the second version, the Samsung Skyrocket, is what were looking at today. There's a good bit of difference, both the obvious (a larger 4.5-inch screen and an LTE modem) and the not so visible (different chipsets), but the user experience is the same for the most part. Hit the break where we dive in and have a look at what the Skyrocket has to offer, besides having one of the best device names since the OG Droid.
The beautiful screen looks even better at 4.5-inches. Handoff times from LTE to a GSM/HSPA network are quick. HSPA+ fallback when not in an LTE area offers a better experience to the user. Overall the phone is very smooth, like we're used to from the GSII line.
LTE is hard on battery life. A 4.5-inch screen may be too big for some. AT&T's LTE network is in its infancy and still full of holes. The different internals may mean longer wait times for updates from Samsung and AT&T. NFC is once again notoriously absent from the software.
The Skyrocket stays faithful to the Galaxy S II line, offering the same (or better) performance and an identical user experience. AT&T still needs to work on its LTE network, but with a fast handoff and fast HSPA network speeds to fall back on, the casual user will be pleased with its speed on the Internet. The big, beautiful screen and LTE radio are hard on the battery (especially when compared to using it in a non-LTE enabled area) but that can be solved by carrying a spare battery or plugging it in when possible.