1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Jan 9, 2012 12:33 PM by tmo_alicia_b RSS

Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?

gsoelex

This could certainly explain why T-Mobile's GS2 was in a glass display case at Samsung's press event on the 30th vice being out in open to be touched, tested, and reviewed by the media.

Samsung must have been too embarassed to let anyone learn of the handicapped cousin of their original highly-popular international model.

 

With the delay in availability date, I am hoping that improvements are being made to T-Mobile's version rather than deletions.  I.e.  quad-band 3G to allow data roaming on both T-Mobile and AT&T networks.

  • 1. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    tidbits

    Exactly what did the Vibrant not have that all GS have?  Last I remember it had everything that all the others aside from the Epic(which has less onboard memory) which had a keyboard.

    gsoelex wrote:

     

    This could certainly explain why T-Mobile's GS2 was in a glass display case at Samsung's press event on the 30th vice being out in open to be touched, tested, and reviewed by the media.

    Samsung must have been too embarassed to let anyone learn of the handicapped cousin of their original highly-popular international model.

     

    With the delay in availability date, I am hoping that improvements are being made to T-Mobile's version rather than deletions.  I.e.  quad-band 3G to allow data roaming on both T-Mobile and AT&T networks.

  • 2. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    gsoelex

    In comparison with original/international version of Galaxy S, T-Mobile's Vibrant is missing mini-touchpad, LED flashlight, front-facing camera, FM tuner, and quad-band UMTS.

     

    I was willing to forgo the first few missing features and bought it, but learned of my mistake when I couldn't roam internationally on 3G, due to lack of 850Mhz Band.

     

    I'm still hoping that future T-Mobile phones will support multiple UMTS bands, otherwise, I'd have to switch to AT&T.  Maybe the merger would be a good thing...  Hmmm...

  • 3. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?

    Mini-touchpad - This is a US Carrier choice and has less to do with tmobile variant specifically than the carriers as a whole deciding they wanted a device that looked less like an iPhone.  Potato/Potat-o, but i wouldn't call this crippiling by any stretch

     

    LED Flashlight - You mean a camera flash? 

     

    FFC - none of the Galaxy S 1's had these....

     

    FM Tuner - Also missing, an 8 track....did any of the Galaxy S US models have one?  Maybe sprint - but this is something that Samsung just doesn't care about

     

    Quad-band UMTS - again, this isn't a Vibrant specific annomoly...it jus isn't built as a world phone

     

    3g roaming - Uhh...you signed up for Tmobile...you might have done some research before hand and find out that Tmo has funky band frequencies that other carriers don't use. But I guess it's the fault of the phone that you didn't....read...anything

     

    Slacker

  • 4. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    gsoelex

    I'm sorry that I hadn't research fully into deep details of various 3G UMTS bands before buying a smartphone.

    But, then, neither does an average consumer.  And, no where on T-Mobile or Samsung websites, in brochures, or by sales rep explain what UMTS or 3G compatibility means.

    When asked about international roaming, most sales reps would have stated that it can be done.

    Heck, even, the back of the box has the words "International GSM Quadband".

     

    And, you know, the phone does work internationally.  For voice and EDGE/GPRS for most networks, but for 3G, it doesn't.  Whether it's the lack of frequencies or lack of handshake with the network.  Same reasons why International version of Samsung Galaxy S and S II would not work on T-Mobile at 3G speed.

     

    As for "signing up", actually, I've been a customer of T-Mobile before even it was T-Mobile (aka Voicestream).  I've seen many friends migrate over to other carriers.  However, I remain faithful, upgrading and extending as the tech grows each year...

     

    BTW, I was comparing against the original version, so I still consider Vibrant (or, any other US version) a crippled phone.  And, yes, I knew beforehand about these missing features, but still decided to buy it, since it was the best T-Mobile has at that time and better than iPh0ne.  Just wish that GSII for T-Mobile will come soon before it's obsolete.

  • 5. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    philyew

    Unless you were planning on getting the phone unlocked and using a local SIM, you probably saved yourself a fortune not being able to do UMTS roaming.

     

    I recently had a short-notice trip to Europe and didn't have opportunity to get my phone unlocked before traveling. As a result I had to make the request for an unlock code when overseas. I ran up a $200 roaming charge in the course of four days, using wifi as much as possible and only opening up wireless data to see if the unlock code had arrived by email, plus doing one unavoidable online transaction. At $15/mb, data roaming is a killer.

     

    "Crippling" implies that something was removed, whereas the normal starting position for all TM 3G/4G devices is to have 1700/2100 mHz as default to support domestic UMTS, requiring that the physical capability to handle other frequencies has to be added.

     

    Providing a capability that most users don't need and many would disable, if ever in a situation where the capability might be used, is simply not going to be a very high priority.

     

    Since GPRS and EDGE are both GSM standards, the international claims are actually legitimate.

     

    As for the other features, the limited effective range of a LED flash was offset to some degree by the enhanced night mode capability. I agree that the gap wasn't fully spanned, but night mode is capable of producing results that might have superficially persuaded TM that an LED flash was not necessary.

     

    At the time that TM will have specified the Vibrant, they were barely started on their HSPA upgrade, but crucially there wasn't a single piece of software capable of supporting HSPA video chat. For example, the first Sprint 4G device with a FFC (the Evo?) had to demo video chat using a slow data connection and was rightly ridiculed by reviewers for the poor performance. It was almost the fall before Qik released their high speed software.

     

    In my view, TM were sensible not to launch a device for which they had high ambitions with new features which would have sucked right out of the box.

     

    As for the button array, as slacker pointed out, all the US variants opted for the four button set. Since the devices varied in other ways, maybe this was something that Samsung pushed, rather than the carrier requested?

     

    With a ton of free apps to handle digital radio, is an FM tuner anything more than just another physical component that can go wrong for most people?

  • 6. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    21stnow

    With a ton of free apps to handle digital radio, is an FM tuner anything more than just another physical component that can go wrong for most people?

     

    If you don't want to use data to listen to local radio, or if no cellular data signal is present, having an FM tuner is of great value.  Some people (I hope I'm not the only one!) still rely on local FM radio in times of emergency.  I have always wanted a tuner in my cell phone, and have had one off and on since 2002.  Broadcast radio groups are lobbying to have FM tuners included on all cell phones, but this is from their desire to have increased revenue.

     

    I understand what you are saying and agree that most people probably won't use the FM tuner on their cell phones.  Many people probably haven't noticed that it's there on phones that do have it.  However, I prefer to have it.

  • 7. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    philyew
    I agree that it provides a niche benefit and is a welcome addition for some people. I just don't think you can consider its omission as "crippling" the device.
  • 8. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    philyew

    850 mHz is a 2G frequency according to the specification and it is present on the device (re-read the note you quoted from the box where it says "International GSM Quadband..." it continues "...850/900/1800/1900..."

  • 9. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    21stnow

    Most other countries (and AT&T) use the 850/1900 bands for 3G.  So 850 is used for 2G and 3G. The Vibrant does not list the 850 band for 3G, only for 2G. The Vibrant does have the 1900 band, however.

     

    So far, the Galaxy S II for T-Mobile is only showing the 1700/2100 bands on board.

  • 10. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    philyew

    If I understand it correctly, the 1900 mhz band is used by T-Mobile exclusively for 2G. 850 mhz isn't used by T-Mobile at all, but is one of the quadband frequencies provided to allow partner roaming for 2G only... The same applies for the other two frequencies - 900 mhz and 1800 mhz...which are just there to enable worldwide 2G roaming.

     

    [As an aside, I thought I saw the 3G icon on my notification bar while in the UK. I was pre-occupied and didn't check to confirm which network I was roaming on at the time. I really don't know how that would even be possible and so I'm putting it down to my imagination...]

  • 11. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    21stnow

    I think that you are correct in that the 1900 band is used for 2G by T-Mobile.  However, the Vibrant has the 1900 band in the 3G radio, as well.  If AT&T allows for their 3G bands to be used/accessed separately, then the Vibrant should be able to get 3G on AT&T, if AT&T has the 1900 band on towers in that area.  This would be true for other carriers around the world that allow for 3G access on the 1900 band separately.

     

    You probably did see the 3G icon on your Vibrant while you were in the UK.  I see it on my Vibrant when I put my AT&T SIM card in.

  • 12. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    tidbits

    slacker wrote:

     

    Mini-touchpad - This is a US Carrier choice and has less to do with tmobile variant specifically than the carriers as a whole deciding they wanted a device that looked less like an iPhone.  Potato/Potat-o, but i wouldn't call this crippiling by any stretch

     

    LED Flashlight - You mean a camera flash? 

    Most people consider that bloat, and one could easily download one from the market and it would do the same thing...

    FFC - none of the Galaxy S 1's had these....

    Only the Epic out of all the US GS variants had a FFC.  Most GS around the world didn't have a FFC.

    FM Tuner - Also missing, an 8 track....did any of the Galaxy S US models have one?  Maybe sprint - but this is something that Samsung just doesn't care about

    This is dying technology and unreliable.  Sure it could help in a emergancy, but with the way battery life is.  It wouldn't help as much in long situations.  A cheap $10 FM tuner would do wonders.  Ultimately online solutions for listening

    Quad-band UMTS - again, this isn't a Vibrant specific annomoly...it jus isn't built as a world phone

    It's quad-band UMTS...  It's a Quad-Band...  It supports 4 frequencies of GSM whether it's AWS or UMTS.  This has NOTHING to do with Samsung or T-Mobile.  The way the US regulates frequencies well... causes this.

    3g roaming - Uhh...you signed up for Tmobile...you might have done some research before hand and find out that Tmo has funky band frequencies that other carriers don't use. But I guess it's the fault of the phone that you didn't....read...anything

    The regulations of frequencies you have to thank our government for that one.

    Slacker

  • 13. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    philyew
    Thanks for that update. I didn't know about the 1900 band in the 3G radio. That's a possible way forward, if 1700 mhz gets diverted to LTE in the event that the takeover goes ahead.
  • 14. Re: Will T-Mobile's Galaxy S II be crippled like the Vibrant?
    21stnow

    Possible may be the key word.  This is an old map of AT&T's 3G coverage.  There are some places that only use the 850 3G band, so the Vibrant still would be reduced to Edge only service.

     

    This gets to be very confusing.  With all the different handsets that T-Mobile customers will have if/when the buyout takes place, I'm sure that the powers that be will try to keep it simple and tell everyone that they will need an AT&T phone to get high speed data.

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