Samsung updates Galaxy S2 with 4G, NFC, bigger screen

While the world awaits Samsung’s next smartphone, the electronics giant has been at work updating its previous premium phone to tour the web at even faster speeds.

Available only on Telstra from this week, Samsung’s Galaxy S2 is now available in a 4G variety, along with a couple of other upgraded features beyond that of the connection speed.

New to this model is the screen, jumping from a 4.3 inch to a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, although keeping the same 800×480 resolution from before. The chip inside has been pushed to a 1.5GHz dual-core chip, up from the 1.2GHz dual-core in last year’s Galaxy S2, and the wireless Near-Field Communication technology has also been thrown into the mix.

Then there’s the connection speed, and with support for 4G LTE built into this phone, you can achieve speeds of up to 40Mbps on the web in metropolitan areas on the fourth-generation connection, or jump on dual-channel 3G and grab speeds of up to 20Mbps.

The Galaxy S2 4G is the second 4G-capable smartphone to launch in Australia, after HTC launched its Velocity handset earlier this year, and is the sixth fourth-gen capable product Telstra has launched thus far, part of a range that includes a tablet and mobile broadband devices.

Most of the other bits and pieces, including the camera, Bluetooth, WiFi, and memory haven’t changed. You still get an 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p Full HD video capture, 2 megapixel front camera, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, microSD slot, and 16GB storage.

The new handset is a little thicker than the S2, though, jumping from 8.5mm to 10mm.

Interestingly, Samsung is releasing this phone with Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”, a far cry from the current Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” released on its Galaxy Nexus last year. We’ve contacted Samsung to find out when this update will be occurring.

There’s no outright cost for the Samsung Galaxy S2 4G, but keen buyers can find the handset for $5 per month on a $59 Telstra Freedom Connect Plan from today.