Samsung Galaxy S II trickles out across Europe

Retailer Expansys has taken delivery of almost 600 units and 1,000 more are expected tomorrow

The Samsung Galaxy S II has started to arrive across Europe, but seemingly only in limited volumes and support for NFC is missing.

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The smartphone has landed in the warehouse of online electronics retailer Expansys in England, the company said in a Twitter message on Tuesday. Expansys managed to get almost 600 units, which will be shipped to customers across Europe who ordered the device in advance, according to Masa Pozar, community and public relations manager at Expansys Europe. The company expects another 1,000 units to arrive Wednesday, she said.

The smartphone costs €599.99 (US$887) in the French store and £519.99 in the U.K store.

The smartphone is also available in the U.K. via retailer Phones 4u's website. On Tuesday, Phones 4u's customer service said that it was experiencing some issues with the delivery of the phone, but customers should receive their phones in about a week.

The Samsung Galaxy S II was announced at Mobile World Congress in February. Just like many new high-end smartphones it comes with a dual-core processor, which originally had a clock speed at 1GHz, but that was subsequently increased to its current 1.2GHz.

The Android 2.3-based phone also has a 4.3-inch screen with a 480 x 800 resolution and weighs 117 grams. The back camera has an 8-megapixel resolution and LED flash and the front camera has 2-megapixel resolution.

Another important new feature is a built-in chipset for NFC (Near-Field Communications), a technology that can be used to pay for goods, redeem coupons and use store merchant loyalty cards.

However, when the smartphone was launched, Samsung said it would ship two versions, one with NFC and one without. The latter is what the company has started shipping in Europe, according to Samsung's Michael Alström, senior product manager with responsibility for NFC and 4G in the Nordic countries. Samsung wanted to start shipping the Galaxy S II as soon possible and chose to prioritize the model without NFC. All of its efforts are now directed at getting that version out the door, according to Alström. The version with NFC will arrive in the coming months, he said.

Samsung's Nordic warehouse has also taken delivery of the Galaxy S II, but doesn't want to give detailed information on how many units it has ready for shipments to retailers and operators. Telenor in Sweden will start selling the smartphone on May 12, a spokeswoman said via e-mail.

Details on availability in the U.S. have so far been scant. But Samsung and AT&T have sent press invitations for a May 5 event, without saying what they will talk about. The Galaxy S II is one possible topic, but so are other smartphones such as the Infuse 4G.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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