Samsung Galaxy S II Hits U.S., Will Cost $199 At Sprint

Hurricane Irene may have delayed the party, but as expected Samsung finally launched its Galaxy S II smartphone for U.S. customers Tuesday at an event in New York. AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S), and T-Mobile will carry what’s considered to be one of the top Android phones available at the moment, and it will be priced attractively considering some other recent launches.

Samsung was supposed to have a special event on Monday to commemorate the U.S. launch of the Galaxy S II, which has already sold quite well outside of the country, but the weather had other plans. Still, the event kicked off what could be a very interesting three-month period for smartphone launches, with the iPhone 5 and Android phones based on the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android due out before the holiday shopping season kicks off.

Few surprises were unveiled Tuesday: the Galaxy S II will come with a dual-core chip and Samsung’s Super AMOLED display. It will cost $199 at Sprint, where it will be known as the Epic 4G Touch. Pricing and availability were not specified by AT&T and T-Mobile, but it’s hard to believe they will come in at a much different number: $199 is the sweet spot for smartphone pricing these days. That’s even though Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) doesn’t appear to have received that memo, based on the pricing of its latest BlackBerry Bold devices.

Samsung sold 5 million Galaxy S IIs around the world without having a U.S. version in just the first three months the product was available, so it would seem that this is a pretty well-received phone. Each U.S. carrier appears to have a slightly different version of the phone, but they all sport the same basic hardware under the hood.

The phones will also come with access to Samsung’s Media Hub service for TV shows and movies, which claims to have content from NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) Universal, Paramount, CBS (NYSE: CBS), and Fox (NSDQ: NWS). In addition, Samsung played up the readiness of the phones for business use, highlighting features like encryption and support for Microsoft’s ActiveSync software.