The first big surprise was the improvement in processor power, from a 1GHz dual-core option to a 1.2GHz dual core Exynos CPU instead. Simon Stanford, the UK and Ireland MD for Samsung's mobile division, said it was about showing leadership:
"That's a case of showing our technical superiority, we should be doing that, we are hugely ambitious organisation, so if we're going to launch something as great as the Galaxy S2, we're going to launch it with the best technology packed in we possibly can."
There at the start
"We can't say our phones have got the latest hardware if it will be superseded quite soon, and this is just the start.
"We will always do that, that's why we want to become synonymous with excellent hardware, the latest OS and great content side of things coming through.
"You can imagine where phone technology will go soon; it's a very exciting future and I've seen some great things coming down."
While Stanford wouldn't give any more information on what that technology would look like, when asked if the curved screen from the Google Nexus S would be making a comeback he said;
"I would say we would certainly look at the positive feedback we've had from that phone."
One of the biggest mysteries in terms of missing tech centres on the NFC technology Samsung touted in its Galaxy S2 at launch at MWC earlier this year.
Stanford didn't give an explicit reason for the beepy-tech switcheroo, but did hint that Samsung was keen to get its market-leading device into the hands of consumers as soon as possible and rectify the issue later:
"I'm not 100% sure why [NFC] was taken out of this specific market model; a lot of it could be due to time to market and there may well be some iterations coming along.
"You have to remember that the UK was the first launch market outside Korea for the Galaxy S2, so I think that making sure elements like low weight and improved rigidity meant [removing NFC] was deemed necessary to get the perfect device out there, especially as the technology is still quite fledgling."
We're still waiting to see if the NFC-packing Samsung Galaxy S2 will cost any more than the original device, but if the contactless technology takes off in the next year there will be many disgruntled early adopters that find their phone doesn't have all the market-leading technology Samsung is promising.
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Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.