Black Friday Shocker - My Plans Averted


This has been a crazy year for gadget shopping and Black Friday. I had somewhat of a clear plan of attack, and it was derailed.

As you know, I've been salivating over the Samsung Galaxy Note II phablet. I was eligible for an upgrade in October (or so I thought). Once the price of $299 was unvelied for the second generation Note, I decided to wait it out for a while.

But something happened that forced me to change my plans. My daughter lost her Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone on the day before our family vacation. So I decided to go for the Note 2 now, and hand off my current Galaxy S2 to my daughter because she wasn't due for an upgrade.

I was really excited about getting the Note 2 even though I wasn't ready to part with the money. So I perused the web for Black Friday deals. The lowest price I found was $249 through Amazon.

Before ordering the phone, I decided to make a quick trip to the AT&T store in Ohio where I was spending Thanksgiving. I wanted to hold it in my hands for the first time. I had tested a first generation Note before, but I wanted to see how the new form facctor would feel.

Right off the bat, my first thought was "this smartphone is way too big". I was shocked that I had such a reaction. I've been wanting a humongous smartphone since the first generation Note was released. This was the moment I had been waiting for, and I didn't have that "magic feeling" that I was expecting.

The store did not have a working model, and I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to try out the new S Pen and all of its features. I thought that maybe my mind would change and I'd feel better about the size if I had a chance to test drive the stylus.

I played around with a few other smartphones, including the Galaxy S III, the HTC One X, and the Nokia Lumia 920. I was most impressed with the Lumia 920, and started having thoughts of making a switch in my game plan.

Even though the Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 was clearly the most intuitive and impressive operating system of all, I admitted to myself that I'm not ready to ditch Android and make such a big switch. So I stayed focused.

I fondled the Galaxy Note II one more time, then I left the store more confused than when I had arrived. I went back home to drop the dough on a new phablet.

When I logged into my AT&T account, I was met with a surprise: I wasn't eligible for an upgrade!

Apparently, AT&T changed the rules on early upgrades for the primary account holders of family plans. The old rule was that you could do an early upgrade and new 2-year contract at the end of a year. But the new rule is 18 months minimum time before you can do an early upgrade.

At first, I was frustrated and angry. But afer I settled down, I was actually relieved that this happened. I wasn't ready to pull the trigger, and I'm finding that I am undecided on what I want with a smartphone.

By the time I am eligible for an upgrade, I probably won't be getting a Galaxy Note II. I will have had enough time to make a well-informed decision, and I'll have a better gadget strategy.

I'm leaning towards going back to Gadget Strategy B, which is having a smartphone that is actually a phone, then a 7" WiFi tablet, and my laptop. Who knows... maybe I'll get my stylus craving settled with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

In the meatime, my money will be staying in my bank account.

Carlton Flowers
Frustrated Gadget Addict

Five Bucks That Might Save Me $299 For Three Months


Today I made a bee-line to Walgreens after work to spend five bucks on something that will save me $299 and a new contract... for a little while, anyway.

While at work, my fellow engineer and good buddy Deronn Williams was poking around on his Sprint Samsung smartphone with a brightly colored stylus that caught my eye. With a big grin on his face, he showed off the little $5 capacitive touch stylus that he purchased from Walgreens.

Upon inspection, I noticed right off the bat that it was 100% better than the box of 100 styluses that I bought directly from China that I thought would make me rich a couple of years ago.

Surfing the Alibaba site one night, I discovered the rubber-tipped stylus that I had my sights set on for a seriously low price. Instead of the going rate of $15, I was able to land a whole case of these little wonderful things at fifty cents apiece. I planned on selling them for $5 each and making a handsome profit.

Big mistake...

When I got the box, the styluses had a rubber ball-shaped tip that skidded across the screen of my then-iPhone 3GS, and the performance was less than crappy. The way they were made caused them to skip, and made using them nearly useless.

Fast-forward a couple of years and the new and improved rubber-tipped smartphone styluses started popping up that had a thinner hollow tip. They worked perfectly, but were priced at around $20 each. I wanted one, but was too cheap to buy them at that price.

Today, after trying out my buddy's stylus and discovering that they actually glide smoothly across the screen of the display while working perfectly with no skipping, I decided to rush to Walgreens and get my own.

I arrived at the store and went straight for the jug of $5 brightly-colored styluses and picked up a florescent orange one that would give me the best chances of seeing when placed within the piles of junk on my desk.

While using it, I was so pleased with the performance and how it made using my Samsung Galaxy S2 so much easier. Pecking on the keyboard was a snap, and gliding through apps and screens was almost flawless.

If you haven't noticed, I've been salivating over the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 through AT&T Wireless for months on end. I've lost sleep dreaming of the day that I would pick one up for $299 on an early 1-year upgrade, to enjoy the magical and highly advanced S Pen stylus. But I don't have a spare $299 sitting in my pockets to be the first in line (iPhone commercial joke) to get one.

But with this wonderful cheap $5 Walgreens capacitive touch smartphone stylus, I think I can survive a few more months with my beloved Samsung Galaxy S2 while I wait for my wallet to fluff up to the tune of $299.

Using my Samsung Galaxy S2 with a docking station, bluetooth keyboard, and fantastic day-glow orange rubber tipped stylus is pure smartphone enjoyment. It's so easy that I use my laptop a lot less. Writing emails is super easy, and gliding through my apps is seriously fun with the stylus.

Don't get me wrong, I would still like to have all of the amazing features of the S Pen stylus on the Galaxy Note 2. Namely, the ability to have a pressure sensitive effect that has 1,200 levels of sensitivity. Plus, the hovering effect for previewing content and the ability to crop out screen shots would be fantastic.

But this little five dollar wonder will definitely hold me over for at least a few months. I don't care if it only lasts 2 or 3 weeks before wearing out. All I would have to do is make a Walgreens run and pick up another one, or buy one on Amazon for a buck.

The good thing is, this might help me to extend the use of my current smartphone and slow down my upgrade fever, thus giving me more value for my money.

If you haven't tried the newer soft-tipped hollow rubber tipped styluses for your smartphone, I would highly recommend that you give it a try. Sure, they don't have the accuracy of a pointy tipped S Pen, but they certainly have a great amount of functionality for the money.

I would even recommend these lovely little things for iPhone users, especially since you won't be seeing anything like an S Pen (or shall we call it and iPen?) anytime in the near future.

If you are bent on using a stylus like I am, go grab one and tell me what you think. Or if you currently have one, tell me if you are a fan of the new and improved capacitive touch styluses in the comments section!

Looks like I will be able to spend an extra $299 on Christmas presents this year!

Carlton Flowers
Stylish Stylus Enthusiast


2 Things That Take the Samsung Galaxy 2 Over The Top


All it takes is a couple of tweeks and your gadget can become a portable computer! Check out the video to see what 2 small things take my smartphone experience to the stratosphere.

This is part of the reason I absolutely love my Samsung Galaxy S2 and will be sad to see it go when I upgrade to the Galaxy Note 2. But I must evolve!

Do you have a favorite accessory that makes your smartphone a force to be reckoned with? Share it in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Accessorizer Extreme


CZ Tech Talk - Upgrade Fever Fries My Brain


Hey guys & gals. This is one of those posts where Carlton just speaks his mind. I'm not writing this post to win a Pulitzer. I'm just writing it to dump a few thoughts from my mind at the present moment.

Today, I have upgrade fever. It's official. I can't hold it in any longer. I am conflicted. Deeply conflicted. Hopefully you will understand the fullness of my conundrum by the end of this rambling post. Maybe you can even relate.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S2. I love it. It's my beloved smartphone that freed me from the controling confines of the Apple walled garden cult. I will never look back. This is probably one of my most beloved favorite gadgets since the Commodore 64. I'm serious.

But the upgrade frenzy has hit me, and I don't know what to do. I have had a chance to have the Samsung Galaxy S3 for 2 weeks, thanks to AT&T St. Louis, and it was a most wonderful experience. Plus, Postal Jim owns one, and I have had the opportunity to test drive his and compare it side-by-side with my Galaxy S2.

But now the Galaxy Note II is set to launch on AT&T this October. And it is a wonderful, amazing device. It will feature a quad core processor and a newer capacitive induction S-Pen stylus that is even more amazing than the first rendition.

The Galaxy Note II will have a physical home button just like ths Galaxy S III, plus it will have an even bigger display. It's going from 4.8" on the S3 to 5.3" on the Note 2. That's tremendous. This will erase any need for a tablet, that's for sure.

But what truly distresses me is the news that Postal Jim sent me earlier in the week. There are rumors swirling that Samsung will be releasing a Galaxy S4 in February of 2013. Of course that all hinges on the world not ending with the close of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012, but we shall see.

If the world does not implode, what will happen if I have a Samsung Galaxy Note II in my hands, and then the Samsung Galaxy S IV comes available from AT&T with a six-core CPU and more extras than any smartphone has ever seen before?

I really don't know what I would do. I guess that's just the speed of technology. Since making the big switch from the World of Koolaid (Apple iPhones) to the Land of Freedom (Android), I have not gotten used to significant updates on devices within short periods of time.

I'm used to Apple taking baby steps and spending at least 2 years before making a new device that would even wake you up and make you stop and take note. I'm not used to having a new breakthrough cutting edge device thrown in my face every six months.

But I guess that's the price you pay for freedom. Well, unless Apple sues the pants off of Samsung in the near future and they win, and stop them from making devices that are FAR better than their own. What a shame that would be.

So my current thought is that I should go ahead and pay the $199 (or whatever it may be) to upgrade my line as soon as it is possible, and get my grubby hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note II in October. Then when February rolls around, Postal Jim will buy the Galaxy S IV with the six core CPU and a huge 5.0" display, and I will at least be able to play with it and drool over the features until I can get the Galaxy Note III.

That really sounds silly. But I can live with it! Meanwhile, I'm sure Apple will have a phone that comes out giving the Samsung Galaxy S2 a run for it's money... by 2013.

Carlton Flowers
Upgrade Infected Geek

Samsung Galaxy S3 Review - Part Deux


It's time for part 2 of the Samsung Galaxy S3 review that was provided to me by AT&T St. Louis (THANK YOU!) for thorough testing.

I've got more stuff to say about the hardware of the flagship phone that will now be in the spotlight, since Apple has banned its predecessor, the iPhone 4S Galaxy S2 clone.

The shape, form, and function of the Galaxy S3 is a hit. It is ergonomic. Never would I have thought that a gigantic 4.8" display smartphone would fit so well in your hand. The only drawback is not being able to reach a good portion of the upper left screen with your thumb. But it's worth the sacrifice.

The colors of the brushed polycarbonate body are very pleasing to the eye. The Marble White and Pebble Blue have a sleek look, and the blue looks almost metallic.

The polycarbonate makes for a light phone, and that means you'll always have whiners who say it feels "cheap". But the reason this happens is due to Apple brainwashing people into thinking smartphones should weigh 5 pounds and have thick glass screens that shatter on impact.

If you haven't been mentally programmed by Apple, you will probably think this phone has a high quality build and you will appreciate the lightness.

Something new about the Galaxy S3 is the location of the lock button. With its new super large size, it has been moved to the side instead of the top. It's a whole lot easier to access the lock button with one hand at its new location.

A huge advantage that continues on with the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the removable battery. You don't get that with other brands. The battery cover is easy to remove, and the humongous super efficient battery pops right out. On that note, I must say that the battery life of the S3 was very impressive.

When you pop off the back cover, you'll notice that you don't have to remove the battery to get to the SD card slot or the SIM slot. Other models like to hide these items behind the battery.

The last thing I will mention in this post is the speed of the device. With a quad core 1.4GHz processor and 1Gb of RAM, aplications fly. There's no "glitchyness" in scrolling, loading, or running apps.

From my testing, the cameras have been improved and so has the camera software. It's packing 8 megapixels in the back and 2 megapixels in the front. Plus you have the new picture sharing capability, where you can send pics to other S3 devices in close proximity.

Next we'll talke more about hardware upgrades, and software functionality. I have a lot to share about this phone. I'll admit, it was an instant love affair when I took it out of the box, and my adoration for this device did not end when I had to sadly pack it up and send it back.

Do you own a Samsung Galaxy S3? What are your favorite new features? Talk about it in the Disqus comments section below!

Carlton Flowers
Samsung Tester

Want A Samsung Galaxy S2? Better Get It NOW


Folks, this is your last chance to buy the unbreakable version of the iPhone 4. It's called the Samsung Galaxy S2. It could be pulled from shelves in the near future.

After a recent landmark court case proved that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is in fact the iPhone 4S in an unbreakable case with a better display, Apple has decided to bench the superior version of their smartphone. This leaves consumers with the more fragile, smaller version of the iPhone 4S.

If you want to get your hands on the higher quality version that costs about $90 less than the original iPhone 4S, you better hit the link below to get your hands on one for as low as $10. It's still available from Amazon Wireless.

But seriously, my friends, I recommend buying the Samsung Galaxy S3 from AT&T first and foremost, then other carriers, versus the Galaxy S2. But if you don't have a need for the latest-greatest, the Galaxy S2 is an amazing smartphone to have at a great price.

Too bad banning the Galaxy S2 will only lead to stronger sales for the Galaxy S3 and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 2. But time will probably teach the best lesson.

UPDATE: Sorry, but it is GONE! Sadly, the Galaxy S2 is not for sale on Amazon any longer. But you can check out the great deals on the Galaxy S3 by clicking the links below.

Carlton Flowers
Deal Watcher

Grab a Samsung Galaxy S3 now from from $99 to $189 with a 2-year contract! Click the links below to check them out from the AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint stores on Amazon now!

AT&T Galaxy S3 From $189

Verizon Galaxy S3 From $149

Sprint Galaxy S3 From $99

The Search For "Blog Mojo" - Shocking Confessions


Three weeks, four days, 17 hours, 34 minutes, and 15 seconds... is exactly not the amount of time that has passed since my last blog post.

In fact, I don't have any idea how long it has been. So while I am searching for my blog mojo, I'm gonna fill you in on the secrets of my rising and falling site traffic.

When I first started blogging a few years ago, I could not decide what in the wide world to focus on and write about. I had three major topics of interest, and tried to balance them all. I sure thought it worked, but my website traffic said the complete opposite.

I struggled to write every week, with hopes to reach the ever elusive level of 100 visitors per day. I thought it would be an impossible task that would take years to achieve. But I actually hit the goal in May of 2011. That was just the beginning of the excitement...

You see, I got lucky. Right about the time that rumors were flying about the yet-to-be-named Samsung Galaxy S2 from AT&T, I happened to write a story about the "Attain".

That was the rumored name at the time. As luck would have it, I was one of very few writers who wrote articles about the Attain, and I eneded up on page 1 of the Google SERPs for that search term.

I continued to write about the Attain, and I sraped every single bit of information from the web on the details surrounding the specs and the release of the smartphone. My blog traffic started to spike.

By July, I was well into the range of 300 visitors per day and growing. I didn't just write about the rumors surrounding the Attain, I also gave my own opinion and predictions about the release. I hit a bullseye.

During the month of August, leading up to the official release of the naming for the Samsung Galaxy S2, I surpassed 1,000 visitors per day and peaked at 1,350 in one day. This was something that went far and beyond my wildest dreams.

But after the release of the flagship smartphone, while the dust started to settle, so did my site traffic. But I still had a base level of 300 to 500 visitors per day thanks to a handful of informative posts I wrote on various technical topics.

I continued to cover smartphone and gadget news, and caught the eyes of several corporations. I have been given devices from some companies to write about, and I also was blessed to have been contacted by AT&T of St. Louis to review smartphones and tablets. This kept my traffic at a respectable level.

But lo and behold, I had an event that all but killed my website traffic. I had to switch blog site hosting providers from Quansite (of California) to Squarespace. After making the switch, I discovered that my blog site was so big, it was impossible to import all of my old posts.

That meant I was left to start from square one with Squarespace. My traffic took a nose dive as my most popular posts now pulled up "404" errors. But I love the new format of Squarespace and I am not regretting making the switch.

Right now I am suffering from a case of lost "blog mojo", and I am having the hardest time finding my "voice". When I first started blogging, my style was professional and "newsy" sounding. Over time, I started to write with more humor and sarcasm, which is a natural fit for me.

But I still have not found my perfect "voice". Once I do, I think I will successfully rebuild my blog site to its former glory. But in the meantime, I am going to commit to writing about anything on my mind that is related to the tech sector. I might even throw in a few articles that deal with technology and marketing.

So while I continue the search for my mojo, please, I beg you, if you are reading this, encourage me in the comments section and let me know if you like my new "natural" style and tell me what you'd like me to write about.

I hope you enjoyed this shocking confession. And I look forward to your comments!

(Cue the crickets)

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Geek Supreme


Best Android Phone Deals - Samsung Galaxy S2 Price Drop!


By now you know that the Samsung Galaxy S2 smartpone is one of my favorite Android devices, and it's one that all of the members of my family own. I purchased my own Galaxy S2 the month it was released, and I also purchased two additional S2's for my college "kids".

My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket, which was released only a month after I purchased my Galaxy S2 smartphones. But the SGS2 is still a great deal, especially with the price dropping action going on at Amazon Wireless!

You'll get 16 gigabytes of storage, a gorgeous 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display, a fantastic 8Mp rear camera, a 1.3Mp front-facing camera, HD video capability, fast HSPA+ 4G download speeds on the AT&T Network, and a whole lot more with this steal of a deal smartphone.

Go check out the Galaxy S2 right now on the Amazon Wireless store if you are in the market for a great smartphone at an extremely low price. I will always keep you posted when great deals break over on Amazon when it comes to the best Android devices on the market. Enjoy!

Carlton Flowers
Android Watchdog


Upgrade Madness - Android Conversion, My Personal Story


Howdy folks! Here's another post from the former blog that got eaten by the ugly blog host provider switch monster. This was a really good story about my most recent upgrade, when I moved from my iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy S2.

What got my blood pressure up was the fact that they released a better phone only 3 or 4 weeks after I made my purchase. I'm still satisfied with what I've got, but this is quite an entertaining story. Enjoy!

Getting Off The Upgrade Merry-Go-Round (October 2011)

Yesterday, BGR ran an exclusive story about AT&T launching the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid for $100 less than the expected release prices.

The Skyrocket was reported to be $150, and the Vivid $99. As soon as I heard the news from my good buddy Tim Largent, I nearly stroked out. My heart rate raced.

I quickly did the math in my mind to figure out if I was still within my 30-day grace period of purchasing my Galaxy S2 smartphone. I figured that I had two weeks left. My first thought? Get this thing back to the AT&T Store and trade it straightway for a Skyrocket.

When I bought my Galaxy S2, the selling price was $199. However, it was being sold on the Amazon site at $149. I’m an Amazon affiliate, and I had planned on purchasing my SGS2 online. But I sold my iPhone 4 so fast, I had to get my SGS2 locally so I could reset the iPhone and get it shipped out in the promised time frame.

I called my local AT&T Store and asked the sales staff if I could possibly purchase my SGS2 for the same price that it was being sold on the Amazon website, and also at Walmart for $50 less, and they agreed. I was ecstatic.

I made the purchase for $149, bought a couple of accessories, and off I went to the post office to ship off my iPhone 4. Life was good, and I was glad to have finally settled in with my new Android phone.

What a relief it was to step off of the smartphone upgrade merry-go-round… or so I thought. A few weeks later, and this bogus story on BGR pops up about the Galaxy Skyrocket.

Compared to the Galaxy S2, the Satellite has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual core processor (which is slower than the Exynos 1.2GHz CPU), plus the bigger 4.52” display that would suit me well. Plus, it is equipped with an AT&T LTE radio.

I have been perfectly happy and content with my Galaxy S2, and I actually like the 4.3” size a little better than the bigger 4.52” display. But for the same exact price, LTE capability, and a faster CPU, I figured this was well worth the $35 restocking fee for a straight trade.

It took 4 attempts before I finally got through to a sales rep at the local store. But during the time that passed before I got to a live person, I started to doubt whether or not I really needed to be doing the trade in the first place.

The big worry I had was the larger display. Problem is, I can barely text with one hand using the 4.3” display. That extra little 1/8 of an inch would probably stretch my ability to use the phone one-handed.

Plus, I use my smartphone to track my running exercise. I do 5 mile+ runs three times per week, and I use the Runtastic app to track my time and distance. 4.3” is the biggest size phone I can comfortably grip when running for an hour.

Another thing that went through my mind was the fact that we may not even see LTE coverage in Jefferson City for another year or two. AT&T isn’t really slated to have nationwide LTE coverage until the year 2013.

So that meant the only advantage would be the slightly faster processor.

Well, I finally got through to a salesperson and asked whether or not I could do a trade. The sales clerk said yes, as long as I paid the $35 fee. I told her that I had heard the Samsung Galaxy S2 Satellite was being sold for less than the original price of the regular Galaxy S2,which was $149.

She placed me on hold to check and verify the price. She came back and told me that there was no such sale going on. The Galaxy Satellite was still $249, and the HTC Vivid was still $199. She had no idea where that pricing information had come from, and I told her that it was reported on a major tech blog site.

I thanked her for helping me, and hung up the phone relieved that I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble to switch, or put up with the 4.52” display. I decided to go back to the BGR blog post to see if I could find an explanation for such a glaring error.

Where did they get their information, I wondered?

To my surprise, they added an update to the post which explained that the sale pricing was apparently being offered only in certain regions.

I would like to thank BGR for sending me on a wild goose chase and getting my blood pressure up over nothing. I should have trusted my gut feeling and not even let this phase me or tempt me.

But this is what happens when technology moves so fast that you can’t guarantee your phone won’t be obsolete during your 30-day return period.

After being tempted by having LTE phone, I decided to take a look at the AT&T coverage map. Of course we won’t have LTE any time soon, but I wanted to at least check to see how the HSPA+ “fake 4g” coverage was in our area.

Come to find out, in Central Missouri, we don’t even have HSPA+ coverage yet. So why all the fuss anyway? I think I can turn a deaf ear to all of the new gadgets coming out and end my upgrade envy now.

And hey, I’ll be satisfied when the day comes that I can at least get the fake 4G download speeds on my Samsung Galaxy S2.

Do you have any crazy stories about upgrading, waiting to upgrade, or getting off of the upgrade vicious circle? Spout off in the comments below and tell me how you really feel about it!

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Man

Click the link below to see the deals!


Grab your Samsung Galaxy S2 right now and you will enjoy a super capable smartphone with a 4.3" Super AMOLED Display, 1.2GHz dual core cpu, 16Gb of storage, 1Gb of RAM, 8Mp rear camera with flash, 1.3Mp front facing camera for video chat, blazing fast HSPA+ 4G download speeds on the AT&T network, and more! Grab one at a great price while the deal lasts. Only $9.99 for family plan upgrades, and $39.99 for single phone plan upgrades!

The Best Android Phones of 2012 - CZ Series Begins!


Samsung Galaxy S2 Price Drop Makes Great Buy

As the friendly neighborhood tech geek, I get a lot of questions from friends & family on what the best Android phone is on the market for 2012. Since there is so much to report on this topic, I've decided to launch a series!

We're going to start with my top choices and go straight down the line, showcasing the best Android smartphones that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile & Sprint have to offer. We'll even talk about high speed cellular service from the big 4 carriers.

To kick off the series, I can think of no better place to start than the Samsung Galaxy S2 by AT&T. Why? Because I thought enough of this smartphone to buy three of them for my family, including one for myself.

The Galaxy S2 was my transitional phone for leaving the Apple iOS community. I had formerly owned an iPhone 3GS, and an iPhone 4. By October of 2011, I was ready to depart from the strange world of Steve Jobs, and enter the free and creative world of Android.

But back to the phone... the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a top-notch smartphone that is chock-full of first rate components and features. You have plenty of room to store apps, music, photos, and video with its built-in 16Gb storage space. Plus, you can ad another 16Gb via the SD flash card port.

Processor-wise, it has a capable 1.2GHz dual core Samsung Exynos CPU that will allow you to run several applications at the same time without a problem. I haven't had much trouble out of mine, with only an occaisional crash. Nothing like I had with my iPhone.

The cameras on this phone are superb. The rear cam (8Mp) takes excellent pictures and video in high def and has replaced my need for a digital camera. The front cam (2Mp) is also great for pictures and video, and using on video chatting programs like Skype.

I'm still enjoying the gorgeous Super AMOLED Plus display on my Galaxy S2 as much as I was the first day. There was an immediate noticeable difference in the intensity, vividness, and color quality of this phone compared to my iPhone 4. Watching movies, videos, and YouTube is superb.

Running the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay is smooth as butter, and I haven't been able to find a single serious glitch or issue. Plus, I've been able to load the majority of the apps that I had with my iPhone devices. That made the transition a lot easier.

One of the biggest things I have told people that I like about this phone is the durability. I'm hard on smartphones. They usually don't last long with me. But I have had this Galaxy S2 for 6 months now, and it's still functional! Some people say it is "too light", but I think that's a blessing in disguise. The lighter the phone, the less of a chance it will shatter if you drop it.

For surfing the internet, I would say that the stock Android browser is leagues better than the iPhone's Safari browser. It doesn't block Flash content. Sure, some Flash sites will run slow. But I'd rather have the ability to at least see what's there. With an iPhone, you don't even get a choice.

Surfing the net with the Samsung Galaxy S2 is great. It's an HSPA+ 4G phone that can download at speeds upwards of 10Mbps. That's faster than a lot of DSL services for home computers. This model does not have 4G LTE capability, but most areas still don't have that available so it's not an issue.

Lastly, it's just about the right size for ergonomic considerations and functionality. 4.3" is a sweet spot with smartphones. It fits well in your hands, but the screen is not so small like an iPhone that you have to squint to be able to read small type. That's truly nice.

My best reason for telling you that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is one of the best Android smartphone deals for 2012? The recent price drop on Current AT&T customers can get this smartphone for only $39.99 as an upgrade, or $9.99 when you have a family plan. That's a killer deal!

Hit the link below and you will jump to Amazon Wireless where you can grab one now!

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Advisor

Click the link below to see the deals!


Grab your Samsung Galaxy S2 right now and you will enjoy a super capable smartphone with a 4.3" Super AMOLED Display, 1.2GHz dual core cpu, 16Gb of storage, 1Gb of RAM, 8Mp rear camera with flash, 1.3Mp front facing camera for video chat, blazing fast HSPA+ 4G download speeds on the AT&T network, and more! Grab one at a great price while the deal lasts. Only $9.99 for family plan upgrades, and $39.99 for single phone plan upgrades!


Smartphone Buying Advice for Springtime 2012


I get a lot of questions from friends and family on what smartphone devices to get at the current time. I've decided to start an ongoing series, maybe once a month, to fill you in on what my current picks and advice would be for people who are in the "buy zone".

It's May, 2012, and the smartphone market is as hot as ever. There are a slew of new phones coming right around the corner, and my first word of advisement to anyone is to wait. Just wait it out and see what the summer brings.

We are on the cusp of the Samsung Galaxy S3, and it promises to be a whale of a phone, quite possibly the best ever released on the market. We will also see an iPhone 5 (or the "new iPhone") sometime this summer or early fall. For avid Android and Apple fans that want the cutting-edge stuff, wait it out.

But for those that aren't bent on having the latest-greatest super smartphone device on the market, there are some great values out there right now. The top dogs of the fall are now being offered at firesale prices, and you won't be disappointed. Well, there is the exception of the iPhone 4S, which is not going to be offered at a discount for quite some time.

If you don't have a preference for an operating system, your best bet right at this very moment would be the Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket smartphone. My wife owns one, and she is 100% satisfied.

What I like about the Skyrocket is the extra large 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display, and the fact that it is a true 4G LTE capable smartphone. Once we get LTE service in Central Missouri, this will be an awesome handset to own.

I have tested out the Galaxy Skyrocket on the AT&T 4G LTE network in St. Louis, and the phone was pulling download speeds of 32Mbps and uploading at 6Mbps. That's monumental. My home cable internet does not run that fast, and we're able to get that on a smartphone.

The Skyrocket is a capable phone when it comes to specs. You have a dual core 1.5GHz cpu, 1Gb of RAM, 16Gb of internal storage, and dual cameras that are the best out there. The rear main camera is an 8Mp, and the front-facing camera is 2Mp. Most are only boasting 1.3Mp on the front.

Besides all of the fantastic cutting edge hardware specs, the Galaxy Skyrocket is duarable. This is one of the best benefits of the Samsung line of Galaxy smartphones. They are durable. I have a Galaxy S2, and I have dropped it many times on super hard surfaces. It has survived all of my abuse.

The Galaxy Skyrocket is built very similar to the Galaxy S2, so you can expect the same durability. One aspect that lends to that super durability is the phone's light weight. The heavier a smartphone, the harder it falls. That might be why I have not destroyed my Galaxy S2 up until now.

Prices on the Galaxy Skyrocket will jump around from week to week. Right now you can nab one for around $79 or higher from the Amazon Wireless store. Hit the link below and you'll be redirected to Amazon where you can purchase your Skyrocket along with a 2-year upgrade.

You'll get a choice between a black verision, and a white version that now comes with a stylish silver rim running the perimeter of the face. You won't be disappointed with either style!

Next time, we'll talk about a few other choices that would work well for May 2012 smartphone buyers. For now, go check out the Skyrocket or hit the link to read more about it at the Amazon Wireless store.

Post your questions and comments. Don't be shy!

Carlton Flowers
Supersmart Smartphone Advisor

Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket