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Samsung Galaxy S 2 available for UK pre-order with 31 March release date

Play.com has put the Samsung Galaxy S 2 on pre-order, with an expected release date of 31 March, and a SIM-free price of £600. But will it beat operators to the punch with the Android handset?

Can't wait to plonk down some cash for the Samsung Galaxy S 2 smart phone? You don't have to. Play.com has made the Android handset available to pre-order, and is expecting to ship the device by the end of March.

Well, right at the end of the month: 31 March to be precise. The UK site is selling the S2 for £600 SIM-free, which it says is a £50 reduction on the RRP of £650.

The Galaxy S 2 is the follow-up to last year's Samsung Galaxy S, which became the first Android phone to sell more than 10 million units. The new model includes the Android 2.3 Gingerbread software, and has a newly iPhone 4-like square-cornered design, in contrast to the iPhone 3GS-esque curves of the first model.

The S 2 has a Super AMOLED Plus screen, which should be sharper and less reflective than the Galaxy S' Super AMOLED display. The 4.3-inch touchscreen is certainly big and bright, while the handset is packing a dual-core 1GHz processor to give you plenty of grunt for apps and entertainment.

An 8-megapixel camera and 1080p HD video playback add to the fun. Also new are a pair of new 'Hubs' -- the Game Hub and Music Hub -- offering social games and a digital music store run by 7digital, whose mobile Web store we were very impressed by earlier this week.

Several UK operators will be selling the Samsung Galaxy S 2, but none have confirmed pricing or dates yet.