You may have been following our live blog of Samsung’s “Unpacked: Part I” event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. If you did you would know that, much to the chagrin of most of the event’s attendants, it sort of dragged; we heard the same things repeated over and over again by various members of Samsung’s team. However, after we’ve had some hands-on time with the star of the show, the Galaxy S II, we think we know why it got such and exhaustive introduction: it’s a really, really great smartphone. Sammy has obviously invested a large amount of time and energy into the next Galaxy S, and you can really feel all that effort and energy when you pick up the device. It’s incredibly light, incredibly thin, and incredibly responsive. The TouchWiz UI has gotten a serious makeover that makes it much more appealing than its previous iteration. Customization options, social networking hook-ins, it’s all there. Not to mention some of those high-end specs: dual-core processor, Wi-Fi direct support, HSPA +21 Mbps radio, 1080p HD recording and playback at 30fps, and hardware accelerated encryption — just to name a few. Oh, and who could forget that 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen… you really have to see it to appreciate it. In short: the phone is gorgeous, feels solid, and responds just like you want it to. Will the Galaxy S II make its way to the U.S. in a non carrier-bastardized form? That’s the $1,000,000 question. Sammy is hosting another event tomorrow evening where it may reveal more details about its strategy for the United States — if we’re lucky we may even get a timetable. Until then, hit up our hands-on gallery and let us know what you think!