The Samsung Galaxy S II is shaping up to be a pretty attractive phone! This time around it looks like we’ll finally get that dual HDMI-USB port that we thought we were going to get with the original Galaxy S, but didn’t.
The specification is called MHL, or “Mobile High-Definition video Link”, and is backed by a consortium including Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, and Silicon Image. What’s nice about this standard is that it’s compatible with existing HDMI devices, cables and ports, but adds the ability to send both power and data over the cable from the TV back to the device.
Unfortunately the standard isn’t in any TVs yet, but it’s coming. The good news is that you don’t need an MHL-compatible TV to make it work, you can simply plug your USB/MHL-to-HDMI cable into your TV and it will work just fine. You won’t be able to charge or control your smartphone from a non-MHL TV, but you will be able to buy an MHL-HDMI adapter which will let you plug in your phone’s power adapter to charge while you watch.