Hurricane Irene's path over the weekend has caused havoc by taking at least 21 lives across the United States. It has also forced Samsung to delay its Galaxy S2 smartphone, which was expected to come to the U.S. Monday.

It now looks like the powerful hurricane, rather than an Apple Inc. lawsuit has stopped the Samsung Galaxy S2 launch from happening on schedule in New York City.

However, this delay should not affect the store release date for the S2, but instead just have customers waiting a little longer to see exactly what is on offer.

Recently, a Wall Street Journal report stated that Verizon Wireless won't offer the Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone. This is also a huge blow to Verizon subscribers who had been keen to pick up the Galaxy S2 next month from the carrier. Instead, the Samsung smartphone will be unveiled on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Samsung is expected to face a good deal of competition from other Android players, particularly HTC, which plans to introduce its biggest smartphone yet, the HTC Holiday, in early or mid-September.

The Holiday is rumored to boast a 4.5-inch display, supposedly the first of a new wave across the Android landscape with 4.5-inch displays.

The recent breed of Android phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola Photon found expression in 4.3-inch displays. The trend seems to highlight that the next barrage of Android phones will follow the 4.5-inch form factor. The arrival of such a piece from HTC is cause for concern for Samsung.

Here is a look at the expected features of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Holiday.

Operating system: Both the HTC Holiday and the Samsung Galaxy S2 are expected to run on the latest version of Google Inc.'s smartphone operating system, Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS.

Processor: Holiday will be powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1GB RAM. Samsung Galaxy S2 comes with dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400MP GPU Exynos processor with 1GB RAM.

Screen: Galaxy S 2 sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with 800x480 screen resolution. On the other hand, HTC Holiday is expected to have a 4.5-inch qHD display with 960x540 screen resolution.

Camera: Samsung's Galaxy S2 has an 8-megapixel 3264 x 2448 pixel resolution camera with auto-focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection and image stabilization. Galaxy S2 captures video at 1080p at 30 fps. The Holiday, when compared, will sport an 8-megapixel dual-LED flash rear-facing camera with 1080p video playback. However, for video chat, Galaxy S2 has a 2-megapixel camera compared to Holiday's 1.3-megapixel camera.

Storage: There is no word about the internal storage details of HTC Holiday yet, but it is expected to have external storage of upto 32 GB via a microSD card slot. On the other hand, the Galaxy S2 boasts of 16/32 GB internal storage, and via a microSD card slot, it can expanded up to 32 GB.

Input features: Both smartphones have common input features like the accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, multi-touch input method and proximity sensor for auto turn-off. The Galaxy S2 has features like Gorilla Glass display, TouchWiz UI v4.0 and Gyroscope sensor. HTC Holiday is expected to include the latest version of HTC Sense UI.

3G: Both the smartphones have HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) up to 21 Mbps and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) up to 5.76 Mbps support.

WLAN/Bluetooth/USB: Both smartphones have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n DLNA support, but Galaxy S2 has an added Wi-Fi Direct feature. Samsung's phone uses advanced 3.0+HS version Bluetooth but Holiday uses advanced Bluetooth version 4.0 with A2DP and EDR. Holiday is expected to feature microUSB version 2.0, whereas Samsung has 2.0 version microUSB (MHL) and USB.

Battery: The battery details of HTC Holiday are yet to be revealed, but one can expect a huge battery for the huge smartphone. Galaxy S2 features a Li-Ion 1700 mAh battery.

Pricing: The Galaxy S2 is expected to be priced at $599 to $699 for unlocked 16GB version, while the locked version to be sold on contract from U.S. wireless carriers is expected to be in the $250 to $300+ price range. The Holiday is expected to be priced at $199 to $249 at AT&T.

Other features: HTC Holiday’s other known preliminary specifications include SMS thread view, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, HTML browser, A-GPS support, Java MIDP emulator, MP4/H.264/H.263 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player, organizer, document viewer, Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration, voice memo-dial-commands and predictive Swype text input.

Features found in the Galaxy S2 are SMS thread view, MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS, HTML browser, A-GPS support, Java MIDP emulator, social networking integration, digital compass, MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player, organizer, image and video editor, Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration, flash support, voice memo-dial-commands and predictive Swype text input. Other features found in Galaxy S2 are stereo FM radio with RDS, optional NFC support and TV-out via MHL A/V link.

Review of Galaxy S2: Reviews of the Galaxy S2 have been positive. Engadget gave the device a 9/10, calling it the best Android smartphone yet and possibly the best smartphone, period. CNET UK gave the device a favorable review of 4.5/5 and described it as one of the slimmest, lightest mobiles we've ever had the privilege to hold.

Conclusion: The specifications of both phones look very promising. But Samsung Galaxy S2 looks bright, intelligent and eye-catching as slim may be the most important factor to steal once the hearts of potential consumers when released in the market.