Bigger, Faster, More user friendly. The Samsung Galaxy S 2 is everything we expect from the successor to the Galaxy S.
This phone needs to hold it’s own against the Sony, Motorola and HTCs most powerful offerings and we think this stands a mighty good chance at being the best all rounder.
Being equipped with a Dual-Core Processor, Wi-Fi, 1080p Video Recording…this thing is immense. If you look at the technical specs of this and compare it to the latest laptops and netbooks, it’s amazing.
We’re not going to go into too much detail about the ongoings of the Android operating system that comes on the Galaxy S2 but after the office staff using iOS for the past 2 years, it’s come as a real breathe of fresh air. Running Android 2.3.3 and with TouchWiz customisations that will enhance the users experience!
To look at, the Galaxy S2 does look a bit…plastic. The rear cover is mighty thin but then what can you expect when the whole phones thickness is comparable to a piece of paper at just 8.49mm! The front is one sheet of glass which houses one hell of a 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus touch screen with three buttons at the bottom, home (physical) plus two capacitive Extra Settings/Options (Touch) and Back (Touch) controls. Also on the front is a forward facing camera for those rather awkward video calls over the network. On the sides you’ll be greeted with a lock/on/off button and volume controls the opposite side. With a headphone jack at the top and a very small Samsung connection at the bottom, it makes for a very minimalist design. There is a slight gap around the edge of glass so maybe this could start to gather dust but the glass’s special coating does resist finger prints and scratches very well. The resolution of the screen is 800 x 480, don’t let this put you off as it’s only a tiny bit behind the norm. The colours are eye-popping, the viewing angles are incredible and blacks…are black!
Galaxy S 2 and iPhone 4:
You can see from the above picture the colours look more intense on the Galaxy SII when compared to the iPhone 4.
There are two nifty features that the screen does for you, one by using sensors on the phone it adjusts the backlight to give you the correct backlighting dependant on where you are. One issue we did find is that this must use the camera on the back to determine what the light is around you, when covered up with your fingers or hand whilst playing on games etc, the screen will lighten up and dim and generally jump around, which can get a little irritating sometimes but mostly does a good job.
By far the best thing we encountered was the outside mode. The phone will automatically sense when you are outside enjoying the sun in the broad daylight, adjusting the contrast on the screen this allows you to be able to see what’s going on! This feature, we could not live without!
From the moment you turn it on, to the moment you switch it off. It’s blisteringly fast. So fast you’ll wonder how you ever waited for things to load on your iPhone or HTC. Swiping the screens and opening apps is instant! Being Android you have the option of having widgets on your home screens allowing you to see the latest weather, or facebook status updates.
If you’re lucky enough to be on a network that supports it’s full dta network capabilities then you can expect up to 21.1mbps…yes you read that right 21.1mbps. Downloading things via the Network at over 300kb/s is just amazing, meaning you don’t have to wait until you get home to update your app or download those attachments in an e-mail.
The camera is also one of the best, shooting at 8 Megapixels you can be guaranteed to catch a lot of detail. The speed at which a shot is taken is what sells this to us, due to the dual-core processor you can take a picture, flip back to texting, back to the camera, shoot a full HD movie! It’s exemplary. With no slow down at all! One thing we noticed when taking pictures, on the phone they looked incredibly colourful and bright thanks to the screen, however when transferred to the PC, the pictures looked a tiny bit washed out. We’re running a 24” Samsung Monitor and although it may not be the latest model, it would give us practically the best outlook on what these pics look like, off the phone.
The following video was shot in 1080p mode. To watch just click the settings at the bottom right to make sure you’re watching in full HD, note your PC might not be able to cope with full HD but either way, this video of a review of a different product we used on a car gives a good idea of how clear and how detailed video recording is with the Galaxy SII:
Browsing the net is a sinch. With it’s pinch and zoom feature all the websites we looked at were set out just as they are on a PC. Zooming in is fast and effortless. There have been reports that in browser flash doesn’t work however, all you need to do is ‘enable plugins’ in the settings and you will have full flash enabled web glory. Flash…aaaahhhaaaaaaaaa. There’s nothing we don’t like about the browser, it’s well thought out and does a very good job.
The keyboard is brilliant. Very easy to use, very well spaced out an the predictive input is rather ingenious, we usually turn this off when testing but this time, a first…we kept it on. You will get the occasional moment of hitting the wrong key but you would on any screen due to the lack of definition/feel that you only get from a physical keyboard.
One thing we love about Android and one thing this phone does well, is offering it’s wifi as a personal hotspot. If you’ve forked out for a nice laptop, tablet or netbook, you can use the Data connection, via wifi to your devices to access the net wherever you can! This feature is incredible and at the speeds we’ve already spoken about you can look at the web as intended!
In summary this is in no doubt the best Android Smartphone on the Market at the time of writing. We can only dream of what might come in the SIII!
You want to be on a decent monthly pay plan or a pay as you go with data if you have this phone as it’s all about the internet. If you want a phone to text or make calls, stick with a generic Nokia of some kind. If you want the internet, social networking, video calling, more Apps than you can shake a stick at…the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is for you.