Axew fan presents: Samsung Galaxy S II review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by chris888222, Aug 30, 2011.

Aug 30, 2011
  1. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    It's been long since I did my last review, huh?

    Well, I had an awfully hard deciding between HTC Sensation and the Galaxy S II (they are both at the same price). After some recommendations and last-minute research, I've decided on the S II. Let me now have my view on it. All images are from the web and belong to their respective owners.

    <div align='center'><img src="http://tekgoblinmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    In this review I will separate it to these sections:
    <ol type='1'><li>Hardware</li><li>Vivid?</li><li>Fast?</li><li>Slim?</li><li>Others</li><li>Final Verdict</li></ol>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Hardware</div><!--h-->
    <div align='center'><img src="http://blog.gsmarena.com/pics/11/04/welcome-samsung-galaxy-s-2/gsmarena_001.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>The 4.27" screen mobile fits nicely on your hand.</i></div>
    <p align=" " class="none">The Galaxy S II <i>generally feels nice on the hand</i>. Samsung knew that the ultra-slim design would make for some discomfort, hence they made the S II<b> have a rougher backing; allowing for easier grip.</b> Unlike the Galaxy S, the phone <i>doesn't exactly feel cheap. It looks sleek and elegant.</i> However, in order to cut down on costs, the <b>Galaxy S II is blessed with an all-plastic body</b>. It just doesn't seem right for such a classy phone to feel so 'plasticky' - if you know what I mean. Other than that, the S II isn't too large for your hands (despite the huge 4.27" screen). Nicely done.</p>
    <div align='center'><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-05CeCTG_9-E/TdEPhsTV2tI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/2pmt2Nq4qco/s1600/Samsung%20I9100%20Galaxy%20S%20II%20review.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>The Galaxy S II is made up of entirely plastic on the outside</i></div>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Vivid?</div><!--h-->
    <p align=" " class="none">Many Samsung phones have been known for one thing - their AMOLED displays. The Galaxy S II is one of the phones which feature it. It doesn't just feature ordinary AMOLED, but rather an improved Super AMOLED Plus; which improves display under bright conditions and possibly add on to vibrancy thanks to the higher number of sub-pixels. </p>

    Here's what I mean


    <p align=" " class="none">The Galaxy S II has a display of 4.3 inches (it's huge at first look) at 800 X 480 resolution. When I compare it to phones like HTC Sensation or Motorola Atrix which have a resolution of qHD (960 X 540), yeah, the difference is quite noticeable especially when using the web browser (the words on the S II look more pixelated). But thanks to Super AMOLED Plus, the colors displayed on the S II are simply magnificent and even better when compared to these phones. The AMOLED focuses greatly on the colors, making them to have a much more vibrant 'feel'. </p>

    <div align='center'><img src="http://thecoolgadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-color-capture-493x348.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>The colors displayed on the Galaxy S II are simply brilliant, although word display appears more noticeably pixelated.</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">Don't believe me? Samsung has payable games for you to download in order to prove the 'vividness' of the system. GT racing in my opinion is the best in showing the pure vivid display. Don't ask me how I got the game though. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> </p>

    <div align='center'><img src="http://flea.sg/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/GALAXY-S-II-Lifestyle-Image-15.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>GT Racing really shows the power of Super AMOLED Plus, not bothering about the lower resolution.</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">So, does the Samsung Galaxy S II live up to the Vividness? <b>I would say yes.</b></p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Fast?</div><!--h-->
    <div align='center'><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5305/5744331319_2a09c5b403.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>Nice one Samsung, but does this really prove 'fast'?</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">The Samsung Galaxy S II boasts a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor with Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos chipset. Sounds sophisticated, isn't it? But does all these dual-core cortex A9 make it really fast as how it is being advertised? Well, it depends.

    I must say though, browsing the web and using the built-in YouTube application on the Galaxy S II is simply brilliant. Loading times are much faster then I've expected. The time taken for it to load the GBAtemp home page (NOT mobile site) takes about 3 seconds, compared to about 8 seconds on the iPhone 4. It took me only 5 minutes to download and install about 10 of my favorite games from the Android Market (each about 10 MB or more). Videos on YouTube only take a few seconds to load using low signal Wi-Fi (mine is 10 Mbps) on High Quality. It's simply amazing.

    BUT, in some areas, the S II isn't really that fast. It sometimes isn't really as responsive when I push the center button (at times only responds only after 2 seconds). Also, some games catered for the Galaxy S II also tend to lag. In Modern Combat 2 Black Pegasus, the loading time is seriously long; maybe we should blame Gameloft for that. Still, the Galaxy S II isn't a dedicated gaming device. Hence we shouldn't look too much into this.</p>

    <div align='center'><img src="http://electronicswire.info/uploadfiles/widgetsradarinfo-1295076061/samsung-galaxy-s-ii-review_11.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>Web browsing on the S II is simply effortless.</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">Fast? Well, it <b>passed with flying colors.</b></p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Slim?</div><!--h-->
    <div align='center'><img src="http://www.mobileattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/galaxy-s-II-slim-450x270.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>Seriously, Samsung isn't lying with this one.</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">Now, the Galaxy S II is slim, <i>very slim</i>; but there's just a slight catch. <b>The bottom of the S II where the speakers are is significantly thicker than the upper 8.49mm (in fact it feels doubly thick).</b> The above photo shows the bottom just bulging a little, but in actual fact the bottom is much thicker. Well, anything to cover that up? Actually yes.

    The Samsung Galaxy S II is not only slim, but also <i>really light</i>. For a phone with 4.27" screen and dual core ARM, it's seriously really light. To be more specific, it's only 116g. Still, it isn't the lightest phone out there; the LG Optimus Black is even lighter (to the extent that it's feather-light).

    The slim design of the S II has it's flaws too though. For people like me with large hands, holding the phone while snapping a photo is pretty... erm... 'scary'. You'll often feel the phone about to slide out of your hand <u>while trying to take a horizontal photo</u>. Holding it vertically, on the other hand, feels nice. The S II has a <b>rough backing which gives users a better grip</b>. It would be nice if the S II had a dedicated camera key though. </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Other stuff that you need to know</div><!--h-->

    <div align='center'><img src="http://www.gadget-guides.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-Camera-look.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>The Galaxy S II comes with a 8-megapixel snapper with LED flash</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">The largest problem with the Galaxy S you'd ask me? The phone has no camera flash! How am I supposed to take a photo in the dark? (My house is awfully dark by the way). Anyway, Samsung rectified this problem. Not only that, they improved the camera to a 8 megapixel one. Well, photo quality... to be frank I'm not as impressed. Most images doesn't really seem 8 megapixels (one of my images looks stunning though). But again, this is a phone. Not a dedicated digital cam. The S II also features 1080P video recording at 30fps, haven't exactly tried it out yet; but it sounds good.

    The Galaxy S II has preloaded 16GB of memory (in Singapore, I believe there's a 32GB version in other places) and even can store additional memory thru a MicroSD up to 32GB. One very funny thing though, most phones require you to take out the battery before removing the SIM card and the MicroSD slot is by the side. Well, for the S II it's the exact opposite. You need to remove the battery before inserting/removing the MicroSD and the SIM slot is by the side. </p>

    <div align='center'><img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6138/5936603350_7c8140bbc3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>The battery is huge. Literally.</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">Yeah, see that huge battery? I bet it lasts very long.... No wait, dual-core 1.2 Ghz... NAH. Probably 5 minutes. Well, how long is the battery anyway?

    The Galaxy S II's battery life sorta impresses me. Having frequent gaming sessions of Let's Golf 2 HD and web browsing, the battery only turns 30% from full after a full day. Compared to many of my other mobile devices, the battery life of this monster is really quite impressive. Of course, if it's not enough for ya there's <b>Juice Defender in the Android Market</b>; my telco's staff told me that her Galaxy S II lasted three full days with the help of that app before it turned complete zero. </p>

    <div align='center'><img src="http://cdn.pocketnow.com/html/portal/news/0000016537//touchwiz4.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>TouchWiz 4.0 is decent</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">The organisation of the menus on the S II is very much decent. Galaxy S II runs on default Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 interface. It's really neat and nice. Organizing your files on the phone is also quick and easy, thanks to Gingerbread. (It took me forever to assemble on Froyo)

    Other stuff on the S II? It has Kies Wi-Fi sync, which lets you sync to Kies on your PC without any cables. Bluetooth (obviously), FM radio (requires an earpiece/headset), voice controls (it works fine, but requires an internet connection. You might also need to tweak your voice a little), and swype messaging which was already available on the Galaxy S and possibly most other Galaxy sets. </p>

    What the f*** is Swype?

    <p align=" " class="none">The S II also has a front facing cam at 2 megapixels, great for video calls.</p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">Final Verdict</div><!--h-->
    <div align='center'><img src="http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys2/html/img/feature_view_img1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <div align='center'><i>Any better image?</i></div>

    <p align=" " class="none">The Galaxy S II is an impressive piece of work by Samsung. It fulfills all 3 - Vivid, Fast and Slim as advertised. It also has improvements from its previous, the Galaxy S. The phone is considered pretty expensive and it is being sold at S$498 here with a 2-year contract. Despite the price, is this phone worth it? If you want a phone which is ultimately fast and you can do a ton of things with it from flash games to YouTube playback, then this phone is seriously worth the price.</p>

    <b>Overall rating for Samsung Galaxy S II: 9/10</b>
     
  2. naved.islam14

    Member naved.islam14 Gbatemp's Official Dark Knight™

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    Nice review! It's very detailed with a lot of pics! The Samsung Galaxy SII may get 9/10, but your review should get a 10/10!
     
  3. ShawnTRods

    Member ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You should add build quality/built in generally.

    I woudnt say it feels cheap, but it feels "plasticy". A phone from that high standard should have a standard build. I am no Apple Fanboy, but the sexiness of the iPhone really kills Galaxy S II [​IMG].

    hell Galaxy S(first one) felt cheap in my hands lol.
     
  4. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Darn I forgot to add that in. I'll edit that tonight, thanks!
     
  5. SamAsh07

    Member SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

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    Nice review.

    Hey tan, IDK what you see in iPhone 4's look, iPhone looks have always sucked shit IMO

    To me, a mobile is just something to get in contact with your relatives and loved ones via SMS/Call etc (Gaming goes to real gadgets like Vita, 3DS and consoles) so I'm really happy to own a Nokia 5700 for 4 years now [​IMG]

    Hey chris, there's a Samsung Galaxy R coming, I hope you review that too.
     
  6. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Done the edit on hardware - sorry it took so long.
     
  7. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  8. Scott-105

    Member Scott-105 Bow to me. Please?

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    Ew, that phone looks ugly in my opinion. The Galaxy S looked better to me.

    Nice review though. Very detailed.
     
  9. DarkStriker

    Member DarkStriker GBAtemp's Kpop lover!

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    I was thinking of buying one. I got a question. Can i use bluetooth to connect my PS3 controller to the Galaxy so i can use that to play emulators? Maybe Wii controller?
     
  10. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Not exactly sure about that, but i don't think you can...
     
  11. DarkStriker

    Member DarkStriker GBAtemp's Kpop lover!

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    How are we supposed to play games on it then :S Think a n64 emulator on it.. would totally be a mess because the lack of controls.
     
  12. SamAsh07

    Member SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

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    You mean lack of BUTTONS, right the iPhone 4 and other touchscreen phones have a C-Pad/Joystick and Shoulder buttons [​IMG]


    EDIT:- Yes Axew Fanito Chris, that's the one I was talking about [​IMG] Review that too!! When you get time and all that is.

    Speaking of Axew, I started Pokemon B/W Anime series on the web, finished with latest epi yesterday, I must say, I'm an Axew fan too now. Axew is Cute! [​IMG]
     
  13. ShawnTRods

    Member ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    The 3G/S does look more sexy than the iPhone 4, but hey if you get both in your hands and just go for hand-feeling/design I bet you would go for the iPhone 4 over the Galaxy SII any day(lol I would [​IMG]).
    The iPhone 4 has a very good weight to it, and the stainless stell antenna, glass on the back.. just makes it look attractive and feels SOLID. Breaks easily, cant argue with that [​IMG].

    Anyway, my next phone wont be the iPhone 5. Got a long way to go on my contract.. probably will be going for a Android phone next [​IMG].

    Oh and 5700.. I had it for a few months like 4 years ago lol. Didnt like it much, but hey it gets the job done [​IMG]. You should get a new budget ranged phone like Motorola Defy.
    If I wasnt on contract, I woudnt be going so fancy. I really like the Motorolla defy, but since I am getting extremely good deals with my contract I dont go for "Pay As You Go" mid-range phones.
     
  14. SamAsh07

    Member SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

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    I did buy an HTC Desire in January, but 3 Mobo changes didn't fix its problem of continous reboot loops, overheating by 5mins of Gaming, 10mins of Call etc etc.....I was never this troubled by any phone in my life, so after 3 months of using it, got rid of it. I don't know if I'll ever get a new phone in the near future, this experience has reduced my faith down to 0 on the latest tech. Too fragile, bugged etc. I'm sure iPhone 4 is fragile too.

    I still love the Desire but...don't want to risk again. I'll stay with my Nokia.

    Motorola Defy....seriously that's an attractive name, atleast IMO lol. Will check into it [​IMG]
     
  15. iMasaru

    Member iMasaru GBATemp's™ Retired Cheats Co-Compiler

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    Sigh, i've been dying to buy the samsung galaxy s2, and your reviews making it even harder xD
    But due to the whole 2 year contract attached to it, gonna wait till next year for the samsung galaxy s3 :/
     
  16. SamAsh07

    Member SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

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    I doubt there would be an S3, since the next phone is - Samsung Galaxy R, expect an R2 next year lol.
     
  17. Icealote

    Member Icealote My Winter...

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    You sir have convinced me to look for this phone to buy... Thanks for that detailed review. Now to save a little more and buy it!
    I also have seen the iPhone 4S vs Samsung S II phone drop...god I don't understand why people would do this but that plastic body you described actually minimalises the damage so much when its dropped (well from that video I saw lol just dents compared to the full screen shattering on the iPhone 4S)
     
  18. SubliminalSegue

    Member SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

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    Getting the Galaxy S2 over the iPhone 4S was the best decision I ever made. I'm extremely happy with it, and it's a major leap from my last phone: The HTC Hero. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who was trying to decide what I was. I'll take a bigger screen over Siri any day of the week.
     
  19. ProtoKun7

    Global Moderator ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    The Galaxy R is an S II variant; the S line is still the flagship.
     

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