Samsung GALAXY S II

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Samsung GALAXY S II

Prepare yourself for the Galaxy S II, Samsung's thinnest smartphone. Using the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, the Galaxy S II brings...

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Review of "Samsung GALAXY S II"

published 01/08/2011 | littlem91
Member since : 19/08/2010
Reviews : 38
Members who trust : 1
About me :
I'm Gemma, in Cornwall. I'm only now re-starting after a year gap (August '12) due to stopping suddenly for personal reasons. Will try and rate but I can miss things.
Excellent
Pro Everything! So easy to use, does anything you want, lots of functions
Cons Price.. but no more than any other smartphone.
very helpful
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"The S2: A slim, very clever smartphone."

Well, I'll start my review by stating this is my first smartphone, so I can't compare to any I've actually owned before, though I did look at a LOT before deciding on this phone. It's only been out a short while and so I've not had it very long, but I've had a play with enough of it to write a rounded review.

First looks:
No matter how much we like to say it's how it works that matters, I doubt looks ever are not a criteria for buying a phone like this. And I must say, the Galaxy S2 does not fall down. It measures a very sleek 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm - making it as far as I can tell, the thinnest smartphone currently on the market. This is measured to the thinnest point however, it is around 10mm at the thickest part (I don't have an accurate enough tape measure to tell you the exact thickness at the thickest part!). It weighs in at approx 116g, making it also quite a light phone.

The screen is 4.3 inches (diagonally) so a fair bit larger than many smartphones on the market - this is a love or hate thing, I wanted a big screen though. It currently only appears to be available in black - the black looks very sleek and very stylish. The casing is plastic but appears hard enough to be still durable. It has a camera on the back, causing the back there to be slightly thicker than the surrounding area, but not by a lot.. The back is also curved to make it ergonomic to hold - this works well for my hands, but I imagine may not be ideal for larger hands. The front is mostly glass, the only breaks in the glass being the earpiece and the home button. It has samsung written below the earpiece.

Most of your buttons are touch buttons on the screen, but at the bottom are 2 more touch buttons always there and a "proper" clicky button - a short press on this takes you home, a long press brings up the option for task manager or recently used apps.


Initial use:
To turn on the phone you hold the button in - it appears to need to be held for a second, presumably to prevent accidental presses. The button is on the right hand side (as you look at the screen) instead of the top like many phones. It has a volume adjust on the left side, a headphone jack on the top and on the bottom is where you plug your charger/usb etc cables in. It boots up very quickly bringing you to the home page.

General use:
This phone has 7 homepages - these are completely customisable with widgets and buttons for your applications, there are space for 12 standard sized touch buttons on each screen (although some widgets will take up more than 1 space). Fixed at the bottom of each home screen are 4 more buttons - for phone, contacts, messaging and applications.

It's all very easy to navigate through, it's very intuitive to use, and even my father (who sees no point in even text messaging on phones!) was able to find his way to anything on it very quickly.

The keyboard is worth a mention - there are 2 you can select, but I'll concentrate on the swype keyboard - this is the standard keyboard when you get your phone. As well as normal touch typing, you can use the swype functionality - allowing you to run your fingers over the letters of the word you wish to make. I find this very very quick and easy to use, but from reading online this again seems to be a love or hate it issue - if however you hate it, you don't even have to use it with swype keyboard on, or you can change to the second keyboard.

Oh and of course it has the (now common) accelerometer; so as you change your phones orientation, the screen changes the way pages are viewed Some apps do force this to be in one orientation and on the home pages it can only be in portrait, not surprisingly.

At most times (again some apps, mostly games I've found so far) there's a little function which is handy, you scroll down from the top of the screen and another screen appears, from here you can turn on/off: wifi, bluetooth, gps, sound/vibration and auto rotation, this is also where your notifications appear, you can also see ongoing apps on here (such as IMs).

Phoning/texting:
There's only so much can be said about the phoning on a phone, but for what I've used it so far, this has been perfect. The numbers when typing are large, the call quality so far appears great (of course this is network related too!) - no problems whatsoever. There are different ways you can display text messages I believe, but as standard it shows them as a thread of messages, so you can see the last message(s) when typing a new one to somebody you've already texted. Overall it seems to work perfectly well, no problems whatsoever.

Email/other messaging:
The phone initially has an email application and also a dedicated gmail application - I've only got the latter, but for this you simply connect it directly to your gmail account and you can open your account and read your messages in 1 easy click. I cannot check the system for other providers without making an account but I'd imagine it to be similar.

If you use IM there's a pre-installed app for that too - simply called IM, this can be used for Google talk, windows live messenger or yahoo! messenger. There's also social hub which can be used to manage the aforementioned IM accounts as well as your facebook, myspace, twitter and linkedin accounts, plus your email accounts from several providers.

If you prefer there are of course plenty of other apps that can be downloaded to manage your various accounts - facebook and twitter for instance have dedicated apps.

Other apps:
A quick look now at some other apps you'll get initially:
Clock (doesn't really need much explanation, can have several set to different timezones though, cool if you have a lot of friends abroad), calendar (automatically syncs birthdays with your contacts< music, internet, camera, gallery, maps, google search, music hub, readers hug, game hub, a few games, plus some video apps, talk apps, voice apps - too many for me to talk you through in a short review!

Of all your apps, one you'll use a fair bit - at least at first - is the marketplace app.

Android and the Marketplace App:
Android marketplace has thousands of apps, I've read different estimates on how many but there is an app for pretty much anything. Downloading these couldn't be easier - you find the app you want (you can browse or search, easy to navigate), click install and click ok. It'll then download and install for you. There's a lot of apps, from games, Gtunes (really recommended!), various IM managers - to things like the barcode scanner (which I mostly use when bored but I'm sure there's some legitimate use) and various bubble level apps. Some apps are definitely more useful than others, but if you want an app for something - it probably exists. Many of these are free too!

Oh and samsung also has a few apps of their own.

Other bits:
Well now my thoughts that don't fit into a nice heading. I like contacts, for one thing you can take a photo of your contacts for next to their name, and it'll sync with twitter and facebook and probably other things too. Some of the pre-installed apps aren't the best free ones available, I imagine these must be the ones Samsung likes or something.
There's a task manager that allows you to shut down apps that aren't in use, which I love.
The current phone has 16GB of storage, although a 32gb version will be released, BUT you can put up to a 32GB MicroSD card in to expand storage anyway, if 16gb isn't enough.
The processor is a dual core 1.2GHz, it has 1GB of RAM - meaning the phone never slows down. In fact it's probably a bit more than necessary, but it does mean it shouldn't run into problems quickly when new apps etc are released.


Bad things:
There's only a few of these I can think of and all are pretty minor, but here I go...
Ringtones/notifications: There's a good selection of these but honestly.. none I actually liked, they were all the typical cheap cheerful ringtones you get on any phone, I really hoped on a pretty pricey smartphone there would've been a better selection, quality wise.
Capslock on keyboard - it seems hard to get constant caps, I htought at first I was missing something but now I don't think I am. It's a little niggle, but it is there nonetheless.
The lock screen - if left too long the screen goes black and the lock screen appears, to get rid of this you drag it off the side - while handy in a sense, at times I wish it wasn't there as it's another step to get back to what you're doing - that said, it does stop accidental presses again.
And.. that's it for bad points!


As I said to begin with, this is my first smartphone, so I have no real comparison base from long term use, but I find this to be a fantastic phone. It's very very easy to use, I've not had any problems with things working, the settings etc are easy to change - it really does make life easy.

Final note is the price - I believe the RRP on this phone is around £600, maybe £650 - I'm getting different answers when looking, it is available from amazon directly at £539.99 sim free, and of course is being offered on contract by many companies - and more to come soon too. Its a lot of money for a phone, but a lot of phone for the money.

I only bought this recently, so it's obvious I consider this the best of the current smartphones on offer - so well worth a look at least.

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Comments on this review

  • EpicSuperman published 13/10/2011
    Great Review thanks :)
  • Swainer1992 published 04/08/2011
    thorough review mate, how fast is the internet in general? Are you experiencing any freezing at all? Thanks
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Samsung GALAXY S II

Manufacturer's product description

Prepare yourself for the Galaxy S II, Samsung's thinnest smartphone. Using the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, the Galaxy S II brings together the 1.2GHz Dual Core Application Processor for unmatched performance and a brilliant 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display. Featuring a lightweight and beautifully thin design and advanced HSPA + connectivity, it represents the next generation in smartphone technology.

Product Details

Product Description: Samsung GALAXY S II - 3G HSPA+ - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket - white - 4G LTE - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - noble black - 3G HSPA+ - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - 3G HSPA+ - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - pink - 3G HSPA+ - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - ceramic white - 3G HSPA+ - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - white - 3G HSPA+ - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone, Samsung GALAXY S II - Android Phone - GSM / UMTS, Samsung Galaxy S II - black - 3G HSPA+ - 16 GB - GSM - Android Phone

Product Type: Android Phone, Android Phone - 3G - 16 GB

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G, 4G

Smartphone Memory: 16 GB

Service Provider: Not specified, AT&T

Mobile Services: Google Play, Samsung Apps

Form Factor: Touch

Dimensions (WxDxH): 66 mm x 8.5 mm x 125 mm, 70 mm x 9 mm x 131 mm, 66.1 mm x 8.49 mm x 125.3 mm, 66 mm x 8 mm x 125 mm, 66 mm x 9 mm x 125 mm, 66.1 mm x 8.5 mm x 125.3 mm, 66 mm x 9 mm x 126 mm

Weight: 116 g, 132 g, 117 g

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 8 Megapixel

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

Display: OLED display - colour - 4.27" - Super AMOLED Plus, OLED display - colour - 4.5" - Super AMOLED Plus, OLED display - colour - 4.3" - Super AMOLED Plus, OLED display - colour - 4.7" - Super AMOLED Plus

Input Device(s): Touch sensitive screen, Touch sensitive screen (multi-touch)

Operating System: Google Android 2.3, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

User Interface: Samsung TouchWiz, Samsung TouchWiz 4.0

Instant Messaging Services: Yes, Google Talk, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger), Yahoo! Messenger

Supported Social Networks and Blogs: Yes, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook

Playback Digital Standards: WAV, WMA, AAC, AMR, MP3, FLAC, AC-3, XMF, AAC +, OGG, eAAC+, MIDI , VC-1, XviD, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX, H.264, H.263

Supported Memory Card: microSDHC - up to 32 GB

LTE Band: 4, 17

Talk Time: Up to 420 minutes, Up to 1100 minutes, Up to 510 minutes, Up to 1098 minutes, Up to 520 minutes, Up to 1092 minutes, Up to 480 minutes

Standby Time: Up to 250 hours, Up to 710 hours, Up to 610 hours, Up to 384 hours

Colour: White, Noble black, Pink, Ceramic white, Black

SAR Value: 0.85 W/kg (body) / 0.3 W/kg (head), 0.34 W/kg (body) / 0.34 W/kg (head), 0.36 W/kg, 0.34 W/kg, 0.9 W/kg (body) / 0.36 W/kg (head)

Protection: Gorilla Glass (scratch resistant glass), Scratch resistant glass

General

MPN: GT-I9100LKAXEU, 65363, GT-I9100LKACPW, GT-I9100LKNXEF, GT-I9100OIAXEU, GT-I9100RWADBT, I9100 GALAXY S II WHITE, GT-I9100RWALUX, GT-I9100LKANEE, GT-I9100RWYCPW, GT-I9100LKADBT, is_galaxy s2 uk, GT-I9100LKAXEF, GT-I9100RWAXEU, GT-I9100RWAXEN, GT-I9100LKAXEN, GT-I9100-LKALUX, GT-I9100RWGDBT, GT-I9100RWANEE, GT-I9100LKGDBT, GT-GALAXY S2, 65323

Product Type: Android Phone

Form Factor: Touch

Integrated Components: Digital camera, 2nd camera, FM radio, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Width: 66 mm, 70 mm, 66.1 mm

Depth: 8.5 mm, 9 mm, 8.49 mm, 8 mm

Height: 125 mm, 131 mm, 125.3 mm, 126 mm

Weight: 116 g, 132 g, 117 g

Body Colour: White, Noble black, Pink, Ceramic white, Black

SAR Value: 0.85 W/kg (body) / 0.3 W/kg (head), 0.34 W/kg (body) / 0.34 W/kg (head), 0.36 W/kg, 0.34 W/kg, 0.9 W/kg (body) / 0.36 W/kg (head)

Image Colour Disclaimer: The image of the product displayed may be of a different colour

Protection: Gorilla Glass (scratch resistant glass), Scratch resistant glass

Cellular

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G, 4G

Service Provider: Not specified, AT&T

Operating System: Google Android 2.3, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

User Interface: Samsung TouchWiz, Samsung TouchWiz 4.0

Input Device(s): Touch screen , capacitive

Application Software: ActiveSync, Quickoffice, Need for Speed Shift, Qik Lite

Software Platforms Supported: Java

Messaging & Internet

Cellular Messaging Services: MMS, SMS

Instant Messaging Services: Yes, Google Talk, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger), Yahoo! Messenger

Supported Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP

Supported Social Networks and Blogs: Yes, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook

Messaging & Data Features: Adobe Flash support, RSS feeds, Adobe Flash support, Microsoft Word support, Microsoft Excel support, Microsoft PowerPoint support

Mobile Services: Google Play, Samsung Apps

WAP Protocol Supported: WAP 2.0

Communications

Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth 3.0, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n

Bluetooth Profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)

Communication Features: Mobile Email client, Internet browser

LTE Band: LTE Band 4, LTE Band 17

Phone Features

Phone Functions: Speakerphone, voice control, call timer, conference call, flight mode, voice dialing, vibrating alert

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes

Ring Tone Formats: MP3

Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro sensor

Additional Features: World clock, Radio Data Service (RDS), DLNA Certified, TV-out via HDMI, video editor, multitasking, widgets support, Wi-Fi direct

Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty: 64, 40

Organiser

Personal Information Management: Calendar, synchronization with PC, calculator, reminder, countdown timer, alarm clock

Media Player

Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, WMA, AAC, AMR, MP3, FLAC, AC-3, XMF, AAC +, OGG, eAAC+, MIDI

Supported Digital Video Standards: VC-1, XviD, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX, H.264, H.263

Processor

Clock Speed: 1.2 GHz, 1.5 GHz

Processor Core Qty: Dual-core

Type: Cortex-A9, ARM Cortex-A9, ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, Samsung, Samsung Exnyos C210

Memory

User Memory: 16 GB

Supported Flash Memory Cards: microSDHC - up to 32 GB

RAM: 1 GB

Bult-in Memory: 16 GB

Digital Camera

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 8 Megapixel

Still Image Formats: JPEG

Focus Adjustment: Automatic

Digital Zoom: 4

Camera Light Source: LED light

Video Recorder Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 (1080p)

Features: Video recording

Still Image Resolutions: 640 x 480, 2048 x 1536, 3264 x 2448, 800 x 480, 2048 x 1232, 3264 x 1968

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec, 5 sec

Special Effects: Negative, Sepia, Cartoon, Greyscale

White Balance: Automatic, presets

Sensor Resolution: 8 Megapixel

Navigation System

Navigation: A-GPS receiver, GPS receiver

Navigation Software & Services: AT&T Navigator, Google Maps, TeleNav GPS Navigator, AT&T FamilyMap

Display

Type: OLED display - colour

Technology: Super AMOLED Plus

Diagonal Size: 4.27", 4.5", 4.3", 4.7"

Display Resolution: 800 x 480 pixels

Colour Depth: 16.7 million colours

Features: Wallpaper, Wallpaper, scratch resistant glass, Wallpaper, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass

Multi-language Menu: Yes

Display Languages: Danish, Czech, Croatian, English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Bulgarian, Estonian

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x MHL (Micro-USB) - 5 pin Micro-USB Type B ¦ 1 x headset jack - mini-phone 3.5mm

Battery

Technology: Lithium Ion

Capacity: 1650 mAh, 1850 mAh

Run Time Details: Talk - up to 420 min ¦ Standby - up to 250 hrs

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Power adapter, Headset, USB cable, power adapter, Power adapter , power adapter, Data cable, headset, power adapter

Compliant Standards: HAC(Hearing Aid Compatible)

Environmental Parameters

Max Operating Temperature: 50 °C

Min Operating Temperature: -20 °C

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