The Samsung Galaxy S2 offers a new, exciting batch of features; starting with a generous 8 megapixel camera and moving to the super responsive 4.3 inch touch screen. The successor to the Samsung Galaxy S is the Android Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) phone and it was love at first sight. This phone features a next generation 4.3 inch AMOLED screen placed in a slimmer body. The release of the Galaxy S2 confirmed the fact that Samsung is challenging HTC and has their eye on the Android crown.
The Build and Screen
The first thing most people notice about this phone is how light it is, weighing in at only 116 grams. It is also very slim in comparison to the original Galaxy because the original was roughly 9.9 mm thick and the newest one comes in at 8.49 mm thick. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is thinner than the Sony Xperia Arc and the Apple iPhone 4.
The Galaxy S2 is certainly small and will fit into tight pockets; however, the compromise must have been quality for Samsung because the phone feels rather cheap. The phone continues to slip when you remove a paper-thin backing to insert a sim; if you are not careful you may snap the back in half! You will find controls limited with having volume on one side and power on the other. Other than that, the phone offers an MHL port and a 3.5 mm jack on the top.
The best thing about the S2 is the screen. It features a 4.3 inch 800×480 screen that incorporates the Super AMOLED Plus technology. The phone offers eye-catching colors and is the closest competitor to the iPhone in this aspect. The larger screen size can result in the phone being a little more bulky, but you will appreciate the screen while watching movies or other HD videos.
Android OS and the Processor
The Samsung Galaxy S2 runs the Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 and is very customizable. This phone comes with seven home screens that you can customize with shortcuts and widgets from the Android Market. The Swipe down feature quickly allows you to control the Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and auto-rotation settings.
Samsung took their own approach to the Android system and overlaid it with their own TouchWiz UI which helped add fun features such as four hubs: one for Readers, Music, Games, and Social. These hubs help to connect with other services such as Kobo bookstore, Linked-In, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
This phone features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. When you are using this phone, you will notice it seems the phone operates quickly; in fact, it’s one of the fastest smart phones tested. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are browsing the web or moving between applications, the phone does not slow down. Tests conducted showed this phone would load internet pages faster than the iPhone 4.
Camera, Music, and Other Features
Samsung definitely increased their camera quality this time around; increasing the megapixels from 5 to 8. Also, instead of a dedicated shutter, you actually tap the virtual shutter. The camera has many manual controls and features such as Smile Shot, Cartoon, Action, Panorama, and Beauty modes among others. The camera turned out to be one of the nicer functions on the phone; it even offers a good face detection program.
The built-in music hub allows you to look around and buy tracks from 7Digital where you will download directly to your phone for around $0.99 per song. The music player and hub both seem to be effective for their purposes and shouldn’t really get any negative complaints from users.
Samsung has added many extra features to this phone. They have included motion controls and Polaris Office which is a neat program that allows you to edit and create Excel, PowerPoint, and Word documents.
The Galaxy S II’s relatively high price is understandable. SIM-free and unlocked, in 16GB form it’s coming in at around £500 ($826). On the other hand, in comparison to past Android phones, this one tops them all. This phone combines top-notch connectivity with possibly one of the best screens currently available on a smart phone. Not to mention the fact the phone is backed with a powerful dual-core processor and an awesome phone camera. Samsung should have made one definite change and that would have been to produce a handset with a build closer to the feel of an iPhone or top-notch HTC.