Saturday, September 10, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II | Reviews


You may find that the design of the Galaxy S II appears to be "inspired" by a certain other smartphone. In fact, there's an ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung that names this smartphone as an example of the Korean company copying the Cupertino firm's designs. It doesn't help that the Galaxy S II creates the illusion of having just a single button on the front surface by hiding the touch-sensitive Menu and Back buttons when not in use. By default, these light up only briefly when pressed. Intentional emulation? Perhaps.

Now, the Galaxy S II may be made of plastic materials, but it did feel solid in our hands, and gives a much better feel compared with the original Galaxy S. This is also probably due to its compact form factor--the smartphone is 8.5mm at its thinnest point. The phone weighs in at a lightweight 116g.

The rear battery cover uses a textured surface and helps give the phone a better grip. When you remove the cover though, you'll find that the it actually feels very flimsy and likely to break. Underneath the cover, you'll find the SIM and microSD slots. You will have to remove the battery to get at the microSD however, so swapping your microSD card without powering off is not possible.

At the bottom of the device is where you find the micro-USB port, and on top is where a 3.5mm audio jack is located together with a dedicated noise-cancelling microphone. The power button is found at the right side, while your volume controls are on the left.

There's a 2-megapixel front camera for making video calls, and a rear 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash, autofocus and HD 1080p video recording capabilities.


The Galaxy S II comes with the full range of connectivity options that you would expect from a high-end device--Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, GPS and HSDPA.

If you have used or have heard about Samsung's products before, then you'll know that the S II comes with Samsung's TouchWiz interface. The UI has gotten a few improvements, including the ability to resize supported widgets to better customize your home screens. The application pages now scroll continuously, allowing you to flip to the last page from the first without having to go through the other five first. Other enhancements include the ability to zoom in and out by holding two fingers on the display and tilting the device back and forth.

The good:
Speedy performance; gorgeous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display; lightweight; good camera; TouchWiz interface is easy to use.

The bad:
Social Hub doesn't work well with Twitter; short battery life; flimsy back cover.

The bottom line:
The Galaxy S II is quite possibly one of the best Android smartphones released in 2011, though it is not without flaws. That said, it is a handset that improves on its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S, by leaps and bounds.

First announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona, the Samsung Galaxy S II is the sequel to the wildly popular first generation Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. For most Android lovers, this is probably the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) smartphone they've been waiting for. Let's see what this high-end product from the Korean chaebol has to offer.


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