Apr 21, 2013

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II Snap Review

The Samsung Galaxy S II (also known as the Galaxy S2) is Samsung's flagship mobile device, their fastest veer selling smartphone. This isn't surprising, the Galaxy S II improves over the original Galaxy S by a huge margin. When the Galaxy S II was announced, it was the thinnest smartphone in the world with a dual-core processor. Even today the specs of the S II is still considered market leading, rivalled only on paper by phones that aren't yet on the market.

Read on to find out what I think of the Galaxy S II.

  • Exynos SoC with 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU and Mali-400MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM and 16GB built-in flash storage
  • 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • Quad band GSM and 3G
  • 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 8 Megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 1080p30 video recording
  • 2 Megapixel front camera
  • Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Digital compass
Despite being made entirely of plastic, the Galaxy S II's built quality is great. It feels great in my palms, and at 116g, is very light. The plastic does make it feel cheaper than say the HTC Sensation. Regardless, the Galaxy S II is also very thin, measuring 8.49mm at its thinnest point. A solitary 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top, while the microphone and microUSB port, which supports Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) and USB On-The-Go, are found on the bottom. Unfortunately the MHL adaptor, required for HDTV-out, is not bundled with the device. On either side of the devices you will find the power button and volume rocker.

I have had my doubts in the past, but after a month of using the S II, I have grown to love the large 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen capacitive display. The display, which is covered by Gorilla Glass and has oleophobic coating, is absolutely gorgeous. This is the same screen as seen on the Galaxy II, except that the pixels are now made up of RGB stripes rather than the much maligned PenTile stripes. While the resolution is still 480 x 800, the screen remained sharp, with strong contrast and black levels and colours so over saturated I had to reduce the colour levels in the settings.

Below the display are three hardware buttons. One, the Home key, is physical and the two (Menu and Back) are touch sensitive. By pressing it down, the Menu key also doubles as a regular Android Search key. Not being a fan of touch sensitive buttons, I am glad that the buttons are not too sensitive. You will find the earspeaker, 2 Megapixel front camera, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.

At the back of the Galaxy S II resides the 8 Megapixel camera with auto-focus and macro capability. The camera is capable of full HD (1080p) video recording. A single LED flash sits next to it. While some may prefer Xenon flash, I found the LED flash to be more useful as it you can use it as a video light. Near the bottom of the back you will find a small speaker grill. The single speaker itself gives out a loud, but unfortunately unfulfilled audio experience. Best to stick with headphones. Underneath the thin textured battery cover you will find the none hot-swappable microSDHC card slot, a full size SIM card slot and a removable 1650 mAh battery. See Apple, this is how it's done.

The design of the Galaxy S II is simple, almost understated. Overall I liked the design, though I do wish Samsung has put in a bit more effort in differentiating their products. The Galaxy S II reminds me greatly of a couple of phones from Samsung's own portfolio as well as this one popular phone from a competitor of theirs... ;) Overall I liked the design, though I still preferred Sony Ericsson's effort with the XPERIA Arc a little bit more. Continue reading.....


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