Samsung Galaxy S II
The Galaxy S II is bigger, thinner and lighter, and can multitask with its all new dual-core processor allowing for a great user experience
Ratings BreakdownEditor's Rating:
- Value for money:
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Camera: 8-megapixel rear facing, 2-megapixel forward facing
Data services: Y
Media player/capture: Y
When we reviewed the original Galaxy S in our September 2010 smartphone grouptest, it impressed us so much that we awarded it our Best Performance prize. As a result we had high expectations of its successor.
Out of the box it’s apparent the new Galaxy is bigger; checking the specs we found that whereas the original measures 122.4 x 64.2mm, the Galaxy S II measures 125.3 x 66.1mm. The slightly larger size wasn’t a problem for us, as far as holding the phone was concerned but users with smaller hands may find it difficult to hang onto this handheld. Another slight issue is that, as before, the Galaxy S II doesn’t offer much grip on its rear-end so, again, you’ll have to be careful when handling the smartphone or else it could slip out of your hands.
Although the Galaxy has grown on some fronts it has also shrunk on others - while its predecessor was far from flabby width-wise, measuring 9.9mm, the new smartphone measures an astonishing 8.5mm. In comparison Apple’s superb iPhone 4 measures 9.3mm thick. Weighing 116g the Samsung is also one of the lightest
high-end smartphones we’ve tested.
Despite its thin design and scarce weight, the Samsung is a heavy-hitter as far as performance is concerned. Over our two week long test period we were constantly blown away by how responsive the Galaxy S II was. Regardless of the number of apps we had open simultaneously, we never experienced any lag and launching even the most demanding apps and games never stressed the smartphone. This amazing performance is thanks to the Galaxy’s fast 1.2GHz dual-core processor and potent 1GB of memory.
As intoxicating as the performance is, it’s the gorgeous 4.27-inch AMOLED Plus touchscreen that seals the deal. It managed to punch out the most vibrant colours we’ve ever seen on a smartphone and even managed to deliver deep blacks. The screen is also bright enough to overcome direct sunlight, so you can work even when you’re out and about. The screen, as expected, is also super responsive, which coupled with the fast CPU and gobs of memory made for a pleasant user experience.
Despite the large LCD screen and fast processor the Samsung is also surprisingly resilient when it comes to battery life. On a full charge the phone lasted for a day and a half before needing to be recharged. This is impressive when you consider we were using the phone’s WiFi connection, multitasking between several apps and had about two hours of talk time.
The only change we’d make to this smartphone is to add a notification light because as it is now, the only way you’d know if you missed a call or SMS would be to check the phone yourself.