Samsung Galaxy S2 review
- Glorious screen, thin body
- Decent battery performance
- Good camera/video mode
- Feels plasticky
- Can't play some Tegra games
We first saw the Android Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) mobile phone at MWC earlier this year and it was love at first sight. The successor to the Samsung Galaxy S includes a gorgeous next-gen 4.2inch AMOLED screen in a slimmer body.
Well, the handset finally landed on T3’s doorstep a few days ago, and we can confirm this is more than a fleeting attraction. Samsung is seriously challenging HTC for the Android crown.
Samsung Galaxy S2: Build
Pick up the phone and the first thing you notice is how light it is – it’s just 116g. Measuring 8.49mm, it’s incredibly slim in comparison to 9.9mm for the original Galaxy S; 9.3mm for the Apple iPhone 4 and 8.7mm for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.
While the Galaxy S2 will certainly fit into the tightest jeans pocket, the compromise is build quality - the body just feels cheap and uninspiring. Things don't improve when you remove the wafer thin back to insert a sim - we’d be seriously worried about snapping it.
Controls are limited to volume on one side, power on the other, MHL port, which serves a dual purpose of charging via USB and outputting to HDMI, and a 3.5mm jack on the top, Samsung includes a range of streaming options including DLNA.
Samsung Galaxy S2: Screen
The highlight of S2 is the 4.3-inch 800x480 screen, which incorporates Super AMOLED Plus technology. Colours are eye popping and blues and greens literally jump out of the screen at you. Off-angle viewing is excellent too - the first phone we’ve seen to match the iPhone 4.
A larger screen sizes means that the phone is bulky, but it’s a joy for movies. When playing back our test HD movie clips, detail is sharp and action smooth.
We found that whites aren’t as pure or bright as those on the Apple iPhone 4, although blacks seem darker and colours are bolder and warmer. It handles action smoothly too.
Samsung Galaxy S2: Android
Running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, you get seven homescreens customisable with widgets and shortcuts. Swipe down to quickly activate WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and Auto Rotation settings.
Phone, Contact, Messaging and Application settings along the bottom are static when you are browsing the homescreens. Like other Android phones, press down to customise with Shortcuts, Folders, Wallpaper and numerous Samsung widgets.
Samsung’s overlayed Android with its TouchWiz UI which is functional and adds some neat features, including four hubs: Music (see below), Games, Readers and Social Hub, which acts as a portal to Kobo bookstore and Magazines via Zinio.
Social Hub syncs social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, to IM accounts including Google Talk; and MySpace and Linked-in.
It’s functional, syncing your contacts, but we prefer HTC Sense. In addition Sony Ericsson’s Xperia skin is slightly easier to use, for example here you can only organize the Applications via grid or list and to create App Folders you make the folder first before dragging items onto it.