Samsung Galaxy S2 review

Samsung Galaxy S2 review

T3 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 Review: The S2 offers an exciting batch of features, from a super repsonsive 4.3-inch touchscreen to a generous 8-megapixel camera

    Samsung Galaxy S2 review

    Love

    • Glorious screen
    • thin body
    • Decent battery performance
    • Good camera/video mode

    Hate

    • 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.

  • Samsung's super-thin Galaxy S2smartphone is an eye-watering feast of high specs. Here's what T3 thought of the supposed Apple iPhone 4 rival

    Samsung Galaxy S2 review

    Love

    • Glorious screen
    • thin body
    • Decent battery performance
    • Good camera/video mode

    Hate

    • Feels plasticky
    • Can't play some Tegra games

    The original Galaxy S was famously skinny and light, and at just 8.5mm thick, the Galaxy S2 will be the thinnest smartphone on the market, effortlessly pinching the 9.3mm iPhone 4's crown. The Galaxy S2 will be familiar to those Sammy fans who picked up the original Samsung Galaxy S (to which we gave a glowing review), with a super-light plastic shell and brilliant AMOLED touchscreen.


    The screen on the Galaxy S2 has been beefed up from 4-inches to 4.3-inches. In the past we've found large-screen handsets like the HTC Desire HD a bit chunky for some users, here paired with the device's slim side-on profile the Galaxy S2 actually sits very comfortably in the hand.
     

    Into this shell Samsung have found room for a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage as well as the Near Field Communication (or NFC) technology seen in the Google Nexus S, which will, at some point, allow the transfer of data and money in a similar way to an Oyster Card.

    Watch the Samsung Galaxy S2 review video below

     

     



    Samsung Galaxy S2 Android

    The Galaxy S2 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread overlayed with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 UI, which is a joy to navigate and now comes with 3D graphics.


    Samsung Galaxy S2  Screen

    The Galaxy S2's number one selling point is its Super AMOLED Plus display - which is blacker than black and with almost retina-burningly bright contrast. Aside from an excellert film and video watching experience, the AMOLED technology uses less power than LCD displays.  If you're buying a mobile primarily to watch video content either off the phone's storage or online, this is worth serious consideration.


    Samsung Galaxy S2 Camera

    Sporting a an 8MP rear-facing snapper capable of full HD 1080p recording, the only thing it doesn't do is 3D video recording, although that's only being promised on the LG Optimus 3D, which shoots 720p quality, instead of full HD.


    Samsung Galaxy S2 Battery

    The Super AMOLED Plus screen takes only the tiniest sips of battery to keep lit, so we hope the Galaxy S2's 1650mAH runs for a respectable amount of time when charged - although until we get a more extended chance to play with it, this is just rational speculation.


    Samsung Galaxy S2 Price

    The Galaxy S2 has cropped up as an unlocked pre-order on several web-based mobile dealers' sites, priced at around £650. We'd expect that to drop a bit once the high street retailers start offering the phone SIM free and on contract...

    Samsung Galaxy S2 Launch Date

    ... although exactly when that will happen remains a closely guarded secret. Samsung are promising Q2, but anything more precise than that would be merest speculation at this point.

    • Samsung Galaxy S2 - 10 Things
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_GalaxyS2_Angle_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_GalaxyS2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_GalaxyS2_Bot2624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_GalaxyS2_Bot_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_GalaxyS2_Top624.jpg
  • Samsung Galaxy S2

    Best deals

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now