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Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Interface:

You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus, and the maker's nature-inspired user interface is layered on top of it. No, that isn't the newest TouchWiz version gracing the Galaxy S4 flagship, rather the UI found on the Galaxy S III and many other of Samsung's recent Androids.

Having Samsung's custom user interface on the Galaxy S II Plus is a great thing for a number of reasons. First of all, it simply looks nice without putting a strain on the smartphone's performance. Also, the UI brings along plenty of handy features that stock Android lacks, such as Smart Stay, which prevents the smartphone's display from turning off as long as you're looking at it, Direct Call, which dials the number of a contact you're viewing as soon as you bring the handset next to your ear, and a built-in task manager for those times when an app starts misbehaving. Of course, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean solidifies the positive user experience even further with the inclusion of Google Now and with its increased responsiveness over older Android versions. However, we do miss the lock screen shortcuts, which for some reason now can't be set on this Nature UX variant.

You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus


After using the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus for a short while, we got pretty comfortable with its on-screen keyboard, so chances are your thumbs will also get quickly used to its arrangement. It offers the traditional QWERTY layout, enhanced with word autocompletion, as well as the Swype method for those who are fans of it.

The on-screen keyboard - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The on-screen keyboard - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

The on-screen keyboard



Processor and Memory:

While the old-school Samsung Galaxy S II was equipped with a dual-core, 1.2GHz Exynos chip, the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus makes do with a SoC made by Broadcom. Should we call it a downgrade? Well, not really – both chips are powered by two Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, so their performance should be identical in most cases. And based on our extensive experience with the Galaxy S II, we can safely say that the S II Plus is at least as fast as the older model in real life. The latter is very responsive and multitasks well with its 1GB of RAM. Even complex 3D games can be played at good framerates, which isn't that surprising considering the low resolution that the GPU has to drive.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus 3833 8228
Samsung Galaxy S III 5335 15152
Sony Xperia S 3206
HTC One S 4867

If you're planning on having a Samsung Galaxy S II Plus, better be ready to provide a microSD card to go along with it. The smartphone comes with only 8GB of on-board storage, out of which only half is available to the user – enough to store some apps, photos, and maybe a few music albums, but still not enough for the needs of most users. At least you get 50GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years, courtesy of Samsung.


Web Browser and Connectivity:

We have to commend Samsung for launching the Galaxy S II Plus with a browser as snappy as this. It loads pages quickly and renders even heavy web pages with little to no effort whatsoever. As expected, it offers the standard set of handy features, such as tabbed browsing and saving web pages for offline reading. Embedded YouTube videos are playable as well thanks to the browser's HTML5 support. The only thing spoiling the experience a bit is the screen's low resolution.

The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus


Connectivity-wise, the Galaxy S II Plus offers all of the features that have now become standard for a smartphone: 21Mbps HSPA+, a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 3.0 and FM radio. The GPS radio is complemented with support for GLONASS, which should result in improved accuracy. There is an NFC-capable variant of the smartphone as well.

39 Comments
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posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:26 12

1. lee480 (Posts: 175; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


Xperia L is a better choice.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 10:29 3

9. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


I will never buy any Xperia unless Sony starts using decent scratch resistant glass on top of their screens with an oleophobic layer instead of that plastic sheet of crap that is supposed to protect the screen.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 11:10 4

10. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Apparantly some people don't believe me (why else would you vote down my comment?) so here is some proof:

youtube.com/watch?v=4GzYnDnZDRg&feature=youtube_gd​ata_player

without oleophobic layer, the glass (not the plastic sheet) catches fingerprints you can't get rid of anymore... Suit yourselves!

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 11:16 5

11. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Let's say the Xperia T is a better choice then, can be had for €350 too.

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 07:10

24. mercorp (Posts: 969; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


Why?
Sexier design,faster krait processor,and more bang for your buck.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:29 9

2. Captain_Doug (Posts: 753; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


This really doesn't impress me. The OG S2 is just as good or better in almost every category and already has a great developer following. The S2 plus is Samsungs way of saying, "we really can get away with anything".

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:33 7

3. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


I agree , just get an OG GS2 and cyanogenmod it and it performs almost as good as a Galaxy Crap 3

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 14:38 3

15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3012; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Galaxy SIII 'Minus' should've been a better name fit for this.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:36 1

4. procopiojose (Posts: 132; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


samsung is giving options.. doorknob...

if you cant afford the latest devices, you have this for a fraction of the price..

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:45 3

5. Captain_Doug (Posts: 753; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Except they already have more than enough mid range options... I understand choice and options, that's why I choose Android. However, flooding the market and selling this phone as an S2 plus is insulting. You can buy an original S2 for $250-300 on ebay brand new with no contract. I doubt that the S2 plus will be sold at a competitive price.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 10:23 1

7. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


At a fraction of the price? LOL! €350 is the price for it in Belgium. I have been able to find a brand new Galaxy S3 for €379... Some great options Sammy is giving here. Looks like you don't look that smart anymore, hé?

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 09:57 7

6. shadez10 (Posts: 402; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


I really dont get it why they call it the s2 plus when its really not an upgrde from the original s2 when in fact its a little bit downgraded...

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 10:27 6

8. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Phonearena, come on! A couple of days ago you reviewed the HTC First and gave it a 7.5 because of the performance that is not top notch...
Now you're scoring this overpriced two year old repacked thing the same whereas it scores only half the points in Quadrant and Antutu? Saying it is an OK performing mid-range phone?

Where is your objectivity? Your scoring system fails big time!

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 01:37 1

18. XperiaPrince (Posts: 108; Member since: 25 Dec 2012)


PA Loves Samsung and Especially APPLE!

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 14:18

14. xvasek (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


Will be possible make some camera comparison - Galaxy SII Plus vs Galaxy S4?
I would like to see the qualitative progress (in time)

Thank you very much

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 16:16

16. renjithr712 (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)


If it was atleast QHD resolution and the battery would have been a bit bigger, then it would have been the best mid-ranger. Those who couldn't buy S2 due to its price point can try this one.

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 02:26

19. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Sad. I cant afford it still :(

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 02:27

20. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Where I live... this phone costs about $100 less than an S2 so I grabbed it right away to replace my old (no longer working) phone... and I can really say that it's a really great bang-for-buck.

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 02:28

21. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


For who are wondering.. it cost me exactly $262

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 02:36

22. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Does it has scratch resistant glass?

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 06:21

23. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


should have

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 09:43

25. KingKai (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


this phone needs a different name

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 17:58

26. baraheemo (Posts: 14; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I bought one before 3 days , the device has some problems on the software i think .
it made a restart 3 times in the three days
i am so disappointed .

posted on 18 Apr 2013, 02:41

27. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2625; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Shame on you Samsung, this device should have come up with upgraded features but you just sucks. Its should be named as S II Minus :X

posted on 18 Apr 2013, 12:48

28. Talish (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


I really hate this phone.Sold after hardly using 2 days. Let me list the reason for which I incurred loss of $25 on this set by reselling.
1. It does support flash so that you can not install Adobe Flash Player in it which is necessary to support various games i.e. Subway Surfers etc. Moreover, online TV channels need flash player as well to play on phone.
2. It hanged on the very first day while I was on call and ends up restarting the phone.
3. Touch sensation is no way near the low-budgeted HTC phones.
4. Camera result is ordinary, you find iphone 3GS 3.15MP result quite better than that of S2 plus.

Hope it would guide you positively.

posted on 18 Apr 2013, 13:12

29. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


I can conclude three possiblities for your situation... Either you have been paid by HTC, or you've accidentally bought a Galaxy Pocket, or you were scammed hardcore and bought a chinese phone. I will respond to your points as per my experience with the phone for more than a week now...
1. You can install Flash player, you can play any game... Your info is so false it makes no sense.
2. Never hang on me... in more than a week, and I install lots and lots of apps and use the phone heavily.
3. Lol... Makes no sense
4. SGS2+ camera is equal to SGS3's.

posted on 19 Apr 2013, 03:32

30. Talish (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


Mr.Panda..If you citing your experience bona fide then I may be scammed. Please go to play store and try installing adobe flash player and do install subway surfers and let me know whether or not your phone playing it properly

posted on 19 Apr 2013, 06:04

31. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Adoble flash has been removed from the play store since the release of 4.1 Jellybean, you must sideload it... Plus (pun intended), Adobe flash player has nothing to do with subway surfer. Subway surfer worked perfectly before and after I installed flash player. No bugs whatsoever.

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 00:40

32. Abhisheknallur (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


Hey I guys I am planning to buy a mid range smartphone I have confusion with S2 or S2+ or xperia SP. Which smartphone would you guys suggest for gaming purpose? and for overall performance?

Thanks in advance!!!

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 07:56

33. baraheemo (Posts: 14; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


s2 with ice cream sanwish dont buy s2+ with the jelly bean

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 09:30

34. panda123 (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Xperia SP definitely... Unless you want a cheaper phone then S2+

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 00:59

35. gsmfastest (Posts: 3; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


glaxy s2 i user personaly its very good mobile specialy for email cammra result is very fine and very slim also new update of jalibeen is very reliable br gsmfastest.com

posted on 03 May 2013, 09:13 1

36. charming (Posts: 4; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


i am going to buy this

posted on 04 May 2013, 16:33

37. baraheemo (Posts: 14; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I have already one but i advice you to buy s3

posted on 04 May 2013, 16:34

38. baraheemo (Posts: 14; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I have already one but i advice you to buy s3

posted on 12 May 2013, 02:13

39. MrMohsin10 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 May 2013)


Hey people, I'm thinking of buying this phone. The things I prefer in phones is a good big display, an eye catching design and the most most important, Extreeeeme gaming performance!
I'm more than satisfied with its display and design and all...
But I'm worried about the gaming angle. I've seen videos and have read comments about the Videocore IV GPU of the device giving it a hard time in gaming :(
Is this so? I've seen Modern Combat 4 with some minor bugs in the visuals, is this the same with some other games too? How many games are buggy on this device and what can I expect with gaming on this device? Do the newly released high end games like Real Boxing, Real racing 3, etc, work good on this device? The framerates and all...

(Please no suggestions of high budgeted devices because I have a limited budget...
My range is around 250-300$)

posted on 12 May 2013, 10:07

40. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Well, to be honest, if gaming is really important to you, I doubt this is the device you are looking for. I don't know where you are living, but since you're giving price range in dollars: why don't you buy the Nexus 4? It is in that price range and will satisfy your needs.

posted on 12 May 2013, 11:38

41. MrMohsin10 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 May 2013)


I quoted the price in dollars just to be on the same page with most of the people out there!
I live in Pakistan though...
And nexus 4 is much expensive than the s2 plus here :-(
I myself also wanted the nexus 4 but sadly, it's out of range for me :'(
Can you suggest me some other phones having the best gaming potential in the s2 plus' price range...

posted on 12 May 2013, 16:30

42. toondewachter (Posts: 52; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


It is very hard to recommend something if I don't know what's available in your region and at what cost. I live in Belgium and we have a similar situation here: no cheap Nexus 4...

Here the HTC One S and the Xperia T can be bought for around €350 which is roughly the same price as the S2 Plus. But it features a much better chipset. You could look out for those.

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Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Broadcom BCM28155, Dual core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size4.93 x 2.60 x 0.33 inches
(125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm)
4.27 oz  (121 g)
Battery1650 mAh, 16 hours talk time

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