Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S raised the bar for a high-end Android phone by combining a powerful chipset with an innovative screen technology. Sammy sold millions of those, and now we have the sequel – Samsung Galaxy S II – for a preview round.
Samsung has gone dual-core with the chipset now, upped the screen size to 4.3”, and slapped the newest 4.0 version of its TouchWiz Android skin. The display technology has also been upgraded to its newest version – Super AMOLED Plus, but will these be enough for a worthy sequel to one of the most successful Android handsets? Dabble in our preview to find out...
Thin is in, people! Have you ever held a bar of slim dark Hershey's chocolate before it starts melting in your hand? That's exactly how Forest Gump would describe the feel he gets from the Samsung Galaxy S II. The crown of the slimmest smartphone this side of Japan is taken for this year, and it will be a tough one to beat.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy S II with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The 4.3” screen evokes one word – fantastic. Super AMOLED Plus delivers better perceived resolution than Super AMOLED on the Galaxy S, since it uses a standard matrix to form an image with 50% more subpixels than the PenTile arrangement used in the Galaxy S. The resolution stays the same - 480x800 pixels - but due to the use of a normal RGB matrix, text appears crisper in books and websites on the Galaxy S II.
The Super AMOLED Plus display is also 18% brighter and thinner than the previous generation, which has probably been one of the precursors for the slim chassis of the Galaxy S II. Samsung is moving to a laser-based production method for its AMOLED displays this year, which will allow for 300ppi + pixel densities, so we are looking forward to such higher resolutions.
Thanks to the increased brightness, and the low-reflectance coating the display reads very well outside, better than the previous generation, and you can boost the intensity even further from the maximum when framing your shots in camera mode or watching videos in the player, as there is an additional mode there, called “Outdoor visibility”, which comes in handy when it's sunny outside. The browser and video player also have their own brightness setting sliders.
Samsung uses the DNIe + image processing technology from its TV sets to enhance the picture when watching media, similar to what Sony Ericsson does with the Mobile Bravia engine on some of its new Android handsets. Unlike Mobile Bravia, however, which automatically fires up when you watch pictures or video, here we can also choose from the Settings list how to set the screen, as there are three modes available – Dynamic, Standard and Movie - much as on our Samsung TV at home. Dynamic boosts the colors and brightness, while the Movie mode brings a more toned down, cinematic atmosphere to the image. Besides the general display mode, in the video player you can also set color warmth and adjust individual brightness level.
The 0.33” (8.49mm) Samsung Galaxy S II preview unit we are holding leaves you with a totally different impression than its predecessor – the Galaxy S. The design is still all-plastic, but the back cover has a textured surface that differentiates the Galaxy S II from the typical polished backs. The etched edges of the 8MP camera area are the only thing that sticks out in an otherwise bland back. We don't mind the all-plastic design, since you come to appreciate this material whenever you are holding a phone beast with a 4.3” display, as it makes huge handsets feel feathery.
The Galaxy S II is extremely light for its size, it weighs about the same as its first edition, but the feel in your hand is of a large, strictly rectangular block. It's rather tall and wide, though, and not very comfortable to hold - the rounded forms of the original Galaxy S suit us better than the bar of chocolate the Galaxy S II is, so there will be some adjustment period with it.
The 8MP camera has an LED flash this time around, and the phone records the sound accompanying captured videos in stereo, thanks to the microphone duo, which also serves noise-cancellation duties. We don't have stereo speakers like on the LG Optimus 2X, for example, but we have another distinctive feat at the bottom - the microUSB port doubles as an HDMI-out one. It is called a Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) port, but more about that later.
1. Noname (unregistered)
Do you have scores of GLBenchmark??
10. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
Sorry but Samsung isn't tricking me again with the S series. My Fascinate still doesn't have 2.2. Ain't that some poopoo, but i'm loving my Thunderbolt. :) HERCULES, HERCULES !!!!!
13. testman22 (Posts: 336; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
galaxy s 2 blows the thunderbolt out of the water
17. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
ya honestly if u expected quick updates u shudnt have boughten android... i dont hear u complaining ur thunderbolt isnt on 2.3... prejudiced...
21. Eingild (unregistered)
Dude, the reason why your Fascinate was stuck in 2.1 is that your carrier won't simply allow it. 2.3 update is already available for the original Samsung Galaxy S without any carrier crap.
32. bucky (Posts: 1202; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
and if they get any closer to an iphone design i honestly think people will get confused.
2. Neal (unregistered)
Can't wait until this comes out in may for the U.K! :)
3. belovedson (Posts: 821; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)
Ahem ahem ladies and gentlemen. we got another big seller from samsung.
4. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
anyone doubt it would be awesome? For PA to say its awesome over an iphone4, it must be super duper duper awesome.. lol.
5. 3MTA3 (unregistered)
Nah, if this were Engadget the device would get a 6 or 7 rating. Slap a label of a fruit on it and it instantly gets a 9+ rating. The best would have been if this phone was leaked as the new ifone 5 label and all then peel the logo off and admit it is a Samsung not apple! Ha, that would be great!
8. Kjayhawk (Posts: 271; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)
I trust Phonearena to give this one an honest score. When you look back at it all of the scores they have given are honest. REALLY they just over shot the iPhone 4. Which it 100% deserved until the hardware malfunction was figured out, Phonearena had already reviewed the product and chose not to update or change the score, which is respectable.
The last thing you should know is phonearena staff I would think use iPhones as there personal phones. Yes they do use a spectrum of phones for reviewing but have one phone as there main. Making this myth of android being so confusing. Remember when you had used a windows computer all your life and then you used a mac and found it super confusing... same thing happens in phone OS. I am very excited to see the Phonearena review without a doubt in my mind it will recieve a 9.5. Only con will be some weird exterior design they had a problem with
9. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
lol, if you go look at actual PA reviews of the iphones, they spend the whole article going "the iphone doesnt do this or that or this and the competition does this but the iphone still doesnt... yet.. its an iphone, so it gets a 9.7!"
sorry, but if the phone doesnt at least have the features of the other phones, it shouldnt get a higher score because of personal fanboyism.. dont review if you cant be objective. its that easy and simple. whatever they give the SGS2, they will give the iphone 5 a higher score.
7. Kjayhawk (Posts: 271; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)
it has hspa capabilities so I would say yes.
11. pookie (unregistered)
I wont lie the screen does look amazing and the the phone is physically ok but it still doesnt have the aesthetic appeal of htc's phones or their ui, touchwiz pales in comparison to sense and to me thats one of the defining characteristics of a phone the ui. Just my honest opinion.
18. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
no if u actually use touchwiz it is pretty good. its second only becuase it doesnt look as nice. it has much more functionality than sense. not saying sense is bad but it has more pretty animations than real productivity. just look at the apps menu. scrolling up and down is inconvenient. touchwiz fixes that by going horizontal.
12. ADS (unregistered)
Nice one. One question, can xvid 720p files open on this phone?
14. Jerry.Stolarik (unregistered)
It looks like SII will play xvid 720p. I'm really happy that the SII can play .mkv video format. That makes it worth having the 1080p playback.
When can we expect full review phonearena.? THX
15. Mikeypopps (unregistered)
If the main issue jogutier is having android 2.1 on your fascinate. Why haven't you just changed the rom. I agree samsung said they would have updated it since november last year but the solution has been there for longer. It only takes half an hour of your time to learn and do. Plus all the benefits of super user apps. Use xda forums it's your friend. The galaxy s 2 is my perfect spec set and I'm not gonna buy it any time soon cause my captivate with cognition mod is so slick it would just be vanity to buy another phone.
19. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
haha well he probably just doesnt know what all that is...
27. PHONE_FREAK (Posts: 51; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)
Man, my T-mobile wing can take your captivate anyday!
Got that 2.0-megapixel camera with digital zoom, Video capture and playback music
2.8-inch RESISTIVE diagonal, 65K-color screen with 240 x 320 px! Combine that with a processor thats OVER 200MHz! And you have the best phone EVER!
35. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
This has to be one of the most logical comments I've ever seen on PhoneArena. Good job.
16. remixfa (Posts: 13901; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
then call me vain! :) My vibrant is modded to perfection, but im still gonna retire it when the sgs2 comes out. :)
22. Afenix (Posts: 4; Member since: 13 Feb 2011)
Samsung seem to have done a really good job here, but where I live (East Europe), that price tag is going to be just way too much for me :/
I think I'm just gonna stick with my Xperia Arc for a few years :)
24. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 458; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
Nice looking phone. I like my inspire with cm7 on it overclocked to 1.5ghz but the s2 does look good.
25. phonejockey (unregistered)
So will this phone be released on Verizon or AT&T? the signal of HSPA makes me think at&t, but all other sites are listing it on verizon because of the leaked verizon road map. any ideas for a carrier for us in the states?
28. zan (unregistered)
must have apps, widgets and other hacks for Android
29. zan (unregistered)
must have apps, widgets and other hacks for Android
30. Moose (unregistered)
when the hell is this phone coming to the US?!?!?!
33. zeus (unregistered)
I m sure this phone will be great bt i dont think its fair to compare it with iphone 4 when iphone 5 is on the way!!
34. highgear (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)
Will all the major carriers get a galaxy version of the S-S2...(eg....captivate, fascinate, etc) & will Verizon be the first to get it? Which month will it be released in US?
36. Mkulima (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Apr 2011)
Any one who bought this S G s 2? Does it do what the preview says?
I wanna buy one!
|Display||4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (218 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus|
Samsung Exynos 4210, Dual core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1024 MB RAM
|Size||4.93 x 2.60 x 0.33 inches|
(125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49 mm)
4.09 oz (116 g)
|Battery||1650 mAh, 18.3 hours talk time|