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Samsung Galaxy S II Review

Samsung Galaxy S II 9

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Interface and Functionality:

The new TouchWiz 4.0 doesn't radically change the UI concept, but there are a number of visual improvements, like a redrawn icon set  throughout the homescreens and menus, nice transitional animations, and predefined widget slots. Not serving much practical purpose, except the slots, which save space, but great eye-candy nonetheless.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - Samsung Galaxy S II Review

The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI


The main menu is just page upon page of app icons, and can also be arranged alphabetically in a list view, and that's that. To be fair, we don’t mind the TouchWiz UI at all - it is not as elaborate as HTC Sense, but is pretty functional, and has some nice touches like the alarm app, with its plethora of personalization options.

The main menu - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The main menu - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The main menu - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
The main menu - Samsung Galaxy S II Review

The main menu


With the the Galaxy S II, Samsung introduces some motion sensor-powered gestures, different than the usual flip-to-mute, which is present here as well. Some only serve the coolness factor, like tilt-to-zoom in the gallery or browser. However, you ought to have two fingers on the touchscreen for that, so we might as well just do pinch-to-zoom, and that's exactly what we usually did. The panning gesture flips through homescreens or menu pages by tilting the phone left/right when you want to place an item on them, but skips a few at once, and it's challenging to go back with precision.

Motion settings - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Motion settings - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Motion settings - Samsung Galaxy S II Review

Motion settings


There is another phone navigation option, which has received the focus of attention in many a Samsung Galaxy S II commercialsvoice commands.

You can double-tap the top of the Samsung Galaxy S II to start a voice command session in the Voice talk app, which is useful if the phone is in a car cradle, for instance. Performance of the voice apps is hit-or-miss, though, despite the dual-core handset, but the software managed to recognize weird names in our contacts list, so you can use it for the occasional “Call Joe” shout when your hands are down the bucket with chicken fingers.

Voice talk app on the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Voice talk app on the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Voice talk app on the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Voice talk app on the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Review

Voice talk app on the Samsung Galaxy S II


The interface is flying - lag is barely there, only when you flip through homescreens loaded with widgets, and the dual-core 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos chipset carries its duties with pride. That’s no doubt thanks to the 1GB RAM as well, of which about 835MB were user available on our unit, probably the largest amount we’ve seen on an Android phone. There are also 16GB of internal memory, and an additional memory card slot for more.

Samsung Galaxy S II Review
Samsung Galaxy S II Review

We ran some synthetic benchmark tests with the Samsung Galaxy S II, and scored the highest Quadrant result we’ve seen from a stock handset – 3732, along with significant achievements on the only test that takes into account the dual-core nature of the chipset – Smartbench 2011. Look at our comparison with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 on the LG Optimus 2X in the video below:



For now it doesn't really matter, since there is hardly anything to take advantage of a dual-core phone chipset in Android Market. The tangible benefits for now are Full HD 1080p video recording, and faster browsing, both of which we are examining in the next sections of the review.

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posted on 03 May 2011, 11:38 50

1. touness69 (unregistered)


What ?? the iPhone 4 has 9.5 and this one 9 ?
R U SERIOUS
This is by far the best handset to date it even deserved an unprecendeted 10/10
How can say "Motion sensor-powered gestures could see more practical usage" when no other phone have motion controls ??

Phonearena = definitely biased to the bone

posted on 03 May 2011, 12:24 25

12. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


I thought the same thing. Iphone 4 should not even be mentioned as a recommendation in this review because it is way out of it's league compared to the Galaxy S 2! I swear PA gets paid every time they recommend iphone.

This is a very nice phone that should get a 9.7. I like all of the photo and video options like panarama and video editing to satisfy the shutter bug in me. I will still be getting the Evo 3D but this is a close second. I like that the Evo 3D has a qHD display and the new htc sense has some cool features. Plus I just can't trust Samsung with software updates anymore... Although I must credit them for possibly learning their lesson since it has gingerbread and an unlocked bootloader.

posted on 04 May 2011, 21:23 6

99. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


hey u guys are stupid... phone arena isnt gonna go back to every review and make it lower as the years pass... when the ip4 came out there was nothing to beat it... simple as that... this phone is coming out and the sensation, evo 3d, and thrill beat it... technically not one of these phones is in the US market, so they are all future phones... but how can you expect them to give this a perfect score when there are already better phones?

posted on 05 May 2011, 01:38 7

108. vishu9 (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


u say there are better phones? The ones u mentioned are in the making still and without a release date. And by any freaking way a review is not done by comparing it with other similar phones its purely done by the one phone-in-hand's performance.Period.

and going by wat u said that iphone4 got 9.5 coz there was nothing that could beat it when it came out..the same can be said about the GS2.there really is no phone out there that can beat it.
I'm not against iphone getting 9.5, its great but giving this one a 9 when it truly is unbeatable is far fetched

posted on 05 May 2011, 01:44 5

109. vishu9 (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


and why is it that in every page that mentions Apple u are defending it vociferously and calling other people 'Stupid' ...are you getting paid too? (jk) That would make you Stupid!

posted on 10 May 2011, 10:14 1

144. zoulou (unregistered)


Sorry but there is NO better phone than the SGS2 at least hardware wise. Even in the future planned phones, nothing comes CLOSE.
Maybe in 4 month...

Rarely a phone is such a gap with the competition.
Certainly, the IP4, while it has its merits, was not. And also has antenna issues - and still does.

posted on 05 May 2011, 02:03 5

110. FarooqPasha (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 May 2011)


I wonder how stupid the reviewer is. He is mentioning iphone 4 as the alternate. Shame on you PhoneArena. Shame on you.
Engadget is much more better than you if its iFanSite than you

posted on 05 May 2011, 02:31 7

116. vishu9 (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


absolutely

Engadget=IN

iPhonearena=OUT

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 16:27 3

180. Gesh75 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


Common if there is one of the worst phone review sites it's engadget, and their the biggest apple suck ups i've ever come across so have disagree with you there.

posted on 03 May 2011, 13:56 2

34. calamazoo (unregistered)


LG Optimus 2X and the LG Black have motion controlled gestures, and they seem way more useful than what Samsung has done here - the tilting one is plain dumb, and the panning stuff - meh. From what i saw in the Optimus Black review, you hold a button on the side and tilt up or down to zoom in the website - and here you need two hands for them, very silly

posted on 03 May 2011, 16:27 4

43. KingK (unregistered)


This phone is just on par with the competition. Nothing special.

Too many kids over excited over nothing.

Brings nothing new to the table.

Quadrant scores are exaggerated by 2.3 and low resolution and they've been all over the place. Yet this phone still has lags.

By the time it comes out all over the world, it will be close to yesterdays news.

Not to mention the compatibility issues with the CPU that will come later, can't play tegra 2 games, mali is weak.

Only real ok thing about it is the 1080p recording and the screen.

Its a good thing but it blows nothing out of the water like everyone is drooling at it. Maybe its 4.7% better at best.

posted on 03 May 2011, 17:44 4

52. touness69 (unregistered)


Lags ? Exynos weaker than Tegra 2 ?? on par with the competition ?! You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, just stfu and good bye.

posted on 03 May 2011, 19:00 3

59. cheetah2k (Posts: 1594; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


@ touness69 - The Tegra II is faster clock for clock. The only reason Samsung overclocked the Exynos at 1.2Ghz is that it wasn't competitive at 1.0Ghz.

And yes, the handset still lags. Go have a play with one you fuckknuckle

posted on 04 May 2011, 02:10 2

71. Jeez (unregistered)


I'm sorry, did the SGS2 make some baby of yours look like antique? You seem very deperate to rationalize away its leadership.

posted on 05 May 2011, 21:52 1

128. cheetah2k (Posts: 1594; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


My Motorola Atrix still got a 9.5

BWAHAHAHAHAH!!

posted on 04 May 2011, 09:51

79. lacp (unregistered)


Mali it isn't weak. It's much stronger than Tegra 2 GPU. Five times because Nvidia Tegra 2 it has the same performance than PowerVR SGX540.

posted on 04 May 2011, 10:25 1

80. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


I actually must concur. Though I favor this handset, with all that power, this should be the smoothest handset around. Period. As is evident, however, it is not. And to be honest, the improvements it does bring are relatively marginal. The only ones who would truly appreciate its improvements are those who like to tweak and work their phone to death. This is a great phone, yet, the greatest thing to me is the screen. Everything else is simply cool to have.

posted on 03 May 2011, 18:22 6

57. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Hey PA, stick to reccommending phones that are out.. and in the same class.

That would limit you to... oooh... hmmm.. maybe an LG G2x.

"Hey, instead of this fully loaded ferrari enzo.. how about.. last years BMW.. or waiting till 2014, i hear there will be new cars out then"

Reccomending you wait to check out phones that arent out yet is rediculous. Why not just tell people to wait till the Galaxy 4 super duper mega amoled hologram phone is out?

posted on 03 May 2011, 19:02

60. chinakidoliver.iab (Posts: 75; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


it has 9 and a half but that phone is beast

posted on 03 May 2011, 19:39 18

61. Mario (unregistered)


How can you give iPhone4 9,5/10?

- Sensor problems,
- Anetnna problems,
- No way to customize the handset after own needs and wishes! Stoneage?
- No types of widgets
- No way to get contacts on the homescreen
- No Flash
- No wireles sync
- Notification system that is bullshit compare to Android
- You can only sync the iPhone with ONE pc/mac
- Social Clients buildt in where?
- Only 3,5" IPS screen
And so on..

Do you call this a 9,5/10 product?


ratings:
10 - A perfect product
9 - Nearly perfect, but...
8 - Great product with few flaws
7 - Solid product with some minor issues
6 - Decent, but not as good as it could be
5 - Fair; not great, but not horrible
4 - Okay, but we can't recommend it
3 - Very few redeeming qualities
2 - Almost no redeeming qualities
1 - Pure crap

So is really iPhone4 even an 8!?

posted on 04 May 2011, 02:24 2

73. leoking3 (unregistered)


They are PAID by the ishit company to compare everything to that user-friendly failure of a phone. Wake up people at PA!!! It has resolution? On a 3.5 display? Does it play a decent movie? Without buying a bullshit app? Jesus, when are you gonna wake up and stand up for yourselves?! I know we all work for money, but....wtf???
It doesnt even have delivery reports for sms!!!! Jesus!

posted on 04 May 2011, 14:58 2

94. captainqtp (Posts: 16; Member since: 25 Jun 2010)


I don't like Apple, I don't use Apple, but Phone Arena reviews the phones when they come to market.

Considering when the Iphone 4 hit, it was a top of the line device. I think the retina display is still king of the PPI measurements. Not only that, it had (arguably still has) the better application store on release.

Also, despite whatever specs pissing match you want to get into in comparing a phone released today to a phone released last summer, it is still remarkably snappy. I believe it warranted a 9.5.

Again, I'd never buy one, because I don't like Apple's closed ecosystem philosophy. I'd constantly feel trapped. That said, many people don't have a problem with Apple's approach.

posted on 02 Jul 2011, 23:23 1

174. davinci1993 (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Jul 2011)


Right on, my friend!

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 15:21 1

179. Troll Police (unregistered)


You want to see some Apple bias? Go to Engadget

posted on 03 May 2011, 11:53 11

5. sak96 (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Apr 2011)


Phonearena dnt dlt ma accnt or cmmnt plzz, I m saying the truth why did u gav iphone 9.5, this device should get 10/10. its the best phone in the market now. I hav iphone4 and this phone in ma hands now so i m saying it

posted on 04 May 2011, 21:21

98. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


well buddy when the iphone came iout it was best... when this phone comes out it wont be best... (sensation, evo 3d, ad thrill are better)

posted on 04 May 2011, 21:53 8

101. scruffle (unregistered)


3D phones are gay.
Galaxy s2 is king

posted on 04 May 2011, 22:15 4

102. Comatose (unregistered)


Have you ever played with the Thrill evo 3d or sensation? Admittedly the new htc sense 3.0 does look mouthwatering ,it is highly graphic intensive and hence manages to waste some of the raw power of the sensation and evo 3d .

Also i am not really a fan of the evo 3d as i think 3d in phones are pretty unnecessary and mostly a gimmick , atleast in present times.

The sensation is the only true rival to this phone , but it is hard to determine if it is better or not until we see some reviews.

posted on 19 May 2011, 18:58 3

157. Allday28 (Posts: 283; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)


I hate to break it to you but the ssgs2 is already blowing the doors off the over rated evo 3D and will continue to do so....

posted on 03 May 2011, 12:01 10

6. scruffle (unregistered)


This review is bogus.
This has to be the greatest phone to date and it receives only a 9???
It almost seems as if phonearena was just digging to find cons on this phone.
the cons listed are stupid and rediculous.

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Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung Galaxy S II

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.4 4.0 2.3
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (218 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 4 Dual, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size4.93 x 2.60 x 0.33 inches
(125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49 mm)
4.09 oz  (116 g)
Battery1650 mAh, 18.3 hours talk time

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