Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Review
Running the camera app, there isn’t any change with its layout as we’re given plenty of focus on what we’re shooting with the viewfinder. On the right side, we find the on-screen shutter key, toggle switch for video/still shot mode, and the preview window for the gallery. Meanwhile, the customizable left edge plays home to four different icons that you can select for quick access – with the settings icon fixed on there for good. Without a doubt, there are plenty of shooting modes and manual settings that are available to appease even some of the most hardened photo enthusiasts.
Blessed with an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, the Skyrocket is able to produce similar results to what we found with previous Galaxy S II models. Just like before, it excels in sunny conditions, as it's able to reel in some nice looking shots, with realistic colors and good detail. Indoors under artificial lighting, it suffers from some overexposure, which tends to wash out fine details. Sadly though, nighttime shots are soft with its details, filled with a lot of digital noise, and are high in exposure. Yet, its LED flash is able to counteract some of its deficiencies with some balanced lighting.
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Sample Video:
Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Sample Video - Night:
With the TouchWiz music player, its presentation follows in line to other conventional looking players, but we’re pleased by its strong volume output, which can be further fine-tuned by selecting the appropriate equalizer settings. However, we're left scratching our heads wondering why Samsung decided to leave out a music player widget. Still, if we happen to exit out of the music player interface, we can still access some functions through the notifications panel.
Deemed as a high-end smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II is naturally inclined to offer a phenomenal video watching experience. And you know what? We get just that as it's able to play flawlessly our test video that's encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution. Not only is playback buttery smooth, but its Super AMOLED Plus display sprinkles some juicy colors to make the entire thing simply polarizing.
As much as we'd like to find it included with the packaging, you'll have to purchase an optional MHL adapter in order to get video out functionality. Of course, it's an added investment, but it's also pretty sweet being able get a mirrored experience on your high-definition television set. Nevertheless, if you prefer a wireless route, you can utilize the AllShare application to share multimedia content with other DLNA compatible devices.
Internally, the handset is graced with 11.25GB of storage out of the box, which can be further supplemented with the available microSD card slot. On top of that, there’s 1.78GB of space reserved strictly for applications.
Internet and Connectivity:
If you so happen to spend a lot of time web surfing, you’ll happily find the experience on the Skyrocket to be suitable to your needs. Not only do complex web sites like ours load up in no time at all, thanks to the speedy HSPA+ speeds we’re able to attain, but its navigational controls are spot-on responsive. Fluid in nature with its response, we do like how the motion-based movements allow us to quickly zoom in/out by essentially tilting the phone into the respective directions. Above all, it doesn’t even stutter when Flash content is present – giving us that lovable desktop-like experience.
Global trotters will like being able to place phone calls in nearly all corners of the world with the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket – since it’s obviously a GSM smartphone. Even better, it’s one of the few devices on AT&T’s lineup to offer support for the carrier’s next-generation 4G LTE network. Even though we’re unable to test out its potential, we’re surprisingly impressed with its HSPA+ speeds. Specifically, we’re able to get download and upload speeds of up to 11.54Mbits/s and 1.67Mbits/s respectively. Besides that, it houses all of the usual set of connectivity items such as aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.
Love it or hate it, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is packaged along with an abundance of bloatware – some of which might be appealing to certain people, though, it’s hardly nothing different from what we’ve seen before on other AT&T smartphones. Of course, AT&T’s presence is clearly established as we find apps on there like AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Ready2Go, Live TV, and myAT&T all on there. Adding to the listing, we also find other third party apps like AllShare, Amazon Kindles, Kies air, Media Hub, MOG Music, Need for Speed Shift, Qik Lite, Quickoffice, and YPmobile.
2. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 461; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
PA has been on a roll with the low scores. Iphone 4s gets a 8.5, vivid gets a 7.5, and now the skyrocket gets a 7.5. Skyrocket brings LTE and only losses the exynos and stillmanages to lose 1.5 points. Vivid scores less than the inspire. 4s less than the 4 but made improvements. Seems kinda backwards to me. Oh well, that\'s why i don\'t rely on websites when i buy something.
3. biophone (Posts: 1896; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Pa compares phones to the competition which is always easier when its older. The 4S is better then the 4 no doubt but when they were both released the 4 was better relative to the competition then the 4s.
7. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Please read this page http://www.phonearena.com/howd
24. Dr.Phil (Posts: 928; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
I think the rating system needs to get a good look over. When I was in school, 90-100 was an A, 80-89 was a B, etc. In your system somehow a phone could be from 6.5-8.5 and be considered "good". Whenever I see 6.5 I think its a D rated phone. I think you should use a rating system similar to sites like GameSpot where 10.0 is Prime, 9.0-9.5 is Superb, 8.0-8.5 is Great, 7.0-7.5 is Good, 6.0-6.5 is Fair, 5.0-5.5 is Mediocre, 4.0-4.5 is Poor, 3.0-3.5 is Bad, 2.0-2.5 is Terrible, and 1.0-1.5 is Abysmal (they rate by .5 points). You don't necessarily have to do it like that but something where you don't have a phone that is 8.5 treated the same as something rated 6.5.
25. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
the rating system seems to be what works best for Phone Arena given the amount of pros and cons there are. if you took a four question test in school and you just missed one question you get a 75 on the test. there isn't a lot about this phone that's different than the Galaxy S II so the new additions were really what was being graded here versus just getting a Galaxy S II for $50 cheaper.
26. Dr.Phil (Posts: 928; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
No, it doesn't make that much sense because this phone is almost identical to the Galaxy SII offered by T-Mobile only capable of possibly faster speeds and yet that phone is rated at 8.5 and this is rated at 7.5. And there are some differences that could matter to consumers depending on where they live and what they prefer. Some people on AT&T wished they had the 4.5 inch screens seen on other carriers and some wanted LTE. You have to treat each device as its own thing and just review it based on that. Also, this device was actually $50 cheaper than the regular GSII. You may not have known about it because it was only offered at that price to those where this device would matter: in LTE coverage areas. So, taking that into account, I would say this device is on par with the regular GSII for the price.
27. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
the T-Mobile Galaxy S II is the only Galaxy S II on the carrier meaning the only one with SA+ and TW4, there's no alternative. on AT&T there's a cheaper, more powerful alternative, if it's going to cost more the trade offs have to be worth it and they're not. the Skyrocket can only barely warrant an increase in price to those who have access to AT&T's LTE pipelines which is only a handful of areas. Phone Arena can't recommend a phone based on what is the only advantage it has over it's sibling that can only be used in a handful of areas in the world. to everybody else this is a larger, more expensive and extremely less powerful version of what is already available. how do you think THAT ranks next to the Galaxy S II? still the same? also as Phone Arena stated the larger display has the cost of lower pixel density. that's a trade off not a point in the Skyrocket's favor.
30. Dr.Phil (Posts: 928; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
Ok, what don't you understand that it's actually $150.00 in those areas that have LTE. AT&T is offering the Skyrocket at $150 and the Vivid at $100 if you are in those LTE cities. Which you have agreed that if you live in those areas then this would be a phone worth considering. Also, the idea that it is "extremely less powerful" is up for debate. While the Snapdragon is not the same as Exynos, I would not say it is extremely less powerful. The Galaxy Nexus that is coming out is going to have a TI OMAP processor and cost close to $300, are we then going to say "Oh well since it doesn't have Exynos and the only plus to it is the screen and the OS which pretty much every phone coming out soon will have it, we are going to give it a 7.5."
31. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
sure, i admit it\'s probably worth considering if you live in one of those areas but Phone Arena can\'t say it\'s a good buy for everyone because there is only a handful of those areas in the world. yeah man, the S3 is considerably less powerful than an Exynos and even an OMAP4 which is why i said from the get-go that phones like the Bionic, Razr & Nexus would be the ideal LTE handsets to get because even they are much more powerful than the Skyrocket and not only that but they can achieve that status with lower clocked processors therefore each of these phones (aside from perhaps the Bionic) will probably have better battery life. they gave it a 7.5 because most people should probably just get the one with Exynos. i mean why not? it still has HSPA+ which is okayyy and most people don\'t have access to AT&T\'s LTE network and it\'s looking like they won\'t for a long time so the trade offs for the Skyrocket just won\'t do it for most people especially since it costs more than the original everywhere but the LTE covered areas. to quote Spock \"The Needs of the Many outweigh the Needs of the Few.\"
40. kathyw (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
My service is in Little Rock, Arkansas and we have no LTE in the state, but the phone is $149.99 at AT&T retail stores, I bought it. So it is $50 cheaper than GS2.
42. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
okay but even if it's $50 cheaper it's still not a better buy than the Galaxy S II because money shouldn't be a big factor when you're signing a two year contract on a phone. now if you're about to pay more for a phone that's inferior to one you could get cheaper then yeah, by all means think about those dollars but for just $50 more go for the Galaxy S II.
48. DeeZyTV (Posts: 4; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
Wrong, Skyrocket is the superior phone especially going into the future. Why would you buy the S2 on a 2 year contract rather than the skyrocket? So when LTE comes to your area you can't take advantage of it? Plus the skyrocket has NFC built in and is Ice Cream Sandwich ready. Think before you post...stop trying to stray consumers from buying a better device ready for future updates.
49. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
because unlike the Skyrocket the Galaxy S II has Exynos in it's favor which may i remind you is always a benefactor no matter where it is and is a justifiable trade off in light of the unlikelyhood of LTE coming to your area anytime soon if like i said AT&T's LTE network growth is any indication. the Galaxy S II on AT&T has an NFC chip and it will be upgraded to ICS probably before the Skyrocket because the hardware is more similar to the multitude of other Galaxy S II variants that Samsung sells. i always think before i post guy.
51. DeeZyTV (Posts: 4; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
AT&T is already adding if I recall 8 new cities to its LTE coverage only days after its premiere. So it seems to me that these cities have been LTE ready since its launch. I strongly believe by the end of 2012 all the major cities will be covered. I haven't seen anything about original S2 devices getting 4.0 so not sure where your getting that information. And if you look at tests and reviews both processors run par-to-par, with the Skyrocket sometimes out performing S2.
52. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
days? you know AT&T's LTE network has been up for months right? the first phones to use it have only just now arrived. 8 cities after a few months doesn't look very bright especially compared to Verizon adding like 15 every month or so. yeah, Samsung says they're going to update all of the S2 variants. if you don't believe me look at Phone Arena's own ICS update chart. no they don't. the S3 in the Skyrocket is the same as any other S3 out there. they blow and even Phone Arena states there is real life difference in performance. i've seen it myself. i compared an Epic 4G Touch to a T-Mobile Galaxy S II in the same day. the Quadrant Scores are wrong. i know better. i don't usually dispute benchmarks but in this case it simply does not add up. the T-Mobile Galaxy S II fluctuates between regular S3 scores and Galaxy S II like scores. that doesn't normally happen.
53. DeeZyTV (Posts: 4; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
There are many other reviews out there not just Phone Arena's. These are the scores I got on the skyrocket...enough said.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
54. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah okay, what did i just tell you? i didn't mean on just one device. the Quadrant scores are inaccurate on ALL Skyrockets. xD
56. DeeZyTV (Posts: 4; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
lol your a funny guy. thats why websites like pcmag have given the Skyrocket editors choice awards. i'm done wasting my time talking to you, go hate on some other phones.
57. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i don't care what other people say. i know what i know and Phone Arena and i are in agreement. Galaxy S II ftw.
14. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
You expected anything more from PA? Course, it being a Samsung phones means I wouldn't like it anyways, but PA is horribly biased in some areas.
4. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
PhoneArena has become harsh in it's reviews these days.
5. drahmad (Posts: 480; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)
I think its because of its low battery life (the low rating)
6. Orpheus (Posts: 8; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Anyone know of the real world range of the LTE signals? I live about a half-hour outside of both DC and Baltimore beltways. Will I get an LTE signal? If so I'll probably grab this, if not I'll save the 50 bucks and get the plain SGS2
18. prdmshrl (Posts: 20; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
Check the AT&T network website.http://www.att.com/network. Right there you can find the current LTE coverage for both Baltimore and DC
20. Orpheus (Posts: 8; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Ah Ha! Looked at the map a dozen times and didn't realize you could click on the cities for a detailed view of the LTE coverage areas. Thanks!
9. Habib (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)
ok i do understand when the battery is a con and screen scratches but design? seriously?
i think design should never be a CON because that category is upto consumers.
my opinion , 8.5.. nothin lower.. still got a dual core, SAMOLED+ LTE.. 4.5 inch display. wat else do u want guy? diamonds carved into the damn thing
38. xtremesv (Posts: 238; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
No, it lacks the Apple brand on it. The iPhone 4S is not even 4G and got 8.5 and PA said it deserved a higher rating. They were cool Apple commanded LTE is not still needed. I absolutely agree design shouldn't be taken into account for the rating; PA may love iphone design lots of people don't or not anymore like my case.
11. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
BLAND LOOKING DESIGN - the same design used on the infuse 4G and the SGS 2 original? Seriously? That is lame to score down for that.
Screen scratches easily? Is it not gorilla glass? If not, then that I could see - phone should be rated at least an 8 to 9.
12. kathyw (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
7.5? Are you kidding me? You gave the Captivate an 8.5 (my prior phone), and it had all kinds of problems. The Skyrocket gps locks in seconds, the volume is almost too loud, battery lasts much longer, & design is great. It's not $249.99, but $149.99 in the AT&T retail store. It doesn't lag, and thankfully doesn't run out of Ram memory. 4.5 screen is better than 4.3 or 4.0, regardless of pixels that I find no problem with either. I'm sorry but I disagree with your low score.
16. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)
Here's the thing, this would've been something if AT&T scrapped the SGSII and decided to bring this one instead. This isn't anything new from what we see out there, but rather, it sports some minor upgrades that warrant the price difference. Either way, it's a grea smartphone, but doesn't necessarily bring anything fresh besides 4G LTE support.
19. krzychoo (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Jun 2010)
If this isnt anything new than what would You call the Iphone 4S. Revolutionary ???
22. Forsaken77 (Posts: 552; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)
Fair enough... so rate it in accordance to the original AT&T GS2 then. When people see a lower score for the Skyrocket they think the original is a better phone, which it is not.
23. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i'd say the Galaxy S II IS a better phone.
41. kathyw (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
You've got the price difference wrong. It is $149.99 in the AT&T retail store, it is $50.00 cheaper than GS2. And there is no LTE service in the state of Arkansas.
43. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
well i'm just going by what the review is saying. i don't even have AT&T. i have Verizon.
13. Netolic (Posts: 142; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
i had this phone for only one day, then went back to best buy and got myself an htc vivid
15. kathyw (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
What did you not like about It? I absolutely love mine and I've had it since the 6th.
17. prdmshrl (Posts: 20; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
I disagree with these scores. The Galaxy S2 from T-Mobile got a score of 8.5 and it is not even LTE. I understand that the fact of the exynos not being part of the hardware might disappoint some people, but there is a reason for the processor to be different and it is to support LTE. Another thing that I can't believe is the "scratches" part of the review. The phone does have Gorilla glass and if it does not, that means that every website and reviewer from other sites are wrong. There is a big difference between "scratch resistant" and "scratch proof". Unless the glass is made out diamond you can always get a scratch.
21. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
yeah, this is not a really worthy buy if AT&T's LTE network growth is any indication. in the case of the Bionic vs. the Galaxy S II i'd choose the Bionic because it replaces Exynos with the very next best available processor the OMAP4 and Verizon's LTE network is available in a lot of areas now so you see i definitely look at the trade offs but with the Skyrocket vs. the Galaxy S II the trade offs don't favor the Skyrocket being that it has a higher clocked S3 which not only drains battery life but it's also not nearly as powerful as Exynos and it's LTE support isn't going to benefit many at all and it's constant search for an LTE signal will drain some more battery life. this is a phone for some but not many. the Galaxy S II is the winner here.
you guys have to remember everything Phone Arena has to factor in when it does a review. reviews are based on whether or not the phone is truly compelling today like back when the Captivate was launched there weren't that many high end Android smartphones so the Captivate was a very nice phone by that time's standards but standards have risen since then, it's the Holidays, amazing new smartphones are on the rise, there's a new iPhone, Android devices plaster the market. those are all factors here now and when you compare this to everything else out there in it's class it's not very compelling at all. in fact i'd say about a 7.0-7.5.
32. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)
You hit it right on the mark with your explanation.
34. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5646; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
thanks John. i definitely understand what you guys have to go through when scoring a device but you guys should know i think you're doing a wonderful job. keep up the good work. (:
33. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
ok, so the SGS2 has Gorilla Glass, but not this model...?? If so, I will pass on this one....I may jump ship for Verizon..lol
35. prdmshrl (Posts: 20; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
Check this detail somewhere else. Phonearena is the only website I've seen that states that this phone does not have Gorilla Glass. Other sources state that the phone does have Gorilla Glass.
37. Hunt3rj2 (Posts: 396; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)
The Galaxy S2 Skyrocket is honestly not worth it even now, compared to the Galaxy S2 i777. Processor is slower than the 1.2 GHz Exynos even at 1.7 GHz o/c, less battery efficiency, bigger screen offers no advantage over the 4.3 inch WVGA of the i777, development will be less because the Skyrocket has little in common compared to the international i9100 SGS2.
58. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 461; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)
How is it not worth it. It's $149 and has LTE. I know you like your slow charging SGS2 but the skyrocket is great.
50. razblack (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)
can you make something moar biggerz and fat please... oh and ugly too.. kthnxbye.
55. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2010; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
I just got this phone .... great phone.. PA something is wrong with y'all.....