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Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Review

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 7.5

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Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Review
Although it’s not terrible to say the least, it’s rather difficult to hear our conversations because the earpiece is on the weak side with its output – and it doesn’t help that voices are mute in tone. Oppositely, our callers fared a bit better as they’re greeted with some robust, natural, and distortion-free voices on their end of the line. Turning our attention to the speakerphone, we’re undeniably blown away by its resonating volume, but it has a squeaky tone when it’s placed on the loudest volume setting.

Retaining a solid set of bars in high coverage areas, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing in the greater Philadelphia area. However, we did experience some inconsistent data issues early on that slowed and disconnected our connection – thankfully, it eventually cleared up and we didn’t see it again.

Keeping in mind the stigma attached to 4G LTE smartphones, we’re curious to see how the Skyrocket will perform with its battery life when it’s used within the confines of AT&T’s 4G LTE network. In the meantime, we tested it out under HSPA+ coverage instead to see how it fares. Well, it didn’t quite impress us seeing that we’re only able to get approximately 14 hours of normal usage on a single charge. Additionally, we obtained a continuous talk time of 6 hours on a fully battery, which is less than the 7 hours of talk time rated by manufacturer. Indeed, its everyday usage might be decent for some, but we can only imagine it to be less on 4G LTE.


We’d wager that there are plenty of AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II owners out there that caused a scene when the Skyrocket was officially announced – well, that’s because they’re probably upset at themselves for not waiting longer. Actually, we beg to disagree because the $50 difference separating the two Galaxy S II models is warranted, so unless you’re in an area that has AT&T’s 4G LTE coverage, then the Skyrocket is the no-brainer choice between the two. Otherwise, you can save yourself the money and stick it with the original model instead. As we’ve seen, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is a great smartphone that will help showcase AT&T’s next-generation network, but besides that one particular item, there isn’t much else that would make it any better than the existing Galaxy S II model.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 2.3.5
Kernel Version:

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Video Review:


  • 4G LTE support
  • Fast HSPA+ speeds
  • Responsive platform experience


  • Below average battery
  • Screen scratches easily
  • Bland looking design
PhoneArena rating:
7.5 Good
User rating:
8.9 17 Reviews

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posted on 11 Nov 2011, 05:36 3

1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3103; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


posted on 11 Nov 2011, 05:52 10

2. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 06:12 10

3. biophone (Posts: 1910; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 08:38 6

7. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Please read this page http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 09:40 7

8. cristhiansaid (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Jun 2010)

IphoneArena..... lol.jijji

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 09:51 3

10. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 272; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)



posted on 11 Nov 2011, 17:34 2

28. darkkjedii (Posts: 19478; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Yankees rule

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:37 4

24. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1097; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 15:19 1

25. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 16:10 2

26. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1097; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 16:24

27. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 18:18 1

30. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1097; 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."

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 18:54

31. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.\"

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 07:51

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.

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 14:57

42. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 11:03 1

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.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 15:45 1

49. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 22:50

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.

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 23:05

52. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 19:37

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=3mX4BPGy2dg

posted on 16 Nov 2011, 20:01

54. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 12:26

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.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 13:12

57. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 11:28 3

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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 17:56

29. Snakingmysolid (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

Those aren't low at all.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 07:24 3

4. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

PhoneArena has become harsh in it's reviews these days.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 08:01 1

5. drahmad (Posts: 480; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)

I think its because of its low battery life (the low rating)

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 08:26

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

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 13:02 1

18. prdmshrl (Posts: 22; 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

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:17

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!

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 09:46 3

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

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 07:21 2

38. xtremesv (Posts: 297; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 10:15 3

11. networkdood (Posts: 6330; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 10:39 3

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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 12:43 2

16. John.V (Posts: 99; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:01 2

19. krzychoo (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Jun 2010)

If this isnt anything new than what would You call the Iphone 4S. Revolutionary ???

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:23 2

22. Forsaken77 (Posts: 553; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:27

23. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

i'd say the Galaxy S II IS a better phone.

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 07:56

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.

posted on 12 Nov 2011, 14:58

43. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 11:21

13. Netolic (Posts: 144; 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

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 11:53 1

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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 12:59 3

17. prdmshrl (Posts: 22; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 14:23 2

21. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 19:35 2

32. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)

You hit it right on the mark with your explanation.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 20:06 1

34. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; 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. (:

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 19:50 2

33. networkdood (Posts: 6330; 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

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 21:32 1

35. prdmshrl (Posts: 22; 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.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 22:16 2

36. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

My Galaxy S2 is in full command.

posted on 11 Nov 2011, 23:59 1

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.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 13:20 1

58. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; 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.

posted on 13 Nov 2011, 14:09

44. saiful10 (Posts: 47; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)

Like a diamond.........

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 01:52

45. Jericho (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

samsung smartphones are awesome

posted on 15 Nov 2011, 17:07

50. razblack (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)

can you make something moar biggerz and fat please... oh and ugly too.. kthnxbye.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 06:35

55. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2237; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)

I just got this phone .... great phone.. PA something is wrong with y'all.....

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Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket

OS: Android 4.1.2 2.3.6 2.3.5
view full specs
Display4.5 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (207 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Dual-core, 1500 MHz
1024 MB RAM
Size5.15 x 2.75 x 0.37 inches
(131 x 70 x 9 mm)
4.66 oz  (132 g)
Battery1850 mAh, 7 hours talk time

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