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Samsung Star II Preview

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Our Samsung Star II Review is now published - click here to read it.

Interface and Functionality:

The Samsung Star II is a phone running on a proprietary Java-based platform spiced up with the latest third iteration of Sammy's TouchWiz. The home screen welcomes you with an interface similar to what you see on bada handsets. To unlock the screen you have to sweep the glass-like screen, a common theme for Samsung handsets. The top of the home screen is where notifications reside – a tap brings up a bada-like menu with missed calls, emails, music player controls (if you have music running) and so on. The home screen is customizable on the Star II through widgets. Only a few come pre-installed, but Samsung's Apps menu offers more for download.

The home screen of the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
The home screen of the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
The home screen of the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
The home screen of the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview

The home screen of the Samsung Star II


No smart OS means less apps and in the case of the Samsung Star II, you are limited to Java apps.

The main menu is styled simply with 12 icons on each of the two pages containing the main apps and options. The possibility to have them displayed on a priority basis in regard to how often they are accessed is a nice touch. Also, you can manually rearrange them.

Playing around we noticed that firing up a couple of apps drags the performance noticeably and that's one reason why the built-in task manager comes in handy. A long press on the menu key brings up all of the opened apps and clearing up memory is as simple as stopping an app. It is also a great way to switch between apps.

Main menu - Samsung Star II Preview
Samsung Star II Preview
Task manager - Samsung Star II Preview

Main menu

 

Task manager


The Samsung Star II comes with SNS (Social Network Service), but unfortunately our prototype unit did not have the final versions of the apps and we could not test them.


Internet and Conectivity:

The refreshed Star now comes with Wi-Fi on board, but 3G is still not there. For an entry-level phone this could hardly be a big problem. So let's take a look just how good did the connectivity package of the Star II look in real Internet life. The built-in browser is your basic solution for checking simple websites. If you try to open a slightly more complicated webpage, you will have to deal with a memory outage and will be forced to close it. Opera Mini is the first thing that pops up in our minds as we are writing this, so check it out if you plan on browsing on your phone.

Web browsing - Samsung Star II Preview
Web browsing - Samsung Star II Preview

Web browsing



Camera and Multimedia:

The Samsung Star II is not very pretentious in the camera department with a humble 3 megapixel fixed-focus shooter with no flash, but does it at least allow for decent photos when you are in dare need to catch the moment? Our answer to this is yes, the 3 megapixel sensor did good and the color quality of the samples we took was pleasing. We should note camera quality is a subject to change and hopefully it will be even better on the final unit.

Do not expect much detail and a mind blowing dynamic range, but for your most basic needs the realistic color reproduction is certainly an asset. Finally, the touch-optimized menu is definitely usable with different scene selections. Take a look at the pictures below shot at the biggest resolution of 2048x1536 pixels, which give you general idea of just what can you expect.

Camera interface - Samsung Star II Preview
Camera interface - Samsung Star II Preview
Camera interface - Samsung Star II Preview

Camera interface


Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II - Samsung Star II Preview

Outdoor samples shot with the Samsung Star II


Strong - Indoor samples - Samsung Star II Preview
Medium - Indoor samples - Samsung Star II Preview
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Star II Preview

Strong

Medium

Low light

Indoor samples


The camera also has video recording capabilities but we wouldn't count on those as the resolution is 320 x 240 pixels, barely enough to make out all the objects you film.

The media gallery of the Samsung Star II features some great looking and most importantly smooth transitions, while zooming in and out of images is equally fast. The biggest drawback however is the lack of multitouch support in the gallery. To zoom in you will have to tap on images, but apart from that we're happy with the gallery's performance.

Media gallery - Samsung Star II Preview

Media gallery


The music player is rich in options and functionality as well. There are presets for the most popular music genres along with DNSe enhanced sound, which both contribute to a great loud and clear sound output through the loudspeaker. FM radio with RDS is also on board. In addition, a Shazam-like option called “Music recognition” allows you to identify all those catchy songs you hear in a cafe every now and then. Pretty cool, right?

Here at PhoneArena we have been torturing our eyes watching videos on very small screens. But we are pretty sure we are not the only enthusiasts out there. So for all of you who decide to watch a video on the smallish 3-inch screen with 256K colors of the Star II, take into account that we only managed to play MPEG-4 videos at the display's native resolution out of the box. The video player however has some nice perks like mosaic search which breaks down your video into segments with a thumbnail for each one allowing you to easily skip between different parts. Support for 5.1 surround sound is on board as well.

The music player is rich in options and functionality - Samsung Star II Preview
The music player is rich in options and functionality - Samsung Star II Preview

The music player is rich in options and functionality

Video player - Samsung Star II Preview
Video player - Samsung Star II Preview

Video player



Expectations:

The Samsung Star II comes as a legacy to the legendary original Samsung Star, but this time it is surrounded by many other similar handsets in the low-budget segment. While on one hand it certainly packs some nice connectivity options like Wi-Fi, on the other it lacks 3G, multitouch actions in the browser or gallery, and is not as snappy as we would want it. Let's not forget however that this is an entry-level handset and having in mind that we tested a prototype, we hope to see the interface polished and the final unit running with no lag. Combine this with adequate pricing and timing, and the Samsung Star II could fit in a lot of budgets. But if you're asking yourself whether it will become the legend the original Star was, our answer is - hardly likely, as the low-end touchscreen segment has changed to offer a plethora of handsets, including smart ones.


Samsung Star II Video Preview:


Our Samsung Star II Review is now published - click here to read it.

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posted on 24 Jun 2011, 07:36

1. Umesh Kaim (unregistered)


Actually, i have Samsung star 2 few weeks i have problem with that when i use for internet for WIFI so, my cell error that No Enough Memory,,,,,,,,,, i am so tired so plz solve my problem Immediately plzzzzzzzzzz reply my email id kumar_umesh88@yahoo.co.in

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Display3.0 inches, 240 x 400 pixels (155 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Size4.23 x 2.13 x 0.49 inches
(107.5 x 54 x 12.4 mm)
3.32 oz  (94 g)
Battery1000 mAh, 8.3 hours talk time

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