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HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II

Posted: , posted by Brian K.

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At their cores the Galaxy S II and Amaze 4G both run Gingerbread, with the former running the slightly newer 2.3.5 over 2.3.4 on the HTC. As 2.3.5 is simply a maintenance release its unlikely anyone would notice a difference if both devices were pure Google. They’re not, however, and there is a huge difference between them

The Galaxy S II features TouchWiz 4.0, the best version yet. The T-Mobile variant has the most widgets of any of the three Stateside Galaxy S IIs and they are big, bold and some can even be resized. Samsung has made it easier for the average user to customize their homescreens and users have the ability to rearrange the 7 homescreens as they see fit. The overlay is fast and fluid and getting better with each iteration. All of that said, scrap the whole darn thing and just go vanilla. Android is good enough to stand on its own at this point, and as notoriously bad as Samsung’s update track record has been there is little doubt that TouchWiz plays a role in users being left with outdated versions of the OS.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by TouchWiz 4.0 UI - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II

HTC Sense 3.0 is familiar, but new features keep this king of Android overlays fresh and worthwhile. The lock screen is awesome, widgets are better and speed is improved all around. HTC is the only manufacturer who has managed to improve on many of the core apps, such as the dialer, web browser and phonebook. When we first saw it Sense brought together and beautified a pretty ugly Android OS, but this has moved to the background as Android has gotten prettier and more cohesive. Sense is still relevant because HTC has made sure it also improves functionality, and they dig deep into the heart of the OS to do it. Any other Android overlay is usually pretty transparent once you get away from the homescreen, but Sense goes down to the core of Android. The story might be different on Android 4.0, but for now we have 2.3 and Sense very much has its place. On the Amaze 4G Sense 3.0 flies, and HTC has had a pretty good track record at updating phones quickly despite such an extensive overlay.

The HTC Sense 3.0 user interface of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The HTC Sense 3.0 user interface of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The HTC Sense 3.0 user interface of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
The HTC Sense 3.0 user interface of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II


Hardware, Internet and Connectivity:

Both devices run essentially the same dual core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor with an Adreno 220 GPU. Both offer 1GB of RAM and 16GB of total internal memory with microSD expansion. Both phones feature 8 megapixel cameras with 1080p recording with 2MP cameras up front for video chat. Both devices support T-Mobile’s 42Mbps network. Both have NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and GPS. Both have loads of T-Mobile bloatware preinstalled. We have a feeling you get the point by now. Benchmarks aren’t the be all and end all, but when the two devices are so similar inside they can help separate the two. Average Quadrant Standard scores for the Galaxy S II were in the neighborhood of 3300, whereas the Amaze 4G consistently put up scores in the 2600-2800 range. So why the difference? We’re really not sure, and to be honest the HTC feels a little faster in everyday use so maybe it means nothing, but we thought we’d point that out for you.

HTC uses a more customized browser than does the Galaxy S II and, much like Sense itself, we appreciated some of the finer touches like easier to navigate and more extensive settings and better bookmark handling. In terms of performance it was a wash, with load times virtually identical. Pinch zooming was incredibly smooth on both, but double tapping was markedly more consistent on the HTC. At times the Galaxy S II would zoom in about 40% when double tapped, and other times it would bring the text or picture right into the foreground as we would expect.

Internet browser of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
Internet browser of the HTC Amaze 4G - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II

Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy S II - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy S II - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy S II - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II
Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy S II - HTC Amaze 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S II


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