Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE Review

Interface and Functionality:

Hardly a surprise, yet perplexing at the same time, the Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE runs the same good old TouchWiz interface on top of Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. Folks, there’s nothing different whatsoever with the experience since it’s the same as before, but our guess is as good as anyone’s as to why Samsung couldn’t pack Ice Cream Sandwich from the onset.

Blessed with even more real estate, it’s such a pleasure typing up messages thanks to the spacious layout of both the Samsung and Swype keyboards. Plus, it helps that it maintains the same lovable peppy response that we’re all too accustomed of experiencing.

Processor and Memory:

Packing along a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor that’s coupled with 1GB of RAM, it’s effective in providing us with that typical responsive performance with most operations. However, we’re a bit disgusted to find it struggling to maintain its speedy performance when it’s tested by live wallpapers.

Out of the box, we’re given 10.96GB of free internal storage for media, while another 1.81GB is reserved for apps. Of course, we can supplement its capacity by adding a microSD card of some sort.


Not skipping a beat for one moment, we’re again treated to some better than average photos taken by its admirable 8-megapixel camera, since it continues to excel in almost all shooting conditions. Furthermore, we’re remarkably impressed by the 1080p videos it’s able to capture since they’re filled to the roof with some eye-catching visuals that no doubt prove to be great for preserving precious memories.

Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE Sample Video:


Although we’re not surprised to find the same boring TouchWiz music player with the handset, our attention is actually stirred by the poppy and distinctive tones its speaker is able to muster up. Furthermore, there are various equalizer settings available to fine tune its quality even further.

Perhaps it’s the iridescent glow of its Super AMOLED display, or the fact that it’s larger in size and higher resolution than before, but one thing is certain, and that it doesn’t flinch in playing our test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Internet and Connectivity:

Although its name suggests it features an LTE connection, it is not usable in the States, as it is a Korean band. Being an unlocked GSM smartphone, we’re able to test it out with AT&T’s network – though, we’re only presented with the carrier’s EDGE connection, as the HSPA is also not U.S.-friendly. Along for the ride, it features aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n/a Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.

Aside from speed, it complements its speedy nature by coughing up an exciting web browsing performance with its buttery smooth operation in navigating complex sites filled with heavy Flash content.



1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Well this review is somewhat harsh. Lol but it makes a lot of sense why you would feel this way. I agree the Galaxy Nexus is the better handset...Mainly because of software.

3. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Why Phonearena ?!? CONS LTE and HSPA are not usable in the U.S. > LTE will be available in the following years and in some countries is still available Sluggishness with its performance > Software problem (read down) No Ice Cream Sandwich > It will updated in the folliwing months This review is absolute madness

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

unless you live in korea, its not really cons. hopefully by the time it comes here, its ICS filled.

6. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

@remixfa, im adding a line to my tmo plan but the phones they have on the tmo site for free really suck, since you was a tmo employee i was wondering if you could help me

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol, if you want free, then you need to wait for a sale. the normal free phones are clearance phones. there will be a president's day sale here shortly, but i dont have any details on it.

20. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I got to looking at your past post about the galaxy s 4G so i ordered it

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

oh, I have the 3g vibrant, not the 4g. its almost identical though. still one of our best phones, even after 16 months.

23. tidus28

Posts: 26; Member since: Feb 08, 2012

if you want good deals on t-mobile phones go to target the galaxy s 2 is on sale for only 99$

24. metoyou

Posts: 279; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Why PA reviewing this unit?? this is not for US!! even more funny it got con for not compatible with US band hahaha

2. Jericho unregistered

lol what u thaught it was going tn beat lg optimus lte. Fyi it aint better than lg.

4. jasongohjr

Posts: 75; Member since: Sep 26, 2011

I but if it was load with ios i-phonearena would definitely give it a 9/10 -.-

7. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

are you stupid iPA ? why the hell you gonna give it 5 ? why are you even reveiwing it when you know its a KOREA only model ? reveiw was good but rating was BS.

8. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

We review it, because it is available online from some retailers and people can buy it. We review its usability in the States, and that's why we don't like the fact that it doesn't have usable HSPA or LTE.

10. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

PhoneArena has a good point, whats the point of a HSPA/LTE device if your only on edge.

14. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

So wait for the AT&T version. This was like reviewing a Verizon phone and giving it a failing score because you use T-Mobile. People who buy an international unlocked phone trend to be aware of its band limitations. That doesn't stop people from using unlocked phones on other carriers. IPhones number over a million on T-Mobile, there are numerous users of the Nokia Symbian models never officially released on our shoes on AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as Asia-based phones. Take down the review or give the phone a fair rating

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sorry, but i gotta disagree, PA. people that buy unlocked phones are generally more educated than the normal consumer about the pros/cons of doing so, and thus would understand that not all the features should work. The review should be done on its technical merits alone. Otherwise, the SGS2 9100, all iphones, and a bunch of other phones should be docked because none of them work fully on Tmobile where a lot of people with unlocked phones go... It just doesnt make sense to reduce score for that. honestly, i didnt even look at the final page for the score because I assumed it would have been the same as the skyrocket's score or a smidge higher for the screen improvements. After seeing people's reactions, and going back and reading it, I agree with them.

9. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

phonearena... You... Are... Crazy... :-/ this is one of technologicaly most advanced phones of today and you give it an average "5" score??? and why? because it wasn't made for US market? slugishness? live wallpaper layering on an HD resolution is not perfect and you give it a 5? iPhone has NO live wallpapers, NO hd screen (and a tiny one at that), so it should get a "2" rating! :-/ crazyness... *mad*

11. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

and another very important fact... not only americans read phonearena. i'm from europe... so phones should not be rated by regional usefulness...

12. nuadar1

Posts: 24; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Well...I don't mean to be rude but this is really crappy review...for folks in Korea, this is probably 9/10... You really shouldn't review phones this way...and I'm also non-american

13. PaulNotFromSweden

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Some other reviewers here have a good point. If a phone isn't made for a particular market (in this case the U.S.), it shouldn't be rated as if it were used in that market. The phone should be rated on its merit. You wouldn't rate a hammer poorly because it can't tighten bolts very well. Likewise, this phone sounds like a winner for its intended purpose. So PA, I think you need a re-do on this one.

15. willardcw4

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 01, 2011

Agree with re-evaluating the score. I don't think a phone not made for this country should be held at fault because you want to use it in this one. And how many people are going to pay an off-contract price for a phone they can only get 2G service on??? Doesn't make much sense; plenty of people that buy this phone will be using it on their respective country's 3G / 4G networks.

17. willardcw4

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 01, 2011

I'm also tired of seeing "not having ice cream sandwich" as a con for phone reviews. Be patient PA, phones will be updated soon. The manufacturer doesn't HAVE to put ICS on a phone, it is a preference that you desire. Rate a phone on what it is, not what you want it to be. This phone is still a stellar piece of hardware, and last time I checked, Gingerbread was still pretty awesome. ICS will only make it BETTER.

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well, get ready for the next few weeks when phones are releasing with Gingerbread and they will mark it down one point because it won't have ICS...

22. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

In still proud of my ceramic white galaxy S2 running VERTIMUS ice cream sandwich domination. BEST PHONE EVER.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.