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Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

Samsung GALAXY S II Plus

Posted: , posted by Nick T.

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Interface:

You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus, and the maker's nature-inspired user interface is layered on top of it. No, that isn't the newest TouchWiz version gracing the Galaxy S4 flagship, rather the UI found on the Galaxy S III and many other of Samsung's recent Androids.

Having Samsung's custom user interface on the Galaxy S II Plus is a great thing for a number of reasons. First of all, it simply looks nice without putting a strain on the smartphone's performance. Also, the UI brings along plenty of handy features that stock Android lacks, such as Smart Stay, which prevents the smartphone's display from turning off as long as you're looking at it, Direct Call, which dials the number of a contact you're viewing as soon as you bring the handset next to your ear, and a built-in task manager for those times when an app starts misbehaving. Of course, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean solidifies the positive user experience even further with the inclusion of Google Now and with its increased responsiveness over older Android versions. However, we do miss the lock screen shortcuts, which for some reason now can't be set on this Nature UX variant.

You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
You get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box with the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

After using the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus for a short while, we got pretty comfortable with its on-screen keyboard, so chances are your thumbs will also get quickly used to its arrangement. It offers the traditional QWERTY layout, enhanced with word autocompletion, as well as the Swype method for those who are fans of it.

The on-screen keyboard - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The on-screen keyboard - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review


Processor and Memory:

While the old-school Samsung Galaxy S II was equipped with a dual-core, 1.2GHz Exynos chip, the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus makes do with a SoC made by Broadcom. Should we call it a downgrade? Well, not really – both chips are powered by two Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, so their performance should be identical in most cases. And based on our extensive experience with the Galaxy S II, we can safely say that the S II Plus is at least as fast as the older model in real life. The latter is very responsive and multitasks well with its 1GB of RAM. Even complex 3D games can be played at good framerates, which isn't that surprising considering the low resolution that the GPU has to drive.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus 3833 8228
Samsung Galaxy S III 5335 15152
Sony Xperia S 3206
HTC One S 4867

If you're planning on having a Samsung Galaxy S II Plus, better be ready to provide a microSD card to go along with it. The smartphone comes with only 8GB of on-board storage, out of which only half is available to the user – enough to store some apps, photos, and maybe a few music albums, but still not enough for the needs of most users. At least you get 50GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years, courtesy of Samsung.


Web Browser and Connectivity:

We have to commend Samsung for launching the Galaxy S II Plus with a browser as snappy as this. It loads pages quickly and renders even heavy web pages with little to no effort whatsoever. As expected, it offers the standard set of handy features, such as tabbed browsing and saving web pages for offline reading. Embedded YouTube videos are playable as well thanks to the browser's HTML5 support. The only thing spoiling the experience a bit is the screen's low resolution.

The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review
The browser of the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus - Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

Connectivity-wise, the Galaxy S II Plus offers all of the features that have now become standard for a smartphone: 21Mbps HSPA+, a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 3.0 and FM radio. The GPS radio is complemented with support for GLONASS, which should result in improved accuracy. There is an NFC-capable variant of the smartphone as well.

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PhoneArena rating:
7.5Good
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Broadcom BCM28155, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size4.93 x 2.60 x 0.33 inches
(125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm)
4.27 oz  (121 g)
Battery1650 mAh, 16 hours talk time

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