Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Review

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.


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.



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

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.


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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39 Comments

1. lee480 unregistered

Xperia L is a better choice.

9. toondewachter

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

I will never buy any Xperia unless Sony starts using decent scratch resistant glass on top of their screens with an oleophobic layer instead of that plastic sheet of crap that is supposed to protect the screen.

10. toondewachter

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Apparantly some people don't believe me (why else would you vote down my comment?) so here is some proof: youtube.com/watch?v=4GzYnDnZDRg&feature=youtube_gd​ata_player without oleophobic layer, the glass (not the plastic sheet) catches fingerprints you can't get rid of anymore... Suit yourselves!

11. toondewachter

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Let's say the Xperia T is a better choice then, can be had for €350 too.

24. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Why? Sexier design,faster krait processor,and more bang for your buck.

2. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

This really doesn't impress me. The OG S2 is just as good or better in almost every category and already has a great developer following. The S2 plus is Samsungs way of saying, "we really can get away with anything".

3. thelegend6657 unregistered

I agree , just get an OG GS2 and cyanogenmod it and it performs almost as good as a Galaxy Crap 3

15. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Galaxy SIII 'Minus' should've been a better name fit for this.

4. procopiojose

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

samsung is giving options.. doorknob... if you cant afford the latest devices, you have this for a fraction of the price..

5. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Except they already have more than enough mid range options... I understand choice and options, that's why I choose Android. However, flooding the market and selling this phone as an S2 plus is insulting. You can buy an original S2 for $250-300 on ebay brand new with no contract. I doubt that the S2 plus will be sold at a competitive price.

7. toondewachter

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

At a fraction of the price? LOL! €350 is the price for it in Belgium. I have been able to find a brand new Galaxy S3 for €379... Some great options Sammy is giving here. Looks like you don't look that smart anymore, hé?

6. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

I really dont get it why they call it the s2 plus when its really not an upgrde from the original s2 when in fact its a little bit downgraded...

8. toondewachter

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Phonearena, come on! A couple of days ago you reviewed the HTC First and gave it a 7.5 because of the performance that is not top notch... Now you're scoring this overpriced two year old repacked thing the same whereas it scores only half the points in Quadrant and Antutu? Saying it is an OK performing mid-range phone? Where is your objectivity? Your scoring system fails big time!

18. XperiaPrince

Posts: 108; Member since: Dec 25, 2012

PA Loves Samsung and Especially APPLE!

14. xvasek

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Will be possible make some camera comparison - Galaxy SII Plus vs Galaxy S4? I would like to see the qualitative progress (in time) Thank you very much

16. renjithr712

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

If it was atleast QHD resolution and the battery would have been a bit bigger, then it would have been the best mid-ranger. Those who couldn't buy S2 due to its price point can try this one.

19. TheBitterTruth unregistered

Sad. I cant afford it still :(

20. panda123

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Where I live... this phone costs about $100 less than an S2 so I grabbed it right away to replace my old (no longer working) phone... and I can really say that it's a really great bang-for-buck.

21. panda123

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

For who are wondering.. it cost me exactly $262

22. TheBitterTruth unregistered

Does it has scratch resistant glass?

23. thelegend6657 unregistered

should have

25. KingKai

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

this phone needs a different name

26. baraheemo

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I bought one before 3 days , the device has some problems on the software i think . it made a restart 3 times in the three days i am so disappointed .

27. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Shame on you Samsung, this device should have come up with upgraded features but you just sucks. Its should be named as S II Minus :X

28. Talish

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

I really hate this phone.Sold after hardly using 2 days. Let me list the reason for which I incurred loss of $25 on this set by reselling. 1. It does support flash so that you can not install Adobe Flash Player in it which is necessary to support various games i.e. Subway Surfers etc. Moreover, online TV channels need flash player as well to play on phone. 2. It hanged on the very first day while I was on call and ends up restarting the phone. 3. Touch sensation is no way near the low-budgeted HTC phones. 4. Camera result is ordinary, you find iphone 3GS 3.15MP result quite better than that of S2 plus. Hope it would guide you positively.

29. panda123

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

I can conclude three possiblities for your situation... Either you have been paid by HTC, or you've accidentally bought a Galaxy Pocket, or you were scammed hardcore and bought a chinese phone. I will respond to your points as per my experience with the phone for more than a week now... 1. You can install Flash player, you can play any game... Your info is so false it makes no sense. 2. Never hang on me... in more than a week, and I install lots and lots of apps and use the phone heavily. 3. Lol... Makes no sense 4. SGS2+ camera is equal to SGS3's.

30. Talish

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

Mr.Panda..If you citing your experience bona fide then I may be scammed. Please go to play store and try installing adobe flash player and do install subway surfers and let me know whether or not your phone playing it properly

31. panda123

Posts: 27; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Adoble flash has been removed from the play store since the release of 4.1 Jellybean, you must sideload it... Plus (pun intended), Adobe flash player has nothing to do with subway surfer. Subway surfer worked perfectly before and after I installed flash player. No bugs whatsoever.

32. Abhisheknallur

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

Hey I guys I am planning to buy a mid range smartphone I have confusion with S2 or S2+ or xperia SP. Which smartphone would you guys suggest for gaming purpose? and for overall performance? Thanks in advance!!!

33. baraheemo

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

s2 with ice cream sanwish dont buy s2+ with the jelly bean
GALAXY S II Plus
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Broadcom BCM28155, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1650 mAh(8h 3G talk time)

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