Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Camera and Multimedia:

The camera interface, that serves the 8MP shooter with LED flash, has been rehashed with a more minimalistic menu, which allows you to still see the scene you've framed when you fire up the settings, and is now swiftly alternating between landscape and portrait mode. A helpful feature is the ability to manually place shortcut icons to the functions you use most in the five slots on the left of the screen.

Except for one very notable difference, of course, the 1080p video option. Both stills and video exhibit very good amounts of detail outdoor, pleasant colors and sharp focus. Shot-to-shot times are very short if you turn the preview function off, thanks to the shutter lag that is barely there. The indoor shots came out quite detailed as well, the 8MP sensor's low light sensitivity is good, while the LED flash does well, if you are fairly close to the subject.

The Full HD 1080p video is one the best we've seen from a phone, largely due to the fluid 30fps it's captured with, and the good amount of detail. Granted, we've only seen samples from the LG Optimus 2X for now, which shoots with 24fps, so here's our comparison piece between the two. The resulting .MP4 files from the Galaxy S II are a third larger than the .3GP ones from the LG Optimus 2X, but the difference in fluidity is definitely worth it. Hopefully the camera performance will get even better in the retail version of the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S II Full HD 1080p Sample Video:

The Samsung Galaxy S II records stereo audio in the video clips, thanks to the dual mics. The sole speaker is loud enough, though, and there is a number of equalizer presets in the music player, as well as surround sound options. Mock 5.1 channel surround sound works well in headset mode.

Video playback goes all the way to Full HD 1080p videos without stuttering. When you add the brilliant Super AMOLED Plus 4.3” display with dedicated movie mode, nothing beats watching video on the Samsung Galaxy S II in the mobile phone universe.

The phone has hardwired codecs, supporting the DivX/Xvid format. The Matroska .MKV container, in which most 1080p videos are wrapped, was not supported on the LG Optimus 2X, so you had to download a software player from Android Market.

The Samsung Galaxy S II, however, eats 1080p .MKV files for breakfast, and, besides the general Movie mode, you can set color warmth and screen brightness from the video player itself. The outdoor visibility mode that is present in the camera interface finds a place here too, and scorches your retinas by bumping up the image intensity even higher, if you need to watch something in bright sunlight.


Probably the most important take from our preview of the Samsung Galaxy S II is that it is future-proof. It has those highly-regarded and distinguishing features that won't make it obsolete in just a few months' time. The dual-core Exynos chipset chirps along capturing excellent Full HD video clips, whereas the 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus screen offers the best playback experience we've seen on a phone to date, with hardwired DivX/Xvid and .MKV video formats support.

That display has a number of intelligent power-saving modes, learning from your usage patterns, and also a separate “Auto Amoled Save” section in Settings, which lets you choose which power-sucking options to turn off when not in use. Even without the battery-preservation modes, the Samsung Galaxy S II is not a power-hog. We accidentally left the phone with the screen on all night at full brightness, with the battery charged about 70%, and after eight hours it still had juice in the morning to wake us up, but died down shortly after that. We'll see how the battery will behave on the retail version, which comes clocked 20% higher, at 1.2GHz.

If we didn't have 3D-capable handsets to consider, like the HTC EVO 3D for Sprint, or the LG Optimus 3D, we'd say that the Samsung Galaxy S II will be the Android handset to get so far. It is much thinner than the 3D beasts, though, and the Super AMOLED Plus display alone is a unique enough feature. The Galaxy S II will appeal most to people who prefer their large handsets in a slim and light package, rather than the solid hunks from HTC.

Samsung's Android peak for this season is future-proof not only with its powerful chipset and vivid display, but also with the top-notch connectivity options. You won't find 21Mbps HSPA +, Bluetooth 3.0 HS, DLNA, and the new MHL port combined in any other Android handset, and these are technologies that are about to become mainstream. Nothing wrong with having them here and now, on the excellent Samsung Galaxy S II, a worthy sequel to the handset that set new standards for the high-end Android range.



1. Noname unregistered

Do you have scores of GLBenchmark??

10. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Sorry but Samsung isn't tricking me again with the S series. My Fascinate still doesn't have 2.2. Ain't that some poopoo, but i'm loving my Thunderbolt. :) HERCULES, HERCULES !!!!!

13. testman22

Posts: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

galaxy s 2 blows the thunderbolt out of the water

17. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

ya honestly if u expected quick updates u shudnt have boughten android... i dont hear u complaining ur thunderbolt isnt on 2.3... prejudiced...

31. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

never buy a samsung.

21. Eingild unregistered

Dude, the reason why your Fascinate was stuck in 2.1 is that your carrier won't simply allow it. 2.3 update is already available for the original Samsung Galaxy S without any carrier crap.

32. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

and if they get any closer to an iphone design i honestly think people will get confused.

2. Neal unregistered

Can't wait until this comes out in may for the U.K! :)

3. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Ahem ahem ladies and gentlemen. we got another big seller from samsung.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

anyone doubt it would be awesome? For PA to say its awesome over an iphone4, it must be super duper duper awesome.. lol.

5. 3MTA3 unregistered

Nah, if this were Engadget the device would get a 6 or 7 rating. Slap a label of a fruit on it and it instantly gets a 9+ rating. The best would have been if this phone was leaked as the new ifone 5 label and all then peel the logo off and admit it is a Samsung not apple! Ha, that would be great!

8. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

I trust Phonearena to give this one an honest score. When you look back at it all of the scores they have given are honest. REALLY they just over shot the iPhone 4. Which it 100% deserved until the hardware malfunction was figured out, Phonearena had already reviewed the product and chose not to update or change the score, which is respectable. The last thing you should know is phonearena staff I would think use iPhones as there personal phones. Yes they do use a spectrum of phones for reviewing but have one phone as there main. Making this myth of android being so confusing. Remember when you had used a windows computer all your life and then you used a mac and found it super confusing... same thing happens in phone OS. I am very excited to see the Phonearena review without a doubt in my mind it will recieve a 9.5. Only con will be some weird exterior design they had a problem with

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol, if you go look at actual PA reviews of the iphones, they spend the whole article going "the iphone doesnt do this or that or this and the competition does this but the iphone still doesnt... yet.. its an iphone, so it gets a 9.7!" sorry, but if the phone doesnt at least have the features of the other phones, it shouldnt get a higher score because of personal fanboyism.. dont review if you cant be objective. its that easy and simple. whatever they give the SGS2, they will give the iphone 5 a higher score.

6. zach44

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

So is it 4g or 3G?

7. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

it has hspa capabilities so I would say yes.


Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

You forgot the "+". hspa+

11. pookie unregistered

I wont lie the screen does look amazing and the the phone is physically ok but it still doesnt have the aesthetic appeal of htc's phones or their ui, touchwiz pales in comparison to sense and to me thats one of the defining characteristics of a phone the ui. Just my honest opinion.

18. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

no if u actually use touchwiz it is pretty good. its second only becuase it doesnt look as nice. it has much more functionality than sense. not saying sense is bad but it has more pretty animations than real productivity. just look at the apps menu. scrolling up and down is inconvenient. touchwiz fixes that by going horizontal.

12. ADS unregistered

Nice one. One question, can xvid 720p files open on this phone?

14. Jerry.Stolarik unregistered

It looks like SII will play xvid 720p. I'm really happy that the SII can play .mkv video format. That makes it worth having the 1080p playback. When can we expect full review phonearena.? THX

15. Mikeypopps unregistered

If the main issue jogutier is having android 2.1 on your fascinate. Why haven't you just changed the rom. I agree samsung said they would have updated it since november last year but the solution has been there for longer. It only takes half an hour of your time to learn and do. Plus all the benefits of super user apps. Use xda forums it's your friend. The galaxy s 2 is my perfect spec set and I'm not gonna buy it any time soon cause my captivate with cognition mod is so slick it would just be vanity to buy another phone.

19. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

haha well he probably just doesnt know what all that is...


Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Man, my T-mobile wing can take your captivate anyday! Got that 2.0-megapixel camera with digital zoom, Video capture and playback music 2.8-inch RESISTIVE diagonal, 65K-color screen with 240 x 320 px! Combine that with a processor thats OVER 200MHz! And you have the best phone EVER!

35. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

This has to be one of the most logical comments I've ever seen on PhoneArena. Good job.

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

then call me vain! :) My vibrant is modded to perfection, but im still gonna retire it when the sgs2 comes out. :)

22. Afenix

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 13, 2011

Samsung seem to have done a really good job here, but where I live (East Europe), that price tag is going to be just way too much for me :/ I think I'm just gonna stick with my Xperia Arc for a few years :)

24. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Nice looking phone. I like my inspire with cm7 on it overclocked to 1.5ghz but the s2 does look good.

25. phonejockey unregistered

So will this phone be released on Verizon or AT&T? the signal of HSPA makes me think at&t, but all other sites are listing it on verizon because of the leaked verizon road map. any ideas for a carrier for us in the states?

28. zan unregistered

must have apps, widgets and other hacks for Android

29. zan unregistered

must have apps, widgets and other hacks for Android
Galaxy S II
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Dual, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1650 mAh(9.00h 3G talk time)

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