x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Samsung Galaxy S II

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

Tags:

Pages

Our is now published - click here to read it.

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.

Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camera interface - Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camera interface - Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camera interface - Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camera interface - Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Camera interface

Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Camcorder interface - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy S II - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Strong - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Medium - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash


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.

Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview
Video player options - Samsung Galaxy S II Preview


Expectations:

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.




Our Samsung Galaxy S II Review is now published - click here to read it.

Pages:

34 Comments
  • Options
    Close





Want to comment? Please login or register.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung Galaxy S II

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.4 4.0 2.3
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Not rated
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (218 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 4 Dual, 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 8.49 mm)
4.09 oz  (116 g)
Battery1650 mAh, 18.3 hours talk time

Latest stories