Performance and Conclusion:

The call quality of the Samsung Galaxy S II is pretty good – the earpiece won’t blow your mind away, but is still strong and pretty clear, something to be expected on such a high-end device. The noise-canceling microphones didn’t disappoint our listeners on the other side, weeding out parasitic noises.

We were worried that the 1.2GHz processor will have battery life issues. Samsung has done a good job optimizing the chipset, though. The display has an intelligent power-saving mode, automatically learning from your usage patterns, and the handset had a separate “Power saving mode” section in Settings, which lets you choose which power-sucking options to turn off automatically when not in use.

Even without the battery-preservation modes, the Samsung Galaxy S II is not a power-hog, and you will be getting the usual for high–end Android phones day of very intense usage, two with light usage and the occasional Full HD video recording and playback. Samsung hasn't posted official talk and standby times yet, but we did one unscientific test by just using the phone lightly over the weekend. We disconnected the fully charged handset from the cable at 23:05 on Saturday and went out, and the phone turned off due to lack of juice at 12:58 on Tuesday, roughly 62 hours.

In the meantime we logged 40 minutes of browsing over Wi-Fi, 20 minutes of gaming, uploaded 3GB worth of HD movies and music via Kies Air for 40 minutes, listened to music for 40 min., 30 of which were on speaker, used the GPS for 15 min., recorded 12 min. of Full HD video, and took 14 shots with flash at a party. We also talked for 32 minutes, tinkered in general like using the calculator or the photo editor for a total of 40 minutes, and watched HD movies for 1:35 hours, half an hour of which was streaming the movie via DLNA to a computer.

We only turned on Wi-Fi and GPS when we used them, the display was always on automatic brightness, which is hit or miss on the phone (Updated: Samsung fixed the ambient light sensor issue with a firmware update), and the phone was connected to a 3G network at all times. So, yes, you can indeed get 2 days and some with moderate usage out of the 1650mAh battery. The key seems to be good power management - we observed very low power consumption when on standby, the battery indicator barely moves then, since the phone seems to clock the chipset way down to 200MHz for that, and we very rarely saw bursts to the full GHz the silicon is capable of in any activity.

Probably the most important take from this review of the Samsung Galaxy S II is that it is, once again, 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 one of the best video playback experiences we've seen on a phone to date, with hardwired DivX/Xvid, and .MKV video formats support.

For enterprise users it is the first Android device to ship with encrypted hardware (perhaps real-time NAND Flash encryption), according to Samsung, which reduces the reliance on security software. We are yet to see if this will help the enterprise adoption of Samsung's flagship Android device, for which the company has also partnered with Cisco, Microsoft and Sybase.

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, an antipode of HTC’s muscular builds, and much easier to handle and toss around.

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 4G HSPA+, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, and MHL port combined in any other Android handset. That's probably because some of these standards are yet to become mainstream, which means that you may not get as much benefit with them right now, but you sure are future-proof. On the whole, we found the Samsung Galaxy S II to be more than a worthy sequel to the handset that set new standards for the high-end Android range, and everything we hoped for.

If you are looking for Android alternatives, you can check out the latest and greatest from Android land in the T-Mobile G2x (Optimus 2X), Motorola ATRIX 4G or the HTC ThunderBolt. If you don't want the little green robot in your life, you can go iPhone 4, which has a high-resolution display, distinctive design and offers all of the wonders in the App Store. Or, if you would rather go the Windows Phone way, and still must have the Super AMOLED display, then you can opt for the Samsung Focus.

Software version of the reviewed unit:


  • Significantly improved Super AMOLED Plus display
  • The best handset for recording and watching Full HD video
  • The dual-core Exynos chipset meets and exceeds the benchmarks in its peer group
  • Future-proof collection of connectivity options
  • Thin and light


  • Design could be a bit more differentiating
  • Motion sensor-powered gestures could see more practical usage

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

71 Reviews



1. touness69 unregistered

What ?? the iPhone 4 has 9.5 and this one 9 ? R U SERIOUS This is by far the best handset to date it even deserved an unprecendeted 10/10 How can say "Motion sensor-powered gestures could see more practical usage" when no other phone have motion controls ?? Phonearena = definitely biased to the bone

12. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

I thought the same thing. Iphone 4 should not even be mentioned as a recommendation in this review because it is way out of it's league compared to the Galaxy S 2! I swear PA gets paid every time they recommend iphone. This is a very nice phone that should get a 9.7. I like all of the photo and video options like panarama and video editing to satisfy the shutter bug in me. I will still be getting the Evo 3D but this is a close second. I like that the Evo 3D has a qHD display and the new htc sense has some cool features. Plus I just can't trust Samsung with software updates anymore... Although I must credit them for possibly learning their lesson since it has gingerbread and an unlocked bootloader.

99. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

hey u guys are stupid... phone arena isnt gonna go back to every review and make it lower as the years pass... when the ip4 came out there was nothing to beat it... simple as that... this phone is coming out and the sensation, evo 3d, and thrill beat it... technically not one of these phones is in the US market, so they are all future phones... but how can you expect them to give this a perfect score when there are already better phones?

108. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

u say there are better phones? The ones u mentioned are in the making still and without a release date. And by any freaking way a review is not done by comparing it with other similar phones its purely done by the one phone-in-hand's performance.Period. and going by wat u said that iphone4 got 9.5 coz there was nothing that could beat it when it came out..the same can be said about the GS2.there really is no phone out there that can beat it. I'm not against iphone getting 9.5, its great but giving this one a 9 when it truly is unbeatable is far fetched

109. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

and why is it that in every page that mentions Apple u are defending it vociferously and calling other people 'Stupid' ...are you getting paid too? (jk) That would make you Stupid!

144. zoulou unregistered

Sorry but there is NO better phone than the SGS2 at least hardware wise. Even in the future planned phones, nothing comes CLOSE. Maybe in 4 month... Rarely a phone is such a gap with the competition. Certainly, the IP4, while it has its merits, was not. And also has antenna issues - and still does.

110. FarooqPasha

Posts: 1; Member since: May 05, 2011

I wonder how stupid the reviewer is. He is mentioning iphone 4 as the alternate. Shame on you PhoneArena. Shame on you. Engadget is much more better than you if its iFanSite than you

116. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

absolutely Engadget=IN iPhonearena=OUT

180. Gesh75

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

Common if there is one of the worst phone review sites it's engadget, and their the biggest apple suck ups i've ever come across so have disagree with you there.

34. calamazoo unregistered

LG Optimus 2X and the LG Black have motion controlled gestures, and they seem way more useful than what Samsung has done here - the tilting one is plain dumb, and the panning stuff - meh. From what i saw in the Optimus Black review, you hold a button on the side and tilt up or down to zoom in the website - and here you need two hands for them, very silly

43. KingK unregistered

This phone is just on par with the competition. Nothing special. Too many kids over excited over nothing. Brings nothing new to the table. Quadrant scores are exaggerated by 2.3 and low resolution and they've been all over the place. Yet this phone still has lags. By the time it comes out all over the world, it will be close to yesterdays news. Not to mention the compatibility issues with the CPU that will come later, can't play tegra 2 games, mali is weak. Only real ok thing about it is the 1080p recording and the screen. Its a good thing but it blows nothing out of the water like everyone is drooling at it. Maybe its 4.7% better at best.

52. touness69 unregistered

Lags ? Exynos weaker than Tegra 2 ?? on par with the competition ?! You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, just stfu and good bye.

59. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

@ touness69 - The Tegra II is faster clock for clock. The only reason Samsung overclocked the Exynos at 1.2Ghz is that it wasn't competitive at 1.0Ghz. And yes, the handset still lags. Go have a play with one you fuckknuckle

71. Jeez unregistered

I'm sorry, did the SGS2 make some baby of yours look like antique? You seem very deperate to rationalize away its leadership.

128. cheetah2k

Posts: 2254; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

My Motorola Atrix still got a 9.5 BWAHAHAHAHAH!!

79. lacp unregistered

Mali it isn't weak. It's much stronger than Tegra 2 GPU. Five times because Nvidia Tegra 2 it has the same performance than PowerVR SGX540.

80. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

I actually must concur. Though I favor this handset, with all that power, this should be the smoothest handset around. Period. As is evident, however, it is not. And to be honest, the improvements it does bring are relatively marginal. The only ones who would truly appreciate its improvements are those who like to tweak and work their phone to death. This is a great phone, yet, the greatest thing to me is the screen. Everything else is simply cool to have.

57. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Hey PA, stick to reccommending phones that are out.. and in the same class. That would limit you to... oooh... hmmm.. maybe an LG G2x. "Hey, instead of this fully loaded ferrari enzo.. how about.. last years BMW.. or waiting till 2014, i hear there will be new cars out then" Reccomending you wait to check out phones that arent out yet is rediculous. Why not just tell people to wait till the Galaxy 4 super duper mega amoled hologram phone is out?

60. chinakidoliver.iab

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

it has 9 and a half but that phone is beast

61. Mario unregistered

How can you give iPhone4 9,5/10? - Sensor problems, - Anetnna problems, - No way to customize the handset after own needs and wishes! Stoneage? - No types of widgets - No way to get contacts on the homescreen - No Flash - No wireles sync - Notification system that is bullshit compare to Android - You can only sync the iPhone with ONE pc/mac - Social Clients buildt in where? - Only 3,5" IPS screen And so on.. Do you call this a 9,5/10 product? ratings: 10 - A perfect product 9 - Nearly perfect, but... 8 - Great product with few flaws 7 - Solid product with some minor issues 6 - Decent, but not as good as it could be 5 - Fair; not great, but not horrible 4 - Okay, but we can't recommend it 3 - Very few redeeming qualities 2 - Almost no redeeming qualities 1 - Pure crap So is really iPhone4 even an 8!?

73. leoking3 unregistered

They are PAID by the ishit company to compare everything to that user-friendly failure of a phone. Wake up people at PA!!! It has resolution? On a 3.5 display? Does it play a decent movie? Without buying a bullshit app? Jesus, when are you gonna wake up and stand up for yourselves?! I know we all work for money, It doesnt even have delivery reports for sms!!!! Jesus!

94. captainqtp

Posts: 16; Member since: Jun 25, 2010

I don't like Apple, I don't use Apple, but Phone Arena reviews the phones when they come to market. Considering when the Iphone 4 hit, it was a top of the line device. I think the retina display is still king of the PPI measurements. Not only that, it had (arguably still has) the better application store on release. Also, despite whatever specs pissing match you want to get into in comparing a phone released today to a phone released last summer, it is still remarkably snappy. I believe it warranted a 9.5. Again, I'd never buy one, because I don't like Apple's closed ecosystem philosophy. I'd constantly feel trapped. That said, many people don't have a problem with Apple's approach.

174. davinci1993

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

Right on, my friend!

179. Troll Police unregistered

You want to see some Apple bias? Go to Engadget

5. sak96

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 12, 2011

Phonearena dnt dlt ma accnt or cmmnt plzz, I m saying the truth why did u gav iphone 9.5, this device should get 10/10. its the best phone in the market now. I hav iphone4 and this phone in ma hands now so i m saying it

98. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

well buddy when the iphone came iout it was best... when this phone comes out it wont be best... (sensation, evo 3d, ad thrill are better)

101. scruffle unregistered

3D phones are gay. Galaxy s2 is king

102. Comatose unregistered

Have you ever played with the Thrill evo 3d or sensation? Admittedly the new htc sense 3.0 does look mouthwatering ,it is highly graphic intensive and hence manages to waste some of the raw power of the sensation and evo 3d . Also i am not really a fan of the evo 3d as i think 3d in phones are pretty unnecessary and mostly a gimmick , atleast in present times. The sensation is the only true rival to this phone , but it is hard to determine if it is better or not until we see some reviews.

157. Allday28

Posts: 337; Member since: Nov 19, 2010

I hate to break it to you but the ssgs2 is already blowing the doors off the over rated evo 3D and will continue to do so....

6. scruffle unregistered

This review is bogus. This has to be the greatest phone to date and it receives only a 9??? It almost seems as if phonearena was just digging to find cons on this phone. the cons listed are stupid and rediculous.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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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