Samsung Galaxy S2 Review

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is a beast, a monster, a powerhouse, someone on an energy drink; I can keep on writing adjectives for the next few minutes, however, I’ll be straight with you. This phone is gracefully awesome! I have had the Samsung Galaxy S2 for the past month or so. I have tinkered around with to the point that it already has a few scratches in spite of the screen protector.

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Main Home Screen

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Main Home Screen

Why has this phone been rated the best Android Smartphone released in 2011? Why does it blast away the newly released Apple iPhone 4S? Let’s find out why I am jumping up and down with joy while typing out this article.

Before I dash into the spice that the Samsung Galaxy S2 brings, I’ll give a brief history of the phones which I owned. I got my first cell phone, a Nokia 6610, back in 2003. It was one of the leading mobile phones back then. I remember playing Bounce, a game equivalent to today’s Angry Birds in terms of play time and popularity. A few years past and I got myself a Nokia 6282, one of Nokia’s first slide phones. I got this mobile phone for a number of reasons, one being that it recorded high quality video at 480p (640×480 pixels), which was pretty tremendous back then. It had the quality of a tape camcorder.

It was the year of the pig, 2007, and I grabbed myself my first “Smartphone” which happened to be a Nokia E51. I have had this robust and strong cell phone (dropped it a hundred times) up until this year when it suddenly began slowly dying – I couldn’t hear anyone with the built-in headset on the phone. Moreover, I accidently destroyed the microphone as I was trying to fix the phone’s body. Nevertheless, I temporary replaced it with a Nokia X1-01, Nokia’s first dual-sim phone which was surprisingly pretty decent. That’s another review I’ll have to get to.

Okay, now you pretty much know my phone life story, not that I intended to write about it, however, I got carried away blabbing. Nonetheless, let’s get to the juicy bit.

Design

At first glance, one can get blinded by its “pure awesomeness”. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is probably one of the slimmest Smartphones in the market right now, sexier than the rounded Apple iPhone 4S. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is only 8.5mm in height and barely weighs anything at only 116G. The design of the Smartphone is curved, similar to its brother, the Samsung Galaxy S.

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Thin Design

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Thin Design

The Samsung Galaxy S2’s design was under a lot controversy and legal battles with Apple recently. The phone might have similar features to the Apple iPhone, however, most or if not all touch-screen Smartphone nowadays look alike. It’s just like General Motors and Ford suing every Japanese car manufacturer for producing cars that have 4 wheels, an engine, a steering wheel and doors.

Continuing, the Samsung Galaxy S2 boasts a staggering 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen which can be bright enough in direct sunlight. The resolution of the phone is 480×800 pixels, pretty common with a phone with this screen size. The colors are vibrant and sharp. I especially like the “Auto-Brightness” feature which automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness based on the amount of light hitting the light sensor located in front.

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Design

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Design

Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S2 features one physical button, home button, and two capacitive touch buttons, an options and back button. At the sides the phone has a lock button, a volume rocker, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microUSB which is used both for data transfer and charging. I wasn’t too impressed with the sound quality coming from the back speaker loudspeaker. I could hardly hear anything in an open room or even outdoors even when the volume was maxed out.

Performance and Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy S2 has one of the fastest processors on the market at this time of writing. The dual-core 1.2GHZ processor probably out performs most of the first netbooks which were released back in 2008. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is in fact a full scale personal computer in terms of performance. It practically can play all graphic intensive Smartphone games flawlessly and with its massive 1GB of RAM, more than half a dozen applications can be opened and managed efficiently.

Moreover, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has a 1650 mAh battery which can last a whole day with occasional 3G and WiFi usage – surfing the web, Twitter and Facebook usage, checking emails, reading the latest news and video conferencing on SKYPE. However, the Samsung Galaxy S2 drains quite quickly when the 3G of the device is turned on. It eats the battery up like a starving horse after one of those posh horse equestrian shows.

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Rear Design

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Rear Design

On another note, the Samsung Galaxy S2 managed to stay awake for at most four days with minimal usage (the usual 20 minute worth of phone calls a day and a few text messages) and browsing the internet with WiFi.

However, if you’re an abusive and heavy user in terms of mobile internet (3G), business phone calls lasting an hour or two, composing and replying to emails and perhaps playing half an hour of Angry Birds, the phone would be juiced out by the end of the day. I could find myself charging it before I sleep as the battery has already dropped below 20%.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S2’s hardware can secure anyone for the next few years. People are still using the original Google Nexus Phone (1GHZ Processor) which was released years ago. It’s still a powerful device as of today’s standards. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is more than enough for the next few years or so.

Camera

Without doubt, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has one of the best cameras in the Smartphone arena. The 8MP camera with built in LED flash can capture well in any environment even in low-light. Moreover, the 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS) videos that are captured with the Smartphone are crisp and rich in colors. However, I am not too impressed with the video stabilization of the Samsung Galaxy S2. There seems to be some jello effect similar to the one found on the first FLIP HD camcorders.

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Camera Application

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Camera Application

I have seen impressive video footage from an unreleased Sharp Android Smartphone which will definitely out win the Samsung Galaxy S2 by a mile. Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy S2 includes continuous auto-focus which beats the Apple iPhone 4S’ fixed focus.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so be the judge of the sample videos and pictures taken with the Samsung Galaxy S2 below:

Software

The Samsung Galaxy S2 comes with Android Gingerbread (2.3.3) and its own tailored user interface called TouchWiz 4.0. The TouchWiz is probably one of the sleekest and simplest custom Android user interfaces on the market. The user interface effects are smooth and fluid especially when transitioning between different menus and applications. A thumbs up on Samsung’s end!

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Internet Browser

Samsung Galaxy S2 - Internet Browser

Nevertheless, I am not too pleased with the number of Samsung applications which were preinstalled on the Samsung Galaxy S2 – typical bloatware. There isn’t much to say about the software preinstalled with it except that it’s got a decent internet browser and a file manager. Moreover, Samsung should give the user the opportunity to uninstall any of Samsung’s apps which clog up internal memory.

Verdict

The part you have been waiting for or the first section you probably read before reading anything else in the review. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is phone built by the gods for the titan Smartphone users out there. It’s a powerful device which tops in most benchmark software tests. To add on, the Samsung Galaxy S2 can get any task done effectively and efficiently with its robust 1.2GHZ processor and 1GB of RAM. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S2’s camera is what every media geek is looking for – crisp, sharp, rich in colors and high quality video.

On the other hand, there are a few negative points. Samsung should have provided a larger capacity battery, perhaps a 1900 mAh battery to compensate the power hungry processor. Additionally, a software update for the camera should be worked on as the “jello” effect and the minimal of video stabilization tends to get annoying at times.

Apart from those few drawbacks, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a Smartphone which can last for a couple of years in the market before needing an upgrade. Likewise, if you are looking for a powerful high-end Smartphone, get the Samsung Galaxy S2. This definitely outperforms the Apple iPhone 4S a hundred fold! I highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy S2 over any of the Smartphones being sold in the market today!

You can find the Samsung Galaxy S2 in local stores for P27,000. You can’t go wrong at all with the Samsung Galaxy S2! It’s everything you need packed in a slim and stylish device!

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  • Rayjohn_dulap

    palit nya ko ana..

  • Orville Tadle

    Great review Jose! I agree, Sammy must put more battery life especially when using 3G.

    • http://www.techdron.com Jose Francisco Farrugia

      Thank you for the kind words Orville! There’s actually an official Samsung 2000mAh battery for the phone which only adds 1mm in thickness to the phone. It costs around P3000. 

  • Jesus Lopez

    I have been looking for a really good phone to use my upgrade on and I think my search might be over after reading a few reviews about the Samsung Galaxy S2. I really like the super AMOLED plus display, the colors really pop out, which is great since I watch movies on my phone. This phone will be great for streaming online content with the dual core processor and 4G speeds. The Samsung Galaxy S2 will be the perfect mobile device when paired with the Sling adapter I just got while working at DISH. Now I can stream all my channels and DVR recording to all my Android devices everywhere I have 3G coverage or Wi-Fi. The best part is DISH is offering Sling adapters to all customers after a mail in rebate.

    • http://www.techdron.com Jose Francisco Farrugia

      You won’t go wrong when you purchase the Samsung Galaxy S2! 

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  • Stetson Rogers

    Greta review! Bud the Galaxy S II doesn’t have video stabilization,does it?