Sunday, 15 January 2012

Samsung Galaxy S2 II review

I'm still pretty new to the whole smartphone market, having had a few different handsets in my possession for just a few days. I spent some time getting to know the HTC Wildfire S and was pretty impressed with it. But I've no real experience of owning any other type of smartphone, so haven't really had anything to compare it to.

I've been told that the Samsung Galaxy S2 II is the dogs-danglies of mobile phones.
The posters on bus shelters certainly look impressive but to the uninitiated (like me) it was just another phone handset. What could be so great about this, compared to other phones?

The first thing to note is that the colours are amazing. The image is bright and vibrant and really sharp. It's like the difference between an LCD television and an LED TV. The screen size is a massive 4.2" (480x800) and apparently uses AMOLED - whatever it is, the result is an image that stays the bright and sharp, even in direct sunlight.

I've seen what's possible with a bit of hacking and some custom code with these handsets, but never really appreciated the quality of the hardware. It's slim and light, has excellent power saving features (after leaving it overnight with all peripherals enabled, it still had about 70% battery the next day). One nice touch is that the screen doesn't get smudged up with fingermarks (actually it does, but these are only visible when you turn the phone off, not when you're using it). The photos are a massive 8mp and uploaded automatically to my Google account - the clarity of the photos is pretty good though I can't help but think that 8mp is a bit much for photos to share over the 'net. The images are good, but not "professional camera" quality. And unless you're going to print the images (in which case, use a camera not a phone!) there's not much difference between sharing an 8mp and a 4mp image - except of course the massive file size. In fact, when I downloaded the photos from my Google account onto my laptop, I found that resizing by 50% (and even by 25%) resulted in the same great image still at a resolution that was bigger than a lot of computer screen sizes....

This is just a personal gripe (although if I was paying for the data connection rather than using my wi-fi connection it might be a different issue). Everything else about the Samsung Galaxy S2 II puts it in a league of it's own. An amazing (albeit expensive) bit of kit. I'd love to be able to keep this one! Suddenly the Samsung Galaxy S2 makes the HTC Wildfire S look like a "budget" smartphone.