I previously had an iPhone 3G, I loved that phone but it broke and I wasn't ready to sign a new contract so I moved to Virgin Mobiles Optimus V. I liked that phone as it was my first step into the android world. I then bought (and returned) a Motorola Triumph which was supposed to be a good phone but it failed. I then finally decided to step up to the Galaxy S2 and while it's only been a few days I'm very pleased.
I started my day out yesterday around 5:30 am, as I drove to work I had a video podcast playing on the phone and that ran for around 30 minutes during my commute. I got to work and then started playing a little with the phone but mainly using it for web browsing and listening to Audio the remainder of the day. I did play some words with friends, downloaded a few new apps from the market and showed off the phone and by 1:30 pm I was at 60% battery life. Not bad to only use 40% in 8 hours. At that rate it's approx 5% battery per hour which tells me I can run this thing just like I was for approx 20 hours without it dying on me. This was PRE any optimization, I had wifi on, data on, etc.
As for charging the phone, it seemed to charge just fine. I read other reviews where it was taking a long time to charge. I think it took the normal amount of time. That being said I was using a wall charger that came with the phone. If you charge via computer USB port it will take a bit longer.
It's plastic and glass, no doubt about it but it is extremely lightweight but doesn't feel cheap. Samsung did a great job making this feel solid even though it is literally pencil thin. I don't have any issues with light leak or anything so far with the construction. Some people bash the back battery cover which is a thin plastic cover. In my eyes this is not important, Ive already ordered a cover to put over the phone so for me this is a non-issue.
This phone comes with 16gig of on-board memory plus has a micro SD slot which can hold I believe up to a 32gig card. I currently have a 16 gig card which means my phone now has 32 gigs of memory. The phone is also pretty quick at reading the SD card, very little delay on boot up of the phone giving access to the applications which are stored on the card.
Aka, crapware. I don't want all the crap they install but with the right app you can actually hide what you can't uninstall. ATT did from what I understand put this motion control on which means you can put two thumbs on the screen and zoom in and out by tilting the device, this is sort of useless and I disabled it. (This may not just be ATT abut I thought I read it was). ATT also has a bug in the lock screen, if the phone turns off and you turn it back on the lock screen appears (if enabled.) Let the phone turn back off and then turn it on and the lock screen is bypassed. There is a simple fix by turning the lock setting to immediate which Samsung advises. You can also download alternative lock screens on the market to fix this. It's a silly bug that should never have made it passed the quality checks of samsung or ATT whoever was responsible for this defect.
I played with both the front facing and rear cameras and both look good. I took several photos and am very happy with the quality of both cameras. I downloaded Skype and made a video call to my wife to test out the quality and it really looked good. (Who needs "facetime").
Who needs Siri by Apple. this phone comes with its own voice commands integrated with Vlingo and and the phone will talk to you if you say "check schedule", it plays music, sends txt and emails, writes memos, etc all with the power of your voice. The one thing iPhone 4S is all about this phone has on-board. It may not talk back and ask you to reschedule a meeting due to a conflict but come on, the reality of me using that feature is very slim so it's not important to me.
Overall I'm very happy with this phone. I thought it would be too big, it's not. In fact it's perfect size for typing on. I installed several apps like Widget Locker to customize the lock screen and add new sliders, Tasker which allows custom tasks so when my calendar shows I'm at work my phone auto changes to vibrate mode, and if I am near home wifi turns on and when I leave it disables it to save additional battery. I use Pocket Casts to manage podcasts and have those set to download automatically,I use Photaf for panoramic pictures which this phone can process and "build" quickly. I use Lookout for security to protect the phone and flashlight app well.... so I have a flashlight. Skype for video calls and chrome to phone to quickly send webpages to my phone.I also have the amazon app store running to get that daily free app.
I like this phone and do recommend it. A huge improvement over the Optimus V, way better then the iPhone 3G and 3Gs, I dare say it's equally as good as the iPhone 4S if not better because it's NOT a glass front AND back. I think the 4S stands for "Shatter". You think Apple would have fixed this design but no they just added new insurance because they know you are going to break it. The only benefit to the iPhoen 4s is the camera is a bit better AND you miss out on apples new "send a card" app.... ;) Get this phone, you won't regret it.
on October 17, 2011
After being an iPhone / iOS user for a year and a half and as an Android / Atrix user for only 6 months (thankfully without a contract extension), I used that saved upgrade subsidy on getting a SGS2. After following the rave reviews overseas about it, and after enjoying the developer friendly Android OS, I figured this would be the phone I would use for the next few years. Overall, it is an absolute gem of a phone that has little nuances here and there.
When compared to an Atrix 4G, it's absolutely night and day. All the hype over Samsung's AMOLED Plus screen is no joke. The colors are absolutely brilliant in comparison to Motorola's Pentile display. Moving about the screen is silky smooth, with no lag at all. Going back to the Atrix, you can tell the motion from screen to screen just isn't as sweeping. The camera differences are amazing different, both in pictures and in video. Color in the pictures taken by the SGS2 is just much crisper and deeper, especially with black colors, in comparison to the Atrix. However, I'm not using the full 8 megapixel size, as it's not 8MP Wide. I've stuck to the largest widescreen resolution of 6MP W. The hardware does not disappoint, with most work (loading apps, word docs, flash) being done very fast.
When compared to an iPhone 4S (got to play with my wife's iphone this weekend), this is where you find that it's very evenly matched. Both OS's operate smoothly, their cameras capture great images at 8 MP, their videos are just as well. It's on the configuration side and the battery life that makes the difference. Siri aside, the life on the iPhone 4S will completely outdo the SGS2 by far. I have widgets running for Facebook, MLB, Weather Channel, along with pushing my work email, and using adjusted brightness will kill your battery really quick. The SGS2 adjustable brightness also seems to act really weird, dimming and lighting itself very often and very noticeable. On the positive side, the configurations on the SGS2 is extremely diverse. From white balance and stability control on the cameras, to different sounds for email notifications and text notifications, you can tell that Samsung aimed the SGS2 to be configured to make it suitable to the owner, and not have the same recognizable tones or feel that the iPhones have. While it does take some time to get the configs just right, you tend to have a feeling that once your done, you won't confuse your SGS2 for anyone elses. The other thing to think about is the size and feel of the phone. The iPhone seems like a brick to me, with the screen looking so tiny compared to the SGS2. However, with the plastic feel and the lightness of the SGS2, I fear dropping it and ending up with a broken phone. It would probably be smart to get an otterbox for it, but then you end up with a brick. The other thing is, for my height, the iPhone feels small, where for my smaller wife, it fits perfectly. It's all based on what you're comfortable with.
To summarize, when comparing the SGS2 to a few other Android phones out there (namely for me the Atrix), the SGS2 shines and appears incomparable due to its outstanding hardware and feature offerings. When it comes to an iPhone 4S, you're probably better off choosing which OS you're more comfortable with and sticking with it. Where my wife is absolutely happy with the feel of her iPhone, I can say just the same for the SGS2.
on November 15, 2011
Does Samsung Galaxy S2 beats Iphone 4 or 4S? My answer is Big 'YES'.
I'm using this phone from past 3 weeks and I don;t miss my Iphone at all. Samsung Galaxy S2 is loaded with features and technical specs.Lets differentiate Iphone 4S with Samsung Galaxy S2.
Specs Iphone4/4S Galaxy S2
Processor 800 MHz 1.2 GHz
Core Dual Dual
Memory 512MB 1 GHz
Screen Resolution 960 X 640 480 x 800
Display Ratina Super Amoled +
Back Camera 8MP with flash 8 MP with FLash
Front camera 1.3MP 2 MP
Video recording 1080P(FULL HD) 1080P(Full HD)
Weight 140 Grams 116 Grams
network 3G 4G
Capacity 16GB 16 GB
SD support NO Yes 32GB Micro SD card slot available to expand
Screen Size 3.5inch 4.3 inch
Video format ITUNE limited No conversion required, upload any format directly to phone
Samsung galaxy support animated live wallpapers. E.g It has animated wallpaper which changes animation based on weather. if its cloudy,moving clouds dispalyed on screen, if rain, you will see drops on the screen, if snow then snow flakes falling on animated wallpaper which gives phone very cool looks and so as for night and day.
It has proximity sensor which is very useful when you are on call. Touch screen is not effective on call which means if screen touches on your cheeks its non-responsive and calls wont cut or go on hold. You can disable this feature.
The phone has motion sensor which helps like, if you are in meeting and your call rings, flip the phone with screen down and its on mute. similarly tilt, pan and swing options behave differently .
The phone support DLNA technology, So if you connected to wireless at home and have DLNA supported TV or home theater system then you can stream Video, Audio and pictures Directly to your TV in full HD. the app used id ALL share. This is awesome feature which blew u off. no more wire connection.
No software required to upload download any music or video. Phone comes with Kies air app which gives you an URL. Open this URL on your browser and you can access phone data through browser.
Edit/upload/download contacts, music, calls, bookmarks, videos,messages etc etc ..
Video quality is awesome , no conversion required. Whatever format you have dump on phone and play it in full screen. you can change screen size.
Audio interface is similar to Iphone but best is it has auto and manual equalizer. It shows bar while playing a song which help skip songs fro few secs
Camera quality is very good. It has feature to select scene and take paranormic shots.
Battery life is very good as it has power saving mode which controlls your phone and help consume less battery. Stand by time is 16 days, talktime/Audio play is approx 16 hrs. battery drain very fast if playing games or watching videos.
Android market has almost all apps what Apple has.
Screen apps are customization for effects like Weather or clock.
Phone has inbuild GPS navigation system, So no need to buy 3rd party navigation.
Install apps like Go SMS pro which works as front interface and helps avoid SMS charges. If you receive any SMS, It will receive in GO PRO SMS and you wont be cahrged for receiving or sending any SMS to your friend.
Web Browser support flash, so open any website with ease which plays all video formats.
It far better than Iphone on drop test. Check yourself on youtube.
Office exchange has better security options than Iphone. It give you view option like real Microsoft outlook. Out of office settings which is not in Iphone.
Screen resolution is very good. It has gorilla screen which is scratch proof. Colors are vibrant. You will love watching movie on it.
So overall a very good work done by Samsung. If you are looking for an alternative other than Iphone than Go for it without doubt.
Best phone in market, I must say.
Good work Samsung... Cheers!!!!!
on October 5, 2011
My first foray into the smartphone world has my friends extremely jealous. I have played around with other people's smartphones for years, and never saw one as close to perfect as this one is. Great battery life, beautiful screen, wickedly fast processor (has set a record in quadrant benchmark), decent reception and call quality, and a strong gps that locks on my indoor location even in windowless rooms without the assistance of wireless networks! About the only thing that is missing is an LED notification light, but that is easily remedied with the Marketplace App "NoLED," which does the trick nicely. I have also used the very buggy Epic 4G Touch on Sprint, and the form factor on this phone is superb -- not too big and classically simple aesthetics.
on October 6, 2011
Overall the phone is great, the phone is really fast, the screen is gorgeous, and its customization capabilities are great as well. Very smooth, light weight, and great looking. To say the least the best Android phone out there at this time. Would and have recommended it to people I know. In my case I had been waiting for this phone for some time now to hit the states, it finally did and has not disappointed me at all. Enjoying my purchase and not regretting it one bit.
Screen size and display
The only two issue I've found with this phone, is the same that others mentioned. The lock screen is not working properly (easily fixed with a free app at the android market) also its a bit tricky to sync gmail with this phone (also fixed with an app)
Hope this review helps.
on October 28, 2011
I would have bought this phone INSTANTLY if it was released in the US/Canada in like May, when it was released to Asia and Europe. Now almost 6 months later, it might seem to make more sense to wait for the Galaxy Nexus, but I still bought this phone, and I am absolutely loving it. Seeing that there are not much review for the engineer, so here it goes:
1) Swype is AMAZING. It took me 30sec to learn and type faster than with the normal keybaord. But even the normal keyboard is easier to type on than my blackberry-like device with a full physical keyboard.
2) This is almost as powerful as the highest end 5 year old laptop. Not quite, but almost there... With 1G of RAM and 1.2G dual core.
3) Google ecosystem: Gmail, google calendar (syncs multiple calendars, if youd like to see your friend's shared calandar, or maintain multiple calendars yourself), google task, google talk, google finance etc. All of these are automatic once you link your google account with the device. The ecosystem is generally very nice, fairly open, and can easily exports to and interoperates with other systems.
4) Lots of great free apps. But perhaps slightly less uniformity, and worse precision on the appstore search than Apple's.
5) Samsung Kies air is actually pretty impressive. You instantantly turn the off into a webserver and can access things on the phone wirelessly.
6) Turns into a wifi Hotspot without having to do anything
7) Widgets! - customize your screen
8) Its Linux. You can run a terminal, and run it as a ssh server. You can see and access the underlying system. I can check and modify my jobs running on the clusters. Lots of the familiar Unix programs runs here: like top, cd, cp, df etc. You can also ssh into this phone from a computer. This is incredibly fun if you are a computer scientist/engineer.
Vs. Galaxy Nexus
I actually waited 3 weeks (quite a lot to ask myself, I have an incentive to sign with ATT asap) until the Galaxy Nexus information came out. Then it became clear that a) Nexus is probably not coming to ATT anytime soon, and 2) it is not obviously better 6 months later. I decided to go with the original phone that I was waiting for. You can compare the specs at say phonearena or something, but I just want to point out a few things that people may not necessarily pick up from the specs easily:
1) The Nexus probably does not have SD slot
2) The Nexus is huge, and its screen uses PenTile, so its 1280x720 res is comparable to 824x480 in GS2, granted, that is still better, but no longer significantly.
3) The GS2 actually uses a better graphics chip, making me wonder how the Nexus is supposed to drive a higher res screen with a bloated pixel count that is less sharp, and what are the tradeoffs driving that decision. Is it just to say weve got the highest res screen?
4) the GS2 uses the famous Gorrila glass which protects against scratches
5) The Nexus has a curved display, whereas GS2 is flat
Granted, if the Nexus is out right now on ATT, ill still get it if just for the new Android 4.0 and parting with ATT crapware. But I am very happy with this device as well.
Vs iPhone 4S
I cannot really argue against the value of the iphone 4S, but the GS2 is 50$ cheaper if you want the base model, and much cheaper if you want the extra-storage by buying microSD yourself (and more portable).
The iPhone 4S has an objectively better screen with denser pixels, but the GS2 screen is very nice, brighter and 0.8'' (~2cm) longer in the diagonal.
The iPhone 4S has a better camera.
iPhone4S is smaller, but that also means smaller screen.
Most importantly though, is the software: this is an Android, and it let you do pretty much whatever you want to it. And that is really fun. Of course, if you are rich enough to pay for everything, and feel comfortable of being locked into the iCloud ecosystem, then Apple does give you a smoother ride.
Complaint: the microUSB charger male that came with the phone is too short, so I had to shave the plastic a bit for it to reach all the way in, and the male still did not connect well. So I bought another cord for 2 dollars and fixed the problem.
General theme: Android still is not quite as smooth as iOS, but that is the price you pay for being a flexible and open system... i guess? The core is still very reliable though.
So thanks Amazon for having this for 150$.
4 stars for the charger problem. It got me worried, because it would be much harder if it was the female's issue that they don't connect, instead of the male's.
on October 12, 2011
I used to have iPhone, including iPhone 3G and 4. They work great, but the screen is way too small. I have been waiting for iPhone 5 for several months. However, only iPhone 4S came out. It doesn't have the large screen I want. Eventually, I ditched Apple. Did quite some research of Android phone. Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Android Phone (AT&T) is on the top of my list.
Got the phone. It meets my expectation.
- It is light. Lighter than iPhone 4. Someone may consider it feel cheap due to its weight, but I looks solid.
- The screen is nice. I think the color is better than iPhone 4. It is more saturated. There is no complaint about the screen size. Huge difference while surfing internet.
- The camera flash is bright, really bright.
- It is fast. Much fast than iPhone 4 when I try them side by side. No comparison with iPhone 4S.
- Battery is not as bad as in some review. As long as you don't use it "extensively", it is good enough for daily need.
In summary, great phone. Just recommend it to one of my friend, who is also pissed off by Apple's iPhone 4S. It seems that another Apple customer will change boat.
---------------------Update after one month of use----------------------
Now, it comes to the best part. I live in an area with poor ATT coverage. I only have Edge at home. With both my iPhone, I can't make any phone call longer than 10 minutes. It dropped the call with no exception. The new Samsung Galaxy gave me a big surprise. In the last month, it never drop a call for me. I mean "Never". The voice is much more clear than iPhone. It is still on Edge most time, but I can also get HSPA+ sometimes.
At one of my favorite resteraunt, the coverage is not good either. With iPhone, I can call, but the quality is poor. I can't have data. There is no comparison between Samsung and iPhone. At exact location, Samsung can get HSPA+ most time. Finally, I can enjoy the internet while eating my favorite meatballs.
In summary, you can go wrong with Samsung. If you area has poor coverage, Samsung is a much better choice than iPhone.
on October 4, 2011
After waiting months for this phone to come out, its finally here. So far I am impressed with its super slim design, vivid display, and more than ample computing power. I get service where my previous phone never did and call quality is great. I am hoping the battery life improves after the initial power cycling. So far I have around 1 hour 40 minutes display on time during a 12'30" overall on time before the connect battery charger notification appears (this is without wifi or gps on). Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase and I look forward to future custom ROMS like cyanogenmod for this device.
on October 19, 2011
*****Updating review as of 11/2/2011*****
This just in- After about 20 days my phone had a USB malfunction. I plugged it in to charge one night and it went hay wire. After that, it thought it was always connected to USB and could not be connected to my computer. When powered off, it showed it was charging (even when not connected) and could not be turned back on without being connected. After doing a full reset and confirming with samsung tech support that the phone needed to be warrantied i contacted Amazon since i was still within 30 days. I spoke with a rep Tuesday 11/1 at 6PM EST. They overnighted me a new phone that arrived at my desk at 10AM today 11/2. Moral of the story is that Amazon is killing it. 17 hours and a brand new phone was in my hand. That's pretty rocking service.
My new phone has bit of wiggle room on the battery now which is a bit of a bummer but i just shimmed it and I'll live with it cuz i don't want to have to dump everything and start over yet again.
I'm still backing this phone completely and chalking the USB issue up as a fluke. As long as this new one keeps going I'm still happy with the phone. I plan on getting the Otterbox case since it has plugs for the USB and headphone ports, which will keep crap out of there that i think was the cause of my issue.
I've had this phone for a little over a week and I'm loving it. First off, i ordered it mid afternoon on Friday 10/7. I received an "item has shipped" email on Saturday. The phone arrived at my office Monday morning. Nice work Amazon!
The phone itself is ridiculously thin and light. so thin that it's actually almost awkward to hold and text its so narrow. The back cover definitely feels cheezy but i got a rugged case for it anyway so not worried about that. So far everything is buttery smooth, i don't think I've experienced any real glitches or freak outs worth noting. No lagging, no stalling, no freezing, just silky smooth operation all around. Pinch zooming is quick and responsive, web pages load as fast as your connection will allow them to, all the internal navigation is super quick as well. Still learning my way around all the features and working on picking up more fun/useful apps but I'm glad i went this route vs. the iphone4 bargain for $99. The customization of Android is just too good to pass up. Don't like the keyboard? download a new one. Wanna text a bazillion words a second? give swype a try. Want to know what programs you have running? check out your task manager. Wanna kill some of them? clear your ram? go for it. Delete those crappy ATT bloatware programs? you can do that too.
Battery life is actually pretty decent. Sitting connected to wifi at work all day, texting fairly frequently and thumbing through some random apps and web here and there, I'm at about 50 or 60% battery life when i get home. From there i tend to use web and apps more heavily and I'm usually at about 30% when i put it on the charger at bedtime. I set the "power saving mode" to start at 70% and i generally run the screen brightness on auto or at minimum since i can it just fine inside anyway. Yesterday I pulled it off the charger at around 9am and turned wifi off while at work. only sent a few text all day and was only briefly on facebook to post a pic. I was at 80% battery at 11PM when i got home. You can definitely make the battery last 2 days with light use, especially if you shut it down at night when not using. I also set my email sync to manual so it's not hogging data and battery all day trying to stay updated. I'm not a business user so i can get away with that.
I've only played around with the camera a little but pic and video quality looks really good. Flash is super bright but doesn't wash things out unless you're really close to it. images are crisp and cam snaps fast, no blur from a shaky hand or anything. front cam takes decent shots too, haven't tried video calls yet though.
I'm glad ATT went with the 4.3" screen, not too big but big enough to watch a video and see all the details, and fit enough web page on there to actually read for a bit without scrolling all over the place. This phone is definitely a little bulky compared to my old samsung 'dumb' phone but it's not cumbersome by any means. I hardly notice it my pocket anymore.
The only thing that kinda bums me out is that it doesn't have a dedicated HDMI. I know there is a micro USB to HDMI adapter but that's just one more part to buy. would be nice to just plug it straight in.
Overall I would highly recommend this gadget. You won't be disappointed.
on February 1, 2012
Had it at 5 stars but recently the phone just won't connect to the network so I can't send/receive calls/texts. I tried calling AT&T and they couldn't give me a solution. I had to contact Samsung and they finally told me to send it in for repairs but I also contacted the seller and they offered a refund, which I am going to get instead because chances are, the error will probably happen again and I just don't want to deal with it.
For starters, this is the first Android phone I have ever owned. I've owned Android tablets, but there is hardly any difference except one can make calls/texting.
Anyway, to start off I really love it so far! I tested it out for 1 day so far and the battery actually lasted me for around 10 hours or so! I didn't really do anything too heavy on it to drain it much but I will see just how long it actually lasts. I see the battery life going really well. Way better than the previous phones I have owned.
This phone is fast! It's beautifully designed, and has an excellent camera with LED flash. Being able to record in full HD is really awesome. I have yet to try to go to a concert and see how well this works!
16GB of memory and expandable to microSD up to 32GB.
Speech-to-text is really awesome, overall the voice commands do well.
The phone is really light, and the AMOLED screen looks amazing!
Only con I can think of right now is that I can barely hear people when calling and I don't put the speakerphone on. I don't know if it's like that or if I have a faulty phone? But when placed in speakerphone it sounds excellent.