on November 28, 2011
I rarely write reviews, but this phone has been consistently amazing ever since I received it in the mail a few days ago. At .01, it's a steal! (thanks Amazon).
Thin, light, and FAST is the best way to describe it. It feels like air in your pocket, the textured back is a joy to hold, and as far as internals, no phone has been able to touch it yet.
I'm not sure what fairy dust Samsung sprinkled into the Dual Core Exynos 1.2Ghz processor, but it has consistently beat other (higher clock speed, even) phones over the past year, even besting the most recent Galaxy Nexus in Quadrant scores. The result is you can throw any graphically intensive game at it, and it will chomp it it with glee. So far, I've installed N.O.V.A 2, Cody, and Riptide GP and all games play at a level that rivals current generation video game consoles. It's really impressive. And it looks great...
...The screen! There's no equal, period. Although the resolution is 800x480, the sub pixel accuracy combined with the technology of super amoled plus produce a bright screen with the best contrast ratio on any phone out today. While certain screens have higher dpi, this is more than offset by how vibrant the screen is.
I must comment on Touchwiz 4.0, it is by far the most fluid Android skin that I have ever encountered. Furthermore, the motion gestures are actually useful, allowing you to swich home screens with one hand while moving icons/widgets. Oh, and the widget menu is actually intuitive! A swipe at the bottom of the screen allows you to quickly pick and place any widget exactly how you like to. What also helps, is the widgets have a 'predictive' placeholder enabled which allow you to see if it will actually fit on the home page before trying to place it there. Seven home screens available at first, with complete customization of app tray icons as well as folder creation round out the package. Excellent.
Battery life is outstanding. With 4G and Wifi enabled, I was happy to find out I had a good 40% battery left after fifteen hours of light use. This phone can easilly last two days with minimal use, it sips power.
The speakerphone is good, but not the loudest. You won't be craking tunes off this bad boy, but it does the job fine.
Call quality is great on the sprint network, no dropped calls. As an added bonus, there is a 4G toggle switch bulit into the notification bar. But honestly, there's never really a reason to disable it.
Notification light! There is one, it's grand. Thank you, Sprint, for slapping one on.
The Camera is fantastic, capable of recording 1080p video. The only caveat is, I wish you could launch the camera from the lock screen with Touchwiz. It's such an easy fix, and I know alot of people want to jump right into taking pictures.
Overall, this is the best Android smartphone available on Sprint, and in my opinion, the best phone available period.
on December 3, 2011
I got my Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G (longest and completely unnecessary product name...ever) at the Sprint store, but the phone will be the same if you order it from Amazon or Sprint (though you can save $50 through Amazon, because upgrading or purchasing new with 2-yr agreement with Sprint, the phone rings in at $199.99 as of December 4, 2011). A Sprint told me I would have to pay a $35 activation fee for upgrading my phone (this is after he had already swiped my card, he didn't tell me this before, but that's neither here nor there).
1. The phone's screen is HUGE. It's beautiful. The color can be vibrant or soft depending on the settings which you can tweak a variety of ways.
2. It's extremely snappy! No lagging in most of the apps that I use (Kindle, Fandango, Movies, Chase Bank, YouTube, Gmail, Facebook, SoundHound).
3. You get a cool notice with how much percentage EXACTLY is left on your battery charge, and then when the battery is done charging, you get a notice to unplug the phone. This is good for the battery, and I like the latter notice.
4. Samsung was smart and gave the back of the phone a little bit of a grip, and this makes me feel MUCH safer pulling this phone out of my pocket!! It's so thin and lightweight that you really can forget you even have it on you!
5. The photos taken with the flash come out looking better than most cheap sensor-having digital cameras. Really no point to have a $80 Point-and-Shoot anymore, just use your cellphone. If you need a better camera, I would get one for sensors and the zooming lens, otherwise this is fine (and I have 2 cameras!).
6. Vlingo Voice is a great addition to Voice Commands! It understands 95% of what I say. Once I get a phone holder for my car, I can safely get directions, receive notifications or send quick text messages/calls. Vlingo and Google work seamlessly on this phone to help you search the web or your phone.
1. The Audio Jack doesn't work with the 3.5mm auxiliary cable from Monster that works with my old HTC Sprint Hero and iPod nano. The phone's Audio Jack is at a slight angle, so there isn't a true connection for the metal. If I hold onto the jack, the stereo in my car can somewhat pick up the sound and it hollowly echoes in my car speakers. This is awful. I need to find a new cord (extra money out of my pocket) or jack adapter just to listen to Amazon MP3 from this phone. The speakers are also not that great for watching movies, so I would suggest using earbuds, but make sure the jack fits! On the plus side, it fits with my cheapo Memorex earbuds (which, granted, have a slightly thinner jack area than the Monster cable).
2. The battery seems to be doing okay, considering I have the screen shut off at about 5 seconds of no use in the "Home" screen. This is not my preference. In the actual "phone/wallpaper/apps" area, if I don't use the phone for 15 seconds, the screen goes black. I have the setting at 30 seconds, but it fades at 5 and then turns off at 15 seconds. I need to tweak this more.
3. Android Gingerbread still doesn't have the full features of Gmail. You cannot "filter messages like this" anywhere inside of Gmail, you must manually label each e-mail is my understanding. Well, at least the lables are color-coded like they are in the web version of Gmail, right?
4. I am not sure if the battery icon is accurate enough in pixels. When I first bought the phone, it had a slight charge good enough for about 2 hours before I got a low battery notice. OK, that makes sense, but I couldn't understand why the green battery icon showed more than 50% full.
5. Adding application widgets to a screen isn't intuitive. If you want just the icon, you need to go into the Applications screen and hold it down until it allows you to drag it to a home screen. If you want the application's widget (example: YouTube widget vs icon), you need to go to the Menu -> Add -> Widget feature. Google needs to cleanup that OS feature, because it makes no sense to anyone.
6. The OS doesn't automatically capitalize proper pronouns or names, which drives me absolutely crazy. Even my HTC Hero which wasn't on Gingerbread knew the difference between Japan and japan!!!!
7. Cheap and shorter than a hooker's mini-skirt USB charging cord. I've already ordered a replacement/back-up cord because the included one is LAUGHABLE.
This phone is the best choice for Android on Sprint. The size of the phone is large, but you really are just at the sweet spot before ridiculously too small for reading and too large for pocketing. I wear women's skinny jeans and this phone slipped beautifully into my back pocket! Also, new women's handbags are making wider mouthed mobile slots, so you can easily get this in there. I picked up a white iPhone to compare the screen and weight, and the iPhone 4S was HEAVY and thick compared to this beauty! The Samsung Galaxy S II has elegantly flushed side volume and power buttons, so you really don't have any strange protrusions like with the iPhone 4S in my opinion. Most of my complaints about this phone stem from the Google Android OS Gingerbread, not the hardware, so take that into consideration.
on September 23, 2011
I have long been afraid to give up my Evo for any new phone, despite some things driving me crazy about it. Then the Samsung GS2 was released on the day my Evo finally died (just the battery, not the phone, it literally stopped charging). I went to Sprint for a battery and discovered this beautiful phone. Having owned multiple LED/LCD TVs/bluray/monitors/etc from Samsung, I had no question to the quality of the phone.
Please note I am speaking of the SPRINT version of this phone only! This is a partial review, as I have not fully tested everything yet, I will return for more updates.
Things I love about SGS2 so far:
1. Gorgeous, large (4.5) Amoled screen. This thing is so bright and easy to see I don't understand why EVO didn't ship with AmoLED. I had the guys at my sprint store installed the screen protector for me, and there has been no issue with pushing buttons, which I had with my evo when it had the screen protector (also done by sprint guys).
2. Dual processors! 1.2GHZ dual core processors make it so the phone is super snappy, and I have not had lag once even while running a bunch of apps.
3. Video processing: After trying different site's videos (YouTUBE, Hulu, random others) this phone has flawlessly ran any video or stream, no buffering yet!
4. Size: This is a personal opinion, but I like how large and flat the phone is, the case is beautiful shades and textures of grey. I missed my kickstand, but that was easily fixed with the new case Sprint has, which has a kickstand on it.
5. This was confusing at first, but the phone comes with a 16gb sd card INTERNALLY from what I am told. This has caused much confusion for rooting and other things with a lot of folks. The actual SD card slot takes a 32gb card, and because I just wanted the best I made sure to get CLASS 10. Now I don't know if there is a whole lot of difference for the average user, but it is much faster than my 16gb class 2 in my evo. To me personally it was worth the extra few dollars at Fry's.
6. Ships stock with Swype. I used to hate swype. Now that I watched the tutorials on their website to learn to use it correctly, I LOVE it. It is so much faster in most cases to just swype instead of typing things out. It doesn't always work flawlessly, but a lot of the time it is fine.
Things that I don't like so far/soso stuff:
1. The home keys at the bottom are switched up from my evo which has been confusing should those buttons not be lit up - HTC has it as Home, Settings, Back, Search; Samsung has it as Settings, Home, Back, Search. Certainly just a personal issue for me having used the EVO for so long my fingers go to the wrong buttons automatically, but I will get used to it.
2. For some reason the US version or maybe the sprint version of this phone does not seem to have support for Samsung Apps or the Game Hub they state on the samsung site. Every other country seems to have these things on their stock devices, but I can't seem to even find a date when we will get these apps on our phones.
3. The lockscreen is kind of choppy and hard to open quickly FOR ME. Obviously this can be changed, but for now I am speaking of the STOCK device.
4. The battery life is okay on it, certainly not outstanding, but I have yet to find a stock phone/battery that does.
5. Rooting the US version is very difficult. This is obviously personal, but having followed the xda forums, and having rooted phones before, it is near impossible to go back to stock unless you are really careful and use a good backup rom program. A number of people, especially from sprint, have bricked their phones quickly trying to do this, even with CWM/CM7, and since there is no firmware release for D710 it's very risky to do this right now, unless you are an advanced user/dev.
That's about it for now, I will update again later, when I delve more into it. Thanks for reading, I hope this helps someone out there :)
on December 15, 2015
I absolutely love this phone. I needed a phone cheap because my other Sprint phone wouldn't even turn on anymore and ofcourse I have insurance but when your phone is outdated they make you "upgrade" and it ends up costing atleast a couple hundred, so I decided to buy this phone to use with Sprint and wow I am so impressed. Mine was refurbished, came nicely wrapped, absolutely perfect condition and I haven't had a single issue with it.
UPDATE. Dont buy this phone. After a month it wouldnt show text messages that had been sent to me. My friends and family were getting upset that i never replied to their texts...i didnt get them. My screen would flicker and then shut off and wouldnt turn back on until i plugged in the phone. It got to the point when the phone would only stay on when plugged in to the charger. So i switched. Went to metro pcs. Got a great phone for under 100.. My plan is so cheap and i havent had a problem so far. Dont order phones online and go through the same thing i did
on August 9, 2012
I am a long term owner of this phone, I have had it more than 6 months and I must say, I really like it. What has truley amazed me about this product is that over time, it hasnt started to slow down. My phone still feels very fluid. The battery life lasts me a day, but I must say with the most recent update to Ice Cream Sandwich the battery life hasnt been as stellar, it is still good, but it isnt AMAZING. Will it last you a day? Probably.
For phone nerds: Rooting is a pain and I just stopped trying. The great news though is that with the update you can use the stock ICS launcher and it looks really good, is it a galaxy nexus, no, but it is a zippy stock feeling that I am more than happy with.
For everyone else: The phone feels great in your hand. It is SUPER light and very thin. Colors are vibrant and the camera on the phone still rivals the cameras on todays phones. Call quality is great as well as signal strength. I have dropped 1 call before on this phone, for 6 months of ownershop that isnt that bad.
But now it is time to look at this phone in comarison with what is avalible today. Is this as good as a galaxy S3? No. The S3 has a better screen resoloution, more ram, and is more likeley to be supported by samsung further into the future meaning that you will get lots more features in the future. The S3 and the Evo LTE both have a large advantage over this phone though, it has 4g LTE. Sprint's company that has been rolling out the "4g" supported by this phone is pretty much stalled on rollout due to the fact that the 4g technology that this phone uses is not the industry standard. If you arent covered by the 4g now, dont hold your breath. Sprint is deploing their LTE network which is much faster, at a very rapid pace.
My advice with this phone. If the price point fits your budget, you wont be disapointed, I love mine. However if you can afford, I would recommend going with an LTE phone like the S3 or and Evo 4g Lte. Keep in mind that the phone that you buy will account for only about 5-10% of the cost of owning the phone for 2 years. It might seem like a lot of money to buy the better phone, but over the course of 2 years you will be happy that you did.
I gave this phone 5 stars for my experience with it. Great buid quality, good reception, great screen (a little lack of resloution),great camera, fantastically fluid however in comparison to todays phones avalible I would give this a 4/5.
on May 5, 2012
This phone is simply amazing. I was stuck between this and the iphone. I carefully compared both, specs and reviews. Not forgetting to mention, I've played with iPhones plenty. I'm glad I made this decision. I think the problem with the older droids is that the OS wasn't refined. The older ones had lag times, froze up, crashed etc. I'll be the first to admit the first generation droids were not that good. Not this phone. Samsung has done a great job of refining the operating system and their touch wiz interface. Battery life is no longer an issue with this phone. It lasts 12+ hours easily with moderate use.
What this has that the Iphone doesn't:
*Bigger Screen - Look, this is huge. This screen is very nice. And just the perfect size.
* 4G - You'll use it!
*Better keyboard options (I use the Ginger bread 2.3 keyboard from the market). The predictive text and auto correct is way better than apples. Hands down.
* Widgets. You'll use them, trust me.
* Slot for extra storage.
*More options for customization
*Fluid OS. Look the iOS is a great operating system, but Samsung has done an excellent job with theirs version of android. No complaints. Not one crash. Not one.
* Decent battery life. No difference. What I like about the Samsung is the battery is removable.
*Great cameras. In my opinion, no difference quality.
*Sharp looking screens. Although IPhone technically has a better screen, you cannot tell the difference. I've compared them side by side.
No regrets getting this phone. It's polished and ready for prime time. I use it for work with Microsoft exchange, and personal use with Gmail. An absolutely great phone.
on October 6, 2011
Long story short, this is the best Android phone there is. You can make arguments that it has rivals, but there is no phone better. This phone is half a year old, and there still hasn't been an Android phone released that clearly tops it. It's that good. Even the phones scheduled for release this holiday season are only expected to be "on par" with it, and not truly surpass it by great measures. If you have any doubts about this phone, get rid of them. This is as good as it gets at the moment.
Feel- Extremely light with a comfortable form factor. 4.52 inches of screen real estate is a little difficult to get used to, but I don't think it's so big that it's uncomfortable. I have small hands, and I can still manage to type with one hand. Some people complain abou the plastic feeling cheap, but I honestly have no idea where that comes from. Since when does a phone have to feel either metal or heavy to feel expensive and sturdy?
Battery- More powerful than any other Android phone out there, but its battery is still better as well. It's a win-win. I have no problem going a full 15 hours without charging.
Screen- SAMOLED+ is that good. The low resolution is an ever so slight disappointment, but let's be honest, unless you're looking at the screen from less than a foot away, you're not going to notice any pixelation. I would take this screen over any other phone's screen today. Brighter, better colors, more "crisp."
Speed- This phone is blazing fast. Less lag than any other phone I have used, including Droid X2, Evo 3D, Sensation, and iPhone 4 (haven't used the Bionic). You get nearly instantaneous response for every command, and I absolutely love it.
Call quality- I switched carriers to get this phone, so I can't say for sure it's better than other phones on the same carrier, but I haven't had one dropped call yet (I'm in a major metro area). The speaker phone could be a little louder, but I have used it for a conference call in a room with 15 others, and it served its purpose well enough.
Features- It has virtually anything you could ask for. I think it is worth nothing that the camera on this phone is superb. If you have a point-and-shoot that's around $150 or less, you can pretty much toss it. The video quality is also fantastic. 1080p recording is a little choppy, so I would recommend recording video in 720p or lower, but having the ability to record 1080p if I wanted is pretty awesome. I can't possibly cover all the other features, but I thought the camera definitely deserved the praise. I'll just say that, if you want it, this phone has it.
If you want a phone now, there's no question that you should get some version of the SGS2. If you are on Verizon and really want to stay there, you could wait for the Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus. It will be virtually the same phone with LTE and the "Google Experience." To be honest, I like TouchWiz and I like Sprint's unlimited data. I couldn't be happier with my SGS2, and I don't think anyone would truly be disappointed if they had one.
on November 19, 2011
I've owned this phone now for 2 weeks. I've spent the whole time exploring and figuring out the phone's capabilities, and here is my report. Wow. This phone blows me away. My other choice was the iPhone 4S - I am so glad I dodged that bullet. I have a hard time imagining anyone saying anything negative about this phone. The battery life on the phone is nothing shy of spectacular (especially when compared to the 4S). I've gotten 2 full days on 1 charge with light to moderate use including media, internet, and bluetooth. The biggest drain on the battery is weak signal (specifically for 3G data). In the metal building where I work, I have 0-1 bars at best. On the 1st day of of work use, I left the 3G on and lost 30-35% battery after 9 hours without making a single phone call or using and data, I only sent 3-4 texts (don't need as much signal to do so). But here's what I found out later. It's not having the 3G on that kills the battery, it's having the 3G on with no signal that kills the battery. The following weekend, while at home on 3G/Wi-fi, the phone lasted 2 full days before going on the charger Sunday night. The Epic Touch has built in, what other phones require several apps to achieve. Samsung powered by Vlingo for Voice Talk is a nice touch. There's a built in file explorer, which is a big plus for me and those like me who aren't iPeople. Text-to-speech, Voice Recognition, the list goes on. Now let's talk about speed. The Galaxy S2 has been called "The Best Phone of 2011" by PCWorld. One of the reasons is the incredible processor. Lot's of phones have a 1.2GHz dual core processor, but they're not the Exynos processor. It's like comparing an Intel with an AMD of the same clock speed. No contest. It's by far the fastest platform on the market. It gets it done, and gets it done now. Now for the screen. You're thinking maybe you don't like the low 800x480 resolution? Think again, it's apples and oranges. You can't compare a 960x540 TFT with a 800x480 Super AMOLED Plus. That "plus" is the dealmaker. It's unmatched, even the iPhone's Retina display loses in side by side comparisons -Engadget. (Although, to give credit to Apple, even newer phones with higher resolutions still don't surpass the Retina display's pixel density). But the iPhone's screen is simply too small for my taste. Even the up and coming Galaxy Nexus falls short of this phone's CPU power and display aesthetics. As far as some people's reviews stating that the phone had som weird signal issue, I've not experienced anything like this. I have just as good, if not better signal than my last phone. All in all, this phone is the unrivaled people's champion. Don't forget, this phone will be getting an Ice Cream Sanwich update very soon.
on March 26, 2012
This is the first android phone I've had for starters. My previous phone was a Blackberry Curve 8330. This phone blows that one out of the water by a ton. It's awesome. It's more like a handheld computer then a phone really. It's more powerful and portable then my laptop even.
I originally thought the screen might be too big but I was wrong. I love the extra room compared to screens of the other phones on the market.
Before my purchase I was also concerned about the touchscreen typing. Coming from the convenient qwerty keyboard of the blackberry, a touchscreen has been a bit of an adjustment but swype makes it easy. The screen size also helps with this as there is more room for the keyboard.
Another pre purchase concern was battery life. My wife has had the Evo and Evo 3D and has to charge her phone all the time. It seems like a big hassle. While I don't use the phone constantly like she does, I'm very pleased with the battery life thus far. It usually lasts me the whole day on moderate usage. That's acceptable to me, given the power of the device.
All in all the phone does everything I want out to do and more. I highly recommend it.
on November 16, 2015
For the price I and the description I was expecting a nice used galaxy S2, but when I opened the plain white box I was surprised to see what looked like a brand new phone. No scratches anywhere, brand new battery and cable. I will buy from them again.