on April 14, 2012
My first smartphone was the Samsung Galaxy S (Captivate), then the Samsung Infuse, which was a faster, bigger Captivate, and now the SII Skyrocket, so you could say I've seen the evolution of Samsung's Android phones and software.
Let me start by saying this is an awesome phone. Amazing, even. When I compare it to my 1 year old Samsung Infuse, it blows it out of the water in every respect (except the screen, which I'll get to later).
UI - The UI on this phone is fantastic. I personally find Touchwiz to be a nice add on to Android. The notification bar switches are VERY useful, especially Wifi, rotation, and GPS. This phone has many added animations, which make everything look much smoother than stock Android. The new widgets like the Calendar and Photo Frame are very nice and add a lot to my home screens. The Phone/Messaging apps are some of the best I've seen. The camera is simpler than before, so easier to use. Overall the UI is a great improvement over stock Android 2.3 and also older versions of Touchwiz.
Screen - The screen is nice, but probably the weak point of the phone. At 800x480 on a 4.5" display, it can look grainy at times. However, I don't notice it that much in normal use. Also, the screen is blue tinted, which I found strange, since both my old Infuse and Captivate were Super AMOLED, but didn't have that issue. Otherwise, the display is excellent, with nice viewing angles, and extreme contrast.
Speed - Blisteringly fast, to be honest. When on Wifi, it can load most websites just seconds behind my Intel Quad-core desktop, which is saying quite a bit (full webpages). Everything pretty much flies on this phone, from loading pages on my reader, to checking the weather or switching between screens, there is not much noticeable lag. We have LTE in the LA area, and it is also extremely fast. It is several times faster than regular '4G', and feels like you are browsing on Cable internet.. not DSL, but full speed Cable.
Radios/reception - Very, very good. Far improved over my Infuse. I get good reception almost all the time, haven't had any dropped calls yet. I get strong wifi signal, too, compared to my old phone.
Battery Life - Excellent. I was surprised, as they say that LTE phones can have poor battery life. But I have found the phone capable of lasting 2 days under light use, and easily lasting one full day (~16 hours) of relatively high usage. I don't sync a lot of programs though, just Facebook and my Google accounts like Gmail and Reader. The charger also does a really nice job too, I went from 20% to around 80% in an hour.
Build quality - Decent here. I noticed the plastic creaks, but otherwise I don't have much concern for it breaking.
Camera - Very nice camera. Takes good quality pictures, though still not up to a $150 point and shoot's standards, but they are also pretty quick to be taken.
Sound quality - Good here, not amazing, but good. Speaker is plenty loud most of the time. Can crackle though.
Overall, a great phone. Really a speedy phone, the processor flies, and the Wifi/LTE are both extremely fast at rendering webpages. I docked it 1/2 star because of issues with the screen (blue tint) and I believe the speaker could be better.
on March 30, 2012
Owned it now for 20 days. got for $99 on Amazon wireless far below what AT&T wants for them.
WOW!!! nice phone
Big but thin, LOTS of memory, VERY FAST, dual cameras (1080P & 720P) with flash LED, BIG beautiful screen, not sure that higher resolution screen would even be noticeable.
THE BAD Battery issues! Turn off the bluetooth when you don't need it. Bluetooth kills the battery for some reason. I have had to pull the battery twice to get the bluetooth to function. This is annoying, and it is the phones fault I have three separate bluetooth devices and none of them would function until I pulled the battery.
AT&T visual voicemail app is annoying, turn off VVM audio notifications the minute you get your phone it plays the audio notification endlessly until you open the app.
It does not seem to have a charging regulator. the phone pops up a message when the battery is charged "unplug the charger" and then it starts to get warm, not hot, it was not the battery getting warm. Battery will charge in about 2 hours if it is off.
on June 25, 2012
I wanted to shift away from the iPhone and did not want to wait for the Galaxy S3. So the S2 seemed like the perfect choice. The screen is large, sleek, and beautiful. The phone is extremely light (mainly due to the plastic case that makes it seem cheap) and thin. The shape is smooth and fits wonderfully in my hand. As a person who is used to the iOS, the Android experience took a while to get used to but I really love it now. The user interface is a little better with the iOS but there are so many more things to do with the Android, starting with customizable live wallpapers and themes. The phone can be personalized to the nth degree unlike the iPhone and once you get used to using the Android OS, this becomes a piece of cake.
The device itself is extremely sturdy and resilient. I already dropped it a few times (on my carpet) and it has survived. The apps on the phone are brilliant. There is some bloatware which can be disabled although not completely uninstalled. This is not an issue since it doesn't take up resources at all. The display is way better than iOS Retina and the phone is several times faster. My favorite non-iOS feature is the Google Maps navigation. I was in Chicago for a visit and this feature was incredibly cool, fast, and convenient.
Overall, this is a fantastic phone and leagues better than the iPhone 4/4S. AT&T has also announced an upgrade to IceCream Sandwich OS and so, you could easily hold off on paying a big sum for the S3 and instead pay for this one.
on May 31, 2012
Nice price for buying Galaxy II Skyrocket. Great touch and display. Compared to my old mobile phone, I-phone 3G, Galaxy II Skyrocket is definitely greater phone.
Cool larger screen size, Good touch, much faster processor, possibility to use additional microSD card.....and reasonable or happy price!! I can't still believe this such a nice phone only costs $39.99. Really great!!
on September 3, 2015
Great phone, runs slightly faster than the base S II model (this being the S II Skyrocket; this review is months late) but not dramatically so. Withstands impacts very well, have dropped it many times onto many surfaces with only one minor scratch. I have been scared by the battery being jarred loose without the backplate coming off, but no internal damage was done.
The only downside is a proprietary file transfer service which was a pain to setup, and an inability to link the phone via USB and direct transfer without rooting. If you're only moving images/videos just use Microsoft OneDrive with a Hotmail account, or Imgur to hold your files and then copy them to your computer. A little annoying, but OneDrive lets you mass select files to upload, and then again to download onto your computer - so the effort with that is minimal.
on March 15, 2013
Just to refute some of the claims. The two 1-star reviews are completely ill informed. One of them went on every SGSIISR and wrote just about the same review. Seems to me one bad product (it happens with technology, I'm sorry it had to happen to you) and it's ruined for life. The other falls under the same category, though I doubt it actually happened that way. If it did, it was the battery, which AT&T/Samsung should (legally and willfully) replace without hassle. I've had mine for about a year and half, and though yes, I've had some problems as with all technology, nothing troubling enough to keep me away. In fact, I'd consider them a good brand (I've owned more than just the phone). I've dropped the phone, I've punched it (anger issues, forgive me) and I've been less-than-caring to it. It's taken it all and given back. I'm currently having problems with the charge right now, but again, it happens with technology (and I've had this for a year and half before this just started). This phone is overall a great phone. Well built, good tech, good hardware and software, and I would recommend Samsung to anybody who asked (already did to a friend). Remember kids, Apple just got done with a lawsuit they lost to Samsung, so Apple fans are bound to be angry at Samsung.
on November 17, 2012
BEWARE: GALAXY S2 POWER BUTTON WILL BREAK EVEN WITH NORMAL USE. TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!
My power button broke less than 2 weeks after my warranty was up and Samsung REFUSES to replace the phone despite the fact that it was having problems before the warranty expired. I just didn't know it because it was only intermittent.
After talking to the call center, I was told they *might* be able to repair it for a fee, but that I'd be without my phone for up to a few weeks. They said I could use the "voice of the customer" option to talk to a supervising tech and my email was answered in broken English. CLEARLY not a supervisor in the US.
Been a loyal Samsung customer for over a decade, but thinking about changing brands now. Might even have to return the $3000+ TV we just bought from you.