I got this phone on friday 9/16 when it was just released. I was at the Best Buy Mobile store in our local mall bright and early to make sure I would get one and lucky thing since they only got 2 units in for the release (strange).
...two weeks earlier I had purchased an HTC EVO 3D at Best Buy and was immediately looking for a replacement. The screen quality was lacking, the 3D looked very gimmicky, and the camera was pretty pathetic. Other than those shortcomings, the EVO 3D was decent but not what I would expect from a high end smart-phone. After some research I discovered that the Samsung Galaxy II was going to be released in the US soon so I bided my time.
The GS2 was not in the store when I got there since the FedEx shipment had not yet arrived. It gave me quite some time to talk to the VERY knowledgeable salesman (thanks for all the info Jonathan Mosblech) who proceeded to demo many of the other phones they carried including his own Motorola Photon. Jonathan described the different features, compared specs, and weighed the pros and cons of each device. Before we knew it, 1 1/2 hours had gone by when FedEx finally showed up. Jonathan unboxed it for me and proceeded with the initial setup.
The first thing that jumped out at us was the size. Sitting next to my old EVO it looked like a monster. But then I picked it up and was shocked with how light it was in comparison. It was also very thin! The design was sleek and sexy, and the poor EVO looked like an unsightly brick sitting next to it. This was only my second Android phone I have ever owned so I left it to Jonathan to look it over and give me the run down. He looked like a kid in a candy store. The more we played around with it the more impressed he seemed. The screen is absolutely gorgeous and it played everything we through at it with ease. The camera took amazingly sharp pictures and smooth high quality 1080p video. He loaded SPB Shell 3D on it and the UI was so fluid and responsive. He also downloaded an app called Quadrant Standard which is a utility that runs benchmark tests and compares the data to other phones. He just about flipped when he saw how the GS2 massively outperformed the other phones. (Score: 3324). In the end, Jonathan was trying to figure out how many of his phones he was going to have to trade in to get his own Samsung Galaxy SII. Since he spends all day working with phones and I am new to the Android market, I accepted his assessment that this was currently the best phone he's seen on the mark to date.
Its been almost a full week since I got the phone and my only real complaint is that the reception is just a tad bit less than that of the HTC EVO 3D. I notice it because I have always had bad reception at my house and the calls break-up just a little more with this phone. Battery life is also less and the power management utility shows that the screen is the majority consumer (like most phones). The phone reception is still very good and in my opinion, the lesser battery life (lasts me about 18 hours with plenty of use) is well worth the trade-off.
One more thing than makes this phone great for me is the wireless syncing system called Kies air. Its about damn time that smartphones have become completely untethered devices. And you don't even need to load software on your computer to sync. Its all done through the internet browser of your choice! You activate the syncing app and just type in the displayed URL in the PC browser and you have access to contact data, music, videos, data files, settings, even firmware updates!
So if you are currently in the market for an Android phone or are ready to take the 12-step program to wean yourself off of iStuff, I recommend you give the Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch a try. If you don't like it, just take it back in 2 weeks and trade it in for something different (though I am sure you will not).