PROS / Its Super AMOLED display makes for vibrant viewing at any angle, and a blazing 1.2GHz processor allows you to multitask efficiently.
CONS / The curved bump on the phone’s bottom can make it hard to hold, and the battery life needs improvement.
VERDICT / An outstanding display and speedy performance make the Samsung Galaxy S II the everyman’s go-to Android smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S II is the best-selling Android smartphone to date. With the rapid release of one smartphone after another, it’s common for once-stellar Android phones to quickly become obsolete. Although the Galaxy S II has been out for a while, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular; with venerable specs, a gorgeous display and a lightening-fast processor, this Android smartphone it can hold its own against the emerging competition.
Featuring more pros than cons, the phone has a large, stunning 4.3-inch screen. While a 960 x 540 pixel resolution is standard for most top-tier Android smartphones, this one only has a resolution of 800 x 480. This would normally be a huge flaw, but on the Galaxy S II, it proves insignificant – and here’s why: most phone displays lose their luster and vibrancy when you tilt the phone, washing out colors. The Samsung Galaxy S II has a Super AMOLED Plus display that's designed to remain bright and colorful at any viewing angle, and even outdoors.
Another big advantage of the Samsung Galaxy S II is its 1.2GHz dual-core processor. It’s one of the fastest processors on any Android phone we reviewed. The faster the processor, the smoother a phone’s user interface, and the quicker you can browse the web, run apps and stream media.
You’ll find much of the rest of the Samsung Galaxy S II to be respectable. Its front-facing camera is great for video chatting, and the 8-megapixel primary camera on the back snaps high-quality photos – an LED flash helps. The device’s total storage capacity is an impressive 48GB, with 16GB installed and up to an additional 32GB through an external microSD card.
Our only real complaints with the Samsung Galaxy S II stem from its battery life and design. Samsung claims that the Android smartphone can last up to 9 hours of talk time, but with the resource-heavy Android platform running and data constantly updating, heavy users will be lucky to squeeze out 8 hours. Our other issue is with part of the phone’s design. It has a thin but curvy bump on the bottom, which houses a loudspeaker, which may make it hard for those with smaller hands to hold comfortably.
If you’re in the market for a new Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II is absolutely worth a look. The display is sharp and vibrant, and a powerful dual-core processor and ample storage capacity make for impressive specs. Although we love the large screen, it may be too big for some users, and the phone’s battery life needs to be better. Despite these minor issues, the Samsung Galaxy S II is an excellent Android phone that will holds its value for some time to come.