The next generation of a very successful droid, the Samsung Galaxy S II (or Samsung I9010 as it is officially known) comes with a very promising spec sheet and even the most tech savvy fans will find very little to complain about. It packs a dual-core 1.2 GHz (ARM A9) processor, a dedicated GPU, Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Yes, that is the very latest version out there), 8MP autofocus camera with an LED flash (finally!), Full HD (1080p) video recording and most importantly, a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touch screen.
Design and Looks
The phone has an extremely slim profile (8.49mm). In comparison, the Sony Ericsson flagship (Xperia Arc) measures 8.7mm at its thinnest. The design is simple and elegant and the phone is rather light at only 116g. The textured back cover looks durable, the curved sides and round edges provide a nice grip.
The device comes with a superb screen which offers excellent viewing angles. It has a WVGA resolution (480 x 800p). The touch response of the screen is top notch and it is made of scratch resistant Gorilla glass.
User Interface, Browsing and Hubs
GS II runs on Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 for customizations- all the latest software. There are up to seven screens which can be populated with widgets and can be scrolled through. These can be fully customized; one can add widgets, shortcuts, folders – resize them and even delete an unused screen.
The menu is similar to the home screen and has side-scrollable pages. There is a notification area which gives access to wireless networks and a task manager to clear up RAM (Android can manage apps pretty well).
While the Android web browser remains the same, the great hardware specs of GSII propel the overall experience to newer heights. This new droid comes with a total of 4 hubs. The social hub combines all your social networking, email and IM accounts into one list of notifications. There is also the music hub, reader’s hub and the gaming hub.
Camera, Gallery and Music/Video Player
GSII packs an 8 MP auto-focus shooter with a LED flash which can snap photos up to a resolution of 3264x2448p. It offers nearly everything in terms of features – touch focus, scene modes, face detection and so on. The images captured are excellent – low noise, good colour-contrast, though the colours are a bit oversaturated.
The video output is simply excellent, but the field of view narrows while shooting full HD videos. One thing to keep in mind is that 1080p videos gobble lots of memory.
The image gallery is standard android and comes with one major improvement- it displays full resolution images. Music player remains the same with nice look-up options for artist, album name and genre. The video player will play almost anything you throw at it (WMV, AVI (both DivX and Xvid), MP4 and .MKV-H.264).
The Samsung I9010 Galaxy S II impresses at every turn. It’s surprising to see the features Samsung has managed to cram in an 8.5mm thick body. The 4.3” display is amazing even if it makes the phone big. And if the pricing is decent, this might just be the smart phone of the year.