Samsung Galaxy S2 Review
Originally released in April 2011 the Samsung Galaxy S2 was an instant hit. Since then it has received an update to its operating system to run the newer 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and it remains one of the most popular handsets.
If it is a slim-line smartphone you are after you can’t do much better than the 8.5mm profile of the Galaxy S2. Not only is it exceptionally thin it is also extremely lightweight. Samsung have done away with the heavier metal casing and replaced it with a plastic cover.
Admittedly the plastic is less appealing and does feel more flimsy but it means you only have 116g of phone to carry around with you. Measuring 125.3 x 66.1mm the S2 does feel big in small hands but you get the benefit of the huge screen.
The 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen packs a punch. The pixel resolution of 400 x 800 is not as good as the newer Samsung Galaxy S3, but nevertheless the S2 has an excellent screen with a vibrant and sharp display.
The dual-core 1.2GHz processor means the Galaxy S2 is speedy. It seems there is nothing it cannot cope with. This coupled with the updated ICS OS and the TouchWiz 4.0 UI skin from Samsung makes for a smooth, fast and user friendly smartphone with endless customisation options and real functionality.
The Samsung Galaxy S2 is an excellent media phone. The Music Player has 5.1 virtual surround sound to ensure good audio quality. There are also handy features such as the music control widget in the Notifications bar enabling you to easily switch between tracks, recall tracks you have recently or often listened to and adjust the equaliser. The S2 supports WAV, MP3, WMA, Flac, and eAAC+ files. The FM radio of the S2 also provides good quality sound and has a good user interface.
Watching video on the Galaxy S2 is a very pleasant experience given the huge screen and lightweight handset. The Super AMOLED Plus display means you can view the images on screen at any angle and if you activate the outdoor brightness mode of the S2 the screen quality becomes lower and the contrast is increased so that you can see the picture even in direct sunlight.
One of the additional features of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is AllShare. This technology allows you to share media from your smartphone with your PC or TV or vice versa. You can browse your PC and select a film to watch on your smartphone and if you need to you can even use Wi-Fi to download it so you can watch it on the move.
The Galaxy S2 has an extensive range of connectivity options. As well as the usual USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the S2 has Wi-Fi Direct, Kies and Kies Air (Samsung’s PC software), USB-On-The-Go (allowing you to connect to mobile USB keys or hard drives), NFC and HDMI mirroring.
The S2 is packed full of pre-loaded apps and of course you can access the Android Market and tap into the plethora of apps available from there. The apps pre-installed include Google Maps, Voice Talk, the Android Calendar, BBC iPlayer, PhotoEditor and TaskManager to mention but a few.
The rear-mounted 8 megapixel camera of the Galaxy S2 has autofocus, a single LED flash and plenty of features to experiment with.
Unfortunately the S2 lacks a dedicated camera button and the autofocus can cause a little delay when taking shots, with shutter speed at around 4 seconds if used at maximum resolution, but when the image is captured it is a good one.
The video 30fps 1080p HD recording capabilities of the Galaxy S2 do not disappoint either.
With all the functionality of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the large high resolution screen you would expect the battery to struggle.
However with average use, including web browsing and some media use you should get around 10 hours of battery life before you need to plug in and re-charge
If you limit your use to simply calling and texting on the S2 you will easily get two days out of the 1650mAh battery.
Samsung S2 Price
Since it was first launched the Galaxy S2 has seen a significant reduction in price. You can now purchase one for in the region of £390 SIM free or you can opt to take out a 24 month contract and pay from as little as £18 per month.
It cannot be denied that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a great smartphone and with the reduced price, it is hard to beat.