With a few more days before Globe Telecoms releases the Samsung Galaxy S II in the Philippines, I couldn’t wait any longer and when somebody offered me a brand new unit straight from Hong Kong, I immediately grab the opportunity and bought it. Nevermind if I had to spend a couple of thousands more than the SRP of the SGS II under Globe’s prepaid kit. I couldn’t wait any longer. I have to own this latest and greatest Samsung smartphone and possibly the best among the Android phones that we’ve seen in the market today.
So after a week of using the Samsung Galaxy S II, it’s time for a full review of this Android smartphone, which in case you’re interested to know has been getting much attention from me instead of my iPhone 4. Anyway, here goes my full review of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Manila version. 🙂
I have one word to describe the Samsung Galaxy S II’s display – Beautiful. The Super AMOLED Plus screen display did wonders to the phone and made its predecessor ultra-inferior. At 4.3-inches you wouldn’t mind the fact that the phone’s display is only at 800×400. Whether you’re viewing photos, watching movies, browsing the web, reading an e-book or playing games – you will grow to love and appreciate what Samsung has done with smartphone displays. It even looks better than the iPhone 4’s Retina Display (sorry fellow iPhone fans!). Colors are crisp, details are clean – it’s simply awesome!
Design and Form Factor
For a powerful and feature-rich smartphone, it’s amazing how Samsung managed to make the Galaxy S II ultra-slim. I used to think the the iPhone 4 is one of the slimmest smartphones in the market today, but I was wrong. The SGS II is way thinner than the iPhone 4. The fron panel of the phone is clean as the iPhone 4. The only physical button on the front is the rectangular home button, which is position exactly on the same spot as it is on the iPhone 4. It’s a good thing that Samsung added two more buttons which are embedded on the front panel of the phone. This puts the similarities between the phone and the iPhone 4 aside. On the back of the phone is the 8MP camera and the speaker. The rest of the back panel is made of plastic battery cover. This is the only issue I have with the Samsung Galaxy S II. That battery cover is so thin and a pain to remove. Or maybe these are common among Android smartphones and I’m just used to the iPhone 4.
Speaking of camera, the SGS II has an 8MP regular camera which takes magnificent photos and crisp and clear 1080p videos. For a camera phone, those two features are definitely at the high-end. Photo output is simply astonishing. And for added features, the camera app also comes with built-in photo editing features. Not too advanced though, but simple and yet effective way of enhancing your photos before you put them out. The phone’s front-facing camera is at 2MP and good to take portrait shots as well as make video calls.
I wasn’t really expecting too much from the way the Samsung Galaxy S II will perform when flicking from one screen to another. I’ve always given this feature to the iPhone as compared to Android phones. But I was surprised that the SGSII is fast and swift enough when moving from one app to another as well as through homescreens. Using the phone’s one at a time or simultaneously won’t affect its performance. You’ll get the same speed no matter how apps are open at the same time. Whatever you do on the Samsung Galaxy S II in connection with its operations is simply smooth and flawless. We got to give credit to the dual core processor that the phone has.
Putting the SGS II into good use for a couple of days now, I will have to say that the only problem you’ll have is its battery life. With an ultra-bright screen, fast performance and all battery-intensive operations, it’s not surprising that the phone’s battery won’t last you for more than 8 hours. The good thing is that the phone employs a very efficient power saving mode which you can set to run whenever your phone’s battery reaches a pre-defined limit. This helps especially if you need to use your phone during the later part of the day and battery is gradually decreasing.
Day to Day Use and My Final Verdict
I would have to agree with Engadget’s review when it was said that the Samsung Galaxy S II is the best Android smartphone to date. In fact, we also agree that it is perhaps the best smartphone ever made to date. At least not including upcoming Android smartphones which are scheduled to be released in the coming days.
Note: This just came in. Globe is now starting to accept pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S II, in time for its release on June 27. If you want to own the best Android phone to date – you better place your order now from the Globe site.