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The Samsung Galaxy S2 Review

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The Samsung Galaxy S2 Review

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One of the Smartest Smart Phones to hit our country, The Samsung Galaxy S2 has gathered a lot of public attention. But, does it stand up to the challenge put out by Day-to-Day Smart-Phone use? Lets Find Out!

BUILD QUALITY, HARDWARE & DESIGN

The Galaxy S2 has a nice design, a sleek body and extra tough glass. But the build quality of the phone may not be up to the mark. The device features a total plastic construction that defies all laws of mobile phone existence. At just 8.5mm thick the device boasts an extremely slim profile. The back panel/cover is a flimsy piece of plastic that is fidgety to remove and put back on and also rattles when the phone is shaken.

The screen on the other hand is extremely tough, it also resists scratches and impacts without a question in mind. Overall, the build is solid, the plastics don’t bend easily and are not cheap to look at either. But are not nearly enough when you compare it with what you pay for the device.

In terms of hardware the two major things working for the Indian version of the Samsung Galaxy S2 are

  • Super Amoled Plus Screen – 480 x 800 px – 4.3 inches
  • 1.2 GHZ dual core processor

The performances of these two major hardware components can be seen from the get go, and are attracting people towards the GS2. There is also 1 GB of RAM, giving an effective 853MB for usage (we really don’t know why only 853 is there totally). There is no NFC on the Indian Samsung Galaxy S2, and why would you need it anyway? The 8 MP rear camera with full HD video recording, a 2 MP front camera, 1650mah battery. You can also check out the full Spec Sheet Here

CAMERA AND MULTIMEDIA

The Camera on the S2 is brilliant; the screen viewfinder makes it even better. The colors are projected to the screen as-is, and are captured beautifully with the 8MP lens. The camera is fast to focus and has great exposure values. Tap to focus lets you select you subject and one click capture brings you an experience that’s hard to replicate. The camera app is also packed with a long list of settings and effects you can tweak and play around with. Shooting modes, scene modes, effects, image size, exposure values, white balance, noise reduction and anti shake to name a few.

Macro mode is exceptionally great as it can capture close-ups with great detail. There is also a timer, ISO settings, Metering selection, blink detection and geo-tagging. The S2 has a fully loaded camera app and a great camera lens to go with it. Overall performance of the camera is easily notable and can replace your point and shoot camera for day-to-day use. The flash is bright and has a great field of coverage.

Video capture at 1080p is smooth and without frame drops, although you can notice the autofocus on the camera struggle during the video recording output. Videos are clean and the microphone picks up sound just great. Video is so good in fact we actually shot an unboxing video on full HD with the Samsung Galaxy S2 – Check it HERE

Sounds from the speaker are actually louder than we expected. Audio quality is clear and speech notions can be understood easily. Why we emphasize on speech is because you will be watching a lot of videos and movies on the STUNNING AMOLED PLUS display. It is the best possible display from Samsung to date. With amazing depths of color and a great resolution (480 x 800) the display is very vivid. Colors are bold and there is no washout even at greater viewing angles. Some may argue that the colors on the screen are not what they appear to be, and the AMOLED screen gives a heightened look to a normal display/video.

The included earphones are not a great match with the S2, the bass on the earphones is poor, watching movies or listening to music. If you enjoy good depth, you wont enjoy the included earphones. The placement of the main speaker can also be bothersome, especially when you hold the device in landscape to watch videos or play games. You will find your fingers covering up the main speaker for a total loss of sound.

PHONE AND MESSAGING

Nice large dialer, good speaker, strong mic and excellent network performance make the Galaxy S2 a great phone aswell. We tested the phone capability over extended periods of use and failed to get one reason to complain about the device. It was pure performance for the phone through out.

The Keyboard on the GS2 is well spaced out in portrait and is very responsive during those long messaging sessions. You also have a huge list of settings that you can modify to make the keyboard a complete unit for you. From auto text to auto replace, modifiers and word learning, the keyboard is simply intelligent. You can also switch to the included Swype keyboard for a faster input experience. In Landscape, typing is fast and efficient and the keys are wide enough to compile long emails without breaking a sweat.

 

DATA & INTERNET

Getting a smartphone like this? Expect to get a 3G data plan if you don’t already have one. This phone turns you into an “on the go data monster”. With the constant need to feed information into the device the unit comes ready to handle all sorts of online activity, from social feeds directly on your homescreen to business mails in a secret box. You get the latest news, weather information and stock prices without ever needing to install an app or setup the device. 3G / HSDPA performance is somewhat good, we found that the device would drop the connection to the server and would require a restart of the data service from the settings app. We have never faced a similar issue with any other Android device an it appears to be a glitch in the software somewhere. Another thing to note, is that when the device is in this suspended data connection mode, the back of the phone starts to heat up incredibly fast which leads to an equally fast battery drain.

Wi-Fi Hotspot, also acts up (due to the network error we presume) and you will find your self constantly struggling with the error messages on the portable hotspot window.

BATTERY LIFE

If you haven’t read the section above we suggest you go ahead and read it. The battery life is largely affected by data mismanagement.

Values 2G 3G 3G with Error
Talk Time upto 7 Hours 4.5 hours 1 hour
Standby time 36 Hours 24 hours 6 Hours
Web Browsing 8-9 hours 4-5 hours
Video Streaming 4 Hours 2 Hours
Music Streaming 14 hours 6 hours

Wi-Fi Values stand more or less the same with 2G data

 

GAMING

We though we would include this section just to clarify a lot of questions. While the device is perfectly capable of running high graphic games, you will not find us showing you videos of any such games for one simple reason. They don’t work on the device. Most games like Fast 5, NFS shift Asphalt, Assassins creed, Settlers crash on start up and some don’t show visuals. This is possibly a software -hardware integration glitch and perhaps the games are not designed to run on dual core smart phones. Other games like Angry Birds -All, Gun Brothers and our new favorite Age of the Zombies work perfect and without any issues.

DUAL CORE

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is India’s second phone to boast a dual core processor, and after our previous let down, we a happy to say that Samsung has managed to utilize the dual core- Android combo perfectly and has made it possible for the end user to enjoy the total experience. The phone is not only fast and responsive it is a super performer. All visuals play smooth, graphics and renders are fast all of this with tons of ram to spare. The Galaxy S2 also uses Android suspend multitasking which enables you to pause your ongoing app in real time and switch to another app, and then come back to the previous app without loosing data, or in our case lives.

There is the heating issue that is causing battery loss but we believe its due to the data glitch and can be resolved by switching data modes, or turning on data as and when required (which can be troublesome, but is a quick fix until Samsung can fix it). If you haven’t already seen the benchmarks, check them out here.

CONCLUSION

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is highest spec’d phone available in India through official channels, its thin and light, its got a beautifully vivid display and a dual core processor that’s on steroids. The Galaxy S2 is ready to perform from the get-go and looks good doing it. Yes its got a flimsy looking build and some overheating issues. But why do we feel okay looking  past those? Possibly because poor build usually leads to a damaged display, but in this case the gorilla glass wont let that happen. As far as the battery drain- data error issue, Samsung is already working on pushing an update that will fix these issues.

[xrr rating=4.25/5 label=”We Rate The Galaxy S 2 : ” imageset=shiny_yellow_star display_as=fraction_stars]

PRICE :

Rs: 30500/-

US$ 700 /-

 

VIDEOS

 

UNBOXING VIDEO

REVIEW VIDEO PART I

REVIEW VIDEO PART II

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About The Author
Bharat Nagpal
Founder and Chief Editor of iGyaan. Bharat likes to keep on top of technology ! Follow Him on Google Plus : Google+
  • Sagar Bagwe

    Hi, All
    Can u please tell me whether the Samsung galaxy 2 features NFC in latest Handests!!!! plzz reply!!!!!!!!!

  • Supernova780

    please also review the galaxy s2-G which is selling now in india … is it worth buying ?/.

  • Jatin goyal

    samsung Galaxy s2 and apple 4g which one is better….?

  • Viper

    nice review, let us have a long term review also after 1 month of daily usage! that will rock! and no 1 does that yet! cover all aspects folks are commenting on- good and bad…haeting, call quality variance,batt. performance over a month etc. hope you are listening! good work so far! congrats, i would see ur review before buying for sure…

  • Akshay

    Your best review ever.!!
    Super.

  • Ankur

    heating problem ka solution btao

  • Joey

    That first screen, can you get rid of it so you dont have to slide it away everytime you want to use the phone?

  • Hi. I have read your article and the observation are perfect for Indian use. But I wonder, I have seen videos on youtube which shows that S II plays the above mentioned games like Fast 5, NFS, Avatar without any hitch or problem. The only common problem I found was heating issue, rest all is fine. Kindly re-check the gaming performance as I think the games in Game Zone run properly. 

  • Thanks. Your reviews are very informative.

  • Jack_A_Lope

    How are you notified of received text messages, voicemail messages (such as via Google Voice,) or missed calls?  Does the device have an LED notification?  If LED, can they be modified to distinguish between notifications?

    Nice videos and review.  I’ll put a nice case on the device and protect the glass.  Thanks.

  • Satyakumar

    Have you notice camera issue of pink spot on Indian version of SGS2 ?

    • Jhgfj

      Yes there is a spot seen in the middle of the lens while taking pictures. :(
       

  • Ashu_newton1986

    I DONT GET IT ….HOW CAN THE  MOST POPULAR GAMES LIKE ASPHALT6, ASSASIN CREED ETC NOT WORK ON SUCH A BEAST SMARTPHONE ????

    IS THE REVIEW WRONG?

  • Arvind

    Poorly written, many spelling and grammatical mistakes.  I hope you can employ a proof reader for your future articles.

    • Yourmomsux

      i think i read this atleast 5 times since it was posted in the morning. And there are no spelling mistakes.  dont go bullshitting on other peoples work. This is possibly the best review for the GS2 that covers all aspects of the device. I hope you buy some glasses

      • Yourmomsux

        Dont worry about it Bharat , we love your work and mr. Arvind does not matter

      • Vladimir

        Lol, 5 times? There are many spelling and grammatical errors but who cares, the guy is a foreigner and the review is great!

    • Youtakemyid

      I dont see any mistakes bharathbis giving nice reviews

  • Billachem

    Games are working on this bad boy pretty well including gameloft games like asphalt 6, golf, gt racing etc. I am playing all these games on it. May something wrong with your setting or games.

  • Heating.. Heating, Heating….. This is the only problem I have with this phone.

    • dwalkr

      as soon as you get the latest software update and more charging cycles it will go away or become less

    • Ceslavie06

      yah the heating is extreme and activates more of radiation, it also melten the units part at no time and later such will have malfunction if you are nerd to gaming and chatting.

    • dhananjayaify

      One time factory reset try ofter