Samsung Galaxy S is now a household name and that is for one sole reason, it proved itself to be one hell of a smartphone. Now AT&T has come out with the Samsung Galaxy S II to get everyone hyped about what obviously is going to be a much better phone in all aspects. If you aren’t excited already, read on to see if you will end up buying the phone right after you are done reading this review.
The TouchWiz UI runs on top of Android v2.3.4 Gingerbread in the Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T. Although it’s definitely welcome news that it is both the latest version of TouchWiz and Android, however the TouchWiz feels amiss after having used the TouchWiz on Sprint’s Samsung Epic 4G Touch. There were some widgets found on the Samsung Epic 4G Touch that we don’t find on this one for instance. Apart from that, the personalization that we have come to love with the TouchWiz remains as good as ever and there still are a bunch of other widgets to be explored. The slider bar and leap view caught our eye on this UI. As we had on Sprint’s Epic 4G Touch, you can now add folders on the app panel itself, so there is a place to store those bloatwares that you may find on the phone. The app panel is the same as before with the icons arranged in the grid formation. The Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T comes with motion based controls that are quite cool. For instance, tilt the phone and the next thing you know you are zooming in and out of pictures or web pages and turning the phone over means the incoming call is muted. With three different keyboards, namely the stock one, Samsung TouchWiz and the Swipe keyboards plus the large screen size mean you will get your text out in no time.
The Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T has decided to go with the 4.3 inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen instead of fighting the screen size war. The screen still does a great job with its color production and although it’s not going to win a faceoff with the qHD displays, it still does its job brilliantly. The screen has brilliant viewing angles and also gives some good brightness while we were outside.
The camera app on the phone is not very different than before and most of the screen is dedicated to show you what you see on the viewfinder. There are still controls though on the right side, for instance the shutter key, a key for swapping between modes and the preview window for your gallery. On the left side, room is left for customization as you can place four icons representing four different functions for your favorites. The performance of the 8MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy S II was simply amazing as the shots taken produced pictures with sharp details and the color tones were perfect. In low light conditions, it isn’t too bad either and its LED flash does a good job in helping out when necessary. The 1080p video recording capability on this phone was one of the best too. Again, the details are clear to be seen and the 30 fps rate makes your video really smooth. Audio recording is also perfectly done.
Web browsing on the Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T was a sublime experience too. The 4G HSPA+ speeds make complex pages load in a matter of seconds. Once you are at the web page, navigating through them becomes easy with the responsive controls onboard. Adding on to all that, it not only supports Flash, but also has no lag issues loading it either. GSM network means this phone can be used at any corner of the world and all other usual connectivity options you would expect can be found on the Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T.
Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T has an earpiece that produces low output making the voices u hear on the phone mute and the tones reserved. Nevertheless, those on the other end could hear us well. Speakerphone had strong output just with some choppy effects at times. The battery life leaves us wanting as for a heavy user – as you are expected to be having this phone – you can only get about 10 hours of battery life meaning a recharge is needed before the end of the day.
Pros and Cons
The screen could use higher resolution and the TouchWiz experience on the Samsung Galaxy S II AT&T isn’t as complete as we have seen on other phones.