Customer Reviews on Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
- Awesome screen - all the greatness of OLED (perfect blacks, high contrast, looks good in direct sunlight) without the ugliness that was PenTile. Here you just get the bright, popping colors. Oh, and at 4.3", it's a pleasure to look at from any distance. The resolution is still 800x480, though. Wish they'd up it to match iPhone.
- Very light. I mean, VERY light. Samsung wasn't kidding when they stressed that point. Considering the size of this thing, it's very hard to believe. When you put the phone into someone else's hand for the first time, they usually are confused because they expect it to feel more "solid", and not so featherweight.
- Fairly thin. Good if you wear your phone in the pocket of your pants.
- The UI is buttery smooth, with no hiccups that are common on all other Android phones I've seen. Not sure if it's Samsung's new powerful GPU (Exynos), software optimizations that they did, or a combination of both, but overall this thing is just as slick as iPhone 4.
- It can be rooted, and custom ROMs already exist. No signed bootloaders or other similar malarkey.
- It comes with Android 2.3. That means better perf, WiFi tethering/hotspot out of the box, and the ability to tilt and rotate the map in Google Maps - among other things.
- It comes with Polaris Office. It is a very nice Android office suite - from what I've seen so far, more full-featured than Docs to Go, QuickOffice etc - especially when it comes to supporting advanced MS Office features such as charts. It cannot be purchased from the market, and only comes bundled with select devices, such as this one or Asus Transformer.
- MicroSD card slot, for all those gigabytes of music.
- Battery life doesn't seem to be so good. It gets through the day, but if you forget to charge it in the evening it won't last you a second day (except if only on standby).
- It heats up quite a bit when in active use. More so than any other phone I've used. It's not exactly a surprise considering 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and a powerful GPU, and I suspect that ultra-thin form factor makes cooling less efficient than it could have been otherwise. Overall it's tolerable, but very noticeable.
- Some applications seem to be showing images in 16-bit color rather than 32-bit (particularly the browser). This leads to nasty dithering artifacts, especially on bands of clear colors and gradients. Head to XDA-developers forum for Galaxy S II for more details on this. It seems to be a software issue, so future updates may solve it.
Things to be aware of:
- Front is full glass, back is textured plastic. I love the back for the texture, which looks pretty nice and gives a good grip when held, but it's not as "oh, shiny" as iPhone 4. Lack of metal seems to be what makes it so light, among other things. On the other hand, I didn't notice any creaking, so assembly is high-quality.
- It runs Android 2.3.3, not any later version (as of this writing). This means no voice/video chat in Google Talk. Google Voice can be installed (in US) and works fine. There's no clear schedule on official updates so far.
- Android is not stock, but Samsung's TouchWiz. This is much less invasive than what you typically see on HTC Android phones, and some changes are fairly nice. But many people prefer stock.
- No CyanogenMod (as of this writing). There is a thread on XDA forums where you can pledge $$$ for the first person to make CM run on this if you care.
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