This Samsung Galaxy S II is an excellent device that builds on the strength of its predecessor. We think this is one of the best phones on the market and, despite its cost, it beats the HTC Sensation thanks to the hardware.
Light as a feather, fast internet, great text input, clear screen, reasonable battery life
Expensive, fragile back cover
£475 SIM-free, contract variable
Android 2.3.3 with TouchWiz 4.0, 4.3in Super Amoled Plus display with 480x800 resolution, 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1GB RAM, micro-SD support, micro-USB, 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, on-device hardware encryption, 116g, 115.2x58.6x9.3mm
The Samsung Galaxy S II is the follow-up to the high-end Galaxy S and is, as expected, bigger, faster and more user friendly.
The device is available now, and customers can expect to pay around £475 for a SIM-free version or sign up to a contract starting at £26 a month on Vodafone and other networks.
With its in-your-face square design, the Galaxy S II resembles the iPhone 4 and is more of a grower. The handset has dimensions of 125x63x8.5mm making it slightly longer and wider, but also marginally thinner than the iPhone 4 which is 115.2x58.6x9.3mm.
The screen size of 4.3in could persuade some that the S2 is going to be a burden to carry around, like other similar sized devices such as the HTC HD7.
However, the Galaxy S II chassis is crafted out of plastic and the handset weighs just 116g, compared to the 162g of the HD7. The Galaxy S II is so light that many will not believe that the battery has been included the first time they hold it. One thing that we don't like, though, is the flimsy back cover, which feels like it could snap at any moment.The cover has a nice textured finish, but does feel sub-standard when removed. Thankfully, Samsung has not skimped on hardware components and has been particularly generous with internal memory.
Our review unit came with 16GB together with the now-expected micro-SD card slot that allows an additional 32GB.
A front-facing 2-megapixel camera is included for video calling. On the back is an 8-megapixel snapper, which features autofocus and LED flash and can record in 1080p.
Need for speed
With a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and 1GB of RAM, speed is not a problem. The real test of speed can only really be judged after a few months of use when the owner has added applications and is managing a bustling text, email and multimedia inbox.
Every manufacturer is going to say that their device is the fastest on the market, but the Galaxy S II is definitely up there with the best. The handset has more RAM than rival dual-core device the HTC Sensation, and is just as fast if not a tad quicker.