We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,512 Reviews PC Advisor Best Buy Award

Samsung Galaxy S2 review

£406 inc VAT SIM-free

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The S II is the follow up to Samsung's incredibly popular Galaxy S Android smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S II first went onsale in mid-2011 and quickly became a firm favourite with gadget fans. Six months later, it is still the standard bearer for Android smartphones. In this fast moving world, that’s quite an achievement. See also Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

There are several reasons for the Samsung Galaxy S II’s enduring popularity. It has superb design and build qualities, high end specifications that continue to impress more than six months after launch, and it benefits from the backstory of a popular predecessor in the original Samsung Galaxy S. Take a look at Samsung Galaxy S3 release date, specs and rumour round-up.

A key attraction of the Samsung Galaxy S II is its very impressive 4.3in SuperAMOLED Plus screen. With 640x960 pixels on offer it is sharper than many other smartphones, and the AMOLED technology means the screen is delivers very vivid colours. It comes into its own particularly for video viewing. Visit Group test: what's the best Android phone?
 
The presence of a 1.2GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor is also a draw. The Samsung Galaxy S II was one of the first phones to have a dual-core processor, and it zips along very nicely. The advertised generous 16GB of built-in storageis reduced to 12GB actually accessible on the handset but a microSD card can accommodate more. If you’re likely to need to swap storage cards, note that Samsung places the bay for this out of easy reach under the backplate. See also Samsung Galaxy S3 review.

Samsung’s rather good Kies Air application is supported. This allows you to access the device over Wi-Fi through a web browser for file copying. Kies Air doesn’t look very pretty, but it works well. Go to Samsung Galaxy S3 specs and pictures.

HDMI is supported, though there’s no dedicated expansion slot. Instead HDMI is delivered via the microUSB slot, and you’ll need to invest in a cable. The presence of HSDPA goes without saying in any modern smartphone, but the Samsung Galaxy S II can handle downloads to an impressive maximum of 21Mbps. Visit Samsung Galaxy S3 launch: as it happened.

With attractive Android skinning and a good array of widgets, many of which are resizable, the Samsung Galaxy S II lends itself to plenty of user customisation too.

Six months might be a long time in smartphone development, but the Samsung Galaxy S II holds its own very well against recently launched competitors. While its price has fallen since launch it remains an expensive option, though.

Original review by By Spencer Dalziel and Rosemary Hattersley on next page >>

Samsung Galaxy S II Expert Verdict »
Samsung Galaxy S II Scores 8.8 out of 10 based on 5715 reviews
Smartphone
dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor
16GB/32GB RAM
Google Android 2.3 'Gingerbread'
4.3in (480x800) capacitive touchscreen Super AMOLED Plus display
8Mp camera plus front-facing camera for video
microSD card slot
1-year warranty
125x66x8.5mm
116g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Nine months might be an eternity in smartphone development, but the Galaxy S II still holds its own very well against more recently released devices. While its price has fallen since its launch, Samsung’s handset is still an expensive option.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£354
£422

IDG UK Sites

3 of the best portable chargers: a solar power charger, a hand-cranked charger, and how to charge...

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Thinking robots: The philosophy of artificial intelligence and evolving technology

IDG UK Sites

Sharknado 2 VFX: how The Asylum created CG flying man-eating sharks