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Smartphones Reviews
15,670 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.

This is our original preview of the Samsung Galaxy S II from February 2011, by PC World's Ginny Mies.

Mobile World Congress hasn't even started, but the next generation of super phones are already being unveiled. Samsung showed off its latest, the Samsung Galaxy S II, at its flashy Unpacked event in Barcelona. The Galaxy S II sports a 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus display, a dual-core processor, and a whole new user interface. We got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone for a first look review.

The first thing I noticed when I picked up the Samsung Galaxy S II is how thin and light it is. It feels pretty good in hand too; less plasticky that a few of the last-generation Galaxy S phones. The phone is pretty attractive too with a minimalist, slick design.

The Samsung Galaxy S II's display is absolutely gorgeous: colours look bright, details are crisp, and the viewing angles seem pretty good. It sports Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display technology, which we first saw at CES. According to Samsung, Super AMOLED Plus displays have an increased number of sub-pixels by 50 percent and perform even better in bright light than the first-gen Super AMOLED displays. With a 4.3in display, the newest Galaxy is 0.3in larger in screen size than the older-gen Galaxy S phones.

At CES we saw an onslaught of 4G dual-processor phones so it is no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S II has both. I'm also pleased it ships with the latest Google Android 2.3 operating system (also known as Gingerbread). The phone seemed pretty snappy in my brief hands-on tests and video ran flawlessly.

The Samsung Galaxy S II also sports an 8Mp camera as well as a front-facing camera for video calls. I tested the camera out on the floor and photos looked pretty good-at least on the phone's display. The shutter speed on the camera was fast too.

The Galaxy S II has a revamped user interface with an all new Game and Reading Hubs that will be joining the Social and Media Hubs. I really wanted to test out the Game Hub and was disappointed when I couldn't connect to it. I tried on a few demo phones, but no dice. Looks like it isn't ready for prime time yet.

Verdict:

The Samsung Galaxy s II costs £400 if purchased SIM-free. This puts the Galaxy S II firmly in the premium smartphone camp, but given the success of the first model and the impressive hardware and build quality, we expect it to find favour with plenty of Android aficionados. It's a popular phone, and justifiably so.

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.

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