TechPinas Guest Post (TPGP) presents...
Samsung Galaxy S2 Review
by: TP Friend, Michael B. Biando
Hello everyone! Mark of TechPinas invited me to write a review of the Samsung Galaxy S II which, by chance, is also my newest phone. I am not really good into reviewing things so please excuse my humble try on this.
Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2) received great reviews from several tech sites. Well, I'm about to agree with that. Using it for nearly a month now, I'd say that I am more than happy with it. Features are great and the physical size is awesome as well. It's slim figure easily fits in my pocket. Its slim design might make you think twice its toughness; But I just wanna share that I accidentally sat on it one morning and found it still intact. (Mark of TP: "Don't try that at home, TP Friends!") I screamed after it happened and promised myself not to put my phone on my working chair again! The touchscreen glass is also scratch and fingerprint-resistant. It has an 8 MegaPixel rear camera with flash and a 2 MegaPixel front camera. On the left side of the phone is where you will find the volume rocker. On the right side is the power/standby lock button. On top is the headphone jack and at the bottom is the micro usb charging/connectivity socket. The 4.27 inches screen display is a big come on! Colors are vivid and bright.
Jumping from one app to another and multitasking is a piece of cake for this phone. Its 1.2 Ghz dual core CPU and 1 GB of RAM is a sure fire eye candy to all tech addicts like me. No lags and hangs so far since Day 1 (15 July 2011). Touchwiz is very fluid!
SGS2 is loaded with great features. Your contacts are automatically synced with their corresponding social networking accounts. The phone sorts everything in order. If you install an android voice-calling app like Skype, the phone prompts you to either use the android app or the regular dialer when you try to call. And the voice quality is excellent. My friend who called me via skype did not notice any difference when I received his call using my SGS2. All the while, he thought that I'm infront of my laptop.
The messaging feature is also wonderful. Text messages are displayed in a thread format making it easier to scroll through previous messages. When you swipe to the left or right of a number while on the main messaging menu, it gives you the option to call or message back. You need not browse into your phonebook anymore. The qwerty on-screen keyboard is great. My only comment is that between the dot/period [.] and the return button comes the Samsung Keypad settings. I would always accidentally press this whenever I'm typing messages. They could have placed it somewhere else.
I'm exceptionally happy with the built-in browser. Flash is definitely supported! I am a person who is always on the go and I also maintain a personal weather blog (Mark of TP: "Please support Michael's Blog. Check it out HERE") for my Bicolano friends. What I like about this phone is you could actually place shortcuts of frequently visited sites directly on your personal homescreen. As for me, I've always wanted the latest data from the various weather agencies around the world. With this convenience, I can check the latest forecasts and update my weather blog via my SGS2. Social media has been integrated as well via Samsung Social Hub so you could configure the phone to post updates to all you social networking accounts by just a press of a button. I'm not a gamer but a Gamer's Hub is present for game lovers. A Reader's Hub is also integrated for book worms out there. And for music lovers...Music Hub!
The still photos and recorded video output is also very clear because the phone boasts an 8MP camera capable of recording videos in full HD (1080p). Check out the sample shots and a low-res (480p) yet still clear sample video (practical for sharing in social networking sites as it's not too heavy) that I took using the phone (Mark of TP: "Watch my 1080p Full HD Samsung Galaxy S2 Video sample via the link. Will share sample 8MP photos soon."):
SGS2 is also equipped with Google Maps and GPS as well so you'll have no problems when navigating in a foreign land. The phone can actually pinpoint my actual location! But I disabled this feature because I don't want to compromise my security. Thousands of android apps/widgets are available in the android market. I chose only a handful like Tunein Radio, Compass, Dictionary, Translator and Accuweather to name a few. Oh and by the way, these are FREE Apps! Yup, FREE!
PDF and Document creation is also supported. The voice command is also very accurate when you're too lazy to type. There's a mini diary and a post-it note when you want to be reminded of small things. All these and a lot more widgets/apps can be placed in the homescreen.
Syncing the phone with my laptop is a breeze with Kies Air. I can manage everything on my phone from my laptop.
There is also a text-to-speech setting where in the phone will read aloud the messages that you would want to hear including time check as well. It's fantastic. Now, here's one weird thing that happened when I tried to activate the text-to-speech settings and set it to read aloud the time everytime I would unlock my phone. While it worked perfectly in reading the time aloud, the configuration has a very small bug. When I reverted back the settings of NOT letting my phone read aloud the time, there are few instances, although not all the time, that the phone would still read aloud the time even if I already disabled the feature. Maybe it's an isolated case and I just overlooked to totally scrutinize my phone's settings on this. But it is still happening now. Well, its a very minor issue but I'm just wondering if other users are experiencing it too. As for the yellow tint issue that came out several weeks ago, I do not have that kind of issue.
This is the downside of the SGS2. After prolonged Wifi use, the battery drains quickly! But on standby mode alone (Wifi disabled), the phone can stand 2 to 3 days without charging. I also make sure to lock my phone after every use because the prolonged display of the high resolution screen also eats battery life. Locking the phone turns off the display. How I wish Samsung engineers treated the battery life just like that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Overall, I would rate this phone 4.5 of 5 stars! Its a near perfect smartphone and I would highly recommend it. For a lower cost than that of the iPhone4, you'll get features that Apple's baby doesn't even offer without the hassles or risks of jailbreaking.