- Excellent display, with vivid colours
- Very slim design, and amazingly lightweight
- Android never felt faster!
- Good camera
- Excellent battery life
- Plasticky build is a huge disappointment
- TouchWiz 4.0 UI isn’t feature rich or polished like the HTC Sense
- Dependence on Kies desktop software is a painful iTunes-esque experience
The LG Optimus 2X offered a lot of power, but it seemed hidden most of the time! Which is why we were looking forward to seeing how the slightly more power will respond on the Galaxy S II
Display- brilliance personified.
The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display (480x800 resolution) is an absolute delight. Switch it on, and the first thing to grab your attention will be the vivid colours jumping out at you. Colours are not affected by gradation and the black colours feel actually black, and not like dark grays, as on certain displays. Good brightness levels offered by this Super AMOLED Plus. We feel that in most cases, setting the brightness at about 30% to 40% is more than enough, both indoor as well as in sunlight. Indoors, we felt that even the display set at 0% brightness offers excellent visibility!
Dual Core goodness- experiencing the difference
While you may not cry yourself to sleep over the disappointing UI, the dual core goodness does make it all worthwhile. The ARM Cortex A9 is the 1.2GHz dual core processor and is paired with the Mali 400MP GPU. The performance on offer is absolutely stunning. The interface is silky smooth, applications open up in a flash and even with multiple apps open in the background, the phone wouldn’t feel slow or laggy.
To see how good the gaming performance is, we downloaded GTRacing HD from the Game Hub app. Once the download was done, it was a delight to play this game. Loading times were much less than what we have seen in other devices, the graphics were very good, and the game-play was silky smooth. The frames did not stutter, even after half an hour of continuous racing!
Just to be sure, we ran the Quadrant benchmark on the Galaxy S II, and the results surprised us quite a bit. While we knew that this phone had a considerable advantage over the rivals, the sheer humiliation unleashed on the rivals was just bewildering. Check out the attached image to see what we are talking about. And all this was on the stock Android 2.3.3 ROM installed by Samsung, with the usual TouchWiz UI etc.
Our take: Have money? Will buy.
The Samsung Galaxy S II is truly one of its kind smartphone. There really isn’t too much we dislike about the phone. The performance on offer is pretty much unmatched by the current generation of phones. And the S II is on a diet, or so it seems since it is so light. Combined with a very slim form factor. What really left us surprised is the excellent battery life. Despite the amount of power on tap, the battery life is actually better, rather than taking a hit for the worse. Okay, there are some annoyances like a plasticky body, the TouchWiz UI feels dull and that it is tied to the Kies desktop software quite tightly. But these will fade into the background very quickly.
The LG Optimus 2X (Read review here), now seems like a poor man’s dual core phone, at about Rs 26k. If there is a budget you wish to stick to, and only the 2X falls within that, buy it. It may not be as brutally powerful as the Galaxy S II, but is very powerful in its own right.
If however, you have the money, or are willing to stretch that budget to fit in the Galaxy S II, we sure hope you succeed. There really isn’t an alternative for the sheer brute power on offer here. Essentially, if you have got about Rs 33k in your wallet (beg, borrow or steal), then this is the phone to buy, period. You wont regret buying this one.
Just as an advice to the ones who aren’t impatient, or haven’t rushed off to buy/ pre-order the S II already, the HTC Sensation is heading our way very soon. It also has the goodness of dual core power and a 4.3-inch S-LCD display, but with a much higher 540 x 960 pixel resolution. However, it only has 1GB internal storage, unlike the 16GB available on the S II. You may just want to wait and see how that one compares to the S II, and which one is a better deal.
Price: Rs 27,890
Network: Quad Band GSM+ 3G; Processor: ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz with Orion chipset and Mali 400MP GPU; Display: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus with 480 x 800 resolution; Memory: 16GB internal+ up to 32GB microSD card; Camera: 8MP with 1080p (30fps) video; OS: Android 2.3.3 with TouchWiz 4.0 UI; Battery: 1650 mAh
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