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My Galaxy S2 Review
I have had the phone for a couple of days and I have enough time with it to throw together a review. Just a quick note about my device usage over the last year so you can get an understanding of my perspective. I have gone through the following devices over the last 5 months. Iphone 4 to the Moto atrix to the Infuse (for a couple of days) and now the GS2.
-Build quality is very nice. Its very much as plastic as you have read. If you have picked up the infuse, its basically the exact same device, just a little smaller. The size difference, for me, makes all the difference in the world. The GS2 is a slim as you have read and it feels really good in the hand. I do find the build quality to be better than the infuse though in regards to the power and volume buttons. They feel better with less wiggle. The box it came in, this is the European version is very Iphone-ish. The box is just slightly larger than the phone itself. You definitely feel you have a high end device from the packaging
-Screen-This has been covered extensively in on line reviews. The screen is every bit as amazing as it has been billed. I actually like the slightly lower resolution as compared to the atrix. Everything is a little bigger. Colors are very bright. Text is very clear. The amoled plus screen is so close to the gorilla glass its almost as if you are touching the icons. Very similar to the Iphone. Viewing angles are great.
-Speed-The phone is very fast. In all honesty, its not that much of an improvement over the Atrix. Both of those phones have dual core processors and a gig of RAM. The GS2 has a slightly faster dual core (1.2 vs 1) but the speed performance is on par. Everything happens immediately after the action is initiated. One difference in speed though is loading apps. Apps download in an instant and they install in the blink of an eye. Not sure why that is, but its pretty impressive.
-Camera-The camera is really good. Pictures are super crisp. Autofocus works great. I haven’t spent a ton of time taking pictures yet, but from what I have seen its really a strong feature of the phone.
-Battery life-So far I have not been blown away by the battery life. I need a few more days of testing, but it appears to be a step down from the Atrix and Iphone. I had read about the phones amazing stand by time. I am not seeing it. I do play with it a lot, so that has an effect but still. I had the phone sitting on my desk for the last half hour and the battery discharged around 5%. I am really hoping this improves with a few charging cycles.
-Touch Wiz 4.0-There are parts that I really like about TW4. TW4 is basically a full fledge knock off of IOS. The app pages go left and right and folders complete the look. But hey, if something works, why not, right? I love folders on touch wiz. It makes organizing everything a snap. The new system for setting widgets is also great. The fact that you can go between screens to see where you want your widgets makes the process much more user friendly. I don’t love the way the widget list is displayed because you have to do a lot of scrolling but it works well. Another part of TW thats takes some getting used to is that the home screen is screen 1. You then go to the right to get to your other home screens. I liked the default screen being in the middle so you could go left or right. This isnt a huge deal, and I am already getting used to it, but I do think I prefer it the way all other Android phones are configured. Each screen has a corresponding circle though, so going from screen 1 to screen 7 is just a touch a way.
-WIFI range is a little shorter than the Atrix and Iphone. I have a bonus room on the other side of the house from my router which I converted into my man cave. The GS2 could not stay connected. The iphone and Atrix had no issue with this.
There have been a couple of hiccups so far. First of all, out of the box, the notification bar crashed every time I had to reboot the phone. I connected to Kies and there was a firmware upgrade. Went through that process and its fixed. Speaking of Kies, you have to go to the non US products download page to find the proper version of the GS2. Not a big deal, but it took me a while to locate it. Another quirk happened this morning. I woke up and had no data connection. A reboot fixed the issue, but I’ll have to keep an eye on that.
I will update as I spend more time with the device. If the battery life improves, I will be happily keeping the GS2 and selling my Atrix on ebay. All things considered the phone is amazing. The slim profile, incredible screen and blazing fast performance all add up to an amazing device.