1. DFWPhotoguy's Avatar
    I wanted to give a noobs perspective to Android and a review of the Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket.

    Blah Blah Blah Iphone 3Gs Blah Blah Blah AT&T unlimited grandfathered Blah Blah Blah out of contract for 6 months waiting on fall release.

    Thoughts on the Skyrocket.

    I am extremely pleased with this phone and its build quality. I have handled the original GS II, the iPhone 4s and pretty much every single phone for the past year as I tried to figure out what to do. I am absolutely no apple fanboy but I was willing to stick with them if they made a larger screen, thinner form factor with the features of iOS 5. Well that clearly didnt happen! So off to Android I go!

    This screen is AMAZING. I havent noticed any sort of yellow tint issues and whomever is trolling saying things are washed out is full of it. YES, I was concerned with larger screen that wasthe same resolution as the original GS II but having compared both side by side, there honestly is no difference other than the Skyrockets looks larger and better! Seriously, I had my panties in a wad about the Nexus and Note having HD screens and now that I have this phone I am like how much more crisp do I need things!? I am certain that they will look amazing on those phones but this phone is no slouch and you should not discount it based on the display at all!

    For those who say these phones feel too plasticity and cheap wellI hear the same lines at the gun range when people about glocks and polymer frame guns compared with steel/metal frames like 1911s. Same song, different verse. The fact is this phone is fine. It doesnt feel cheap to me at all. It feels nicely built and is smooth and feels like it was made of premium material. Im sorry it doesnt weigh more. Because clearly, the only way to verify quality is by weighing it! BTW, I own both glocks and 1911s and they both are awesome.

    The Battery! Ok, so I keep reading LTE is a sucker of battery souls and woe unto thee who gets LTE! Well, umthe battery life is fine. Do I want a phone that last for infinity and never has to be charged? Hell yes! Do I need to tone it down a bit and get back to reality and consider all that this phone does when it comes to judging battery life? Yep. So can it last the day at work if I forget my charger? Absolutely. If I charge it up and leave it untouched overnight, is it dead in the morning? Nope. Over night with no usage it loses maybe 10%. I am getting about 8 hours of HEAVY usage out of it before I freak and charge it up. Could it make it 24 hours with limited usage? 100% yes. If previous LTE phones were killed by the LTE demon, this phone is the Buffy to the LTE Master.

    Speaking of LTE LTE IS FREAKING AMAZING!!! I am here in Dallas/Fort Worth and we are lucky enough to have full LTE coverage. On two bars I still pull 10-12 MB per second. On four bars I am pulling 24-36 MB per second. Need to download a 100 meg file. 3 seconds and its done. Need to download an app? Less than a second. Its stupid fast. Like insane. I have FIOS in my house and this is running almost or right at the same speed. I am completely spoiled by LTE and cant imagine going back to my slow *** 3gS phone.

    Size? Ok, this sucker is awesome. Yeah its big. Its bigger than many phones on the market right now. At this point, the Iphone feels like a baby phone and everyone on MacRumors who keeps denying reality that 3.7 is perfect and that Android phones are a joke with this size are secretly lusting after us. Androids with their big screens are the High School Jocks, pulling the babes. Iphones are the chess club, hating on the Jocks. I cant even call the Iphone nerds, because, frankly, nerds deserve better. Sorry about that rant, but yeah, its bigger than a lot of phones but its still comfortable to hold and talk on and it goes in my pockets perfectly (60, 160, beer belly). My 51 wife also has this phone and loves it. Insert size joke here.


    Camera! Ok, so my username says photoguy. Why? In another life I thought I would be a war correspondent. Well, I like money and abandoned that path. But I had the username already and have kept it for well on a decade now, that way it will be easy to scrub all my online postings when I attain a political office. The camera is nice. The white balance is off. Wait..what? The resolution is very nice and I see that it is responsive, however the auto-white balance needs some love because it doesnt adjust very well. This should be a no-brainer at this point and probably is fixed using some other defacto camera app, but I havent gotten around to tinkering yet. Video is good but I do feel its a bit of a disservice to say 1080p with such a low bitrate on the data. Its fine, I guess its technically 1080p but I dont consider phone 1080p to be the same as DSLR/Video Camera 1080p.

    The front facing 2 megapixel camera also rocks and its a blast doing video chats with my wife while we both are at work surfing the internet.

    Gingerbread..and the Android OS. So, this is my first Android phone. I am happy that I get to start out on Gingerbread because everything I have read over the past year of scrubbing articles has spoken about how things kinda sucked for a while. I like this operating system. I like being able to customize the hell out of things. I love being able to have widgets and folders and pages. I love being able to use my phone as a storage device and drag and drop my music, videos and books and not have to run it through some bloatware to make it proprietary. HOWEVER, if you think lowest common denominator, this isnt exactly the closed ecosystem that makes iOS so damn easy. And Google, the manufactures (Samsung, HTC) and the providers (AT&T, Verizon) are doing a horrible job with the included documentation on walking people through how to use Android and thats a horrible disservice to the system.

    Im geeky enough that I feel comfortable going through, tinkering, testing and playing and knowing where to go to do things. I am not so sure others are and this is one of those fundamental issues with a new OS.

    Overall, Gingerbread is very nice and for the most part most things make sense. I do HATE the bloatware that AT&T puts on my phone but once we get the root stuff ready to go for the Skyrocket, I will get rid of it and be happy. I also look forward to ICS and ending fragmentation within the ecosystem.

    I would be happy to answer any questions about the phone. I have my class 10 32 gig mirco sd card on its way tonight and cases should be in tomorrow or Thursday. The only way I would change my mind is if the Note gets announced by AT&T in the next 30 days and only because I have some specific needs that can be met with that amazing hunk of hardware. If AT&T announced the NexusI honestly would have to sit and wait and do some side by sides. If it wasnt LTE, I might not jump on it.
    11-15-2011 03:55 PM
  2. jbp100's Avatar
    This is very helpful. You have been struggling with a lot of the same fundamental issues I have had while jumping off the iOS teet. What are your thoughts on the recently announced LG Nitro HD (LG Optimus LTE)? Do you think the lure of an HD screen would cause you to return your skyrocket?
    11-15-2011 06:17 PM
  3. DFWPhotoguy's Avatar
    No, I probably wouldn't jump for the LG phone. I have never been a big LG fan of their electronics. I know they are a high quality manufacture, they just haven't sparked a lot of consumer oooohhhs and ahhhhs in the states.

    Looking at the LG forums it looks like folks are having some issues since last updates on their phones:

    Carriers - Verizon - Official LG Phone Forum

    My thoughts would be hold them side by side. Spec wise they seem identical except for the screen and the internal memory. What feels better? What sounds better? What works better.

    Dont just trust benchmarks and DONT listen to anything the reps in the store say...they normally dont really have the consumers best interest in mind (not all, but a lot!)
    11-15-2011 07:39 PM
  4. planoman's Avatar
    Nice review! I love the passion! I love the LTE in DFW! I was down in San Antonio for the past two days and hit an insane 56.7 down and 12 up @ 9:40 am around 281 and 1604! Can't wait to hit Houston up! Phone is currently in use for 11 hours 55 minutes and I am at 29% after a moderate day of use. I was hoping to be able to get 12 hours before hitting the juice so I am happy!
    DFWPhotoguy likes this.
    11-15-2011 08:04 PM
  5. Deflord's Avatar
    Nice review! I love the passion! I love the LTE in DFW! I was down in San Antonio for the past two days and hit an insane 56.7 down and 12 up @ 9:40 am around 281 and 1604! Can't wait to hit Houston up! Phone is currently in use for 11 hours 55 minutes and I am at 29% after a moderate day of use. I was hoping to be able to get 12 hours before hitting the juice so I am happy!
    Houston is great - I just picked up the Skyrocket last Sunday - jumping from iPhone4 to Skyrocket. And did a speedtest this morning and I was getting 40 down and 13 up. Floored at the numbers - wished my home internet was that fast. LOL! And honestly I love this Skyrocket and have no regrets leaving my iPhone behind. I have been an iPhone user for the last year and half and finally ditched it thsi past weekend. So far this has been the best phone I have owned to date, and I am sure there is alot more I still have to discover that I havent done yet.
    11-16-2011 10:15 AM
  6. bwil18's Avatar
    I also left apple for the same reasons: not a bigger screen, thinner...etc.. I have no complaints about the skyrocket and I had the original galaxy s2 for 3 weeks. I would love to know how to get rid of all the ATT bloatware? Its ridiculous. But from what i have read, rooting seems to be a little more complex than jailbreaking.
    11-16-2011 10:51 AM
  7. bwil18's Avatar
    I am in Houston and the LTE is extremely fast. You live in a LTE city, then the skyrocket is a no brainer.
    11-16-2011 10:52 AM
  8. charveldude's Avatar
    THANK YOU for this review! I'm in almost the same exact situation as you (3GS user, out of contract for 6 months), except for the fact that I'm in the DC area rather than DFW.

    I was about 95 percent determined to switch over to Verizon and get the Galaxy Nexus when it's finally released, but the Skyrocket has given me cause to think it over some more. My big problem is that ATT sucks here in DC. Too many places where I get no service or only one bar, plus a surprising amount of reversion to Edge. And don't even mention the kind of service I get when I take trips to NYC and rely a lot more on the phone for getting around and finding interesting places to go.

    It's reassuring to know that ATT's LTE still kicks *** with only two bars or so. Of course, once it starts to get more traffic we all know what will happen.

    Retaining unlimited data and not having to go through the hassle of a carrier switch is mighty tempting. Out of curiosity, how you did acquire the phone (online, ATT store), and did you have any hassle retaining your unlimited data plan?
    11-16-2011 11:18 AM
  9. bwil18's Avatar
    I picked mine up in store. And it was only 150 so i was refunded 50 bucks which NEVER happens....bc I paid 200 for the galaxy s2
    11-16-2011 11:27 AM
  10. DFWPhotoguy's Avatar
    Retaining unlimited data and not having to go through the hassle of a carrier switch is mighty tempting. Out of curiosity, how you did acquire the phone (online, ATT store), and did you have any hassle retaining your unlimited data plan?
    I did my homework and realized that DFW was not in the "discount market" that was getting the 149.99 pricing from AT&T. I went to a local store, asked if they had two skyrockets in stock because I wanted them.

    YAY easy sale. I knew that I would have to work it a bit to get the 149 price but I was in a good mood and ready to do this.

    So the guy rings it up and I play all innocent when he shows the 249 price and not the 149 price. I explain i found it online and he kinda does his hemming and hawwing. I then say I can order it online then and trick the system into giving me the 149 price. No big deal. He is like "you can't do that the system wont give you the discount yadda yadda yadda". Little did he know I had tested it out and was able to enter in one zip to get the discount (San Antonio) but still have it shipped to my home address in DFW...two different systems that aren't connected.

    In the end he called a few people and had to get permission and such but I got the 149 price even though I am "outside the discount markets". I knew that I was saving 200 bucks (since I was getting two phones) and that any hassle was well worth it and was just happy and calm as could be.

    Staying grandfathered in wasn't even an issue. I would have immediately walked out of a store if a sales person said that LTE phones aren't covered by that clause because they would have been lying and my time is too valuable to deal with folks like that.

    My honest suggestion would be to stay with AT&T since you are grandfathered. As this technology progresses, we will be utilizing more and more data and if you switch to Verizon you may end up shooting yourself in the foot in the long run. I know the nexus is sweet but AT&T will have it one day with LTE and you will be grandfathered in and still have it. You can sell this phone get the nexus and be a happy camper.
    11-16-2011 12:47 PM
  11. methree's Avatar
    As for the white balance, are you judging that by what you see on the phone's screen or once you view the pictures on a monitor with proper color display? The Skyrocket screen's colors are way off. It adds a bit of neon/flourescence to all colors and it doesn't display white at all, just a very light blue.

    In truth I really don't like the screen, but I forget that fact as long as it's the only current smart phone I look at all day. I get use to it and it looks good, until I see a higher res screen with proper colors right next to it (iphone 4, vivid, etc). I still like the phone overall, which is why I chose it over the Vivid.
    11-16-2011 01:18 PM
  12. CeasareBorgia's Avatar
    I am desiring to switch from ios iPhone 4s as well. I just have reservations on the screen, the Facebook app, and the use of media. Headed to the store now! May purchase!
    11-25-2011 03:50 PM
  13. JustLeft's Avatar
    I am desiring to switch from ios iPhone 4s as well. I just have reservations on the screen, the Facebook app, and the use of media. Headed to the store now! May purchase!
    I have both the 4s and the skyrocket. I like them both.
    11-25-2011 03:56 PM
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