With the rapid-fire release of one smartphone after another, it's easy for once-great phones to quickly become obsolete. Luckily, the Samsung Galaxy S II is one device with staying power, and its appearance on U.S. Cellular's network is a slam dunk.
There are two things to be aware of: this is a 3G phone on U.S. Cellular, and the cost is a little steeper than on other carriers: $229.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, and with a new two-year activation. It's also costlier than other U.S. Cellular phones at the time of the review.
Editors' note: This review focuses on the differences between the Samsung Galaxy S II on U.S. Cellular and the Samsung Galaxy S II on other networks. You can read up on the full feature set here.
Design and features
The Samsung Galaxy S II maintains the same design as the T-Mobile and Sprint versions of the phone. It starts with a trim, rounded rectangle candy bar design, and has a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen that's just beautiful, rich, clear, and vivid. (AT&T's model has a 4.3-inch screen. Its Galaxy S II Skyrocket variation has the larger display.)
There's a nice, strong 2-megapixel camera on the front that's great for video chats, but the best lens yet is the 8-megapixel one on the back, which continues to take excellent shots on every Galaxy S II variation we've seen. Auto-focus and an LED flash help out.
The processor is of the Sprint variety: a 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor, versus T-Mobile's 1.5GHz dual-core ticker. It nevertheless creates a speedy environment for internal processing. If the 16GB of internal storage isn't enough for you, a microSD card slot behind the back cover can accommodate up to 32GB more.