Pros Very speedy, Great UI, very light, very thin, huge screen is gorgeous, great camera, some very good samsung specific additions, battery has been great so far, 16GB internal memory + expansion slot, very nice headphones + inline mic included in box (I was
Cons Thin and light but alot of surface area (but no more than needed for the screen), some non-removeable bloatware included (as always), some very minor user interface annoyances (but only because I was spoiled by cyanogen mod on my last phone).
Summary To be honest, I had a hard time even coming up with the cons list because they are all such minor issues (but I felt I should write down something). This phone has been my best android phone to date - I started with a droid incredible which was a great phone for a year (espcially with cyanogen mod), and then switched over to tmobile and got a g2x. It was an okay phone, but I traded it in after a few days because of a bunch of problems it had. I was a little nervous about getting this phone, but now I'm incredibly happy I did.
I was worried about the samsung's custom touchwiz UI (after coming from htc sense and stock android), and for the first half a day I didn't like it, but it grew on me very rapidly. They have alot of clever and thoughtful elements in it that I noticed and they make a big difference.
The screen is huge and beautiful - pretty much the best phone out there for watching movies on. And unlike on my droid incredible (3.7 inch screen), I can actually use remote desktop on it to my computer for more than a few seconds without getting annoyed. How iphone users survive with a 3.5 inch screen I will never know. The CPU is fast and rarely do I ever notice lag on anything. The 1GB of ram helps alot - the big problem I had with the g2x was that while it was very fast, the 512mb of ram would fill up way too fast and then it would slow down to a crawl. No problem on the S2 (plus there is a samsung integrated task manager that is wonderful and easy to use).
One big surprise that I was very happy with was the samsung included "Kies air" app. When hooked up to a wireless network, you active at the app and then type in the IP and port number it gives you into a web browser. This opens up a Kies air interface (the phone is basically acting as a web server) that lets you access and edit everything on the phone. Photos, video, music, ringtones, bookmarks, messages, call log, contacts, files, and other various settings. You can download, upload, view, and edit all of these right from any computer on the same network as the phone without installing any software. Very very handy.
That covers most of it. The camera is very good (8MP still, 1080p video) and has some good shooting options (touch to focus, panorama, etc...). I'm not much of a phototaker, so I can't go too indepth. And lastly the 4G speed is very good. I live in Orange County (south of Los Angeles),and I get consistently good recent and data speeds just about everywhere around here (usually 8mbps down, 1-2 up). I haven't tried it out in LA, but I hear tests have gotten up to 22mpbs in areas with great reception (even 8 seems like overkill to me for a phone, but who am I to complain).
It also comes with a voice control app - different than the normal android one, but functions relatively the same. It's a little bit fancier, but nothing that puts it too far past the default android voice control (which is already quite nice).
The phone itself is very nice to hold. Extremely thin and light (noticeably lighter than my boss's iphone 4) but with alot of surface area. Even so, I have no problem fitting it in my jeans pocket. I have small hands, but no trouble using or holding it. The construction of the phone is great - it's plastic to keep the weight down, but the back surface is soft touch and feels very nice.
Anyway, overall, a very good phone. You can tell when you have alot of trouble coming up with a cons list. Fast, light, gorgeous, extremely customizable - high recommended.
Pros Super Amoled Plus screen is tremendous, size is great, Android operating system is fantastic and TouchWiz 4.0 is actually very nice.
Cons Super Amoled Plus Screens may have lines in them from poor calibration, Call Quality drops and echoing becomes a serious issue with any kind of case, battery life is absolutely terrible. Chance for your charger to be bad too (like mine).
Summary Some Super Amoled Plus displays have "lines" on them from a poorly calibrated screen: it seems to be happening to a lot of the Galaxy S 2's, but thankfully not any of mine (and I bought 3 for the family). Call quality becomes terribles / echoing becomes outrageous when any kind of a case is applied to the phone -- google Samsung Galaxy S 2 Echo. No one can decide if its the mics being covered or if there's a faulty part being installed in this device. Also, my charger was broken -- it would reach 100% charge on the phone and then disconnect and reconnect over and over again. I took it to the T-Mobile store and the guy opened up another Galaxy S 2 box in the back and we exchanged charger bases, and so far that's fixed the problem. Additionally, battery life is abysmal. With heavy usage starting at 6 am in the morning, I was below 50% battery life by 10 am. I don't know what to do about this problem. Suggestions are welcome!
Overall, though, I'm still impressed by the phone even as I continue to look for call quality and battery solutions. If you're like me and you're coming from a Blackberry that has super battery life, though, be warned about this one.
"Almost perfect!"on by acro47
Pros Super fast, big gorgeous screen, great for video, excellent call quality
Cons Short battery life
Summary I am a 60+ woman who has walked away from BlackBerry after 5 devices in 10 years. I finally decided I was tired of not having a decent browser or being able to do all the cool things that others can do. My company pays for my phone so I'm free to choose whatever I want, and after being the last BlackBerry holdout, I decided to go Android.Edit 11-1-11:
I've had the S2 for nearly 3 weeks and am very pleased. It's beautiful, with a bright crisp screen. It's a bit large for my small hand but that's OK because it's extremely fast, my call quality is strong and clear, it's great for watching Netflix and reading my daily half dozen news sources, it has a decent camera, and it handles my 150-200 daily work emails effortlessly.
I happen to disagree with that flaky Steve Ballmer who says "you have to be a computer scientist to use Android." As a newcomer, I've found the Android OS to be simple and straightforward, just plain common sense IMO, and I haven't yet had to ask "how do you do this?" Yes, I could afford to spend less time in the Market, but there are SO many great apps!
The only significant negative for me is that the battery life isn't great. However, just about everyone I know with a smartphone of any brand wishes they had longer battery life. I guess that's the nature of the newer technology. I manage OK but have just ordered a second battery which I'll keep charged as a backup.
Of course for all of us, the good or bad in a phone depends on our personal needs. For me, the S2 works extremely well and is a phone I would highly recommend.
Updated on Nov 1, 2011
Instead of saying "short battery life", I'd like to update this to say PITIFUL battery life. I was able to see just how bad it is today. I took it off the charger, went out to deliver my rent check and drop off a package. I was back home in 65 minutes, and my battery life had dropped from 100% to 81%. This is with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS turned off and my display turned way down, as dim as I'm able to see it. If you go to SETTINGS/ABOUT PHONE/BATTERY USE, you can see what's using up your battery. Mine says 62% of my battery use is for the display, which I find astonishing; all the rest is used up for Android OS, cell standby, dialer, etc.
Bottom line: The S2 is still great for what it does, but I got spoiled having BlackBerry phones for so many years, where I could easily skip a day on the charger and never miss it. With the S2, now I can't go anywhere without a charger. I sure hope I never have a long night in the E.R.
Pros Classy looking dark chrome trim that lines the edge of the phone. Long lasting 1850 mAh battery The 4.52 inch screen is great for movie watching and web browsing. Device Productivity Speeds/ multitasking, 4G Data Speeds (Mine peaked at just over 18 mbps d
Cons Slightly thicker than its sister phones on Sprint and AT&T, although its a minimal difference. Barely noticable, occasional slight lag in TouchWiz interface transitions on home screens.
Summary This phone is The REAL DEAL! It lives up to the Samsung Galaxy S II Hype and then some. Its availible at T-Mobile with unlimited talk, text, and 5GB of 4G data for under $80 bucks. T-Mobiles HSPA+ 42 is waaayfast! I averaged 11.3 mbps out of 10 speed tests I ran with a peek of 18.3 mbps. Thats Verizon LTE type speeds but for a bargan of a monthly rate. Super-fast 1.5 ghz dual-core processor, 1Gig or RAM and 16 GB of on-board storage with expandable micro SD slot. A 4.52 inch Super Amoled Plus Display, Built-In NFC and DLNA capability, Wi-Fi HotSpot capable, running Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 out of the box. This is the type of smart phone that keeps T-Mobile competitive and now the Verizon LTE Droids have reason to be scared.
Pros Light, bright and easy to use. Not nearly as big as the photos show, suggesting that most CNET reviewers have small hands. Worth exploring further as a PhD thesis, perhaps. Mini USB for everything, unlike Nokia smartphones. Android marketplace is great, i
Cons Have had a fault twice where the phone wouldn't switch off. If you did, it just switched itself back on. It was not easy to identify how this arose, and even now, I'm not sure that it was that game I downloaded from the Android marketplace. However, it ha
Summary All things considered, it's an excellent phone. It's not perfect - Google Earth works intermittently - but it's streets ahead of anything I've used before. My options were this or an iPhone 4, and I decided to go Android and open rather than Apple and closed. I have no hesitation in recommending it.Hi Cnet - why do you give a character count limit, and then reduce it after users have posted reviews. Chopping these off half way through seems a little short-sighted. Either publish in full or reduce the maximum character count.
Updated on Oct 14, 2011