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Samsung Galaxy S II review

8.8/10 AVG.
RATING



8.8/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S II currently has an Informr score of 8.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 48 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

As their flagship phone for 2011, the Galaxy S2 from Samsung is one sexy smartphone. With the subtle sophistication that we've come to expect from this Korean company, Samsung's latest offering gives users a frustration-free multitasking experience in a sleek, compact package.

This smartphone is fast and handles many apps simultaneously, with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor paired to 1 GB of RAM. This means users can update their Facebook status, shoot HD videos, and receive text messages and calls without needing to close any programs.

Weighing in at a airy 116 grams, this thin smartphone has dimensions and design similar to the iPhone 4. This makes it large enough to be fully functional without feeling like you're lugging a laptop in your purse or pocket.The textured back and slightly curved sides makes holding the Galaxy S2 comfortable and secure in the users palm.

Along with all the features now considered standard among smartphones like GPS, in-browser Flash player, and social hubs, the Galaxy S2 has a generous 4.3-inch screen that makes viewing the intuitive navigation menu quick and simple.

When it comes to making a phone call with the Galaxy S2 (yes, some people do still use their smartphones as phones) users enjoy enhanced call quality with the integrated noise reduction control. Video calling is simple with Android Platform 2.3.3 onboard, and if you've ended your call before the conversation is complete, Samsung makes redialing or sending a message to your last contact easy with instant onscreen prompts.

The Galaxy S2 Android phone is available now, providing an alternative for consumers who don't want one of the popular fruit-branded smartphones (namely those from Apple or Blackberry).

Need to know: Samsung Galaxy S2

1. The super-speedy response time will keep users with challenged attention spans satisfied with the ability to run numerous apps simultaneously and flawlessly. (The Good)

2. With a 4.3 inch 800 x 400 Super AMOLED plus display shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass, the display on the Galaxy S2 is fantastic, with crisp images and colors. (The Good)

3. Like most modern smartphones, this unit likes to eat batteries, especially when browsing the web or playing games, so keep the charger handy. (The Bad)

4. With no way to silence the camera shutter, you can forget about taking sneaky candid shots with the Galaxy S2. (The Bad)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1 GHz
Screen Size
4.27"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TelecomTiger

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is certainly a good buy in this price range. It offers a long list of in-built high class features/applications that exist in all latest Android phones. The big 4.3 inch Super AMOLED plus screen is amazing and it offers great display. The powerful RAM and processor gives hassle...

- TT Gadget editor, TelecomTiger
GSMArena

With Snapdragon S3 under the hood, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II is not as assertive in its performance as the rest of the GSM sporting, Galaxy S II lineup. It does however, more than make up for the notable omission by offering you zippy network speed, a mammoth battery, and a bigger Super AMOLE...

- GSMArena Team, GSMArena
GSMArena

When the original Samsung Galaxy S II entered the scene five months ago, it blew its entire Android competition out of the water. The race wasn’t even close – the droid was not in a mood to take any prisoners.Interestingly enough, we are still to encounter a faster Android smartphone, made by a comp...

- GSMArena Team, GSMArena
Cnet

You might think the $369.99 Samsung Galaxy S II 4G is merely a repackaged relic offloaded to Boost Mobile by its Sprint overlords. And you’d be right, at least in part, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, the Galaxy S II is by no means a spring chicken, but this gray-haired device still boasts the...

- Brian Bennett, Cnet
PC Magazine

There's no doubt about it: Nearly a year after we reviewed the initial, unlocked version, the Samsung Galaxy S II remains one of the top Android phones available. In a market that sees a new hot smartphone come and go every few weeks, that's an impressive feat. The Samsung Galaxy S II has already ta...

- Alex Colon, PC Magazine


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy S II on April 14, 2011.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S II user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy S II with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy S II has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
4.27"

The Samsung Galaxy S II's screen size is 4.27 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz

There is a Samsung Dual-Core Cortex A9 MPCore 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. An external, MicroSD (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1650mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1650 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 29.5 days standby time, 1100 minutes, 264 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S II Specs

Overview
Release date April 14, 2011
Regions available USA, Canada, UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1
variations
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Samsung Dual-Core Cortex A9 MPCore 1 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.16 W/kg
Body: 0.96 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1650 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 480 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 264 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1100 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 29.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Pink
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.5 x 6.6 x 0.8 cm (4.9 x 2.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight 116 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 4.27 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Screensavers
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry XT9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, ISO, Panorama, Self-portrait, Self-timer, Smile detection
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX, XviD
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, WMA, WAV, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX, XviD
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, PPT, RTF, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung I9100

Available model with 16Gb built-in memory
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S II Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S II
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Critic Reviews


TelecomTiger

The complete package

from TelecomTiger

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is certainly a good buy in this price range. It offers a long list of in-built high class features/applications that exist in all latest Android phones. The big 4.3 inch Super AMOLED plus screen is amazing and it offers great display. The powerful RAM and processor gives has...More

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is certainly a good buy in this price range. It offers a long list of in-built high class features/applications that exist in all latest Android phones. The big 4.3 inch Super AMOLED plus screen is amazing and it offers great display. The powerful RAM and processor gives hassle free browsing experience. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a brilliant phone in almost all aspects.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Not as assertive in its performance as the rest of its siblings

With Snapdragon S3 under the hood, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II is not as assertive in its performance as the rest of the GSM sporting, Galaxy S II lineup. It does however, more than make up for the notable omission by offering you zippy network speed, a mammoth battery, and a bigger Super AMOLED Plus screen.

Read full review

With Snapdragon S3 under the hood, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II is not as assertive in its performance as the rest of the GSM sporting, Galaxy S II lineup. It does however, more than make up for the notable omission by offering you zippy network speed, a mammoth battery, and a bigger Super AMOLED Plus screen.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Great audio quality and extremely slim

When the original Samsung Galaxy S II entered the scene five months ago, it blew its entire Android competition out of the water. The race wasn’t even close – the droid was not in a mood to take any prisoners.

Interestingly enough, we are still to encounter a faster Android smartphone, made by a company other than Samsung, despite the significant number high-end dual-core offerings released by the competition since then....

More

When the original Samsung Galaxy S II entered the scene five months ago, it blew its entire Android competition out of the water. The race wasn’t even close – the droid was not in a mood to take any prisoners.

Interestingly enough, we are still to encounter a faster Android smartphone, made by a company other than Samsung, despite the significant number high-end dual-core offerings released by the competition since then.

The Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T is priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract. This is in line with all the current high-end offerings on the U.S. market. Let’s see now, what are the other possible options for the price range.

Two days from today, the iPhone 5 will finally be officially released. In case you are not stuck with the Android ecosystem, it is an option worth considering. The amount of $99 can get you a 3D experience in the face of LG Thrill 4G. The droid is the U.S. version of the Optimus 3D. Its spec sheet is packed with features, but its OS is still Android 2.2 Froyo.

Read full review

Less

Cnet

Offers solid performance, a vibrant screen, and a great multimedia experience

from Cnet

You might think the $369.99 Samsung Galaxy S II 4G is merely a repackaged relic offloaded to Boost Mobile by its Sprint overlords. And you’d be right, at least in part, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, the Galaxy S II is by no means a spring chicken, but this gray-haired device still boa...More

You might think the $369.99 Samsung Galaxy S II 4G is merely a repackaged relic offloaded to Boost Mobile by its Sprint overlords. And you’d be right, at least in part, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, the Galaxy S II is by no means a spring chicken, but this gray-haired device still boasts the enviable abilities that helped it achieve legendary status among Android phones. Of course you can opt for the $299.99 HTC Evo Design 4G, which offers Android 4.0 and 4G data for less. I wouldn’t recommend doing so, though, since the Galaxy S II 4G features the same Android software, 4G, a much better camera and display, plus faster performance for $60 more. Despite its age, there are plenty of reasons why it’s Boost Mobile’s flagship smartphone and currently the most capable phone the carrier sells.

Read full review

Less

PC Magazine

A powerful, gorgeous smartphone for U.S. Cellular, but 4G is on the horizon

from PC Magazine

There's no doubt about it: Nearly a year after we reviewed the initial, unlocked version, the Samsung Galaxy S II remains one of the top Android phones available. In a market that sees a new hot smartphone come and go every few weeks, that's an impressive feat. The Samsung Galaxy S II has already...More

There's no doubt about it: Nearly a year after we reviewed the initial, unlocked version, the Samsung Galaxy S II remains one of the top Android phones available. In a market that sees a new hot smartphone come and go every few weeks, that's an impressive feat. The Samsung Galaxy S II has already taken the major carriers by storm, so it's nice to see it make its way over to U.S. Cellular. And the Galaxy S II remains just as potent as ever—it's every bit as fast and beautiful as before. But U.S. Cellular will soon be launching a 4G LTE network, and the Galaxy S II isn't a 4G phone.

Read full review

Less

Pocketables

Absolutely beautiful screen, very good camera

from Pocketables

The S II was a technological marvel when it first came out. That's closing in on a year ago now, but the phone is still one of the top phones out there. With a chipset that puts most phones - and tablets - to shame, enough RAM and ROM to not cause any of the typical low-end Android phone issues,...More

The S II was a technological marvel when it first came out. That's closing in on a year ago now, but the phone is still one of the top phones out there. With a chipset that puts most phones - and tablets - to shame, enough RAM and ROM to not cause any of the typical low-end Android phone issues, a screen that is hard to hate, and a camera that you would actually use for proper photos it seems to have it all. It falls short in the audio quality department, and could do well with smarter solutions for things like external file systems and accessories. Its place as Samsung's top model has now been passed to the Galaxy Note, but the S II is as much a smaller version as it is an inferior one. The S II still sells like crazy all over the world, and with good reason; it's one heck of a phone.

Read full review

Less

Recombu

Respectable battery life and a beautiful screen

from Recombu

It’s a fantastic phone that has been cleverly created to stay relatively up-to-date in the near-future, with a high-speed dual-core processor, wireless syncing to your computer and the very latest version of Android. That luscious screen stands alongside the iPhone 4 as a market-leading display...More

It’s a fantastic phone that has been cleverly created to stay relatively up-to-date in the near-future, with a high-speed dual-core processor, wireless syncing to your computer and the very latest version of Android. That luscious screen stands alongside the iPhone 4 as a market-leading display and Samsung’s clever touches, like a special “outdoor brightness” setting for outdoor photos, makes it more intelligent too. We think this is the best Android phone yet; all that extra power has made using Android as reliable and as smooth as the iPhone 4. With all that extra power, respectable battery life, and a beautiful screen, it’s perhaps even the best smartphone available today.

Read full review

Less

Digital Versus

Thin, light and powerful

from Digital Versus

The Galaxy S already had a lot going for it, but Samsung's second generation of the smartphone is very much a product of its time. The Galaxy S II is incredibly powerful but surprisingly thin and light at the same time. Our biggest disappointment was the Super AMOLED Plus display's bizarre approa...More

The Galaxy S already had a lot going for it, but Samsung's second generation of the smartphone is very much a product of its time. The Galaxy S II is incredibly powerful but surprisingly thin and light at the same time. Our biggest disappointment was the Super AMOLED Plus display's bizarre approach to reproducing colours and the fact that the HDMI connection requires a separate cable. But in every other department—including mobile web browsing, video recording, music, and even making phone calls—the Galaxy S II is a very strong performer.

Read full review

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Brighthand

It's hard to find any real negatives regarding this particular phone

from Brighthand

If you're on the market for a new smartphone, T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S II is a worthy contender. It performed well in all of my standard tests except for slow performance when using the GPS and included navigation apps.

Photos and videos look really nice on the large screen, and the soun...More

If you're on the market for a new smartphone, T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S II is a worthy contender. It performed well in all of my standard tests except for slow performance when using the GPS and included navigation apps.

Photos and videos look really nice on the large screen, and the sound quality on the external speaker is very good. Voice quality is much better than usual, even though there were a few coverage issues (which says more about T-Mobile's network strength in my area than it does about this phone). It was hard to find any real negatives regarding this particular phone. The camera takes very nice shots too, and all of this adds up to a worthy upgrade from your current device, especially if you're pleased with T-Mobile's network coverage in your area.

Read full review

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Android Community

The most high-quality smartphone to have been released by Samsung in the US thus far

from Android Community

Samsung has optimized the Samsung Galaxy S II to be the best Android smartphone on the planet, and if you ask me, that’s exactly what it is. For now. It’s got the most advanced version of Samsung’s vision for an ideal device, and here they are to be trusted. Samsung is, on the other hand, c...More

Samsung has optimized the Samsung Galaxy S II to be the best Android smartphone on the planet, and if you ask me, that’s exactly what it is. For now. It’s got the most advanced version of Samsung’s vision for an ideal device, and here they are to be trusted. Samsung is, on the other hand, creating more versions of the Galaxy S II every day, and until we’ve got them all in our hands, and until Android ceases to be an operating system, there will be no best device.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Samsung S 2 X on Koodo... Great performance for the Dollar

Had this for 3 days now. Impressed with the beautiful screen and fast processor. Upgraded from the Galaxy Ace which had bad resolution, slow processor and inefficient memory. Very happy so far, except for the battery life which doesn't last as long as my previous phone (G. Ace). Pros: Camera take...More
Had this for 3 days now. Impressed with the beautiful screen and fast processor. Upgraded from the Galaxy Ace which had bad resolution, slow processor and inefficient memory. Very happy so far, except for the battery life which doesn't last as long as my previous phone (G. Ace). Pros: Camera takes nice pics, Wifi and Data is fast, screen is beautiful & bright (not like Galaxy Ace), large phone but it is light and evenly balanced, inexpensive = great phone for the $. Downloaded 'Opera Mobile' and browsing is faster than installed browser. Cons: Battery life could be better. Phone is a little slippery, will get a skin to protect it and fix this problem. Some Google/Samsung 'bloatware' is evident. If you get that stuff off this phone would be even faster! Less

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