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Samsung Galaxy S II

243 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi again :p

homescreensetup_2011.08.24.png

^ Picture updated August 2011, this is how I have my handset configured. You won't see another Droid with the same look at this point in time :p

I've had the GSII not even two days so far and this review will compare it directly to the HTC Desire which it is replacing. I have had the Desire for a year now and it has been rooted since day one, just like this GSII, although no custom ROMs exist for it yet. Root access alone is good enough for now though because out of the box this phone is very good.

Out of the box the phone looks posh and minimalist, and most of all VERY lightweight, far lighter than it looks. There are no two tone colours other than the polished thin bezel and home button surround. Everything else is thin and flat.

sgs-ii_04.jpg

^ The battery cover is very slim and very flexible but once attached to the phone it hugs the back of the battery and feels more like a unibody device than you'd imagine.

sgs-ii_01.jpg

^ I am using WidgetLocker to customise the lock screen.

Compared to the Desire it's a welcome difference. The Desire's rubberised matte body would show up marks and greasy marks far too easily and the screen smudged quickly as well. not so on the SGSII, the screen seems to be less prone to fingerprints and smudges but when they happen it's easier to wipe with less effort required. The back is textured so doesn't require any cleaning from smudges or whatever else.

The camera lens seems exposed too much for my liking, it might scratch easy down the line.

Some review sites said the bundled headphones were quite good. They are not, they are rubbish but the output from the phone is good and was able to satisfy my musical listening needs via my Sennheiser HD595 and Ultimate Ears 100 series.

The built in speaker is also of a higher quality than the Desire and any other Android phone I have seen. It is not as high quality as higher end Nokia phones or the iPhone 4 though.

sgs-ii_05.jpg

The Samsung customisations try to stick to the look and feel of AOSP Gingerbread as much as possible but Samsung has still managed to put in their own apps such as the social/gaming/media hubs. I care not for these so didn't check these out, in fact I removed them from the phone via Titanium Backup.

The Touchwhiz launcher that Samsung use is better than the stock Android launcher but it's still not as customisable compared to others on the Market. I have LauncherPro Plus and GoLauncher EX and have ADW EX in the past. Go Launcher is what I use day in day out.

sgs-ii_07.jpg

sgs-ii_08.jpg

Samsung's lock screen is possibly the worst lock screen I have ever seen. It's ugly and has a delayed response. This is the reason I paid the

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Posted

Looks good! Definitely looks like they've sorted out some of the performance issues that were prevalent in the Galaxy S.

My uncle has his on order. Will give it a test when it comes.

Do you think that an upgrade from my Galaxy S is worth it?

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Posted

If your S is rooted and it's all good then I'd say stick with the S and get a quad core phone this fall. The differences between this and the S are still quite wide though but the S is no chump :p

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Posted

Slightly off topic - but what keyboard do you have on your desk???

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Posted

If your S is rooted and it's all good then I'd say stick with the S and get a quad core phone this fall. The differences between this and the S are still quite wide though but the S is no chump :p

Yeah I just managed to put CyanogenMod 7 on it last night and it runs nice.

Quad core phones this fall? Wow. The mobile phone industry is moving lightning quick. (Y) Will have to give it a little wait then.

Slightly off topic - but what keyboard do you have on your desk???

He's got the Logitech K750 Solar keyboard.

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Posted

can't wait to upgrade from desire to this when it becomes relatively available down this part of the earth... It's a good phone but atm can't justify paying

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Posted

Sound will be excellent once Voodoo sound or equivalent makes it onto the phone and unlocks the full potential of the built in amp, like it did with the Galaxy S. The Galaxy S trumps the iPod/Phone/s, my Zune 120 and my mates Nokia N8.

Great review by the way. How is the video/sound quality, particularly at live gigs? My Galaxy S produces good video but the sound is complete crap. I know that some phones are able to lower their microphones dynamically and adjust to the current surroundings. Does the S2 do this as well?

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Posted

nice looking at getting this phone! 1300NZD is the price tag, but i would like to know more about the battery, i consider myself a heavy of on-line things, twitter, Facebook, rss feeds.

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Posted

nice looking at getting this phone! 1300NZD is the price tag, but i would like to know more about the battery, i consider myself a heavy of on-line things, twitter, Facebook, rss feeds.

Engadget reviewed its battery life. Should be able to get two days of use or so.

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Posted

Cheers all! I am using the Cyanogen keyboard which is stock 2.3 but modded with some extras like long press delay which I find useful.

Sound will be excellent once Voodoo sound or equivalent makes it onto the phone and unlocks the full potential of the built in amp, like it did with the Galaxy S. The Galaxy S trumps the iPod/Phone/s, my Zune 120 and my mates Nokia N8.

Great review by the way. How is the video/sound quality, particularly at live gigs? My Galaxy S produces good video but the sound is complete crap. I know that some phones are able to lower their microphones dynamically and adjust to the current surroundings. Does the S2 do this as well?

Is there any date on the Voodoo release? Sounds amazing!

Sound quality of the videorecorder is very good, the mic supresses noise and in the call you can enable noise reduction and so on. There are various videos on Youtube too to demonstrate mic quality in videos.

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Posted

Cheers all! I am using the Cyanogen keyboard which is stock 2.3 but modded with some extras like long press delay which I find useful.

Is there any date on the Voodoo release? Sounds amazing!

Sound quality of the videorecorder is very good, the mic supresses noise and in the call you can enable noise reduction and so on. There are various videos on Youtube too to demonstrate mic quality in videos.

Currently it is unknown whether the SGS II will receive Voodoo Sound, as it is not known whether the chip used is any good (Some sort of Yahama chip), or being restricted like it was the SGS.

The SGS 1 uses a uber high-end Woflson DAC that when shipped with 2.1, had a terrible EQ applied by default in the driver. in 2.2, this EQ was removed but the sound was still a bit iffy (FM Radio especially, No Bass and terrible processing). A guy over at XDA played about with the Kernel source to remove all the crap and get the output as clean and provide a few tweaks.

The results are a source that i've found hard to beat. I would love a parametric EQ now as it is insanely clear and flat, sometimes a bit of Bass wouldn't go a miss (It does support this, but needs the driver modifying).

The SGS 1 also had a terrible Mic recording, which Voodoo Sound fixes (And gives various pre-sets).

The SGS 1 also had terrible display settings out of the box, which has also been fixed with custom kernels.

Also, the blacks are amazing on these panels but much like on the SGS1, the whites do suffer because of this. They are like an off-grey.

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Posted

Looks like an iPhone 4 running Android to me. Is that the look they were going for?

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Posted

Looks like an iPhone 4 running Android to me. Is that the look they were going for?

The iPhone has a very generic look. Most new phones look similar due to this.

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Posted

Currently it is unknown whether the SGS II will receive Voodoo Sound, as it is not known whether the chip used is any good (Some sort of Yahama chip), or being restricted like it was the SGS.

The SGS 1 uses a uber high-end Woflson DAC that when shipped with 2.1, had a terrible EQ applied by default in the driver. in 2.2, this EQ was removed but the sound was still a bit iffy (FM Radio especially, No Bass and terrible processing). A guy over at XDA played about with the Kernel source to remove all the crap and get the output as clean and provide a few tweaks.

The results are a source that i've found hard to beat. I would love a parametric EQ now as it is insanely clear and flat, sometimes a bit of Bass wouldn't go a miss (It does support this, but needs the driver modifying).

The SGS 1 also had a terrible Mic recording, which Voodoo Sound fixes (And gives various pre-sets).

The SGS 1 also had terrible display settings out of the box, which has also been fixed with custom kernels.

Also, the blacks are amazing on these panels but much like on the SGS1, the whites do suffer because of this. They are like an off-grey.

Ah that's a pretty clear explanation thanks! if it does use a similar chip then this could also mean that camcorder recordings could further be improved as well?

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Posted

May I have those home screens icons? :blush:

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Posted

Those folder icons, are they default? This isn't looking good for Samsung in Apple's case if that's true.

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Posted

No that's my launcher (Go Launcher EX).

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Posted

nice looking at getting this phone! 1300NZD is the price tag, but i would like to know more about the battery, i consider myself a heavy of on-line things, twitter, Facebook, rss feeds.

If you wait till June we should be getting it a bit more locally for about $1000 so better off waiting till then also vodafone are getting it apparently eventually won't be till late june or july though i think.

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Posted

Good review. I have just ordered this phone - coming from an iPhone 3G user. I can't wait. I'll have my sexy SGSII Monday. :blush:

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Posted

Yeah I just managed to put CyanogenMod 7 on it last night and it runs nice.

didnt they say that the CM7 still has bugs etc?

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Posted

Looks like an iPhone 4 running Android to me. Is that the look they were going for?

Ha ha.. Galaxy 2 is light years ahead of iPhone 4. It's not even worth comparing and the OS really doesn't look like anything like iOS because it's 10 times better and more useful not to mention smarter and doesn't require garbage iTunes and other stuff. If you ever used an Android phone and Google Apps, you would see what "magic" really is.

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Posted

Aww man, I think this will be my next phone. I had my Nexus and loved it then got the Inspire 4G (Desire HD) and liked it but dunno, maybe it was too heavy? Now i'm rocking a WP7 Samsung Focus and while i miss the metalic feel, plastic does feel a whole lot lighter :D I think 4" is also the perfect size too. I also told my self that my next phone needs to have Super AMOLED!! The screen on the focus is gorgeous but WP7 still feels a little "young" now. I'll test it out again another time but for now going back to Android.

(Had an iPhone 4 - some guy traded me his for my Inpsire 4G, didn't like it though, seemed too small plus just didn't seem as "magical" as i thought it would be)

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Posted

Ha ha.. Galaxy 2 is light years ahead of iPhone 4. It's not even worth comparing and the OS really doesn't look like anything like iOS because it's 10 times better and more useful not to mention smarter and doesn't require garbage iTunes and other stuff. If you ever used an Android phone and Google Apps, you would see what "magic" really is.

Not even going to bother.

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Posted

I'm exploring a haunted house tomorrow with a mate of mine (previous Urbex pics here: http://robbiekhan.co.uk ) so expect an update demoing the HD camcorder being put to actual use instead of just some trees, cars and **** ;)

(Had an iPhone 4 - some guy traded me his for my Inpsire 4G, didn't like it though, seemed too small plus just didn't seem as "magical" as i thought it would be)

But the iPhone 4 changes "everything", again!

;)

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