Okay this phone is awesome and I’ve decided to split the review into two parts: hardware specifications/software capabilities so that we don’t end up with pages and pages of review! I have tried giving it kingly names it but the only name that sticks is Calypso. So let’s review Calypso.
When it comes to mobile phones, the Samsung Galaxy S II hardware specifications beats any phone alive today; and that is including the iPhone 5 that is still under conception. When is the due date, I wonder?
Size and Weight
This phone is super light, at only 116g. It feels featherweight in my hands. Coupled with the fact that it’s ultra-slim; at only 8.5mm it’s the slimmest phone on earth, beating the iPhone 5 (leaked specs) by .1mm and the Xperia Arc by .2mm and making the iPhone 4 look like a fat housewife at 9.3mm.
At first I though it was kind of big to be put into a pocket (125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm), but even when wearing my most fitting jeans, it slides smoothly into the pocket. I guess the slimness helps!
Screen Size and Display
It has a 4.3 inch Super-AMOLED screen. This is a big screen by any standards, and watching/reading anything on it makes it a wonderful experience.
Super-AMOLED screens consume less power (presumably than the retina display of iPhones), and you can imagine a screen like that would drain a lot of power. Coupled with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and supporting up to 16M colours, things look better on the phone than they look in real life!!
Watching movies and videos is a pleasure; so is viewing pictures. In fact, even if the picture looks bad and the video has a low resolution, it still looks good on the S2. Especially if it’s a movie that’s pirated; you know how bad it looks on the comp but now since one is viewing it on a smaller screen it ends up looking HD. (P.S. I watched Rango on it.)
The iPhone 4’s standby talk time is 300 hours. The Galaxy S2’s standby time is 710 hours! The battery life is a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Galaxy S. I have realized that using data over a 3G network consumes a lot of power. With the S2, I think you can comfortably watch up to 3 movies of approximately 1.5hrs each. I mean I watched Rango (1.5hrs) and there was hardly any change in the battery level.
With my regular use (I’m never without my phone for longer than 2 minutes), the phone is able to last almost 24 hours. I think though, that higher series Nokia phones still win on battery life.
Stand-by Up to 710 h (2G) / Up to 610 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 18 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 8 h 40 min (3G)
Processor Speed and Memory
It has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. Theoretically, it’s capable of running the Windows 7 OS! I must admit though, that I am hardly using all this capacity! Unless I open like 30 apps running at the same time, or download a lot of stuff while playing HD videos, I don’t know when I can utilize 100% of the power availble for this phone!
There is absolutely no lag when it’s switching on, readying contacts, launching apps, phone/message/contacts search, loading videos, music.. As Idd Salim said on his blog while reviewing the Galaxy Mini, a low-budget Android phone: The new Samsung phones ni kama madem wa Campo. Una-touch, inafungua. Una-touch, inafungua. No delays
It has internal memory of 32GB or 16GB to store your music/pics/videos/documents.
There is a memory slot that can support up to 32GB of data. Awesome! Currently I’m underutilizing it with a 2GB mem card.. any takers? My birthday is coming up soon 🙂
Camera and Video; Music Player
The rear camera is 8 Megapixels with flash; which can be auto or manual. The pictures it takes are crystal clear and beautiful. There is also a front camera with 2MP meaning you can have video calls/Skype.
The camera has autofocus and zoom. However, autofocus is not available on video mode unless you upgrade the OS.
The music player is.. average!! I mean it’s alright, but it could be better. You can never hear the bass and if you increase the volume, it’s like all you get is the high pitch and not an increase in quality. The earphones help though. They are the kind that you can insert deep into your ear canal, making the music penetrate any ear wax in the way of the audio waves 🙂
Other physical features:
Micro-USB slot, 3.5mm audio jack, just the usual standards. The loud speaker is not really loud; but it’s good enough.
The phone has no other buttons except the middle button, but the area beside the button is touch-sensitive and on the left is the menu-function and the right, the back function. These function-buttons come alive when the phone is active.
Here is the phone’s full specifications on GMSArena.
Here is a comprehensive review: very detailed on engadget.com
Software review coming soon.
I like the name Calypso.