Does the Samsung Galaxy S II have a Design Error?

The answer, according to me, is yes.

I am talking about its physical design. With a 4.3 inch screen size, slim body (8.45 mm?) and compact all-round casing, the phone is a beauty to look at. In terms of functionality, as I blogged earlier, it is setting standards for the rest of the top-of-the-range smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S II

One of the best things about this phone is its cameras. With a 2MP front camera, you can skype with video. It also has a 8MP rear camera with flash. Here is a pic I had taken with it earlier Vs A Pic I took recently:

This is at The Tribe Hotel, sometime last year, photo by Calypso, my Galaxy S II.

Here is a pic I took this past weekend.

A view of the iHub on a quiet Saturday afternoon! Taken by Calypso, some months later

Do you see the difference in the quality of the pics? Regardless, the lighting and the views are different, but do you see my point?

So where is the Design Flaw?

When you put the phone the table, screen facing up, the part that touches the surface first is the lens cover! I think in a quest to make the galaxy S II slim (and the galaxy note too), Samsung designers left the LENS COVER protruding out bit and therefore EXPOSED to scratches and other damage!

The Nokia E6 has a 'depressed' lens cover.. meaning the lens cover doesn't touch the surface when the phone is lying on its back. The S II has a 'protruding' lens cover.

This means my camera currently takes pictures that are just so ‘dirty’, unclear, as opposed to earlier when images were sharp and crisp. This is definitely a major flaw.

A comparison between the S II and the Nokia E6 backs

Here is the back of the Apple iPhone 4S. The camera lens looks well protected. Steve Jobs knew a thing or two about design that Samsung could learn from!

The back of the iPhone 4S


While we wait for Samsung to re-design (I hope they read this), if you have an S II or Note, or any other phone whose camera lens-cover is exposed, get a case for it ASAP.

I went to the Samsung center at Hilton, to see if they can replace the lens-cover for me. The camera is fine, it’s the lens cover that feels like one is looking through foggy glass!

They told me “hiyo hatuna” : we don’t have that.

I asked them if they can order for one, because I would be wasting the 8MP camera if I can’t use it for pics like I used to.

“Haiwezekani.” It’s not possible.


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Tales From Graduate School?

I know, it has been long since I posted anything here, let alone something related to ‘tales from graduate school’. I chose the tagline since I’m now doing my masters but I doubt I want to share details of my classes with you; the inattention during classes, the joys(?) and pains of commuting to school everyday, the assignments that lie forgotten, the pending CATS that need to be read for, the notes online that will be downloaded on the night before the CAT, the thesis whose topic I have not begun to think of, the projects due as deadlines loom etc. These are what marks graduate school. However, I do have a life out of school! So here are a few updates:

1. On Operation Smile

So you remember me saying someone came forward to help out with operation smile? I’m sure you are wondering who. I asked him if I could blog about it, and he didn’t really care if I did or I did not! To start with, I had to find the company that sells the plates needed and other medical supplies, Amiken Ltd. AS a Ninja(ress), I never ask for direction when I have Google maps on my Galaxy S II.

View Larger Map

The only problem is, Amiken Ltd is mapped inside D.O.D. I went to D.O.D and at the gate, told them I was going to Amiken Ltd. They told me there is no place like that and directed me to Lenana Road! Anyone reading this who can edit Google maps? This place is on Lenana road!

At the clinic, they gave me the invoice for the mandibular plates (artificial jaw) and I called one Fredrick Afune, who is the programme director for Royal Media Services. He is the hero of this operation smile 🙂

To cut the long story short, I went to his office and picked the cheque he wrote for Amiken Ltd. I called Amiken to confirm if they take cheques.

“hallo!, hallooo! ” this is me calling in excitement

“Hallo. Amiken blah blah how may I-”

“Do you take cheques?” I cut her off.

“You want implants?” – I paused here. Do I want implants? Stood straight and looked at my chest and couldn’t see the floor. Definitely no need for implants.

“No, I am asking if you take cheques.”

“Yes, but you have to wait for four days for the cheque to clear before you can pick the implants.”

Anyway, Gilbert Maoga who needs his smile back is now seeing his doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital. He should be scheduled for surgery later this week or early next week. Once the bill from KNH is presented, Mr. Afune has also promised to settle it. All I can say is, thank you! Thank you all who helped with Operation Smile!

2. The KPL and AFC Leopards

I spend my weekends watching football. Most of my team’s matches (AFC Leopards, 2012 KPL champions) are held at Nyayo National Stadium. I usually go early, swim in the olympic-sized pool for Kshs. 150 bob per person for the day. After swimming, I’ll meet my fellow fans at the poolside restaurant for lunch, then at 3pm get into the stadium for the match.

AFC Leopards is currently second in the KPL standings, having drawn 0-0 on our first match against Chemelil Sugar; and this past Sunday we won 2-0 against Mathare United. We now have a total of 4 points. Our current squad is on form, and here they are below doing a jig for the cameras (and the fans) after Bagaye scored the first goal. Mang’oli scored the second goal!

For more on AFC, check out the fan blog.

These are the men that make my weekends 🙂

Anyway, in addition to work (I recently started on a short-term contract job), I have the mobile web East Africa conference to attend on Wednesday and Thursday. Not forgetting, I have CAT on Thursday evening, and an assignment to present on Friday evening, as well as a game to attend on Saturday. Amongst many other things on my to-do list.

Keep reading.

Why Samsung Phones Will Rule Kenya in 2012

While Nokia seems to be faltering in Africa, especially where the high-end market is concerned, Samsung is getting it right. Let’s face it, the Samsung Galaxy S II is the phone to beat this year. Launched late last year, its screen size, processing power and memory are the benchmark for the competitors such as the iPhone 4S, the LG Optimus, the Sony Experia Arc etc. I’m not saying it’s the best (this is an objective term), but it’s the one setting the standards!

The Galaxy S II is the King of them all...

We are still waiting for Nokia to deliver on the high-end Windows phones, so we can compare. The iPhone 4S was launched in Kenya last week, for the asking price of 16GB model at KSh 74,899, 32GB model at KSh 87,999 and the 64GB model at KSh 101,499. The S II 16GB is selling at 60K, I’d say value for money.

When it comes to the mid-level phones, Samsung should make more sales this year with the many variants of the Galaxy in the market, including the Galaxy Mini (which everyone seems to have). This phone is an alternative to the Huwaei Ideos, which is painstakingly slow in response. The Galaxy Mini is an improvement in performance, even though the resolution is compromised. The phone goes for about Kshs. 13000

The Samsung Galaxy Mini

For the lower-level phones, where Nokia dominates (every mulika-mwizi is a Nokia), Samsung introduced dual-SIM phones. While Nokia dual-SIMs have normal keypads, the Samsung Ch@t 322 and a new model, Ch@t 222 are QWERTY phones. Makes for faster texting.

The Samsung Ch@t 222 is just like the Samsung Ch@t 322 which I reviewed last year. You can read techweez’ review of the Ch@t 222 here.

The Samsung Ch@t 222- pic from courtesy of

The Samsung ChatON

If you have used 2go, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger etc, you are already know what messaging apps are all about. I like the Samsung ChatON User Interface, very pleasant. It gives WhatsApp competition. It is available for all Samsung phones, so you can download it from the Android market or from Samsung Apps for those using Bada. It comes pre-installed in the Ch@t 222 phone.

A conversation I had with someone using the Samsung ChatON app.

I think it will be an exciting year and I’m looking forward to the phone wars that will bring down prices for consumers while increasing the benchmark for quality phones!

When AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia Fans Fought

On Mashujaa Day (20th October), there was a match between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium from 6pm. Chaos broke out during the match, which was then aborted afterward. This is not the first time fans of both teams have fought each other; the clashes go way back to the 80’s (maybe further back!). Sometimes fighting broke out even before the match began!

Recently, the most watched Kenyan derby has seen some peaceful times. This football season saw Gor win 3-1 in the first leg of the Kenya Premier League, and lose 3-0 to AFC in the second leg. Both matches were peaceful. There was respect among the fans. The ‘shemeji’ respect.

Now on Thursday, all that progress made in the peaceful matches precedent was thrown to the dogs. AFC Leopards was playing Gor Mahia in an FKL Cup semi-final. At half-time, both teams were 0-0.

During half time, both teams cheering squads danced around the field, and even when they met there was no violence as each dancing team wiggled its way through the meeting point. I have captured both clips…and will upload them on YouTube and on this blog.

Gor scored early in the 2nd half; and shortly afterwards Mike Barasa collided with the Gor keeper and stayed down for a long time, eventually he had to be carried off the pitch.

AFC Leopards beloved striker Mike Barasa is carried off the pitch. He was discharged later that night and he's back in form.

While he was down, Gor fans took the chance to celebrate, dancing around the stadium with flares and taunting(provoking) the AFC fans.

Gor Mahia Fans celebrating around the stadium with flares

At this point, some scuffle broke out at the Russia(the side opposite the main stands) side, as AFC fans turned back the Gor fans. There was tension at the stadium and even when the match resumed we stayed on our feet. I remember one Gor fan who was on the AFC side being pursued by AFC fans, and only cops who surrounded him saved him from a random beating. I don’t know why fans were in such a foul mood!

Like 10 minutes after the match had resumed, I saw something heavy being hurled from the AFC (not a stone though), which landed inches from a linesman and a ball-boy. A plastic bottle landed on the field, and objects (including stones) started flying. My friends and I hurriedly left the stadium.

From what I hear afterward, fans of both teams hurled stones at each other and towards the pitch. Police dispersed the fans with teargas, and the match was abandoned, and later the win was awarded to Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia will now meet Sofapaka on Wednesday 26th for the finals of the FKL cup.

In Other News: AFC Drew With Mathare United in the KPL Fixture this past Sunday

Played in a stadium that was sprinkled with a handful of AFC fans, the KPL fixture of Mathare United vs AFC Leopards was slow-paced in the first half and quite entertaining in the second.

While our players seemed to lack a plan in the first half, Mathare Utd was very organized in its attack, and perhaps because they have very tall players, they scored through a header in the first half to put them in the lead.

Andrew Tololo of Mathare Utd heads in the first goal of the match

Still in the first half, AFC goalkeeper Matasi made a mistake that let the slum-boys take a 2-0 lead by the end of the first half.

In the second half, the tables turned around and it was now AFC players putting pressure on the Mathare side, until Llyod Wahome scored an own goal while he was defending his side. That made it 1-2!

Mike Barasa later shot in a penalty that saw the match end 2-2!

This leaves AFC Leopards 5th on the league table with 38 points. The next KPL fixture for AFC is next weekend against Chemelil Sugar at Chemelil. Which of the sugars is sweeter, Chemelil or Mumias? We shall find out this coming weekend! Stay tuned!


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All pictures used in this post courtesy of

Kenya’s Harambee Stars Vs Ugandan Cranes: The Journey to Kampala and Back

This weekend, a lot of African football was played. Teams were battling it out for a slot in the Africa Cup of Nations (ACN) to be played in January next year, hosted jointly by both Equitorial Guinea and Gabon.

Kenya and Uganda were in the same group, and I remember sneaking out of church (well, sort of) last year so I could catch the first leg of the match at Nyayo Stadium. Click to read my summary of them match last year! I had bet heavily on the game and might have had to change my nationality to Ugandan if we had lost. It ended in a 0-0 draw.

The buses were draped in the match banners! Excitement in the air was high!

Uganda was leading in the group which consisted of Kenya, Uganda, Guinea Bissau and Angola. Ugandans were confident, cocky, arrogant… they thought the match against Kenya was just a formality. If they beat us, as they knew they will, they would automatically qualify for the ACN. Since they were at home, and their team had an impressive run, their headlines in the newspapers were to the tune of “How to Celebrate the Cranes Win”, and clubs advertised how they will organize the winning party.

I had no idea how I was going to travel to Kampala, but luckily, Kalonzo Musyoka, our Vice President, offered to pay for football fans. I decided I was going to get on that bus somehow. Luckily for me, the VP is on twitter and he offered to pay for 200 tweeps to join the rest of the traveling fans. After hounding his account (I can be relentless he he), I finally ended up on the list of Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) who were sponsored for the trip which included free transport, 1000bob for food allowance and a free ticket. KEFOFA (KEnya FOotball Fans Association) organized the whole trip which was eventful as it was exciting!

We arrived at Nyayo Stadium on Friday afternoon where the rest of the fans were gathered. The VP was there to flag us off.. Because of the logistics of organizing, checking our luggage, briefing and finally take off, we left Nairobi at 9pm. We made a lot of noise as we cruised past the city’s highways which had been cleared of traffic for us!

Kenyan fans at Nyayo listen to the VP and other politicians give speeches at the Nyayo National Stadium shortly before flagging us off!

The journey to the border at Malaba was long but never boring. The KOT were a source of amusement as they called for numerous stops to empty and refuel (don’t ask!) their body systems.


A tweep, @kiraggz, with his cheering stuff in very high spirits (sic).

We finally made it to the border at 4am, where the processing of our documents by immigration on both sides would take hours! We had to wait for everyone to be cleared! In addition, we waited for the Kenyan ambassador to deliver our tickets, the Ugandan security forces to frisk us (though all they did was count us!) after which they accompanied our convoy to Kampala. We left the border at around 10am, after some fans had freshened up by taking ‘passport’ showers and brushing their teeth at the border tap/washrooms.

The ticket and allowance in hand 🙂

Onwards then to Kampala.. we were tired and hungry but that did not stop us from blowing our vuvuzelas, whistles and making plenty of noise as we waved our flags at any small townships along the way. We did stop for food at some Forest point where they sell chicken on a stick. Yummy, whether chicken or wild birds!

A View of the River Nile at Jinja as we passed over it on our way to Kampala. Beautiful, as always.

The chicken on a stick being hawked... It tastes good, trust me

We made it to Kampala a little past 1pm in readiness for the match at 5pm. We drove straight to the Namboole International Stadium in Kampala, where we parked and tweeps readied themselves for the match. One @raidarmax decided to hawk popcorn so he could raise some money perhaps to buy some Nile Special… those guys had pitched tent at the stadium!

Raidarmax with a bag of popcorn.. okay more like a sack of popcorn!

It was 3 hours to the game yet the stadium was filling up fast! We decided to freshen up (we all can’t do public freshening ups at the border!) at some hotels/cheap lodgings/guesthouses etc that surrounded the stadium. We then donned our Kenyan shirts (trademark red), carried our flags, vuvuzelas, whistles and other cheering paraphernalia and off to the stadium we went!

The packed stadium!

The place was packed to capacity! We could hardly get sitting space! The Ugandan fans were cheering and overpowering us (they had the advantage of numbers and the public address system) but we put up a show! They sang We go, we go.. and we replied you go, you go! I’ll try to upload the clip.

The Kenyan fans at the stadium!

I will not bore you with the match’s technical details, the pictures should suffice! Uganda was desperate to score especially when they realized Angola was almost winning its match against Guinea, which meant that Angola would qualify. The first half was exciting but no goals were scored, and in the second half, with the help of the referee, they terrorized our defenders and goalkeeper.

Worried Kenyan fans as the second half got underway. We were afraid the inevitable might happen.. but it didn't!

There were so many ‘almost’ goals it’s a wonder no Kenyan fan got a heart attack! Uganda was relentless in its attack towards the dying minutes of the game and we have to give it up for the man of the match, Arnold Origi, the goalkeeper. His performance was nothing short of impressive. In the end it was a 0-0 draw which wasn’t that bad for us but was heart-breaking for Uganda. If only they had let us have Migingo, we might have let them score so they could qualify for the ACN in the spirit of the EA community! But they thought they were too good for our team!

Dining With The Stars

The Kenyan ambassador to Uganda had organized an after party on Saturday night for the players which was graced by the Vice President among other politicians. I was among the few lucky fans in attendance. I remember William Ruto coming to the table I sat at and greeting each of us, before going to sit down at the ‘high table’. I must admit I was star struck for a second there!

Arnold Origi (the goalie, rem) and Mariga with his small bro who plays for Celtic Wanderers sat at the table next to us; food and drinks was freely flowing, speeches were given; Harambee Stars’ performance acknowledged (I think the VP said he’d give the team half a million shillings and a mystery present for the goalie); and all in all we had fun! We then left in the VP’s entourage and I got a seat next to Eugene Wamalwa (at this point I feel like a groupie posting pics of me with *ahem, politicians and football stars but can’t help it for now!).

Keeper Arnold Origi was having Fanta at dinner time... I know the pic isn't so good, but I think it is more authentic this way using a pic from my camera rather than a Googled clear one.

Mariga, @rosyrotten, Player X (forgot name), @savvykenya, and Mariga's small bro.

Eugene Wamalwa and yours truly hitch a ride in the VP's entourage

On Sunday morning we got into the bus and traveled to Nairobi. It was a long ride this time since the excitement had died, but there were some rowdy fans in the bus that kept us entertained the whole way! The discussions though, cannot be posted on this very nice and decent blog as they were X-rated, fodder for Maina’s breakfast show on Classic 105!

The other side of River Nile on our way back to Nairobi

All in all, I had quite the time of my life! The VP should do this more often 🙂 especially if/when he becomes president.


Most pictures taken by Calypso, my Galaxy S II. Others by a Nokia N8 courtesy of @kachwanya. I had to compress them so I could easily upload them and this reduced their quality but I hope you enjoy.

The Galaxy S II Review: Part II

Sorry this post is long overdue. Apologies for those who have been waiting rather impatiently.

Read part one of the review(hardware) here. I forgot to mention a couple of things: The phone screen is of gorilla glass technology, very damage-resistant. I don’t mean you go take a needle and test it out, but within the confines of what I will term ‘normal’ usage. A friend was telling me how she dropped her Ideos in water (cold, not boiling, though I have no idea what temperature has got to do with it) and it still works! Only the buttons work though, the screen display is okay but it is now touch-resistant. A whole new dimension to the expression you can look but you cannot touch.

A second thing I forgot to mention is the delicate-looking nature of the device is deceiving. Because it is light, if it falls it does not shatter to pieces! I deliberately dropped it on rough concrete this afternoon and it came away with a few scratches! It has also fallen many times, mostly from the couch/bed to the floor. I don’t mean you get a hammer to see how resistant it is!

Software Review

Onwards then.. To the Software Review of the Phone. It runs on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, which can be upgraded to 2.3.4, but even with 2.3.3 I have no complaints so far. The hardware specifications, operating system and apps/functionalities combine to make Calypso(name of phone) the best phone on earth currently.

General Look and Feel, Responsiveness

Assisted by the beautiful screen, anything rendered on this phone looks amazing. The pixel density may not be the highest in the market, but you can’t tell from the quality of the display. It supports multi-touch (pinch to zoom in/out), and when you pinch the current screen you get a view of all the 7 available screens where you can put your apps.

The Screens.. currently populated with numerous apps!

Tilting to Zoom

The phone is gravity sensitive. If a call comes in, you can turn it over to mute it. If you are playing music and you turn over the phone, sound goes off. Apps can rotate left or right. Not upside down though!

Another cool thing is when you want to zoom pics/browser, you can tilt the phone down to enlarge or up to down to decrease size.

Touchwiz 4.0

Basically this is a customized way of providing touch-features on the phone. When someone calls you, you can choose to accept, or reject with a text message. This is so cool, as it brings a host of useful messages that you can immediately send.

The text messages you can use when rejecting a call

When you have a contact number, you can swipe left to create a message to them, or right to create a call.

The Samsung keyboard on the S II is terrific; considering the size of the screen, and the accuracy of the touch-screen, you can type really fast on it. I have found that I prefer to type in portrait rather than landscape, it’s a fairly wide (but very slim) phone and it strains my thumbs to type in landscape.

Notifications, Shortcut Bar

The notifications (missed calls, messages, updates, incoming emails etcc) come to the top bar and you can pull it down to view them.

The notifications bar and you can see the shortcuts up there.

In addition, there is a shortcut bar at the top for switching on/off wifi, bluetooth, GPS, Sound, Auto rotation. When you press the power button, you get fast options for switching on/off sound, data network, flight mode or power.

To capture a screenshot, you press power and home button simultaneously. No need to scout the Android market for an app!

Rotating Map

This is the only phone as far as I know, where you can get a hold of the map and turn it in any direction you want! I don’t mean auto-rotation when you tilt your screen, I mean literally just holding and turning the map in any direction! This can help you make sense of the directions especially where you find yourself walking towards your left yet your map is pointing right. It uses Google maps, which I dare are the most detailed for Kenya.

The map of Africa upside down..


There is a music hub, where you can download music; a social hub (which is not very useful) and a reader’s hub, which is simply awesome.

Looks like a real bookshelf.. almost!

It comes with a PressDisplay for reading digital editions of newspapers (the Daily Nation and EA Standard are available, though you only get like 7 free copies). You read the paper just as it is in print!

There is Kobo for reading books; oh it’s a pleasure. I have been reading Pride and Prejudice (I realized I never finished the book during my first attempt), and when you swip to go to the next page, it flips the page as if you were reading a real book. Don’t be tempted to lick your finger so you can easily flip to the next page as you do with a hard copy book! You can also highlight paragraphs, add notes… and refer to these later.

Zinio is for reading mags. Same as the PressReader but now for digital magazines… most are not free though!


With the Allshare, when a number of Samsung devices are connected on a common wi-fi, you can browse their media content! Like you would on a local area network, where you can browse the public files of another computer. I admit some of these features are better shown than told!

Kies air

This is for transferring files to/from the phone to the computer. All you need is to just plug and play! You can see the phone’s internal memory and memory card.

Voice Search/Voice Command/ Voice Talk

Voice search is fairly common to all Android devices. Same as voice command. However, it’s never that accurate and it takes time to process (processing is over the internet). The only thing it can do accurately so far is when I tell it to ‘Play Music’. Immediately it goes to the last played song and continues from there!


The Galaxy S II. Image from

This phone is the BEST Android phone in the market, that is a fact. However it will not suit anyone, we all have our different needs. Some might think it uncomfortably thin, others might find the screen a bit too wide, or the price (Kshs. 60K+) out of range.

I also cannot do justice to its software features, they are better shown than told, trust me. So the next time you see me, ask to be shown.

With time if (actually when) I discover new cool stuff, I shall let you know. Currently, I am enjoying playing Racing Moto.. a game of high quality graphics, no lag in response (what with a 1.2GHz dual core processor), speed and adrenalin, I have to beat the high score on Calypso. I’m out.

P.S. I recommend this review on engadget again.

P.P.S. There are hunderds of thousands of apps in the Android market. Currently I have no less than 30 that I do use from time to time.. Be careful of malware though, see who the publishers is and the reviews before downloading an app.

P.P.P.S (last one I promise!). iPhone 5 is set for release on Oct 4th. I read it here

The Samsung Galaxy S II Review: Part 1

Part I of the Review: Physical Specifications

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

The Galaxy S2 facing down. Sweet looking Calypso.. image from my libraries.

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.

A view of a screen shot taken showing all the seven available screens.. and a view of the app icons on each so you can easily navigate to the screen you want.

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.)

Battery Life

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.

Battery facts:

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.

A waterfall at the Tribe Hotel where I attended some event recently.. looks good, doesn't it?

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 🙂

The S2 earphones..

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.

The Galaxy S2. Image from


Here is the phone’s full specifications on GMSArena.

Here is a comprehensive review: very detailed on


Software review coming soon.


I like the name Calypso.

The Samsung Galaxy S2: Preview

Lately, I seem to be obsessed with smartphones! Maybe it’s because they seem to offer just about everything (Google rule 34).. as I said there are apps to do just about anything you can think of.

I will now unleash the best phone on earth! The ultimate phone! The king of phones! It deserves a kingly name.. like Arathon. This phone is my precioussssssss.

The packaging of the S2.. sleek and compact!

There are many features that make it the best phone on earth. Its competitor is the iPhone 5 which is yet to be released. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is trying to catch up with it… but it’s like running after a Kenyan athlete in the long races, if you know what I’m saying.

The Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S2.. Arathon.

I just got the phone yesterday and so far so good though I can’t give a comprehensive review until next week or so.

Here’s a list of its features that makes it great so far:

  • It has a huge screen of 4.3 – inch and a Super AMOLED Plus cutting-edge Gorilla Glass HD display with a pixel count of 480X800.
  • At 8.5mm it’s very thin, and very light!
  • 8 megapixel flash camera featuring image stabilization, face and smile detection and geo-tagging. It has a 2MP front-facing camera too!
  • It incorporates a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with an impressive 1GB RAM. In other words, it performs better than my laptop with 1GB RAM and an intel celeron processor!
  • Internal memory available for your music is 16GB, and you can add an external memory card of up to 32GB
  • It runs on Android 2.3, currently my favourite phone OS

The Samsung Galaxy S II. Image from

Some call it the S2, others the S II.. it doesn’t matter. Check out all its features on GSMArena.

This device is yours for the asking price of around Kshs. 60,000.