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    Samsung Galaxy S II review

    Samsung Galaxy S II review

    The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S II will be headed to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the U.S. While the flagship phone has been referred to as the “Galaxy S II”, the phone will take on different names depending on the carrier.

    The names will be the Samsung Attain on AT&T, the Samsung Function on Verizon Wireless, and the Samsung Within on Sprint. Oddly, no mention of T-Mobile, which could indicate a hidden message that the 4th largest wireless provider could be in acquisition talks with one of the other three….but that’s another story.

    The Galaxy S II sports a dual-core processor, a large Super AMOLED Plus display, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video, and runs Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with Samsung’s revamped TouchWiz 4.0 user interface on top. There’s no word when the Galaxy S II will make its U.S. debut, although reliable sources are indicating summer.

    The Samsung Galaxy S II is Samsung’s second version of its extremely popular Galaxy S line of handsets. The Galaxy S II improves in nearly every category, namely speed and size of the device itself.

    Samsung chose to use a thin plastic as the shell, and while it doesn’t lend to a real solid sturdy feel in the hand, it definitely benefits the gadget in the weight department.

    On top of the device is a 3.5mm headset jack with secondary mic for noise cancellation. On the right side is a power button, and the volume rocker is on the left. On the front, you’ll find a 2-megapixel camera for video chat, and three of the four typical Android navigation buttons (minus the search key).


    Specs you ask?  Fasten your seatbelt. The Samsung Galaxy S II tops any Android chart with a 1.2GHz dual-core Orion processor, 1GB of RAM, Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread, an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video recording, and 21Mbps HSPA+ support.

    The Samsung Galaxy S II also features Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus display, and is easily the best screen on any phone, out on the market today. Black levels, colors, and sharpness of the display are top-drawer.

    The Galaxy S II is also the fastest Android phone yet, loading web pages at desktop-like speeds. There’s absolutely no lag while navigating around from app to app or screen to screen.  It’ll make you an Android fan forever.

    The TouchWiz UI by Samsung has its good and bad.  The good is that you can edit the number of home screens on your device, and the widgets Samsung offer are pretty stellar.  The bad, which is a personal preference, are the Swype keyboard functionality and the email application.  Personally, I would choose the Android stock versions.

    Let’s talk battery-life.  While historically Android handsets have really sucked in this category, the Galaxy S II doesn’t follow tradition. Thanks to a whopping 1,640 mAh battery and a super-efficient dual-core Orion processor, battery life on this Android is finally very acceptable.  Standby time lasts up to around three days, which is unheard of with the new super-big smartphones.

    In the final analysis, the Samsung Galaxy S II is worth its weight in gold. Additionally, it offers great signal reception and audio performance on AT&T. It’s super fast, it’s very thin and light, it has a great camera, and even better, it’s free from any carrier restrictions since it’s the unlocked global version.

    The fly in the ointment is that it’s $800. Having said that, for the price, you’re getting a mini-computer with a phone, and not to mention, bragging rights for carrying the best, most meaty phone out on the market today.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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