Samsung Galaxy S II full review

The Samsung Galaxy S II first went onsale in mid-2011 and quickly became a firm favourite with gadget fans. Six months later, it is still the standard bearer for Android smartphones. In this fast moving world, that’s quite an achievement. See also Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

There are several reasons for the Samsung Galaxy S II’s enduring popularity. It has superb design and build qualities, high end specifications that continue to impress more than six months after launch, and it benefits from the backstory of a popular predecessor in the original Samsung Galaxy S. Take a look at Samsung Galaxy S3 release date, specs and rumour round-up.

A key attraction of the Samsung Galaxy S II is its very impressive 4.3in SuperAMOLED Plus screen. With 640x960 pixels on offer it is sharper than many other smartphones, and the AMOLED technology means the screen is delivers very vivid colours. It comes into its own particularly for video viewing. Visit Group test: what's the best Android phone?
The presence of a 1.2GHz dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor is also a draw. The Samsung Galaxy S II was one of the first phones to have a dual-core processor, and it zips along very nicely. The advertised generous 16GB of built-in storageis reduced to 12GB actually accessible on the handset but a microSD card can accommodate more. If you’re likely to need to swap storage cards, note that Samsung places the bay for this out of easy reach under the backplate. See also Samsung Galaxy S3 review.

Samsung’s rather good Kies Air application is supported. This allows you to access the device over Wi-Fi through a web browser for file copying. Kies Air doesn’t look very pretty, but it works well. Go to Samsung Galaxy S3 specs and pictures.

HDMI is supported, though there’s no dedicated expansion slot. Instead HDMI is delivered via the microUSB slot, and you’ll need to invest in a cable. The presence of HSDPA goes without saying in any modern smartphone, but the Samsung Galaxy S II can handle downloads to an impressive maximum of 21Mbps. Visit Samsung Galaxy S3 launch: as it happened.

With attractive Android skinning and a good array of widgets, many of which are resizable, the Samsung Galaxy S II lends itself to plenty of user customisation too.

Six months might be a long time in smartphone development, but the Samsung Galaxy S II holds its own very well against recently launched competitors. While its price has fallen since launch it remains an expensive option, though.

Original review by By Spencer Dalziel and Rosemary Hattersley on next page >>