* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I bought this phone from Vodafone back in December 2013, and have been pretty happy since. I am reasonably good with technology (I'd think), and believe this phone has a lot of features which come in handy to me, but perhaps not appreciated by others.
It is really easy to use, setting it up was a breeze (no computer needed) and came in really nice looking packaging. Pre-installed apps are intuitive, with the new Android design guidelines everything is standardised, even on most apps not just the 'official' ones.
The camera is very good, and not too much grain is introduced in low light (unless it's almost pitch black), for example it takes fine photos in weak streetlamp glow fine. In good light it really captures the colours and with the AmmoLED display they do pop out compared to other (usually older) phones.
You can install Cyanogenmod through the easy installer for Windows/Mac, the newer updates (I'm running the dev channel) seem to run better and have longer battery life. It runs it fine and is pretty smooth, and looking at what Google is doing with Android L hopefully should run even quicker. Multitasking though sometimes bugs it down so be careful to clear it from time to time.
On the other side, the battery life is terrible, usually running out within 7 or 8 hours of a full charge running stock firmware (Android 4.1.2). Running Cyanogenmod seems to make it last just about 11 hours for me. Of course, everyone's usage of their phones is different, the amount of time you spend on it and also how intensively it has to work.
In my opinion, the screen size is pretty small so might be hard to see or use for older people, and also is not great for catching up with iPlayer or similar on the train into work, or watching films on planes etc.
There is a lot of Samsung bloatware, all the 'Game centre', 'Music centre' and Kies which can't be uninstalled unless you install a custom firmware (eg. Cyanogenmod) or root your phone and get a root app uninstaller. Once I had uninstalled them I did get a lot of space back (although the amount of space is quite large if you manage it carefully and you don't chuck loads of songs/movies on it).
One last thing that bugs me is the keyboard, every time I use it there is a delay of about 1 or 2 seconds for it to load, whereas on a friend's phone it pops up pretty much instantly. I'm not sure why this happens, perhaps it is because the phone is pretty low on RAM so does not pre-load it. Actually processing speed is good though, opens apps approximately the same speed as the new Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini.
I'll start off by saying that I am not much of a phone guy and have never took an interest in phones because they never had the features or easy accessibility which I wanted in a phone.
When I purchased the Samsung S2 last November though I was more than satisfied with this phone, it provided the things I enjoyed and wanted in a phone and the features and design were very modern and functional.
I had paid around £120 for mine and it was a steal in my opinion, the phone itself felt like it was much a steal for that price, I found it easy to set the phone up and find features and applications found in the store.
The only problems I had with the phone were that the battery had went down noticeably quick when I was using apps on the phone which lead to my battery life dropping substantially, if you're somebody who isn't much of a user of apps though and prefer to just use the phone for the basic uses then I found that the battery life is very long lasting and this was useful when I was away from home for long periods of time.
Another problem I did encounter with the phone was that whenever I used the keyboard feature on the phone, to text and do various other things that it was particularly difficult to type properly due to the keys on the phone screen being very small meaning that I had to keep going back and correcting sentences and words because of my big fingers.
This phone though did provide me with great functionality and has most of the features that all the more up to date phones have for a much better price.
Size The size of the phone is just right. It is not too big and bulky. You can hold it with one hand and browse through it easily with your thumb without having to keep it up with the other, like many other mobile phones out there. It has a slim and sleek shape that does not take up too much space when placed in your pocket or hand bag. Design The design is very attractive. It is slim and modern, if you are looking for something attractive then this is it. Applications There are a great number of applications available on ''play store''. The store is split up in simple categories like apps, games, books and so on, which makes it easier to access any app you want, even if you don''t know what it is called or are just generally browsing. There are several applications available that are free and of a reasonable price. Additionally reviews are given to each application by play store users which can be extremely helpful when deciding on what to purchase. Camera The camera is good quality however it is not the best in my opinion. Battery life The battery does not last very long when connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data. However when it isn''t it can last a given time but again if your looking for a phone with a long battery life this is probably not it.
I had this phone for my 2 year contract and must say I loved it. The camera is brilliant which is the thing I look for most in a phone being a mum of two With enough to carry around I don't want to carry a camera too. The internal memory is also great as was never any need to add a.memory card and I take a lot of photos, videos and download games. Everything about this phone is fast there was never any lagging with usage or game play and this is without me adding any updates. Design wise I had no complaints it's slim, has a large screen with easy to use touch screen ( not one of these with tiny buttons that takes forever to write a message due to hitting more than one button at once). It's a great update to the last version galaxy 1 and just an all round great phone.
The phone is great but after around 18 months worth of use some small glitches can be seen. The screen now freezes and the keypad sometimes does not type. Phone has enough space on it, simple to use and has easy access to the play store to download aps. Never had any issues with internet use on it or any issues with sound or screen quality. Fairly drop proof as well, screen is still intact and the touch screen works well. Light weight phone and good size. Would recommend to friends and it has lasted me well.
Personally, the most notable aspect of this phone is the camera. I found that it takes great pictures due to the amount of pixels it has . I would highly recommend this phone to anyone who likes their phone to have a good camera on it rather than carrying a separate one with them. The size of the screen is also extremely significant as it is big enough for you to see a picture without having to zoom in to see small details within the caption. Furthermore, I also enjoy the fact that it is touch screen avoiding the use of pressing a load of buttons in order to get to an application making it much more easier to use and also type with. I do recommend Samsung for anyone who is looking into buying a new telephone, i'm sure we all have a lot of good things to say about it.
I had this phone for 18 months and was very happy with it.
It never really froze on me, and it had plenty of space for apps, music and photos.
These phones are also incredibly easy to take apart yourself if you need to replace the screen or other parts for example. I replaced the screen on this phone after I dropped it and the screen cracked (this is not a bad point on the phone, any phone would have broken from the height i dropped it), it was so easy to do and if it had been many other types of phone I would have had to pay a lot more to get someone else to fix it for me, so I was very happy with this.
There aren't many downsides to this phone, I always found it was very quick although I did have some problems with the battery life. On some days my phone used to run out of battery within 5 hours, which was problematic if I had no way of charging it when I was out.
Iv'e had this phone for 18 months now. It has now become pretty slow and the battery is getting really poor. I think this is mainly due to the size and requirements of the latest apps and software updates. The storage isn't enough so after updating to the latest software and installing a few games you will have very little left for music and photos etc. you can always buy a bigger storage card but then you are paying that bit extra on top.
on the plus side the camera and video recording is still up there with the top end phones and produces HD quality which is very adequate these days. The touch screen is very responsive and a very nice size. If you are thinking of buying this phone i would pay that bit extra and get an S3, or wait a while until the S4 which will hopefully come down soon.
When my Blackberry contract ran out in November 2012, I knew that I wanted an iPhone style touchscreen for my next mobile but couldn't afford to pay iPhone prices. After a little searching around I decided to go for the Samsung Galaxy S2. I got mine through Carphone Warehouse for £20 a month, no upfront fee - which is a damn good deal for this phone!
When you pick this phone up, without a case on, it feels a little flimsy and thin. I always think that iPhones feel very heavy and solid - this is the total opposite. The battery case is a very flimsy piece of plastic that to be honest I am amazed has survived a year and a bit. The design of the phone is quite smart though and if you get it in white, looks not dissimilar to an iPhone (if that's the look you're going for!). Mine is in black but my partner has it in white and whilst I prefer the black version, the white is quite smart as well. Size wise I picked the S2 because I felt that the S3 was far too big; the S2 felt massive compared to my old blackberry but after a few months I got used to it. It fits well in all my pockets and bags without any problems. Even with a case on, it feels like a decent size and now my blackberry feels absolutely tiny. The size of the handset is 6.6 cm wide and 12.5 cm tall.
**How It Works**
The phone has three main function buttons - the 'home' button, which is on the front of the phone at the very bottom and middle of the screen, the 'on/off' button on the right hand side and the 'volume controls' on the left. Everything else is touch screen. You swipe to open the screen after pressing the on button. Swiping and poking is basically how all touchscreen phones work and the Galaxy S2 is no exception. Apps can be downloaded from the Play store for free (or you can pay for them if you wish) for a variety of different functions. You can really customise the phone to exactly what you want on it - if you want it just for business, you can download business related apps. If you're looking for something that will entertain you then you can download games and entertainment apps.
The battery life isn't amazing but if you switch off the wifi/mobile data and turn the screen down you can get a good two days out of it even if you're texting a fair bit. With everything turned off I lose around 8% of battery when I'm at work every day - from 9 to 6. That's pretty good! The fact that the batteries can be changed is a massive bonus for this phone; I have friends who have other smartphones who have to carry a charger around with them or plug them into their car whenever they're driving. That's fine if you drive a lot but if you don't have a car it's wholly impractical!
The Samsung S2 runs an Android operating system. It has an 8 MP camera with flash, which is more than adequate - I get great photos off my phone and the video quality is also very good. It connects with a micro USB port. The memory is 16GB, with an optional extra 32GB on the MicroSD card. You can connect with WiFi, 3G or Bluetooth.
I haven't really had any major issues with the phone; I enjoy using it and it has a good amount of memory so you can download different apps onto it. I have a lot of my music on it and use it to listen to music on the bus every morning. The sound quality is average but then again I'm not really using the best headphones. I play a lot of games on my phone when I'm bored and rarely have any issues with them running but this can depend on what you have downloaded. I find the phone itself really easy to use and I picked it up very quickly. It is so easy to customise and change things that make it easier for you to use such as font and app placement.
I would recommend that anyone with a smartphone downloads an anti-virus app, I have Avast on my phone. This just gives me a bit of piece of mind that my phone is protected and also includes a tracking device in case I lose or have my phone taken.
Picture messaging and 3g doesn't always work on my phone; I'm not sure if this is a phone problem or a network problem though. I think the camera may be my favourite aspect of the phone. A phone camera is never going to be as good as a DSLR or bridge camera but it is every bit as good as a compact and better in some cases. It struggles a little bit in low light but that's because of the fixed lens. My contract finishes at the end of the year and to be honest I probably won't bother upgrading just yet - I'm more than happy to keep my S2. It's durable, reliable and it looks smart.
Both my partner and I use our phones for gaming and watching media (him so what more than me!) and the screen clarity is fantastic. My partner watches Netflix and Youtube a lot and the video is often better than it is on my laptop. It really is super bright and clear. When I first started using the S2 I was surprised by how bright and clear it all was because I was used to a small little blackberry screen that showed barely anything. You can set the screen to 'auto rotate' so that you can watch media horizontally which is a really useful feature.
As with all products, there are some negative aspects to it! Unlike my Blackberry, the alarm doesn't go off if phone isn't switched on, which is a bit of a pain if you're relying on and you forget to switch it on when it's charging over night. The alarms aren't particularly loud either, which if you're a heavy sleeper like me can cause a few problems!
The keyboard is occasionally difficult to handle and the auto-correct, to be frank, sucks. Sometimes it randomly deletes words and autocorrects to something completely different which can be very annoying at times.
My Blackberry had a light indicator that flashed when a text message was received or a phone call came in. I really liked this feature but despite the S2 appearing to have the capability for it (it has the little LED on the front required) I have yet to find a way to make it work. It was very useful for seeing who had text you and whether or not you needed to bother answering it.
My other half, as I mentioned earlier, has the white version and for some reason his phone seems to be worse than mine; it crashes at least twice a week and the battery life is very limited. I suspect this may be almost completely due to the large amount of games he downloads and the time he spends on it compare to the time I spend on mine (he uses his more like a mini tablet than a phone most days) but it's not much of a comfort if you're desperately trying to text someone and it freezes on you.
I really enjoy having this phone; I loved my old Blackberry but it had a fair few negatives. Unfortunately it feels a little bit sometimes that the bad bits of the blackberry have been solved by the S2, but the good bits haven't been included (the battery life, the LED on the front). Having said that I think this is a fantastic alternative to the iPhone and a mobile handset that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something stylish, simple and useful when they upgrade to a smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S2
This feels really comfortable in hands and most of newer smartphones can't compete to that(e.g galaxy s3 0.34 inches thin; iPhone 4s 0.37inches(~0.93cm) which was released 2011 October whereas S2 was released on 2011 April. As there is a great competition between Apple and Samsung it was strange that Apple couldn't make its phone slimmer than S2 at that time) After using this phone I thought that no phone ever would feel THAT good in my hands(s4 which is 0.31inch feels too thin for me) therefore it is a golden middle between too thin and too fat.
+Incredibly bright screen of 4.3 inches(~10.9centimeters)
The super amoled gives a user an impression of sharpness an high definition. Movie watching experience is awesome as the screen gives dark colors more depth and makes the details pop up and be more visible(when browsing, watching videos, gaming)
+16 or 32gb internal storage by your preference
Wow. So much space for everything- games, music, videos, movies and what not! You can even use it as a flash drive.
+Micro sd compatible
You can put an sd card to this monster, even more space!
+Front 2mp camera
Great for video chatting with family and friends, no need to flip the phone for somebody to see you, no discomforts, also helpful for taking selfies.
No lag at all even if there are a lot of programs running on background
+Dual-Core 1.2 GHz
Overall gaming on this phone feels super state-of-the-art. The phone doesn't heat very much which is taken into account by many phone-gamers. And that a dual core can take new games with high quality without no lag at all is very impressive. E.g a very popular game on play market is Despicable Me which has a lot of texture details that not all of the phones can handle(Huawei u8860 honor released 2011 December 8 months after the release of s2 couldn't give even a normal gaming experience without lagging, but s2 did incredibly well.)
RAM- Random access memory. In other words, a memory for programs and games that can't be put on internal storage or sd card. In most cases all of us have gone through that- not enough space for an app to be installed. But here it is- 1gb RAM it is more than enough.
-Huge minus- battery life
If you will be using this phone non stop get ready to charge it every night or even get yourself another one just in case S2 fails you at the most unexpected moment. Seriously, who makes the batteries in all of the smartphones???
Most of the tech geeks will have heard about gorilla glass 3. Oh. But wait. This is not a geek site. I'll make it quick.
Gorilla Glass is the type of glass which is told to be resistant to scratches and what not. But we all know that this glass fails all the time. So yesterday my phone got out of my pocket and crashed. This Glass just shattered to pieces, the screen survived thanks to almighty god. Maybe Gorilla was made just to protect the actual screens and all of the applause is a marketing trick? It's up to you but I wouldn't trust Galaxy s2 to a clumsy person(like me).
+-Hate it or love it
You can reach the upper part of the screen with your thumb. (Many require a bigger screen for movies, playing games, others want a smaller one just to be able to use it with one hand)
+- Hate it or love it 8mp rare camera
8mp might be great for someone who isn't a big of a photographer, takes a couple of shots a week feels satisfied for the quality but those who take pictures all of the time might not be that happy as there are phones now with 24mp cameras(splendid quality)
+- Hate it or love it
The design seems all edgy and NOT nice. Although some people might find it pretty nice.
This phone is really a great price and quality cooperation product. Has many features which are competitive to new smartphones and those who don't really expect A LOT from a smartphone will fall in love with this little but powerful toy.
I've had this phone just over two years now and I still love it.
The techie bit
The Samsung Galaxy S II was first released in May 2011 and runs the Android operating system. It has a touch screen and its overall dimensions are 4.93" (H) x 2.60" (W) x 0.33" (D). It's weighs a little over 4 oz.
800 x 480 Screen resolution
ARM Cortex A9 Dual Core Processor
16GB User Memory
Processing/Quality (5 out of 5):
It took me a while to adjust to using the touchscreen and the phone keyboard and I even (heaven forbid!) had to refer to the user manual which I downloaded from the Samsung website. However I think this was more of a general adjustment to using all the features that a smartphone offers and I soon got the hang of it.
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity works very well and have never given me a problem. It's easy to connect to Wi-Fi and the phone remembers and will automatically connect to Wi-Fi points which is useful. I connect my phone to my laptop occasionally using the Samsung software (Kies) when I want to download photos etc and to back up my phone data. It's not the speediest (but that's probably due to my home broadband) but it works. I use the Bluetooth when in the car and this again has always worked without a hitch.
I've recently used an iPhone 5 for work purposes and I have to say that it wins out on ease of setting up and managing multiple email accounts. I can do this on the Samsung but it's not quite so easy. Generally though, the email functionality is good on the Galaxy and I often use it to send my personal email when I'm at work.
It took a while to get picture messaging (MMS) working properly but that was more of a problem with my O2 account than the phone itself. Judging by various forum posts, MMS is not always set up on new accounts so it's worth checking with your network carrier if you are having difficult sending or receiving picture messages. It took several calls to O2 before they made the necessary adjustments to my account.
This is an Android phone and so there are numerous apps that you can download - many of them free. One of the main selling points of the phone when it first came out was its fast processing speed. I guess performance is also very reliant on the software too. When I first got the phone it ran on 2.3.something (known as Gingerbread); it's now on 4.1.2 (JellyBean). I haven't loaded every update but I did notice a big change for the better when I upgraded to JellyBean. Battery life suddenly got a whole lot better which takes me on to reliability.
Reliability (5 out of 5):
My only quibble with this phone has been battery life which initially failed to live up to expectation. In fact it was shockingly poor; when I first got it the phone wouldn't even see me through the day. I'm not really sure whether I just had a dud battery or whether it was software related. I did everything I could to conserve power - I still only turn on Wi-Fi when I need it for example. My husband got the same phone about six months after I did and has had never had the same problem.
I eventually bought a new battery which helped but what really did the trick was upgrading. Since then, it's had a new lease of life. The battery will now last several days without recharging and seems to compare favourably with the iPhone.
The Samsung also compares favourably to the iPhone in terms of its robustness. During the two years I've had my Samsung, my two adult children have each gone through several iPhones - the iPhone screens seem particularly susceptible to damage. My phone has gone with me everywhere over the last two years - including the ski slopes - and doesn't have so much as a scratch on it despite not having any form of protective cover. It's been dropped and knocked but (touch wood) has come through unscathed.
Ease of use (4 out of 5):
If you are new to smartphones, then it does take a while to get the hang of all the features. I found the keyboard on the Galaxy quite fiddly at first - I don't have particularly fat fingers but found the keys small. However, I know have no problems at all with typing. The predictive text is actually very useful - I found it extremely annoying on previous phones but the Galaxy gives you a number of options rather than automatically auto-correcting your text and getting it wrong.
I am deducting one point out of 5 for the difficulty in seeing anything on the phone in bright sunlight. I don't think the Samsung is alone is this, but it is extremely frustrating when you are outside on a bright sunny day and can't see anything on the screen.
Sound quality (4 out of 5):
It may sound strange when reviewing a phone, but actually sound quality is probably the least important feature for me as I don't make many voice calls. However, when I do, I've never had a problem with sound and the speaker function works well.
I don't use it for music storage either as I have an iPod. However, I think this is where the iPhone wins - being able to use a universal docking station for all Apple devices is really useful. I know you can get Bluetooth speakers which would work with the Samsung but to be honest it all seems too much of a faff. I'll stick with my iPod when I want to play music.
Variety of features (5 out of 5):
The Galaxy scores highly on this. It offers all the features I could possibly ever think of or need. With so many apps available for Android phones, the possibilities are endless.
What is really terrific about this phone is the camera which has photo and video functionality, both of really good quality. The resolution is 8 megapixels but there is a setting which allows you to choose between normal, fine and superfine images. I use this when I just want to take a have a relatively low resolution file for quick uploading to eBay or Facebook for example.
There are digital zoom, LED flash, and auto focus features which all work well as well as different shot modes (single, small, panorama etc) and photo effects (negative, greyscale, sepia).
It's very easy to use and gives great results (still and video) which compare very favourably to my little cyber-shot camera which is 14.1 megapixels. When on holiday, I usually use my cyber-shot and my husband uses his Samsung. If I'm honest, his photos are every bit as good (if not better) than mine and of the two of us, I'm the keener photographer. It really is an amazing camera to have on a phone!
My rationale for buying
When I was looking for a new phone two years ago, the choice really was between an iPhone and a Samsung. At the time I was slightly prejudiced against Apple. I admit there was really no good reason behind this other than a desire to be different. Now that I'm an iPad convert and having tried an iPhone 5 for a work technology trial, my reasoning might be different! However at the time I was looking for reasons not to go Apple and the deciding factors which clinched the Samsung were cost and battery life. On cost, there wasn't a huge difference. I went for an O2 contract over two years which came in at £27 per month (I rarely went over this) as opposed to £32 for the iPhone. Still that's still £120 cheaper over the contract period and I'm still not convinced that the iPhone is worth that much more. All the reviews at the time seemed to suggest that the Galaxy did better on battery staying power. As I've explained above, battery life was initially an issue but once sorted I've been impressed with how long the phone lasts without a charge. So without wanting to sound too smug, I believe I made the right choice.
Would I make that choice again?
Well, my two year contract has expired and I still have the Galaxy S2. I've opted for a sim only contract for the time being as I really don't see the need to upgrade for upgrade's sake. I like my phone so have decided to keep it and save money by moving to a lower tariff for the time being. I'll re-assess in 12 months' time.
So would I recommend?
Absolutely! If you're not worried about having the latest model, but still want a smartphone with good features, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is definitely worth considering.
Good phone overall. The keyboard is very good and easy to use. The settings are easily accessible so good if you're not too much of a tech wiz. It can be used as a USB so is really easy to link up to computer etc. Advantages include the large screen which is perfect for watching videos, reading and playing games. The phone started off well but I have had it for two years now and the cracks are starting to show. It crashes frequently when you are using apps and the battery life is poor. From full charge it will run down in around 5 hours with normal use. It does however charge quite quickly, within a couple of hours. The memory is too small to use the phone for music as well so separate ipod purchase is recommended. Best part is the resistance. I have dropped it over 20 times and has survived every fall with barely a scratch. Worst parts are small memory and frequent crashing. Apart from that solid phone.
This was my first android phone that i bought, and it was the best. i loved the sleek design of it, it was easy to use. It felt like it is expensive. it is a great phone. and I still use it today.
The battery life is absolutely great, it is still capable of running demanding tasks. Playing games on it was great it was never lagging, it played it superbly.
It never felt like a big phone to me, it fits perfectly in my pocket without it being noticed. the touchscreen on the phone is also great, there was never a time where i had to double press on a icon, in order for it to recognise it.
The camera on it, is superb, in my opinion it still matches up to todays standards. the image quality is crystal clear and taking videos is great. it is very light to hold, this is in my honest opinion is the best phone that i have ever had.
I bought this phone because of the size of the screen as I watch a lot of movies when I commute to different work sites and as I use alot of IM apps and using my emails. I had this phone before I upgraded to get the Samsung S3 which I currently have now, my overall opinion of this phone was really good, only a couple of bad points.
I thought the phone was really easy to understand and use, the screen is really good the quality when watching clips is amazing, despite some people saying the size is to big I think its really good, the sound quality is really good along with the apps.
The only bad points I found is that after about 3/4 months the OS started to get slower and slower and the battery tends to die when screen is on 100% brightness and apps are running, but other than that the phone is great. I would recommend this to anyone who uses their email on their phones, watches alot of video clips/movies and loves a lot of apps that have good graphics.
Dimensions: 125.3X66.1X8.49mm / Display: 4.3" / Camera: 8MP AF with LED Flash + 2MP Front / OS: Android Platform 2.3