Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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It'll take you to another galaxy!
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Member Name: steve4oo
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Advantages: Amazing design, loads of apps, so quick
Disadvantages: Quite pricey but so what?
For a number of years now I have been a firm fan of Apple and their products, purchasing every iPhone that has been released including the iPhone 4. I am always amazed at them and never thought I could be persuaded into buying a different type of phone, but how wrong was I? My friend purchased this phone upon its release and had a difficult job getting me off it once she had it in hand. I am now in love!
The Samsung Galaxy S II is the latest model of touchscreen smartphone that has been released by Samsung, having been developed from a slightly lower specification and older model, the Samsung Galaxy S. To look at it isn't much bigger than the original model, but has an amazing 4.3" screen making it really competitive with other smartphones. To make the screen quality even better, it has an Amoled plus screen making the resolution really mind blowing. Weighing only 116g, you can imagine how light and easy it is to hold in your hand, allowing you to make the most of all its features!
When this phone first arrived with me after ordering it through my network to come via the post, I was dreading (that might be a slight exaggeration) the set up process as I know from experience that it can be really long drawn out and time consuming which isn't great when you just want to get on with it and start using it! The box is fairly small and clearly an effort to reduce the carbon footprint as everything is packed in all nice and tidily. The box comes in black with the phone model written on the front in a silvery colour in a very cool looking font and there is some other general information on the under side of the box. Inside, the box has a typical phone content including a charger, headphones, a battery, a USB cable and quick user guide, and not to forget the handset itself! The installation process requires you to remove the back casing of the phone which isn't difficult as it easily unclips, then put the battery and you're good to go but a good charge is always advisable to make the most of the battery life in the long term. The on/off button is located on the right hand side of the phone which is quite unique as most appear on the top of phones these days and it needs to be held down for a couple of seconds and the phone will switch on and give you the option to set up a Gmail account.
In terms of aesthetics this phone is super sleek and stylish. At present, it is only available in black but this colour really suits the style of the phone due to its dimensions and being so slim which at 8.5mm wide I believe is the thinnest smartphone on the market at the moment. You will notice volume buttons, the on/off switch, a headphone jack and a usb/charger insertion - something to note is that it uses the micro usb for charging which is being used on many phones now allowing people to borrow chargers from friends etc if their battery happens to run out, handy! There is a button in the middle of the phone at the bottom, which takes you back to your home page, so ideal to press if you want to lock your phone shortly afterwards. Overall the design makes it really eye catching and it is definitely original when compared to other phones on the market at the moment.
The capabilities of this smartphone seem to be pretty much endless. As mentioned earlier, the brightness and resolution of the screen is so much more than I was expecting as the quality really is fantastic. You can expect all of your average phone features, i.e calling and texting. However when it comes to text messaging this phone has a slight twist in that there are 2 different ways to text; you have your standard way to text on the touchscreen pad but you can also change the settings to allow you to text using the swype method. This isn't unlike predictive text although I never got on with that and I find this really easy. You put your finger on a letter then drag to the other letters in the word and the phone will (on most occasions) recognise the word you were trying to write. For example, put your finger on h, drag to o then w, then release your finger and the screen will display 'how'. It takes a bit of getting used to and it can be quite fiddly but the Guinness Book of Records has recorded this method of texting with the quickest text message ever typed.
It has a pretty impressive camera that is of better quality than many other smartphones at the moment, boasting a high quality 8 megapixel camera and it also has a front facing camera with is 2 megapixels but I imagine that will be improved over time and I don't use video calling much anyway! On top of that you can take advantage of an LED flash, HD video recording and playback which is especially good it you like to watch them on your T.V. as the quality will be fantastic. It couldn't be easier to take a picture, then view them afterwards as it is all done on the touchscreen and is self explanatory when it comes to it.
Internet browsing and multi tasking can be done at ease on the Samsung Galaxy S II as it has a dual core processor, so even when you run loads of applications at any one time you wont have to compromise the speed of using your phone. When connected to either WIFI or 3G the internet speed is pretty impressive to say the least and I surf the web as much on this phone now as I do on my laptop which is something I was really hoping I would be able to do with it. You can take advantage of the dual core processor by downloading applications until your heart desires from the Android Market which is similar to the App Store on iPhone, the only difference being that with Android 70% of their apps are free and there are around 30,000 available so to say there is an app for pretty much everything isn't an understatement! It means to can easily access Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites with ease, not forgetting Youtube to keep up with the latest music and videos. There are a range of pre-installed applications on the Samsung Galaxy S II that cannot be deleted and are regarded as essential such as camera and internet - you can hide them but I have found I use them frequently.
Like with most Android phones, your home page can display the weather in your current location which I find can come in really useful. The wallpapers that come installed already are animated in the most part which is really quite amusing! You also have 7 different home page type concepts where you can display different wallpapers and widgets which are your favourites or of use to you. There are a variety of different settings that you can change to personalise the phone to your needs and preferences such as ringtone, screensaver etc and you also have the option to turn down the brightness of the screen and chose when it locks for example.
The battery life, like with most smartphones now, is perhaps not a great point as it can run down quite quickly. The first charge is really important, but it is inevitable that with so many applications running and the clever things this phone can do, the battery life will run out within 2 days. Although the standby time is over 500 hours but whats the point in having such a good phone if you don't take advantage of all its features? There are a number of things you can do in an effort to save the battery life as much as possible such as turning the brightness of the screen down and multi tasking with a large number of apps at any one time however I still don't think the battery life is a disaster on this as it is to be expected with a phone like this.
The memory in this phone is something to be noted too, as it comes in a standard 16GB version which is more than plenty. But if you have a serious amount of pictures, videos, music and other general stuff on your phone you can expand this memory by another 32GB with a memory card, making it a whopping 48GB in total which is pretty impressive. In saying that, its pretty useful that this phone has a Music Hub, so you can have all your latest tunes and albums at the ready! There is also a Game Hub where you can download popular games and play on them with the advantage of accelerometer. Talking of hubs, there is a Social Hub where you can access emails as well as social networking sites all day long! A pretty clever little trick the Samsung Galaxy S II has up its sleeve is NFC which allows you to do wireless payments for example so it doesn't matter if you leave your card at home.
If you prefer to share photos and videos via your laptop, you can use Kies, which is the software that allows you to sync your phone with your computer with the use of WIFI, making it really easy to use and I have found it much easier and quicker to use than I was expecting.
One thing I shouldn't forget to mention is the price. You can expect to say around £30/£35 for an 18 or 24 month contract with this handset, usually with no upfront cost. Although if you would prefer to buy it outright and use it on pay as you go it will set you back around £515 depending where you purchase it from which is well on par with the price of the latest iPhone. However as you can see from everything that is mentioned above, this phone is pretty snazzy and will definitely raise a few eyebrows amongst your friends.
Overall, I didn't think I could be swayed away from iPhone, although the Galaxy S II has definitely been my best recent technology purchase and I'm so pleased with it that I rarely use my laptop anymore as the internet and surfing quality is just so fast and quick. The features that are available are unlike anything I have experienced on a phone before and I'm so pleased I came across this little gem! Without a doubt it is exceeding all of its competition in the smartphone market at the moment and I think other manufacturers will have a job to produce anything of better quality. It really will keep you entertained for hours on end, the possibilities are endless - 5 Dooyoo stars.
Summary: The possibilities are endless!