Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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A possible I-Phone beater? Or just a pretender?
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Member Name: PaulH64
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Advantages: Super quick through menus and running multiple programmes, free applications, incredible screen.
Disadvantages: Only an average camera, having to tinker to get a good battery life
My last phone was the Nokia N8, a phone not very many people had heard of, it was quite large and did everything I wanted from a phone. It had widgets so I could view my e-mail on my home screen and had a few nice applications I used on it. However, I dropped it and broke it (oops!) and the software before this was a little bit sluggish and froze sometimes.
So it came to my upgrade from Vodafone, I'd been recommended the S2 so thought I would go for it based on my friends recommendation. However, Vodafone wanted to up my tariff by £10 and charge me £80 for the phone. I basically ended up having 4 phone conversations, dug out different 'new' tariffs that were cheaper before they finally cracked and gave me the phone for free without an increase to what I was paying. My advice if you're on contract is always try and haggle, even if it takes a few attempts you will usually get the deal you're after!
So, the day came that my phone arrived in a nice little package, I eagerly ripped it open, charged it up (over-night as recommended) and got to work using it. Within about 3 hours the battery was flat. I knew that the phone had a super bright display and certain other things, but 3 hours with a little bit of use seemed a bit rubbish! I quickly typed into google to see if other people had similar battery problems. It seemed that I was not alone, but why did it do this?
The answer was that you have to configure your phone to how you're going to use it. So before I could start using it daily, I had to decide which options I could cut back on to save power. Screen brightness was the first one to be cut, I didn't need 100% screen brightness, 30% was fine. I didn't need Wifi switched on all the time, or GPS. There was some more battery saved. Within a few minutes I had set up the phone to last for 24 hours with minimum use, whilst still doing all the things I wanted it to. Phew!
It was quite a bit of effort to set it up in the way that I wanted, coming from a non-Android background, however once I got used to the interface and played around with it a little it became like second nature. Now that I'd gotten a little bit used to my phone I wanted to see what it could do. I knew a few friends with I-Phone's and I envied some of the things they could do, most of all the applications they seemed to get which were brilliant.
I had a delve into the Android market (Now Play market) and found most of the applications I wanted, nearly all for free! I asked some of my I-Phone user friends if they had to pay for theirs and in most cases they did. Now don't get me wrong, Android usually gets the applications later than I-Phone users do, however if you don't mind waiting a couple of weeks / month or two, than you will usually get the applications for free. (One I got for free that I was really impressed with was Temple Run, a very popular game on I-Phone, for free whereas they had to pay for it!)
So most applications are covered that the I-Phone has got, what about the camera? Is there a possibility of using video chat? Well yes there is! There is a camera on the front of the phone that enables you to use Skype or other video calling applications! However I would not recommend using these through your mobile internet as you would run up a huge bill, switch on the Wifi and away you go!
Talking about cameras, I was intrigued to see what the quality of the camera on the S2 was like. After appreciating the 12MP camera on my N8 to switch down to an 8MP camera was a bit of a downgrade I wasn't happy about. The camera is ok for a phone, but it certainly won't be getting any awards. At night-time the flash isn't amazing and sometimes the pictures come out a little blurry. I'd recommend getting a different phone if the camera is the most important feature of the phone!
However, if you want a phone that will do practically everything the I-Phone does but with less limitiations and less cost / fees then I would highly recommend this phone. I'm already planning on getting the Samsung Galaxy S3 for my next upgrade!
Summary: A better all-round phone than most and certainly a good opponent to the might I-Phone.
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