Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Not quite out of this galaxy, but its pretty darn close
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Member Name: spirit19
Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II
Advantages: price, call quality
Disadvantages: cheap plasticy feel
The build quality is the first thing you notice and it is good but not great with a shiny plasticy feel although the bumpy back offers a better grip. There appear to be no glaring manufacturing defects but the phone does arguably feel cheap due to the plastic construction rather than the aluminium or glass other manufacturers use.
Although the phone runs android version 4.0.4 (when updated, it comes with android 3.2 out of the box), Samsung have skinned android with TouchWiz 3.0 which give you a very different experience to other phones. They have added several features, and one of the first ones you will notice is the picture lock screen which you can customize and simply have to swipe to unlock. Another key feature of TouchWiz is that you can organize the app drawer ie the screen that shows all the apps you have installed. You can add or remove pages to group together apps such as games, or you can create folder to put apps in to minimise scrolling. This is a feature that is unavailable on most other phones.
The phone has a 4.3" AMOLED Gorilla Glass screen with a screen resolution of 480x800 giving you 217 pixels per inch. This is a common and widely supported screen resolution meaning apps will fit nicely and you wont see many 'black bars' when watching videos. The screen supports 720p HD videos making the movie watching experience pleasurable, even on a (in terms of watching movies) smaller screen. This screen also has the flaw that, when you press too hard the screen around your finger discolors.
The phones ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor is more than able to handle web browsing, HD videos... or both! It keeps up with all the day to day tasks and more and when paired with the 1GB of RAM available it means you can open several applications at once and still continue to comfortably use the phone. The built in storage impressive, offering 16GB as a standard and also offering expandable memory via micro SD card. This means you should have plenty of memory space to store all your favorite movies and songs, but if you need extra it is always available.
The camera is 8MP with flash, it can take good pictures at reasonable light levels, but at low light levels the picture quality is questionable, although this is just an amateurs point of view. There is an extensive built in photo editor meaning you can brush up any pictures with options from white balance to ISO, as well as have a bit of fun with them with a variety of frames and effects.
Now onto what a phone is actually meant to be used for, calls and texts. The call quality is crystal clear most of the time, and when its not its still clear. Another special feature available is predictive calling. There are two ways to use this, as an example say John's phone number is 07912345678; you can either start typing the numbers ie 07912... and it will predict the number, or you can type the numbers corresponding to the letters of the contacts name ie 5 (JKL) 4 (GHI) 6 (MNO)... and it will predict the contacts name and bring up their phone number. There is an additional way to call as well. If you are in your contacts list, if you swipe to the right on that contacts name a call will be initiated. Leading on to the next point, if you swipe left, the messaging application will be opened. Texting is great as the keyboard again is very user friendly and the screen is big enough to display all characters easily, but small enough that you don't have to struggle to reach the characters in the middle of the keyboard. The messaging application also contains the predictive functionality to bring up a contacts phone number.
I bought this phone for £450 a year ago, but the price has now dropped quite a bit and can be bought for under £350. This makes it a great buy as it has all the features to match current phones and a price nearing half of many top end phones. The updated Samsung Galaxy S III is available, but for anyone who is not obsessed with having all the latest technology or is on a budget, this is a very admirable phone. Overall it is a great phone and although it is old, it is by no means outdated, even for a tech savvy user like me.
Summary: Great phone that does the job for most users.
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