I wouldn’t usually put up a post detailing my first thoughts on a device, seeing as though I only just received the Samsung Galaxy S II this afternoon, but you guys are just too insistent that I supply my thoughts to you as quickly as possible. So hit the break for a quick read of what I currently think of the SGSII.

Software..

The Galaxy S II is running Android 2.3.3, which is a .0.1 off receiving video calling for Gtalk, and it’s very fluid and hasn’t frozen on me once (unlike the original Galaxy S). My only niggle with the launcher is that I’d like the homescreens to scroll through a little bit faster when you swipe across. I straight away removed the TouchWiz widgets except for the time & weather ones, as they didn’t really serve any major purpose. I also hate the lock screen, it’s a real pain in the arse.

There are quite a few Samsung apps on the Galaxy S II, most of which I’d never touch in everyday use such as the Music, Social, Game and Readers Hubs. I have no interest in any of the social media syncing within TouchWiz as the individual Twitter (Plume) & Facebook apps do a better job. Both photo and video editors are included on the Galaxy S II. They provide a few extra effects to add to videos and images to make them look a little less crap.

Hardware..

The most exciting part of the Galaxy S II is by far its hardware. The 4.3″ Super AMOLED + screen looks really, really nice, but it does make some images look a little over-the-top and unnatural. I can’t make out the individual pixels easily like can be done with the Motorola Atrix, which is a testament to the way Samsung has developed this display at a lower resolution than the qHD Atrix. It’s quite a shame that one of the pixels on the display of my review unit is malfunctioning and constantly displays red. Annoying. At 8.5mm at its thinnest point, the phone is a real joy to hold onto and is exceptionally light, which may make some people think it’s a bit cheap.

The loudspeaker doesn’t produce the greatest quality sound at full volume and won’t let you turn on the 5.1 channel surround sound effect which usually makes the quality much, much nicer. But what does work at the highest of qualities is the 8MP shooter on the rear of the device. I’m currently uploading a video to YouTube and will take some pics and put them just below here so you can see them..

The Galaxy S II is fitted with a quadband 3G modem on bands 850/900/1900/2100MHz meaning it will work on every single network in Australia (yes, even that pesky NextG). The downlink speed is a theoretical 21Mbit, when in reality I’m yet to hit anything above 3Mbit; don’t worry, we’ll get there eventually.

Yes this phone is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos dual-core CPU, and yes, it does kick all kinds of butt. It’s clocked at 1.2GHz, no doubt to match HTC’s upcoming launch of the HTC Sensation which is also clocked at 1.2GHz. I’m sure I’ll certainly feel its speed during more in-depth and full on use in the coming days.

Final Summation

First off, if you get the reference in this subtitle, you spend way too much time on the internet. Secondly, I’m really liking the Galaxy S II so far. I love how thin it is and I love how fast it is. I know it is certainly too early to make any major judgments, however I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to use and I’ll keep you updated on our Twitter before I write up the review.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll go through and answer them as best I can.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.palozzo Andrew Palozzo

    With my SGS2 in the limited speedtest I’ve ran I was able to hit 8mbps.

    You do however need to be on Telstra Next G and connected to a HSPA+ equipped tower. For me thats everywhere between Home (Glenroy) and City (Melbourne). Almost constantly 8mbps.
    Yeah it flies.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

       I can get 7Mbit on my Galaxy Tab 10.1v here at home. I’ll try the phone out closer to the CBD in the coming days.

  • Phroghollow

    Thanks Buzz, can’t wait for the full review.

  • joshptyltd

    When unlocking, swipe like you would on the iPhone. From far left to far right, fast. That should make the unlocking experience a little more tolerable ;). Also, you’ve probably already done this, but update your firmware via kies or Odin.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Sweet, it’s like owning an iPhone. *sigh*

      Shall do that tonight :)

  • Ktuluz

    Just would like to add… I hate u.. heheh but then again I have gtalk video on my sgs1…

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

       Naww, lucky you.

  • Anonymous

     So you removed the default launcher. Then what are you actually reviewing?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      You evidently know what you’re talking about, because I haven’t changed the launcher at all, and I don’t look at things through HTC’s googles because they’re current range of phones are terrible. Points for trying nonetheless.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      You evidently know what you’re talking about, because I haven’t changed the launcher at all, and I don’t look at things through HTC’s googles because they’re current range of phones are terrible. Points for trying nonetheless.

      • Anonymous

        sorry there misread the initial part. Not trying to attack anyone and can see that it really reads that way. But still that’s the general vibe i get when listening to the podcast and in this post. I listen to and read a lot of tech sites, and the impression i get is that you guys are more dismissive of Samsung products in favor of others. As i said thats simply the vibe i get. products in favor of others. I still do find the podcasts enjoyable but as i said thats simply the vibe i get.

        • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

           I’m a massive Samsung fan. I bought the Galaxy Tab, then upgraded to the Galaxy Tab 10.1v and now I’m eyeing off the Galaxy S II here. 

          I’ll admit I was a bit of a HTC fanboy, and how could you not be for a period of time in the previous months. They were kicking goals, now they’ve fallen behind. Samsung & Sony Ericsson are really taking the stage.

        • http://twitter.com/Montalbert Scott

          I am one person who dislikes Samsung products- every single SGS i have used has been a buggy slow piece of crap.  Such a pity that Samsung ruined beautiful hardware with such terrible software.  Hoping it is fixed with this phone- give it  a few weeks before any lag starts showing up….  I wonder about Samsungs QC when they can release such a terrible software experience and consider it acceptable.  Somehow they sold a truckload of them- which concerns me as this means a truckload of people now think android is slow laggy and looks just like iOS. Oh and i forgot to mention Kies. What a piece of crappy bloatware- Samsung really did set out to copy the iphone and its experience as much as they could.

          I agree with Buzz re HTC used to be the best but they have fallen behind.  We will see what they do with the Sensation (but then if they continue down their signed/locked down path it puts them FAR behind everyone else for a true android experience).

        • Anonymous

          Sheesh, I have been in Samsung’s corner every time on the podcast – at least for their hardware and some of the software. But the lag problem is indefensible and Sammy deserves a whack for it. Tune in again in 2 weeks, I’ll be there.

          Btw, I own a Galaxy S, a Galaxy Tab, a Galaxy Tab 10.1v, a Samsung lcd monitor, also a Samsung fridge and microwave. If there is any bagging from me it will be toward HTC for the piffling amount of storage in their phones.

    • Sharene

      He didn’t remove the default launcher, it says he removed most the touchwiz widgets except the clock and weather widget

    • Dan

      I’ve had a nexus then sgs then dhd. I will take sensation over sgs2 because its HTC. HTC is supported by cm better. The file system was cleaner and its easier to mod. I know sgs cm7 came out today but that’s 6 months too late. Ill stay with HTC until Samsung prove themselves as a better moddable open handset. My preference would be the evo3d (HTC with Tegra over qualcom!)

  • Anonymous

     So you removed the default launcher. Then what are you actually reviewing?

  • Nathsgames

    Atrix, Optimus 2X or SGSII? My mate started selling these in Oz last week and didnt like it.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

       Out of those three, I’d go the SGSII. Lucas didn’t like his time with the LG O2x and I dislike my Atrix.

      • http://www.facebook.com/robertrguerrero Robert Guerrero

        Why do you pick the SGSII over the Atrix? Also, how do the battery times compare between the two phones based on actual use?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594287597 Matthew Smith

        What is the major dislikes about the Atrix? 

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

       Out of those three, I’d go the SGSII. Lucas didn’t like his time with the LG O2x and I dislike my Atrix.

  • Nathsgames

    Atrix, Optimus 2X or SGSII? My mate started selling these in Oz last week and didnt like it.

  • http://twitter.com/Singhh_A Andrew

     Buzz, who in one of the podcasts said they didn’t like the SGS II or were not looking forward to it ? Also would this be your primary device ?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      I believe that was Lucas. 

      I can’t make that decision based off a few hours of use. Give me a few days and I”ll let you know in the review.

      • http://twitter.com/Singhh_A Andrew

        Tell Lucas he’s crazy! SGS II should be the (Android) phone of the year! 

    • Anonymous

      That would be either Matt or Lucas. Definitely wasn’t me!

  • Baltoski

    I like ur summary so far. Have had my S2
    for close to a week and am very happy with
    it. Pity u got one with a screen that’s not
    100% though as the screen is simply
    glorious. Looking forward to the full review
    and to see how this phone stacks up
    against the competition.

  • http://ausdroid.net Chris Rowland

    It amazes me how quickly people leap to attack, when they don’t read the post properly first..

  • Myemaila

    I just ditched my sg1 in favor for iPhone 4. Lost faith in samsung due to build quality and crashy laggy touchwiz poo. I still prefer the super amoled over retna but that’s about it. iPhone has ready stepped up to smooth experience and great enterprise platform.

    • http://twitter.com/Singhh_A Andrew

      SGS 1 is painful, I have rooted & put a custom rom & it’s still laggy, I feel the SGS II will be much different! 

  • Nozx

    I’d have to agree with Myemaila…I have SGS1 and I hate how it freezes or lags and locks up. If the iphone 4 was available at the time I would have purchased it instead and would have been oblivious to the android platform and would have gone on apple fanboy rant yo anyone who opposed but its sad that now in ways I kbow the truth…that the iphone won in respects to this phone. Hopefully the sgsII really steps it up. Battery life, os stabilty, form factor, build quality, screen -all seem inferior next to my gfs iphone 4. SGS1 takes three times as long to charge. Sgs is a great android phone but inferior compared to the iphone. I hope the sgsII has a marked improvement and am looking forward to it because aamsung have the potential as a company outta the water if they push for it

  • Th33xile

    I cant getover the fact that the SGSII homebutton in rectangular. I know they try to copy apple but they should have gone with the circle one. I’ll be getting the Atrix. qHD display. SOLD.

  • ricky

     I have a SGS 1 . I just hate how slow and laggy it is. I also dont think it works well with Skype which it something I need to use when I ring overseas now and then. I am honestly thinking of going Iphone next time even though I hate apple. I hope the upgrade to gingerbread fixes the terrible lag problems. ps I know this can be fixed by root by I perfer not to root. 

  • http://twitter.com/Singhh_A Andrew

    Samsung Galaxy S II Vs HTC Sensation – Battle of the Android super phones for 2011, let the games begin!

  • http://twitter.com/Gadgets4GeeksAU Gadgets4Geeks

     does this (and other aussie SGS2) have the same hardware specs as the overseas models? i notice you say Exynos, and mobicity says Orion… don’t wanna grab one from Mobicity only to find all the mods and firmwares for it can’t be used as they have a different chipset.

    Nice review. Very jealous indeed. looking forward to the samsung launch end of this month.

    • Ben

      This is the Mobicity version, I believe. Besides, the Orion is just the codename for the Exynos. 

      My question is whether or not there are overheating issues with continued usage. Also, some firm battery tests would be excellent (not vague “lots of use” stuff either: exact tests!).

      • http://twitter.com/Gadgets4GeeksAU Gadgets4Geeks

        Interesting, as i thought the Orion was a 1ghz dual core chip. 

        • Ben

          The Tegra 2 version is the 1GHz dual core version, the Exynos has a 1.2GHz dual core (as I imagine you know). I’d really like to know which version will be coming to Australia through carriers as it definitely changes my decision of whether or not to buy through a carrier.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my goodness. That display looks insane! Looks unreal.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Yeah, the Bravia Display on some of the Sony Ericsson phones come quite close to it. Super AMOLED + has intense blacks though. 

  • Anonymous

    Mmmm… Sounds like yet another ‘half-baked’ product that has been rushed out.

    Poor telephony is inexcusable; ALL other reviews comment on this.

    Next…. 

    • Anonymous

      It’d be nice to get links to the reviews they are that are commenting on it.. the 10+ I’ve looked up from the big names don’t mention it at all.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

       I just gave Chris a call that went for ~10 minutes. Volume is quite low, yes. 

  • Matt Smith

    Whats the build quality like? I’m really keen on one, but I’m shit at looking after things and likely drop it. With my DHD that wasn’t an issue, but if this thing feels like its held together by tape I’ll have to hold out for Sensation.Also, whats so annoying about the lock screen?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Everything besides the front (which is Gorilla Glass) is plastic. It feels really sturdy and you don’t necessarily notice how thin it is because of how wide the phone is in your hands.

      It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s being held together by tape :P

  • Harro

     Any updates on potential release dates and carriers? 

  • http://twitter.com/Jammerizer Jojo Cromo

    looking forward for an audio test

  • Anthony

     Just wondering, does it have a notification LED???

  • Slayerboy76

    loving my GS2 its a powerhouse of a phone my first android phone coming from a nokia 5800 to this is such a new experience but i’m stoked

  • Namanvatsa

    i am facing a problem dat- initially the 5.1 cannel workd with the headphones. bt once i activted some “sound effects” its nt wrking

    and giving info “5.1 cannot be activated with sound effects”
    and i am unable to find any option to switch off sound effect

    please help
    thnx