The Samsung Galaxy S II is by far the most hyped device so far this year. I mean who wouldn’t get hyped up over a 4.3″ Super AMOLED + display, 1.2GHz Dual-Core CPU and Quadband 3G supporting every network in Australia at the proper HSPA+ speed of 21Mbit. The Samsung Galaxy S set the benchmark last year and there’s no doubt the Galaxy S II has done the same this year. Just from this intro you can tell how I felt about using the device, though you can read on for some more detail. You know you want to.

Pros..

  • Insanely good 4.3″ Super AMOLED + display
  • Snappy 1.2GHz dual-core CPU
  • Incredibly thin at 8.49mm
  • Ability to shoot semi-legible 1080p video
  • Quadband HSPA+ (21Mbit/7.56Mbit) – Works on every Australian network

Cons..

  • Kies syncing software for your PC
  • Fairly average loudspeaker
  • TouchWiz, even though it does the job, is too iPhone-ish
  • No notification LED!!1! *angry face*
  • No native micro-HDMI connection

Hardware..

This is it ladies and gentlemen, the premium hardware you’ve been waiting for is here: 4.3″ Super AMOLED + display, 1.2GHz Dual-Core CPU, Quadband HSPA+ 850/900/1900/2100MHz, 8MP Camera w/ 1080p Video Recording and heaps more. Samsung have pushed the boundaries with the Galaxy S II, in doing so they’ve created the most powerful and good looking device on the market; yes I think it’s better looking than the Xperia Arc that I was complete smitten with and that’s saying something. I can see the Galaxy S II being a stand out device for the next year, just like the original Samsung Galaxy S was. The hardware packed into this bad boy will not let you down or leave you waiting.

Build..

The Samsung Galaxy S II is very light weighing in at 116 grams thanks to its plastic design. Yep, that’s right plastic. The thin back cover is matte plastic and looks very nice, though it does give you more of a peeling sensation when you’re taking it off to stick in your SIM card and MicroSD card. The on the lower end of the back of the Galaxy S II is a hump where the antenna and loudspeaker are placed. The upper section of the back is where you’ll find the 8MP Camera and LED Flash which can shoot your videos in 1080p, but more on that later.

On the left-hand side is the volume rocker and on the right-hand side is the power/lock button, which is the same place as the Galaxy S and Nexus S. On the bottom is the microphone and micro-USB connector which can output HDMI with an adapter which hasn’t been released yet. Just above the screen is the speaker, 2MP Camera and various sensors. Under the screen are the (L-to-R) capacitive menu button (long press for search), physical home button and capacitive back button. Last but not least is the 3.5mm headphone jack and what appears to be a noise cancelling microphone on the top of the device.

With its thickness measuring in at just 8.49mm, the Galaxy S II is really, really thin, though because it’s quite wide you don’t notice how thin it is when you’re holding it in your hand. You notice it more when you just look at the device. Either way, the thickness of the Galaxy S II is amazing and I love it. As I mentioned before the phone is quite wide, especially in my smaller hands, so I can tell you right now that if you have small hands you might struggle just a little bit with the size of the phone.

What’s missing is the obligatory notification LED, so you don’t always know when you have a text, email or any other notification waiting for you. Sure there are mods you can make to the phone to make the two capacitive buttons flash, but your average user isn’t going to do that at all. Annoying.

Display..

Gorilla Glass is used on the front of the Galaxy S II which is a great design move by Samsung. It ensures the screen is scratch-resistant but also makes the phone as solid and durable as it seems to be (ie. it doesn’t bend at all). On the Ausdroid Podcast I did test out the Gorilla Glass by taking to it with a screwdriver, was it scratch resistant? Yes — kind of — in certain lighting conditions and depending on the amount of fingerprints on the screen you can only just make out minor markings.

However under that Gorilla Glass is the immaculate 4.3″ Super AMOLED + display. I thought the Bravia powered display on the Xperia Arc produced amazing colours, then here comes the Galaxy S II and kicks it out the park. Blacks are literally black thanks to the pixels switching off when black is on the screen and colours are vibrant and sometimes a little bit unnatural due to the intensity of some colours. Coming from the Motorola Atrix which has a qHD (960×540) display, it’s annoying coming back to 800×480 as everything looks blown up and a little out of proportion, however you’re not going to have this problem if you’ve never used a qHD equipped device beforehand. The Galaxy S II is going to be up against some stiff competition when the HTC Sensation launches with its qHD Super LCD display.

An interesting piece of information for you: the Galaxy S II can respond to 10 simultaneous finger presses. I don’t know when you’d ever have to place 10 fingers on a 4.3″ display, but hey, it’s there if you need it. I can imagine a good game of finger twister working out well.

In short, Galaxy S II has the most amazing screen on the market and is one of its major selling points along with its CPU which we’ll get to next.

CPU..

We don’t usually have much to say about the processor powering the device we’re reviewing but in this case I think it’s worth a mention. The Galaxy S II will be the third device to launch in Australia with a dual-core processor and it will be the fastest one as well seeing as though it’s clocked at 1.2GHz on each core. It’s also the first dual-core device to not be powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 2, which is the CPU behind the Motorola Atrix and LG Optimus 2X, instead it uses Samsung’s own Exynos 4210 CPU. The processing power of this CPU really shines when you benchmark it and we’ve got those benchmark specs down a little lower in the review for you to take a look at.

I was also able to playback 1080p video on the device without any lag, so if you have any Full HD movies, you can put them on the Galaxy S II and not have to worry about any lag or distortion of the video.

The Galaxy S II was originally going to launch with its CPU clocked at 1GHz, however pressure from HTC’s upcoming launch of the Sensation, which is clocked at 1.2GHz, Samsung felt the need to bump up its own CPU’s clock speed. It can go even higher than 1.2GHz and we’ll get to that a bit later when I talk about rooting this device.

Camera..

Samsung made a big effort to point out the capabilities of the Galaxy S II’s Camera and it doesn’t disappoint. With 8 megapixels and an LED flash at your disposal, you can take semi decent shots at any time and place. I’m not a professional photographer so I can’t rate how well this camera does in the general scheme of things, but I feel it does a very good job. It can also shoot video all the way up to 1080p. Yep, full HD and it even has continuous auto-focus which is a brilliant feature to have, though if you do bump the phone the video quality does turn to jelly. I found that when you bumped up the resolutions in the camera settings, the further the phone would zoom in during video mode. I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this, so if you do let us know in the comments. Pics and vidoes for your viewing pleasure are below.

[nggallery id=78]

Battery..

The Battery in the Galaxy S II is 1650mAh which isn’t exactly massive but isn’t small either. It’s ~300mAh less than the Atrix and ~400mAh more than the Desire HD just for a random caparison. I was lucky to get 12 hours of semi-draining use out of the device. I was streaming video for iView, listening to music and the obsessive checking of Facebook & Twitter at every chance I got, along with regular syncing of Gmail and everything else going on in the background. So it’s not great, but for a 1.2GHz dual-core that’s pretty good.

Telephony..

One of the many traits the Galaxy S II has to offer is its ability to make phone calls. The in-call volume can be rather soft at times, so I had to make sure the volume was as high as it would go. It’s nothing major, but certainly something worth mentioning.

I also think it’s worth noting the Galaxy S II is quadband, meaning it can function of 3G bands 850/900/1900/2100MHz, or in layman’s terms, it will work flawlessly on every single network in Australia. It’s also the first phone to launch here that has full HSPA+ speeds, that being 21Mbit down and 7.56Mbit up. In reality I managed to maintain 4-8Mbit down and 0.5-3.5Mbit up — not too shabby.

Software..

Ahh yes, Touch Wiz, there’s not a lot I can say about it. It’s speedy and looks nice, but on the other hand it’s a direct copy of the iPhone which has both pros and cons. On the good side people are going to see this and say ‘Wow, that looks like the iPhone but it’s something different so I’ll give it a go’. On the negative side people can look at it and go ‘Wow, they just copied the iPhone so why would I get this’. To Samsung’s credit, at least they haven’t used the glossy icons found on iDevices.

You’re given 7 home screens in which you can flood with app shortcuts and widgets or just leave them empty like I did and admire the good looking background on the Super AMOLED + display. You can flick through each screen individually or you can use the slider under the home screen area to slide to the home screen you wish to view.

There are a number of pre-installed applications such as the photo and video editor that both have extremely basic functionality (the video editor won’t handle 1080p) so I never had the need to use them. There’s Kies which isn’t as bad as what it was on the original Galaxy S, though it did take me 2 hours to get my PC to recognise the phone, so that was fun. There’s an FM radio and a few social networking applications that I replaced with the official apps off the Android Market.

Samsung does have its own app market, however it’s quite crap and there is nothing of value in there. The only good thing for it is to update system applications OTA such as the Camera and Kies which both updated in the time I’ve been reviewing the device.

I know I’m not a fan of Touch Wiz, however my friends that own the Galaxy S don’t mind it. So each to their own in regards to the UI.

Root..

This section is more suited to the more savvy Android users, so if you don’t know what rooting is in terms of Android modification feel free to completely skip this part of the review.

You can root and install custom builds of Android onto the Galaxy S II, which is a major selling point to the Android developer community. The bootloader is unlocked and it’s fairly easy to install a custom build once your computer recognises the device (it took me 2 hours to get this part right). Once I rooted the Galaxy S II, I then overclocked it to 1.5GHz which is absolutely amazing. I could playback 1080p YouTube videos on the desktop site with absolutely no lag I also scored 3,800 on quadrant. However, the device did heat up to the point where I couldn’t hold it anymore which in turn lead to the battery going flat at more noticable pace. So if you’re a user who’s into this kind of thing, this is certainly the device for you.

Benchmarking..

  Neocore (Frames/sec) Quadrant (Higher = better)
HTC Desire 28.1 1240
Huawei IDEOS X5 45 1375
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 59.8 1351
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc 58.3 1579
Motorola Atrix 54.1 2801
Galaxy S II 59.8 3428

Conclusion..

I’m going to be recommending the Galaxy S II to friends of mine who want an Android device. I mean if you look at its specs, it just boggles the mind. Sure, the price is steep moment, but everything is like that when it first launches and you’ll find that it will drop once stock becomes readily available through online stores such as our friends at MobiCity and carriers like Optus and Telstra who will be stocking the device throughout June.

In fact I loved the Galaxy S II so much that I even purchased it from MobiCity just days after receiving it as a review model, so it has my full support. If power, speed, good looks and little bit of plastic are things you look for in a device, then this is the one and only device for you. Though it will be facing some strong competition from the HTC Sensation when it launches here in July, and yes, I will be doing a comparison of both of these devices in the future. But for now, the Galaxy S II is the only way to go for a dual-core device.

As usual if you have any questions about the device or something you want to know in more details, please leave it in the comments below and don’t complain that I left anything out. I love going through and having a good conversation with you all.

  • Cooperssa

    HI I got a Galaxy S2 today and  it wont read my sim Card , I have googled it and it seems it’s one of the cpns depending on the sim card  , do U Guys have any suggestions  Thanks  Kirsten

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  • Admin
  • Mykah Lopez

    I ♥ Samsung Galaxy Series II

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know how to tell if you have a Tegra 2 SGSII?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Yep, check the model number in “About phone” (in settings menu).

      If it doesn’t say GT-I9100 you have a Tegra 2 version. I think it’s the GT-I9103 that’s Tegra 2.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Buzz, appreciate that! :-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/julian.pinget Julian Pinget

    so i’ve had the SGS 2 for about a week now and the main thing i have noticed is the rubbish GPS reception

    takes ages (gave up after 10min yesterday) to lock on and when it eventually does, it will be unsettled and drop in and out of reception reeporting back incorrect locations

    is this something anyone else is experiencing? seems like a faulty unit (but given the fiasco over the original SGS’s GPS reception, i’m not so sure)

    • Anonymous

      Mine works beautifully using Google Maps, very fast. Haven’t tried Navigon. Other Reviews I’ve read have praised the SGS2 for GPS too. Much better than original SGS. Maybe you could get it replaced?

      • http://profiles.google.com/julian.pinget Julian Pinget

        definitely, if that’s the case i’ll head to a voda store tomorrow, should be a swap-over considering the short period of time that i’ve had it

        thanks for the feedback

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deon-Farrell/100001571232230 Deon Farrell

        I have just got the SGS2 and Google Maps works fine, I think it may have to do with the Navigon side of things as I have a Navigon in my car and dont even bother using it anymore as it is always slow and gives me some serious scenic routes.

  • Suresh

    Got the S2 over the weekend. Agree with all about the way it is fast etc, however I was startled at the difference in antenna reception.
    I moved from a 3GS to this, still with Vodaphone, and was on my way to moving to Telstra because of poor reception. Getting away from a Crapple phone made all the difference. Now so much faster and more reliable. It is pretty obvious that the poor antenna issue was is not simply a problem with the iPhone 4 but with other Crapple phones.

    I had some issues with the sync till I used the Wifi to link the pc and S2 then used Keis air, worked like a dream

  • Martykingma

    has anyone got any sort of Idea what price the sg2 would be on with Telstra?????????

  • Skylinegtsm

    I have Galaxy S (Vibrant) and have AMAZING Bloatware.  What is the S II like

    • http://ausdroid.net Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

      I got my SGS2 from Telechoice and so it had a huge amount of preloaded Lotus bloatware on board, however unlike the SGS before it, the SGS2 is quite easy to root and removing the bloatware is both safe and easy.

  • Suresh Pathy

    I need to move from Vodaphone iPhone to Telstra and I want to use this phone. Is there a difference between the phone sold by Allphones and the one coming from Telstra next month? I am changing providers mainly due to the slow data speeds from Voda and don’t want to knacker the data transfer rate by going with a non-Telstra phone

    • http://ausdroid.net Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

      Im pretty sure the only difference would be the included bloat ware.. Hardware wise they should be identical and as the sgs is a quad band handset it should work fine on any australian carrier.

  • qldsparky

    Wonder if any updates on this will be ota or via their website only? My big fear is left with a phone unsupported by samsung like they did with the i8910. I’m hanging out to see what Buzz has to say when he puts the sg2 and sensation side by side. Thinking my next mobile purchase may hang on that result.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Updates will come via Kies (their PC software).

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  • http://twitter.com/agrei8 Adrian Greig

    Can you tether the Samsung GalaxyS2 on Optus? Do they get upset if you do or not allow it at all? If you can what app would you suggest for tethering on a non-rooted phone? Is this possible? Collegue is asking as she wants this phone now and needs to go through Optus. I’m awaiting for the Telstra release as it suits me much better.
     
    Can you help? Cheers! in advance.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      I’m not too sure, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to Tether. If there was something stopping tethering I’m sure we’d hear about it from angry customers.

    • William

      I work at and Optus store and currently all plans incluse $0 tethering covering all devices

  • MrSimtang

    Alright, got my phone yesterday, been playing with it non stop.

    The loudspeaker seems sufficient to me. It’s louder than the original SGS and that was loud enough for me. Granted I don’t have the luxury to compare it to all the other phones on the market, but I usually have the ringer volume on 1/2 anyway (work in an office, don’t want it blaring out music).

    The only issue I have with the phone is all the crap Optus have put on it. Too many My Zoo apps and all that other stuff. I’ll have to flash the stock firmware on the phone.

    Still though, the screen is amazing and the performance is incredible. Never used a phone anywhere close to this fast. And I’ve played with my friends Atrix that he imported from the US. IMO the SGSII blitz’s his phone, but he denies it and thinks it’s just as fast….

    Oh well, maybe I’m the one that’s biased. Who knows.

    • MrSimtang

      Alright I’ve installed a custom rom, and without even overclocking it, I got a Quadrant score of 4.3k: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/MrSimtang/CAP201106022107.jpg

      Pretty damn amazing just for a custom rom. It also removed all the Optus stuff they preloaded with the phone and somehow freed up a lot of ram. Now the phone uses 285mb ram with this custom rom as opposed to ~430 with the stock rom.

      It’s so astonishingly fast. Amazing phone.

    • MrSimtang

      Alright I’ve installed a custom rom, and without even overclocking it, I got a Quadrant score of 4.3k: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/MrSimtang/CAP201106022107.jpg

      Pretty damn amazing just for a custom rom. It also removed all the Optus stuff they preloaded with the phone and somehow freed up a lot of ram. Now the phone uses 285mb ram with this custom rom as opposed to ~430 with the stock rom.

      It’s so astonishingly fast. Amazing phone.

      • Nick Anki

        G’day mate,

        I’m also getting this phone and I’d like to root is as well. Can you please provide me with some links on how to do this and where I can chooses these roms you’re referring to.
        Thanks in advance, Niko.

  • Peter

    Recived mine yesterdy:)
    Loving it, the screen is amazing, the iphone 3gs I had looks so dull and colourless compared to it, even the iphone 4 looks dim besides it.

  • http://twitter.com/Miikhail Mikhail Cass

    Anyone miss their delivery today? I did :( Could have had it at 12:30pm but Nooo.. I had to go into college…

  • Morkai

    could someone possibly link me to the aforementioned mods to make the capacitive buttons flash?

  • http://twitter.com/Gadgets4GeeksAU Gadgets4Geeks

    from the pictures it looks like you’ve either got a screen protector on it or it’s an oleo-phobic type of screen? (am judging by the sheen) 
    does it have terrible smudge marks after a little use?

    Nice review :)

    • Morkai

      this bugs the crap out of my with my current 3GS, so i’d like to know this one too, if possible.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Buzz, your quandrant scores for the SGS2 is about 700 or so below the average that other reviews have found, that’s odd. Were you running a lot of background applications? Was it low on battery? Perhaps yours contained the 1 ghz Tegra SOC rather than the 1.2 ghz Exynos chip?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      I can get 3,428 (just tested again). Shall update

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for that. Any idea why it was relatively low initially? Sorry about the poor spelling and grammar in the initial post, by the way.

        I bought a couple of the SGS2s a few days ago from the UK. My Wildfire was driving me nuts, it is so slow and navigation is buggy as hell. Thanks again for the review!

  • Neil Bennett

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to change the default Homepage? I hear Samsung have decided to make page 1 the default Homepage on Touchwiz, but is it possible to make it the middle page?ie. if you have 7 Pages, make page 4 the Homepage.
    I realise you can change the order of the pages, but does change which one is actually the Homepage or is it always page 1?

  • anon

    Hey Buzz, noticed you didn’t mention anything about the USB host functionality built into the SGS2, so I assume you didn’t test it?

    It apparently reads usb flash drives (and other non “high power” usb devices) fine…

    • Neil Bennett

      Ordered my OTG cable off of ebay for $3.80. Make sure you get type B or it won’t work!

  • http://twitter.com/DXPetti James Pettigrove

    Is it packing a NFC chip as rumored?

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      The variants from MobiCity, Optus & Telstra don’t have NFC.

  • Dexxapi

    Good review, Buzz doesn’t muck around when rooting and overclocking!! I should get my s2 anyday and plan to do the same at my own risk! What app for overclocking and what custom rom did you use? I plan to overclock to maybe 1.4ghz but no more for now. ;-)

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      It’s not a Custom ROM only a Custom Kernel and I use SetCPU for overclocking to 1.5GHz.

  • katy

    What does Notification LED’s mean?

    • maatsby

      most other phones have an LED light at the top that flashes when you get a message or any other type of notification so you don’t have to constantly unlock it to see if you’ve missed anything like the iphone

      • Yusuf

        As it’s an AMOLED display, when the screen times out, couldnt an app be developed to make a few pixels on a top corner flash a certain colour for SMS, missed call etc???

      • Anonymous

        Yes! This was actually done a long time for the original SGS. Sorry I can’t remember what it’s called though, something like noled

      • Tont

        you can download apps that light up 1 of the screen icons anyway,

  • MrSimtang

    Good review. Nice and honest.

    A few of the SGSII reviews I’ve read just seem a little too positive and don’t really critque the phone a whole lot. I’m glad you mentioned things you didn’t like about the phone.

    And while notification LED’s and launchers aren’t an issue for me, loudspeaker may be.

    I’ll probably still end up getting it.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Yeah I miss the notification LED and the loudspeaker is pretty lackluster in comparison to other phones out there, but I still got it.

    • Pete

      I’m actually quite happy with the loudspeaker on mine

    • rahux

      Loudspeaker itself is awesome and kicks my old Desire’s (& Magic)’s ass.. but the placement on the ‘reverse chin’ at the back of the phone is a bit weird so if you put it on anything, the sound gets a bit muffled.. made more annoying when combined with the ‘flip to silent’ feature. Excellent phone overall though. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/stewart.howell Stewart Howell

    I’ll have a shot at explaining this… “I found that when you bumped up the resolutions in the camera settings, the further the phone would zoom in during video mode.”

    Bumping up the resolutions in the camera settings is means using more pixels to store the image.  It’s equivalent to zooming out.  Look at it the other way around… Setting a low resolution is the same as starting already partially zoomed in.  

    By limiting the amount of “total” zoom (a combination of initial resolution and zoom setting) you can do, they are limiting minimum number of pixels you can use for an image, thus maintaining a minimum image quality.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      You sir have enlightened me. Thank you! :D

  • Anonymous

    That was a great game last week. I’m a bit jealous you were there, would have been great. Oh, and the phone. Yeah, that’s nice too.

    Still can’t get over the screen. It looks brilliant. I’d love to see one of these phones for myself.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      The screen is really, really nice :)

      • Anonymous

        how does it compare to qhd res screens?

  • Anonymous

    The Samsung Galaxy S II is the thinnest smartphone I have ever tested,
    and it’s also one of the lightest. It’s even thinner than the iPhone 4,
    and it’s much lighter. The display is bereft of hardware buttons except the mini USB, power
    button, headphone and volume, putting the microSD slot inside.

  • Anonymous

    What happened to the stuck pixel? Hope you got a replacement. I’m wondering what you thought of the browser Buzz. Other reviews have praised it’s ability to handle flash video well. I’m guessing you may have installed DolphinHD.

    This will be my next phone without a doubt, but now that I have Gingerbread on my Galaxy S I will wait a couple of months until my current plan is up.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      I’m stuck with the stuck pixel, though I don’t really care. The browser is really nice even in comparison to Dolphin HD. 

      I still see this phone as being right up there in a few months, so certainly hold out :)

  • Sharene

    Is the Micro SD hot swappable?  Or do you need to take the battery out??  I can’t quite tell from the picture

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Negative, which is a bit of a shame.

      • JeniSkunk

        I think that on Android, a hot swappable MicroSD is not a good idea, as users often move installed apps and their associated data to the MicroSD. However, forcing the user to pull the battery just to change MicroSD cards, not the brightest of design ideas from Samsung.

      • Sharene

        Yeah, I don’t have a problem with that.  The SGS is hot swappable, all you have to do it go into the storage settings and “unmount” the SD card before whipping it out.  Which I think is great.  Bugger that you have to take the battery out on the new one.  Its not a huge problem, but just makes the process so much longer is all.

  • http://twitter.com/_Sim_On Simon

    I got over it looking like an iPhone and went ahead and ordered the phone, i’m actually quite excited and can’t wait to get it. Also HTC made my decision easier by signing their boot img.

    Its sad that lots of its accessories haven’t been released yet!

    • http://twitter.com/Montalbert Scott

      +1 mate- when i first saw it it was an uber-iphone clone- but now that HTC has failed its about the only decent option (plus quadband is nice)

  • Anonymous

    does it also have the headphone jack tv out like the sgs?
     

    • http://twitter.com/AXIS_of_Reality Alex Baldwin

      One of the new features of the SGS2 is 1080p video-out via the Micro-USB port. Apparently it’s a new tech called MHL that lets the port be used for lots of different uses, including USB flash-drive support!

      You just need the adaptor for whatever use you need, so Samsung sells one that allows HDMI for full 1080p video. 

      • Neil Bennett

        You need to know that the phone won’t charge while doing this as current USB ports don’t support MHL properly yet. Apparently, most MHL adapters will also have a power port on them which will by pass the problem, but (apparently) some of the major manufacturers (Samsung, Sony etc) will be releasing TV’s with proper MHL support next year.  

    • http://twitter.com/AXIS_of_Reality Alex Baldwin

      One of the new features of the SGS2 is 1080p video-out via the Micro-USB port. Apparently it’s a new tech called MHL that lets the port be used for lots of different uses, including USB flash-drive support!

      You just need the adaptor for whatever use you need, so Samsung sells one that allows HDMI for full 1080p video. 

  • Nathsgames

    Nice well rounded review. I really want one of these and think I will get one when my contract is up in September, but I don’t think I could do without my Optimus 2X. The Tegra chip is simply amazing and really coming into it’s own, or maybe I’ll try the Atrix I dunno.

    The gaming and app support for the Samsung chip concerns me a little, as Nvidia are really behind developing content specifically for the Tegra 2.

    The rooted SGS benchmarks surprise me. Running at only 1.4Ghz, my Optimus 2X posted 4219 on Quadrant and 82FPS on Neocore; maybe there is still some development to come for the SGS II Roms.

    However all in all you have affirmed this phone really well for me, whilst the original Galaxy S was slow, horrible and buggy (without a ROM), let’s hope the second time around is a lot better for Samsung, it certainly looks the goods once again!

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

    Nice review there. How’s the sound quality compared to the original SGS? Is the volume loud enough when plugging in a headphone? On the SGS it was not loud enough for me so I rooted and installed Voodoo sound and use Poweramp and I can assure you it makes a really great difference.

  • http://profiles.google.com/julian.pinget Julian Pinget

    Awesome review, I love how you’ve even gone to the length of covering rooting/OCing/custom roms. kudos for that!

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      Glad you found it useful :)

  • http://ohdenny.co.cc/ ohdenny

    It’s just a shame it looks like an iPhone, otherwise I’d get this instead of the Arc.

    • http://ausdroid.net Buzz Moody

      I got over the fact it looks like an iPhone. I do sometimes quickly glance at it and thinks it’s a big iPhone 4 :P

      • Anonymous

        Why do people not like that it looks like an iPhone? Apple has always made the best built and best looking devices on the market; their ‘minimalism’ is design purity.
        And, no, I don’t have one…

  • Phroghollow

    Great review, thanks again Buzz, love your reviews. I’ll be grabbing one from Telstra asap

    • Anonymous

      When they finally give you a date!

      • Neil Bennett

        Confirmed for July! Finally… ordered mine from Mobicity instead!

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewPalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    Oh 2 things I want to say I love about it:

    The camera is great and super snappy, as is the phone overall.
    I love the pulldown with music control. I know CyanogenMod has hacked something similar, but it’s done really nicely IMO on the SGS2.

    Biggest weakness:
    Tegra2 optimised games like Dungeon Defender and a few others flat out do not work.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeysArsenal Joey

      Is it a possibility that these games will work on non -tegra 2 devices or somehow be ported?
      ive heard nothing but good for these app/games

      • Blackjok3r

        U need to root it (I think) and use chainfire 3D, with tegra drivers, Then you can play tegra games on any non tegra phone that has the power. The galaxy S 1 was powerful enough so this will easily smash out these games.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewPalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    IMO it’s the best Android phone out at the moment (with the sensation still yet to be released, and it could very well still best that).

    With the review you say you managed 4-8Mbit down and 0.5-3.5Mbit… not too shabby? But I must ask, what phones have you used that can come close to that?

    As for the negatives the only 2 I think are:Kies – It’s an option. I don’t think it’s a negative because it’s not forced, and it’s something where competitors don’t offer anything at all.TouchWiz – Personally I like it, and if I ever got sick of it, I would load up LPP but haven’t had the need… though I do miss a scrollable twitter widget :(

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewPalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    IMO it’s the best Android phone out at the moment (with the sensation still yet to be released, and it could very well still best that).

    With the review you say you managed 4-8Mbit down and 0.5-3.5Mbit… not too shabby? But I must ask, what phones have you used that can come close to that?

    As for the negatives the only 2 I think are:Kies – It’s an option. I don’t think it’s a negative because it’s not forced, and it’s something where competitors don’t offer anything at all.TouchWiz – Personally I like it, and if I ever got sick of it, I would load up LPP but haven’t had the need… though I do miss a scrollable twitter widget :(

    • Nathsgames

       If you miss a scrollable Twitter widget, why not pay for LauncherPro Premium and add their Twitter or Friends widget!?

      • Andrew

        Lol that’s just what I said… I actually have lpp (launcher pro premium)… But I don’t miss that scrollable widget enough to replace touch wiz 4…

    • Nathsgames

       If you miss a scrollable Twitter widget, why not pay for LauncherPro Premium and add their Twitter or Friends widget!?

  • http://twitter.com/homebrandcola homebrandcola

    It is a great phone. Got mine from the UK and I love it. Battery easily lasts a full day. I don’t like TouchWiz, but LauncherPro took care of that fairly quickly.

    The only down side so far is all of my MP4 / M4A audio files don’t have an Artist tag. They play fine, and every other tag (album, track name) etc. seem fine, but the artist tag is ” on all of them. This is an issue with the base system installed on the device, all other media players (DoubleTwist, WinAmp) all use the same media library, and they all show MP4 files without artist tags. 

    It is interesting that Samsung have already updated the phone twice since it was released.