My Samsung Galaxy S2 Review in Bullet Style™

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galaxy s II

When it was unveiled in MWC 2011, there was a lot of speculation whether Samsung Galaxy S2 will be able to take forward the legacy that Galaxy S started, to a new level. With this curiosity, I had set my eyes on this phone, I wanted this phone.

After 4 months of, when an official launch date of S2 was announced in India, several store owners still struggled to mention an exact date of availability. So I ended up in buying it from eBay (also available on Amazon as well). After 3 days, it finally arrived on my doorstep and the box was enough to make me feel like, Wow!

So, after playing with it for a week, here’s my Samsung Galaxy S2 Review in Bullet Style™:

The Good
The Bad
  • Gorgeous SAMOLED+ Display
  • Beastly Hardware Specs: 1.2Ghz Dual core processor and 1GB RAM.
  • Super Snappy performance.
  • Great Battery Life.
  • Not powerful enough speaker.
  • No dedicated camera button.

First Impressions

galaxy s II first impressions

  • The screen is simply Gorgeous and it’s the best I’ve ever seen. Moreover, the phone is equally beautiful, I often keep staring it and admiring it. At a first glance, it looks like the body is inspired by iPhone. The home button in bottom middle this resemblance stronger.
  • Thinnest smartphone ever, so thin that it won’t even fill up your pocket properly. Moreover, it is very light. Even the battery weighs more than the phone!
  • The phone boots up in 6 seconds. That’s very fast!
  • Although having a massive 4.3 inch screen, it fits perfectly in hand (and pocket too, if you’re still wondering.)
  • Some people complain about Samsung’s cheap build quality, but things are different with S2. Although it’s made of plastic, the phone quality feels solid in hands. Its mesh texture on the back makes it feel even better to hold. The battery cover is very thin. While opening it for the first time I feared I might broke it but it’s very flexible and strong.

vs HTC phones’ built? Sorry it’s not as tough as you’ll be looking for. But its feather like weight makes up for it.

IMG_0156 IMG_0148 IMAGE_033 100_1978

Display

display

  • The Super AMOLED Plus screen is incredible. Green, red, blue, yellow colors pop out and are thrown everywhere. The TouchWiz interface really makes the interface bright.
  • Its SAMOLED Plus screen, packed with a resolution of 800×480 pixels, produces a far better display than other screens do such as LG Optimus’s NOVA display or HTC Sensation which has a little greater resolution.
  • Since it only has a 800×480 resolution, the pixel count is relatively lower than the iPhone, Motorola Atrix or HTC Sensation and text may not be crisp in a zoomed out page but it’ll still be sharp enough for easy reading.
  • The screen is clearly visible under sunlight. See the 4th photo below, screen’s brightness is to 10% and is still clearly visible.
  • UnSynchronized Lighting of Buttons below the screen is a pain. That was very stupid of me that I never noticed the setting to turn it on permanently.
  • No LED notification is a drawback. How do I know if there’s a missed call or an unread SMS without unlocking the phone?

 

100_1941 1 (1) 100_1918 image

Hardware

With 1.2Ghz dual core processor screaming inside the shell, it literally blows out every single competitor with its specifications which make it as the world’s current most powerful smartphone. Here’s a quick look at its specs:

Display SAMOLED+, 480 x 800 pixels
CPU Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Processor and Mali-400MP   GPU
Storage 16GB/32GB (extendable), 1GB Ram
Connectivity GPRS, EDGE, 3G, WiFi, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 3.0
Camera 8 MP rear and 2MP front. Video Recording: 1080p@30fps.
Battery 1650mAH, Standby: 710 h (2G) & upto 610 h (3G)
Talktime: Up to 18 h 20 min (2G) & upto 8 h 40 min (3G)
Storage 16GB/32GB Internal, 32GB extendable.
Miscellaneous NFC, SNS integration, HDTV output, Flash, DLNA etc.
  • The phone has a 3.5mm audio jack, volume control buttons, a power button and a USB output for three purposes: Charging the phone, Connecting to a PC/Mac and HDTV Output.
  • wifi directIt has WiFi Direct, using which you can wirelessly connect PCs and Printers (for printing over the air).
  • It also comes with “AllShare” that lets you to link wirelessly with a TV, laptop or even audio system to play multimedia files directly from the phone.
  • Further, it’s also capable of incorporating NFC technology which, I think, might be the future of shopping. (Only available in Korea though, but rumors say it’ll be available in UK, US versions.

Do Read my Views on NFC and Google Wallet: Could it be the Next Big Thing in Shopping?

Performance

galaxy-s-II-vs-Lg-optimus-2x-vs-htc-sensation-quadrant-scores

  • With world’s best specifications, I’ll say it again, S II literally blows out every single competitor with its specifications. A quadrant test gave a score of 3687 which is huge.
    (Wondering what’ll happen if it’s overclocked? See it here yourself)In context to this score, even the its nearest competitor, Optimus 2X is nowhere to be seen in the horizon, lagging behind with a whopping 1200 points! However, HTC Sensation’s low quadrant score could be blamed on its high resolution. Though, it’s still very low.
  • Applications load super quick and I haven’t experienced any lag while switching between windows.
  • Gaming is a wonderful experience. Thanks to its GPU chip, it easily runs NVidia NVidia Tegra 2 optimized games. I played some games like Guerilla Bob THD and the graphics was great.

vs iPhone 4? I’m not going to do this or this will become a yet-another-android-vs-iOS post. Ofcourse, S2’s specifications wipes out that of iPhone’s but it won’t be fair to compare S2 with a 1-year old phone. Let’s wait for iPhone 5 and see if it changes everything (Again! :P)

More Benchmarks

benchmarks

  • The Phone scored approximately 60fps in both Neocore and NenaMark1 test. Some of you maybe thinking, “Hey this is way less than Optimus 2x’s 90fps+ score!” right? Wrong.

No screen right now can display more than 60fps, except 120Hz 3D LCDs. Anything higher than the screen refresh rate will ultimately lead to wastage of battery used to calculate non-displayed images. So this way, Optimus 2x is probably cheating to win benchmarks?

(Described by supercurio.)

Lags

Although every app, every thing flies like a rocket in S II, I noticed some lags during a of my week of S II experience:

  • Rotation of screen while using the camera once froze my phone for few seconds. Though, this never happened again.
  • It takes a second for the phone to be unlocked after the power/lock-button is pressed.
    Update: It has been almost fixed in a leaked firmware update.
  • The display takes some time to appear after a voicecall is over. Samsung says a software configuration issue is the culprit for this.

Experience lags when you press the home button? It is because it waits to confirm whether the user has double pressed it to launch Voice or not, and not actually a flaw.

Camera, GPS and Multimedia

Camera

  • Samsung Galaxy S2 has a 8.0 megapixel camera, capable of shooting at full 1080p HD resolution. The picture and video quality is excellent. The colors are bright and photos taken in dark are equally good with Flash.
  • The camera interface is also simple. Though, Samsung missed a dedicated camera button in the phone which I’m used to.

Box on my Messed up Desk A Photograph of a Marriage Anniversary Party Green leaves Camera effect set to Dawn A view from my terrace

Secondary camera

  • front cameraThe S2 is also equipped with a 2.0 megapixel front camera and is the only phone to sport this right now.
  • It produces good image under good lighting conditions and is perfect for video calling.

GPS

  • It works! A critical problem in S2’s predecessor was its GPS which failed to give a good performance. But things have changed with S2 and it gets a very quick GPS lock. Navigation with Google maps is easy. Also, it gets locked quicker when the phone is in a WiFi network.

Video and Music Playback

video playback

  • When it comes to playing video, the Galaxy S II is capable of playing Full HD 1080p videos . Further, When combined with SAMOLED+ screen, watching videos is a vivid experience. With it’s battery, I once watched 3 movies back to back and was still left with 17% of battery.
  • The video player interface is clean and it supports so many video formats that you won’t need to download any video player (except for FLV).

Video Formats Supported: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV, DivX, Xvid, VC-1

  • Galaxy S II can also playback several music formats (along with an option for 5.1 channel surround option, but only when handset is plugged in) without any loss in quality. Full list here:

Audio Formats Supported: MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, WAV, MID, AC3, IMY, FLAC, XMF

Speaker and Handset

  • When everything in this phone was looking perfect, its speaker disappointed me a bit. The audio isn’t very loud, but it isn’t bad either and is enough for listening to music. But don’t expect something extraordinary from it.
  • Further, the speaker is located at the back end. So when kept on a horizontal surface, the audio becomes kinda hard to hear.
  • The audio through an earphone is just the opposite with the quality being very very high and very loud.

Software and UI: The TouchWiz Experience

  • touchwiz 4.0Samsung has done a good job in designing its latest user interface, TouchWiz 4.0. In simple words, it’s clean, neat, smooth and bright. Some people like it and some don’t and I’m on the former side. After all, it’s only a matter of personal preference.
  • I found the UI hell lot better than Touchwiz 3.0. It’s easier to use than ever before, and it isn’t too integrated as to disrupt the Android experience, but at the same time it includes some nice additions that actually improves upon stock Android.

vs HTC Sense? It is equally good as the Sense except the clock widget (the only thing I envy ;) ). But the wonderful colors and neatness make up for it. On a whole, the interface is really beautiful, the app menu, notifications, colors everything is great.

At the end, it depends only on your preference, as I said already. Like it or leave it.

  • Another handy feature, you can surf through Homescreens by simply holding down screen number and then sliding it.
  • Lock Screen is stunning and I really liked it. One can directly access to unread messages, calls, control music or radio etc without unlocking the phone. At a glance, it looks like if its inspired from WP7’s Metro design.
  • As usual, touching an unused area and holding it brings up options for adding widgets, wallpaper etc. The widgets menu is is horizontal and appears at the bottom. Also, Touchwiz widgets are resizable; a handy feature.
  • Unlike Touchwiz 3.0’s iPhone-ish square icons in App menu, TouchWiz 4.0 has a stock gingerbread type of menu (screenshot). Though, I personally liked those squares.
  • Long pressing the home button will bring up 6 of your recently active apps with a button to enter the task manager, along with RAM and CPU cycle consumption view using which you can kill apps. But with 1GB of RAM, you’ll never need that, right?

SC20110618-155914The Hubs

Touchwiz comes in with four Hubs: Social Hub, Game Hub, Readers Hub and Music Hub (available only in Europe and USA)

Readers Hub: A virtual bookshelf from where you can access to thousands of magazines, books and newspapers.

Social Hub: Directly access, read and respond to emails, text messages, VM and SNS from Social Hub. Also, google talk is also integrated in it.

Music Hub: It offers access to over 13 Million+ tracks of songs where you can search, discover, preview and download songs to your phone for a charge.

Gamers Hub: A game app store which consists of about 20 multiplayer games and some premium games by Gameloft. Sadly, I only found few of the games entertaining in the hub. There are way better multiplayer games on Android.

samsung and galaxy S II voice commandsVoice Commands

  • Samsung has also integrated “Tap and Go” for voice commands. Press the home key twice and you’ll be presented with a bunch of voice command options. You can then execute major functions like calling, music, messaging, scheduling and launching apps with the ease of a voice command.
  • Though this doesn’t work well every time if you don’t have a perfect accent. Mine accent is Indian and I had some problems with it. Like, when I commanded it to write a memo, “My Galaxy S2 review: It’s a beast”, it resulted in “My Samsung Galaxy S to leave you in but it’s typed it for beast” :| Ohk, no problem, I can’t blame my phone for that.

 

SC20110616-233436 SC20110620-160626_thumb4 SC20110620-154318_thumb2 SC20110619-182019 SC20110619-193615 SC20110620-153648_thumb2

Battery Life

battery life

My Battery Usage Graph. Please note that I had charged my phone in between.

  • Poor Battery life is something what Android has never been able to boast. But looks like things can change a bit now. Galaxy S II manages about 2 days of battery life with moderate use (and a day if you’re a hardcore user), thanks to its dual core processors which helps in balancing CPU consumption.
  • With great power, comes great compromises. The screen eats about 40-50% of battery so lowering the brightness is the only way to reduce it. But the display still looks beautiful even when it’s set to minimum.
  • There’s a bug in Gingerbread which sometimes triggers the draining up of battery to go berserk. More info (and fix) about it here. Though I never experienced it, a friend of mine told he did on another phone. I hope Google fixes it soon.
  • The default task manager is a very handy app. I didn’t feel any use of those so-called advanced task managers.

Check out: Some great tips on extending battery life by Kappy

Wrap Up

Overall, The Samsung Galaxy S II proves out to be the best Android smartphone the android-verse has ever seen till now. Though there are some flaws in it but hey, nothing’s perfect in this world right? The beautiful display, new Touchwiz interface, deadly specifications all balance up the flaws.

If you’re looking for a powerful smartphone, this phone should be your answer. If I had to give it a rating, I’ll give it 9.1/10.

Buy the Phone

Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II on Amazon (starting with $698.99)
on Ebay (starting with $731.99)

The Good
The Bad
  • Gorgeous AMOLED+ Display
  • Beastly Hardware Specs: 1.2Ghz Dual core processor and 1GB RAM.
  • Super Snappy performance.
  • Great Battery Life.
  • Not powerful enough speaker.
  • No dedicated camera button.

[credits for photos and benchmark scores: Al Sutton, WccfTech and SkatterTech]

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Comments

  1. stewie says

    I’m not sure the benchmarking is fair since the Sammy is running gingerbread and the others are running froyo. For example, I’m getting quadrant scores of up to 3200 on my Nexus S running Gingerbread 2.3.4. That’s a single-core phone, makes no sense compared to what you are getting on the Sensation and the 2x. That said, my quadrant score means the Samsung S2 is only marginally faster than the Nexus S. So I’m not sure I trust these benchmarks (at least not Quadrant).

    • Saket says

      Nexus S is a great phone ofcourse but FYI, SG II is running on Gingerbread 2.3.3. It might score better when 2.3.4 update comes out. And yes I too know that Quadrant score can always not be relied upon.

    • Grayson says

      Dude, you can’t compare his stock SGS2 score to your tricked out NS score. Nexus S only scores 1650 stock bro. Your 3200 is due to tons of kernel tweaks and filesystem hacks… In other words cheating. And I don’t know where you’re been, but the Sensation runs Gingerbread as well.

  2. Henrik says

    There is No NFC in the Galaxy S II outside of Korea.
    So you ether have an Korean version or you have one without NFC.

    They says that a NFC version will come to UK doing the summer, but no more info about it then that

    • Saket says

      No, no NFC isn’t available in my version of SGS II. I was Only pointing out its specs.
      Anyways, rumors also say that the USA version might have NFC incorporated into in it as well.

  3. NotYTFace says

    I’m curious if you’ve had any time to play around with the EVO 3D, I’m torn between getting the EVO 3D now or waiting on the GSII to make an appearance.

    Great review btw, well done.

    • Saket says

      Sorry I haven’t got any chance of playing with the Evo 3D. Wish I could buy it but I’m tight on budget now after splurging on SGS2. ;) Why don’t you you check gdgt or simply ask reddit about it for answers from evo 3d users!

      And thanks for appreciating my review!

  4. says

    Great review & thanks for the same. Is their any way that we too (INDIA) get NFC upgrade from Samsung?
    And another thing when I go to storage, phone shows Total space 11.50 GB & device Menory shows 1.75 GB (summing up will not make 16 GB). Can some one help me to understand this?

    • Saket says

      Hey thanks Raj.
      Prior to its launch, many sources had confirmed that Sammy will be bringing a NFC version and has partnered with some retail chains as well. But now it looks like it was just a yet-another-rumor.

      About your storage, it’s: 12GB of Storage, 2GB ROM, 1GB RAM and the remaining 1GB is taken by your system. Nothing to worry :)

  5. karthik says

    Very Good review :)
    Most reviews do not talk about the audio quality through earphones,, was glad to see it here.
    I dont want to carry around an mp3 player along with my mobile, so i needed a phone with good sound output.
    galaxy s2 + good pair of earphones, would do it rite?

      • kishore says

        How is the sound quality with S2 compared with S1 with power amp or voodoo sound applied , through high end headphoes.How good is bass in S2..S2 using inferior yamaha chip compared to s1’s wolfson chip.My main purpose is music.,music,music and i dont want to carry mp3 player.reply would be very helpful.

    • Alexo says

      Hey man, I’m actually about to get an SG2 and i was also looking for earphones, when i stumbled across something AWESOME. (at least i think so). They’re the Sony Ericsson MW600 Bluetooth Earphones. They’re wireless and have A2DP (good for high quality streaming), and it has play/pause/volume up and down, and can answer calls. It also has an OLED screen for displaying tracks and apparently has a pretty good battery life too. Aaaand it’s not that expensive either, you can get it for ~50$ on amazon.com. I’d recommend you check it out :)

      Good luck. and if you want regular earphones, i’d go for the Klipsch S4. Great bang for the buck.

  6. says

    Thanks Saket for making me understand the storage part of it. But ultimately consumer does not get 16 GB of exclusive storage area. The phone storage of around 3 – 4 GB is utilized for internal management purposes.

    Can some one guide me on how to use this mobile as modem so that I can connect to internet on my laptop or desktop using mobile GPRS?

    • Saket says

      You won’t find fully exclusive storage in any phone Raj. Your phone system also needs space to for running.
      For Connecting to the internet, you can either connect it to PC and connect using Kies or you can also use your mobile as a hotspot.

  7. Ram says

    Awesome review bro. I’ve had the phone for a little over a month and a half and agree with everything you’ve posted here. Very thorough review. Don’t think I’m exaggerating but this review was better than Engadget’s because this review did justice to show just how awesome this device truly is. Thank you. Great job!

    • Saket says

      Wow that was an awesome compliment, thanks! The first reason why I wrote this was because of Engadget’s style of writing a review: Long, very long. I usually just surf through their reviews to find important points. So I did the same here

  8. Karthik says

    I got my S2,, its awesome.
    Saket, which is your firmware version?
    I hav got KE 2, i think the latest upgrades are not available here in dubai, yet. Kies says its up to date.
    Should i wait or manually force a upgrade?
    And is the Software upgrade option in About phone menu – to upgrade firmware or for Samsung softwares like Touchwiz?

    • Saket says

      Hey Karthik, Mine is KE8. I think that’s the latest one? (Correct me if I’m wrong)
      And that software upgrade option about phone menu should be for upgrading firmware. But It returns an error whenever I try it. Do you get any error as well?

  9. David says

    Guys what about the yellowish screen problem? Have you checked this? I read in some sites that all the S2 have this problem but I could`nt see the problem in any review of this phone. Thanks in advance.

    Ah and sorry about my english.

  10. Yogesh says

    Great Review. And completely agree with everything you have. I am using the phone for just over a month now.

    One thing I struggled with is to play audio using a 3.5 mm jack to 3.5 mm Jack into my car’s Aux input. The sound quality was not that great :(
    Are there any options to play music through my car audio system?
    Also for TV Out, I guess I will have to buy a seperate cable.

  11. Rajeev says

    Hello Saket,

    Excellent review..I read elsewhere (On Galaxy S2 Forums) that Voice Command works only with Net Connectivity. is this true?? Im planning to be a part of S2 family in a short while & wanted this feedback

    Cheers

      • Rajeev says

        Hey Saket,

        Thanks for your prompt response. Also wanted to check on the following:

        a. Is voice customization needed for Voice Commands? If yes, how can it be done.
        b. I read on one of the reviews that the SIM is hot swappable while the Memory Card isnt. Any comments to this?
        c. How do i check for the firmware version in a handset that I would purchase in about couple of weeks?

        Cheers..!

        • says

          a) There’s nothing like Voice customization but I think there was a setting somewhere for choosing our accent. I can’t find it now
          b) Yes, the SIM is hot swappable but the SD card isn’t. I wish it was opposite but this is no big deal. I haven’t really felt the need for this yet.
          c) Touch the menu button (left touch-button) and choose Settings > About Phone

          If you have more questions, feel free to shoot them at me.

  12. says

    Hi

    recently took the galaxy s 9003 badluck thrs no gingerbread update or any future updates :(
    But other than that all the other features are good,battery is satisfactory etc etc.

    Do you really feel s2 is giving enough battery backup on moderate to heavy usage ?

    if this one is giving better battery then i wud sell my galaxy s and take a s2 lol.

  13. carrie says

    hi. i love this phone. my only problem is that i can not figure out how to play my music through the AUX in the car? is there a simple solution for this? plase help. thanks

  14. vibhanshu says

    hi till now this is the best review for samsung s 2 i was skeptic about music quality because i also found the same about sound quality without ear phone review is best i want to know that is there any bluetooth headset for listening music just like nokia bh 505 i want to use bluetooth headset for music which give good quality please suggest the model number

    • says

      Glad that you liked it Vibahnshu. For your SGS2, you can find several good bluetooth headseats. I’ve used a Jabra stone 2 and I found it very good. The music quality was really good. But you should try researching for some more. (Hint: Ask Mr. Google)

    • says

      Yepp that’s something I did not like about my S2. I thought it’s a hardware problem and upgrading it to Android v2.3.4 fixed it partially. From partially I mean the Home button makes the phone wake up it up instantly but the power button still takes some time to wake up sometimes.

      But the actual reason why this happens is because Galaxy S2 underclocks the processor to save battery when the Screen is off. This saves a good amount of battery. But if you don’t like it, you can root your phone, install SetCpu and create a profile for Screen Off to set the CPU at 1.2Ghz (performance)

      Edit: Oh and yes, some people say that it can also be fixed by setting a low-resolution photo as the lock-screen image. You may try it out as well. I haven’t because I love the original lock-screen photo :)

      What’s your firmware version Joe?

    • says

      Hey Rakesh, sorry for replying so late. You can cheek the firmware version by going in the settings (Settings » About Phone, at the bottom) Hey Rakesh, sorry for replying so late. You can cheek the firmware version by going in the settings (Settings » About Phone, at the bottom)

  15. Nirav says

    i want to know the earphone quality of S2, is it the same like Wave1. Coz m planning to buy this phone and i had seen other phones,but they do not match this phone. m buying this phone mainly for music. i read somewhere that sound quality through headphones is not good. is that true..? Hows the bass in it
    I want to hear music through earphones.
    Pls let me know….

    • says

      I find the sound quality through earphones very I cannot good. Using the right settings in an equalizer makes it perfect. But I can’t compare it to Wave as I haven’t used it yet. But maybe I could tell you about it next week.

      The bass isn’t very good but I’ll put that blame on the earphones that come along with it.

    • Haresh says

      Hey dude you know what the earphone quality is okay the thing you should download is this software call Equalizer it changes the phone to a whole new level of music even better then Sonyerricson’s music and sounds like how a Zune player would play!

  16. Parth says

    Hi, i got my S2 one month back…but seriously telling u guys ..i m not happy with it. it gives only 4 hours battery back up..and Hangs a lot. Saket can u help me out. and one more prblm..there are few spots and a big line on my s2 lcd..which is visible in dark ..when i m opreating my phone , for ex..whwn i am using youtube and veido starts buffer, it is clearly visible..what should i do.!!

    • says

      4 hours of battery is seriously very low. On an average day, look up the battery usage stats and tell me what do you see in there?
      About the screen? I would suggest you to get your S2 (or at-least) replaced under warranty.

      • parth says

        hey guys… yesterday i had visited the samsung service centre..and those guys said ..that we cant replace ur phone..but we can change the lcd.and then they just updated my software. they are not ready to replace it.
        yaar i bought my s2 just one month back..how could i allow them to open it and change the lcd or do anything..!! is any one having the same lcd problem…!! and again it hangs too much…!!

        • says

          Parth, why are you worrying so much. You can handle them your mobile, they will then give you a small agreement type of document that they’re receiving your mobile and if anything happens to it, they’ll be responsible. I also had do get my broken screen replaced by them. They did it in 3 days.

          • parth says

            thanks saket….i will do this..and just hope after that everything will run good..!! or otherwise i will sell it…as i cant handle it more.!! lets hope for the best..!!

        • rahul says

          Yes man i have same poblem…..but my lcd is crack.i dont know how it is crack becoz 10 min before i check my phone it ok,after 10 min i saw my touchscreen is not working..i socked that time its lcd is very week and i am using first time samsung mobile.its disaster for me..

          • says

            You broke your screen, it’s your problem Rahul. My SGS2 has fallen innumerable times onto the floor with the screen at at the bottom and it has sustained every fall till now. You cannot blame Samsung for this.

  17. saumya says

    hello
    i can’t access unread messages without unlocking the phone on my SII. can u plz tel in detail how to do it.slide it left, right or hold it for sometime.
    also i want to upgrade my firmware. can you tell in detail how to upgrade it(in a layman’s terms. locked my nokia’s factory settings trying to upgrade it.dont want to repeat that nitemare).
    last question. what exactly is rooting the phone.

    thanks

    • says

      Hey Saumya

      For opening unread messages, you have to slide the icon towards left. (Also, for viewing missed calls, you’ll have to slide it right)

      Talking about upgrading your firmware, the best (or say, safest) way would be to connect your phone to KIES and upgrade it. Though, you can flash firmwares on your phone, specially those which have not been released for India yet. For example, here’s a tutorial describing flashing of Android 2.3.4 on SGS2:

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=15499423

      You’ll have to follow all the steps correctly or it may damage your phone. Follow it on your own steps. Though, there’s nothing much to fear about. I’ll repeat it again. Follow steps properly, in the right order.

      To know more about rooting your phone, please refer to this BIG guide: http://goo.gl/erJS

      Feel free to ask any more questions if you have em in your mind :)

  18. mark says

    Hi Saket,

    Very nice review indeed!
    I noticed you mentioned that internet access should be present when using Voice Command.
    So even for asking it to “Call Mom” or “Message Michael, I’ll be late”, you need to be connected to the web?

  19. chaitanya says

    Hi Saket,
    I have been using S2 for almost 5 months now. I have one problem with it. If I set any reminders in the calendar on the phone, I never get any reminders (though I set the reminders to go 1 minute before the event). However, if I set reminders in google calendar (on web), and synchronize my phone’s calendar to Google calendar, it works perfectly fine. Do you know of a possible solution for this?

    One thing I do a lot is clear memory (from the default Task manager).

  20. Nirav says

    What is the battery life of SGS2. i have heard that it lasts for only 6-8 hrs. is it true.
    i m abt to buy SGS2 in few days. please tell me. i am expecting atleast it should last atleast 11/2 -2 days.

    please reply soon.

    • al ex says

      honestly, the battery probably won’t last two dayseven if yoI don’t use it a lot. but it depends on the phone, me and my brother got one and his lasts more than a day when mine barely does. and apparently android 2.3.3 has some battery issues but 2.3.4 improves them. if you know how to root/ update firmware then I think you might be able to get 2 days if you have a custom rom

  21. Cindy says

    Ok, I have a BlackBerry Torch 9800 (and with all the problems we’ve been experiencing with BB and also the fact that there are some things I cant use on my BB that I could use on my old phone) I still LOVE it.
    BUT
    My dad just got the Samsung Calaxy S2 and he’s showing signs of wanting to trade with me… and I must agree, its a brilliant phone… and all the above given info is a pretty good assessment on the phone! But I just wanted to know one thing about it that I see no one’s mentioned anywhere on the internet. and that is that, with my BB, i can connect it to my laptop via Bluetooth right, and play music ON my BB but the sound is emitted from my laptop… (when I connect via Bluetooth, I see it says that my BB is successfully connected to headset and stereo audio on my laptop) so which one of these is the reason that I can play music on my phone and have the sound coming from my laptop and is that possible for the Samsung Galaxy S2? cause that is the ONE thing i love about the BB Torch. it saves you from having to 1st upload the file onto the laptop and then playing it etc… and i just love it.

    So can anyone gimme an answer about that? Thanks!

    PS: I hope what I have said actually makes sense! :)

      • Cindy says

        Oh, ok I see.. So its not built-in kinda thing. You’d have to actually download an application to do that on a Samsung Galaxy S2… I suppose I’d prefer it that it was already built-in like the BB Torch but now knowing that I can do do this, it doesnt sound too bad :).

        Thanks Saket.

        • says

          Actually, there’s a similar feature available in Windows as well which I had discovered a few days back. When you connect your phone with your computer/laptop, in your phone connection settings, there should be an option to your laptop’s speakers as external speakers. I cannot find that right now. I’ll dig more into this and let you know

  22. ashish says

    I bought my s2 about 2 months ago … it worked fine …but during playing some specific games like cj strike back , bunny shooter it hangs sometimes and I have to press the home button and restart the app… and now I’ve downloaded mx video player … while watchin movies when I try to forward the movie ,it hangs and I have to switch it off and restart the phone again… so I want ti ask is it due to fault in the apps or there is somethin wrong with the phone …? I hope u’ll provide me with a solution to this … !

  23. Mariaan says

    Pleeaase help! I cannot take a shot of my screen…..I hold down back key and then tap home key but nothing happens….I absolutely love my new galaxy II S, but I would love to be able to do this too!

    • says

      Well, you can control music playback in two ways:

      1. Music player apps like the default app in S2, Doubletwist and others display a widget in the lock-screen using which you can control the playback. See this image for an example.

      2. Get WidgetLocker app. Using it, you can place widgets on your lock-screen. This way, you can use the widgets of your favorite music player app directly from the lock-screen.

  24. Bhumika says

    Hi !
    I bought samaung galaxy s2about 2 month ago.
    Now when i m sliding , some kind of blue glare coming in. Is it a dedext or anything else. I dont know what to do now. Plz help me with this. I love my cell. I never had any prob . before.
    Thanks,
    Bhumika

  25. samir says

    Hi,
    I bought s2 last week…I am facing peculiar problem.while listening music with headset for 30 mins or so,the phone hangs with some kind of humming sound. It becomes totally unresponsive…works only after power reboot…what should be the issue with this handset,?

  26. pavan says

    hi Iam unable to here songs via bluetooth in my galaxy s2 but iam receiving calls and making calls from that device how can i listen songs via bluetooth

  27. Lalbabu says

    I’m considering gentitg galaxy nexus but I’m worried about battery life coming from iphone 4.Do you think I could get 2 days with 3g off (turned on only occasionally when out of wifi range).I keep my wifi on all the time and have gmail and gtalk push on. Thanks Was this answer helpful?

    • says

      Hey, I’d recommend you to instead wait for a month and get the Samsung Galaxy S III. It’s expected to hit stores on 10th June and believe me, you’ll never find any better smartphone experience. It has a bigger battery and so you’ll be able to get more battery juice out of it. Without using 3G, you can expect 2 days of battery but I’m not really sure if using WiFi all the time will give you 2 days of battery. Honestly, it depends on your usage, the way you use your phone. More usage = screen will eat more battery = lesser battery life.

  28. Harsh says

    I personally do not like Samsung Phones but they have funny gltcihes and if you try to download it then it might have to be started from a real computer then sent to your phone. Well since Samsung SUCKS you will technically usually have to ask samsung but you have a slight chance they got smart.

    • says

      Hi Harsh, I don’t have any idea about what you’re talking about. Funny glitches? Never experienced any. Downloads need to be started from a real computer? What does that mean? And Samsung sucks? Maybe you’ve never used a phone from the Galaxy S series :)

  29. Sarbbik says

    does any body knows how to unlock a smanusg just like the one above?? cuz my little sis pressed the lock unlock botton, and now it locks itself, and i didnt even make a pin or code up to lock it.. pliz i barely bought it and dnt know wat to do to it!!! thanks!

    • says

      Hey Sarbbik, which lock type did your sister activate? If it’s pattern lock, you can unlock your phone by using your Gmail’s login details. Let me if you need more help :)

  30. Hakan says

    Also intrigued by this one, hovewer did I really see it has a screen resolution on 320 240? my Treo 680 had a better resolution than that, I just can’t imagine running Android on such a screen.The HTC ChaCha looks more promising as it has a 480 320 screen. With they did a version of the Motorola Droid Pro over here in the UK though as this looks like my ideal phone.

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