Samsung Galaxy S II

7.0
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Reviewed by Aaron Souppouris (Currently owns)

What can I say about the Galaxy S II?

It's my favourite Android device thus far, but it's crippled by bad software and a low resolution screen.

It's extremely light but well made. Despite being pretty much all plastic in construction, the build quality is very solid. I've dropped mine so many times i've lost count and there's nary a scratch to be found. In contrast, the phone that i'm currently using as my daily driver, the iPhone 4S, cracked (only slightly, on the corner) on it's 3rd trip to the floor.

Its Exynos processor offers by far the smoothest Android experience i've ever had, and there are a million customisations out there on xda and other sites. Reception is always stellar, call quality just 'ok', the Cameras perform well in good lighting but have way too much noise in low lighting.

Software wise, there is way too much bloatware, and some persistant processes that drain the battery. The App launcher is upsettingly bad as well. Nothing that can't be solved by Launcher PRO, but still, it's not good. Points are gained for amazingly smooth performance, and the fantastic hardware-accelerated browser. I know of no other browser that can play in-frame Flash content whilst still allowing me to pan and zoom without a hiccup. Compared to any other browser i've used on a mobile device, it's just legendary.

Battery Life on the stock ROM just about gets you through a day, with the right ROM and UI you can get through a day and a half

If you're happy to root and replace ROMs, and don't mind about the paltry screen resolution, then I couldn't think of a better Android phone right now. If you need a HD screen, and don't mind the drop in performance, then you'd be better off with a Galaxy Nexus.

The Breakdown

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  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Display 7
  • Camera(s) 8
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 10
  • Software 6
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 8
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