Samsung Galaxy S II

9.0
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Reviewed by cuckfupertino (Currently owns)

The Galaxy S2 is Android and Samsung's best entrant in to the smartphone foray. I've previously owned a Captivate, iPhone 3g, HTC Desire HD (aka Inspire), Nexus S, and currently own the GS2 (international, i9100 variant). By far the best phone I've owned, but that goes without saying. I bought the phone unlocked from Newegg.com. It was between this, the iPhone 4S, and the Galaxy Nexus GSM version. Ultimately, I went with the GS2 over the iPhone 4S because I'm entrenched in the Google "system" (Gmail, Gcal, etc.) and the Google Nav app is irreplaceable. It was a tough choice between the GNex and the GS2, but the deciding factor was the GS2's superior camera. The Exynos processor is also arguably better than the hardware in the GNex, and since it's made by Samsung I expect it makes the GS2 theoretically faster. Of course, software ultimately determines that. The first thing I did when I got the phone was to flash a custom ROM (can't stand TouchWiz or any other manufacturer ROMs). Used CM7 for a little while, and eventually settled on MIUI which ran beautifully on the phone for a long time. Recently I've opted for the CM9 Alpha nightlies, which for the uninitiated is basically vanilla ICS (4.0). ICS looks awesome on this phone's screen. Why did I go with the i9100 instead of AT&T's version? The home button. It's really, really useful. I don't know why the American versions don't come with it, but if you're going to get this phone unlocked, I'd really suggest you get the international version. My biggest complaints about the phone? Right now, the state of CM9 is not where I'd like it to be, so the lack of a viable ICS ROM is a pretty big complaint. The screen gets very oily. Also, I have the white version, and the back battery cover is smooth unlike the black version (textured), so it is slippery. Highlights? The camera is unbeatable, arguably the best screen on the market (SAMOLED Plus and a 4.3" screen > Retina display IMO (too small), and SAMOLED Plus > HD SAMOLED (the GNex) bc of Plus' lack of Pentile), the Exynos processor has to be the fastest/most efficient processor out there, and the phone gets fantastic battery life. Finally, since it's Android's poster child (alongside the GNex) it gets a lot of ROM development, meaning you can really tweak the software and find a great version to run!

The Breakdown

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