T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II Review: A High-Quality, Top-of-the-Line Phone
Considering the massive screen, the crazy-powerful processor, and the NFC and 4G support, it’s adamantine not to abatement in adulation with the Samsung Galaxy S II on T-Mobile. Available for $220 with a new two-year arrangement (as of October 10, 2011), the Galaxy S II is a abundant phone. It has aloof a few accessory flaws that accumulate it from actuality absolutely amazing.
A Tablet-Size Phone
The Galaxy S II boasts the aforementioned gigantic, 4.52-inch (480-by-800-pixel resolution) awning we saw on the Epic Touch 4G for Sprint--and that absorbing awning is absolutely the phone's bigger draw. Colors on the Super AMOLED Plus affectation arise ablaze and vibrant, if a little oversaturated. The buzz is acutely lightweight, acknowledgment abundantly in allotment to its artificial casing. I was never absolutely a fan of the plasticky anatomy of the aboriginal Galaxy S, but the Galaxy S II feels solid abundant that I can discount it here.
At 5.11 by 2.71 by 0.37 inches, the T-Mobile Galaxy S II is hardly taller and thicker than the adaptation fabricated for AT&T. Back comparing the two phones ancillary by side, I begin that I adopted the AT&T Galaxy S II over the T-Mobile one artlessly because it was abundant added adequate to hold. Although beyond screens are abundant for activities such as watching movies or browsing the Web, I anticipation that the awning admeasurement of the T-Mobile Galaxy S II seemed like a bit of abstract on Samsung’s part.
The bigger botheration I accept with the T-Mobile Galaxy S II is how attenuated the bezel is at the abandon of the screen. Back I navigated the ample screen, the basal allotment of my duke would consistently hit one of the capacitive buttons beneath the screen, or besom adjoin the basal division of the touchscreen. Whenever I went to analysis a notification or access a URL in the browser, I additionally concluded up aperture a agenda or ablution the dialer. In one instance, I was in the average of basal a argument message, and I anguish up closing out of it several times afore I could accelerate it.
Specs and Performance
With a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the T-Mobile Galaxy S II is the best able one of the bunch. Everything from basal buzz functions to acute 3D amateur run as bland as silk. The alone time the buzz anytime slowed bottomward or got ashore was back I approved unlocking it: The lock awning afraid for about 3 abnormal afore responding. To be fair, at the time I was downloading and installing 15 apps at once, so that could explain the accessory discharge I experienced. The buzz comes with a Task Manager; back the handset has 1GB of RAM, however, you shouldn’t anytime charge to use it.
To--ahem--better analysis how able-bodied the Galaxy S II handled games, I downloaded and played Minecraft: Pocket Edition on the device. The bold ran able-bodied and looked abundant on that massive display--the Galaxy S II makes for an above-average adaptable gaming device. After a acceptable hour of play, I noticed the buzz accepting absolutely warm, but it wasn't hot abundant to be afflictive to hold. I additionally noticed that my hour of gameplay had little aftereffect on the battery--I apparently could accept awkward accession 2 to 3 hours of Minecraft in if I were so inclined. After about 4 hours of abundant use over 4G, I managed to cesspool the phone’s array completely. Samsung has rated the buzz as abiding 167 hours on standby, but we’ll accept to delay for the PCWorld Labs to analysis the buzz clearly to see if that affirmation holds up.
Call affection on the T-Mobile Galaxy S II was nice and alike in San Francisco, but the bodies I alleged said that I articulate hardly distorted. The casual hiss and warping circumscribed up on my end, but it was hardly noticeable. All-embracing I can say that authoritative calls application the Galaxy S II was an accomplished experience.
Using the Speed Analysis app as an breezy arrangement test, I managed to get 3 megabits per additional bottomward and 0.44 mbps up in San Francisco. We don’t accept the best T-Mobile 4G advantage here, but those speeds are archetypal of what we accept apparent with accomplished 4G T-Mobile devices.
Software and Extras
The Samsung Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) and has a few preloaded apps. Netflix comes preinstalled, and runs acutely able-bodied over 4G. I could accept done after the Blio and Zinio apps, but I can see their account for bodies who like to apprehend while on the go.
Being a Samsung phone, the Galaxy S II additionally sports the latest adaptation of TouchWiz. Personally, I adopt boilerplate Android or the HTC Sense overlay, but TouchWiz has a few things that I absolutely enjoy. Aside from the ablaze and bright figure set, this abundance of TouchWiz employs motion controls for basal actions. To zoom in on a Web page, for instance, you artlessly abode both thumbs on the awning and angle the buzz advanced or backward. I begin this motion far added automatic than pinch-to-zoom, and far added accurate.
In addition, I was abundantly afraid to acquisition out that the T-Mobile Galaxy S II comes with a Near Field Communication chip. With such a chip, the Galaxy S II can apprehend NFC-compatible tags. We haven’t apparent abounding phones that abutment NFC, and it’s a accurate technology that I ambition added buzz manufacturers would accommodate in their devices.
Considering the phone's behemothic screen, you’ll acceptable demand to watch movies on this handset. Although I’m not commonly a fan of application a buzz as a media player, I can see the address of accomplishing so with a affectation of this size. If you are adamantly adjoin watching videos on your phone, you can calmly allotment them with your DLNA-enabled accessories application AllShare.
The buzz has 12GB of centralized storage, but abominably it doesn’t appear with a MicroSD card. The Galaxy S II is a arch music player, though, and could calmly alter your stand-alone MP3 player. Should you adjudge to accomplish the Galaxy S II your primary audio device, the buzz comes with a brace of (mediocre) headphones that you can use.
Photos that I took with the phone's 8-megapixel camera angry out aciculate and clear. Colors seemed a little off, but still looked acceptable overall. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera additionally did a acceptable job of capturing still images, admitting it works bigger for video chat. The Galaxy S II annal video at 1080p, and holds its own as a video camera; it picks up choir nicely, but the footage suffers from a clabber aftereffect back you move the buzz around.