Samsung Galaxy SII review: it's nothing short of remarkable

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Samsung Galaxy SII review: it's nothing short of remarkable
Rating
Overall:

The Samsung Galaxy SII brings some very big guns to the dual-core wars. Read our review to see why this phone is so highly regarded.

Performance:
6
Features & Design:
5
Value for Money:
5
Price
Price: $899
> Pricing info
Specs
Price 899
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We recently looked at Motorola’s Atrix smartphone and said that we were interested in seeing how the other soon-to-arrive dual-core offerings would stack up. Well we’ve now seen two of them and the results have been eye-opening. 
 
The Samsung Galaxy S II is a genuinely remarkable smartphone, and it all starts with its most obvious asset: that huge 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus screen. It’s very bright and, as OLED has no pervasive backlight (each pixel has its own light source), contrast is nigh-on perfect. 
 
Previous smartphone OLED panels have used what’s known as the PenTile grid, which gives you two green pixels for every blue and red pair and a rather grainy effect as a result. The S II’s display  arranges its red, green and blue subpixels in the traditional RGB grid, as they are in standard TFT displays, meaning that the traditional complaint that OLED screens are “grainier” than their TFT equivalents, doesn’t hold. 
 
The only significant complaint we’d have is over the pixel count. It’s still “only” 480 x 800, which means small text on zoomed-out web pages is more difficult to make out than it is on the iPhone 4’s 3.5in 960 x 640 display.
 
Design
The Galaxy S II on the left and the iPhone 4 on the right.
 
If the screen is impressive, the physical make-up of the Galaxy S II is almost as noteworthy. At its thinnest point we measured it at 8.7mm. A bulge at the bottom and around the camera means it isn’t this slim along its entire length, but coupled with its light weight of 116g, the Galaxy S II is as pocket-friendly as any 4.3in-screened smartphone has any right to be.
 
Samsung has retained the single physical button below the screen as well as the all Gorilla Glass front. The latter is finished with an oleophobic coating and resists smudges from greasy digits remarkably well.
 
If we have one complaint, it’s the perception of quality on the build. The Galaxy S II’s textured rear panel is made of thin, flimsy plastic and the chassis, aside from the glass front, is plastic too.
 
Performance
 
 
That may soon be forgotten once you start using the S II, however. Under its shell, the new Galaxy sports a dual-core processor, based on the ARM Cortex A9 design. Most dual-core smartphones and tablets are doing the same, but the difference with the S II is the speed is up from 1GHz to 1.2GHz.

In terms of benchmark tests, the S II blows the competition out of the water. It loaded the full ABC homepage in just over four seconds, completed the SunSpider test in 3.285 seconds, and most impressive of all, gained a score of 3460 points in the Android-specific Quadrant test. Compare that to the single core Incredible S from last issue (1517) or the 2451 scored in by the Motorola Atrix and you’ve got a sense of the S II’s power.
 
Battery life
 
 
As ever, there’s a caveat, and that concerns battery life. In our standard tests over 24 hours the Galaxy S II chewed up around 60% of its capacity – still a fair whack behind the iPhone 4, despite having a bigger 1650mAh battery.
 
Camera and OS
 
 
Also notable is the huge improvement in the camera over its predecessor. It’s packed with features such as image stabilisation, blink detection, ISO adjustments, a macro mode and more. And it shoots at a decent resolution too: 8-megapixel stills and 1080p video at 30fps.
 
Software-wise, the Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with Samsung’s own UI tweaks, and there’s plenty to like, such as a persistent toolbar running along the bottom of the screen and switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Sound, plus a button for auto-rotate lock when you pull down on the notifications bar at the top.
 
Conclusion

It’s a little hard to discuss the Galaxy S II without sound like a kool-aid drinker, but the phone is nothing short of remarkable. Its power is unrivalled, its 4.3in is wonderfully bright and colourful, call quality is great and the camera is simply superb. The only concern we have is over battery life, but even that remains solid compared to the others of its ilk, and the price is quite reasonable – $899 outright or $10 per month on a $45 plan from Vodafone (the phone isn’t carrier locked however).
 
In short, the Samsung Galaxy S II is good enough to elbow the iPhone 4 aside and take out an A-List spot. We’d encourage anyone who’s currently upgrading to push it straight to the top of their shortlist.
 
 
 

Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing
Copyright © PC Authority, Haymarket Media

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See more about:  samsung  |  galaxy  |  sii  |  ii  |  phones  |  review  |  battery  |  specs  |  test
 
 

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Comments: 50
Mattau
27 July 2011
Great, but what is is like as an actual phone.
You guys are so caught up in the hype that you are missing the basic function of the device.

I have had several low end Samsung phones and each has a worse reception in marginal areas than it's predecessor. is this one worse again? Well we don't know because there is no mention of the clarity of the speaker, the quality of the aerial, or anything that actually has to do with the devices intended purpose as a phone.

You claim, nobody test tech like PC and Tech Authority. Please actually start testing these things properly instead of regurgitating the press releases.


Comment made about the PC & Tech Authority article:
Samsung Galaxy SII review: it's nothing short of remarkable?
The Samsung Galaxy SII brings some very big guns to the dual-core wars. Read our review to see why this phone is so highly regarded.

What do you think? Join the discussion.
amcmo
27 July 2011
Does the rave review have anything to do with the conspicuous Samsung add when navigating to the story??? Doesn't creat an air of impartiality.

Per Mattau, how about an actual phone test, rather than sounding as though the hype and gloss gave you a 'bon.r'.

I have to say the unit I looked at in the UK gave me an impression of cheap plastic. Do agree great display, probably the best out there.

Our UK unit has some issues with reception, mind you older Brit buildings with brick walls out and in give most phones a workout in that area, and parts of London are not the greatest on reception, though the trusty Nokia still beats them all. (Why did those guys have to drop the ball so badly???) An Android with Nokia quality would have been msot tempting.

The guy who uses it bitches about battery.

I held off getting one, mainly perceived build quality and the battery issue. To be honest, I don't know if I'd find the iPhone battery up to needs either.
.:Cyb3rGlitch:.
27 July 2011
You guys do realise you can cross reference reviews from other sites, which happen to agree with the quality of this device...
ory_zm
27 July 2011
I own one of these, and I really do think it's the best phone currently available. In terms of its usage as a phone it's much better than my previous iPhone 3G which used to drop calls all the time (not to mention people complaining about me not being available). Call quality is great (for both sides) and the speaker is good enough for me.
In terms of build quality, I too read reviews saying they have a problem with build but after having it for over 2 months, I must say the build quality is fantastic, nothing short of an engineering marvel.
For example, regarding complaints about the back cover have a look at this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXqnQKs-tA
It is thin, but still extremely strong and flexible, and fits very snuggly above the battery.
Last but not least: battery life. I'm getting a constant 2 days of medium usage (calls, text, browsing and occasional camera usage, with BT constantly on and wifi on when at home) - again, can't complain about that!
amcmo
27 July 2011
Of course, - I'm commenting about the PCA 'test'. There are other's in much greater depth.

Comments have been made elsewhere over the plastic feel.

I just feel that if PCA 'test' a device it should be a little more than a breathless schoolgirl type gush about the pretty bits and include comment on it's primary function - to make and receive calls, especially when they immediately de-throne the current A rated device.

To their credit, they did make comment on the battery life, however then proceeded to minimise it by jumping back to the gush. 'it's ok if the battery lasts 10 minutes - it just looks so pretty!' Ok - I exaggerate for effect.

ory_zm gave a better review than PCA.


Edited by amcmo: 27/7/2011 04:23:07 PM
.:Cyb3rGlitch:.
27 July 2011
The GSII has amazing battery life for a smartphone.
ory_zm
27 July 2011
Yes I'm not sure when exactly it started happening (a while ago) but I've been noticing that allot of "reviews" here are nothing more than re-wording of the marketing material. (I can provide plenty of examples)
Still a useful site for tech news, but when looking for a review of a product I always look elsewhere.

I would love it if they actually included more personal experience reporting as anyone has access to the official marketing materials of a product.
amcmo
27 July 2011
"The GSII has amazing battery life for a smartphone."

PCA called it significantly less than the iPhone, which at last take was in fact a smartphone.

I just noticed they had several 'if we had one complaint' type statements - that's more than one complaint isn't it???:d

I'm stirring just a little - does look like a good phone.
.:Cyb3rGlitch:.
27 July 2011
But the iPhone isn't a dual core phone, and regardless, getting two days from a smartphone is considered very good.
John Gillooly
27 July 2011
Thanks for the comments on the review, just a few things to keep in mind. This review has come from the magazine, where we have limited word counts. As with all magazine reviews we cannot touch on every little aspect of the product, we spend time with it, run benchmarks and test out the features. Then we report the salient points in the review.

Just because something is only mentioned briefly, like the 'call quality is great' line doesn't mean its been glossed over. It means that the call quality is great - if there were issues we would have written about them.

When we review a smartphone there are a bunch of features we focus on, focusing on the software and hardware. We can't reliably and replicably test reception in marginal areas, because we are testing a handset and it brings in a bunch of issues well beyond the hardware - service providers, nature of blackspots etc. When we test services, like our recent mobile broadband roundup we focus on these kinds of issues, but hardware testing is about ensuring we can reliably compare between products in the labs.

ory_zm
27 July 2011
amcmo wrote:

PCA called it significantly less than the iPhone, which at last take was in fact a smartphone.
.


Everywhere I've looked the reviews (which actually compared the phones) judged battery life to be better on the SGS II. For example:
http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-4-vs-samsung-galaxy-sii-10109/
Quote: "At the end of the day, we have to say that the Galaxy S II’s battery life bests that of Apple’s best, and only smartphone – the iPhone (4). Very impressive indeed."

Also important to take into consideration the fact that Apple's OS is very restrictive on the way battery is used compared to Android (for example widgets, notification and no true multi-tasking), making those results even more impressive.
et_tu_brute
28 July 2011
In response to John Gilhooly's post. When is a review not aa review? When it's distilled down to what you call the salient points, it is no wonder that readers may perceive it no more than the manufactufers or distributors blurb they inundate the media with.
Why not call it a preview rather than make us assume you are conducting a full constructive and obective review? Tease us a little by stating you intend to conduct a full benchtest in a further article.
One word of advice, forget the 'bling', get to the nuts and bolts. Like other posters, I would have liked an objective review that covered the actual performance of this smartphone. I'm in the market to replace my now aging Nokia and I am looking for a smartphone alternative to an Apple iPhone (I don't like proprietorial hardware and apps). Having read your 'review', I am none the wiser. The search continues...
photohounds
4 August 2011
Wow!! Some folks sure are smarting from the quality and success of this phone.
Don't worry, the Big A will flog plenty of iphone 5's to the faithful


Pity the fanboys can't acknowledge a great product instead of clinging to the notion that their anointed favourite is somehow still better. And to rivel on about it being a good phone? As least the antenna works correctly without a case.

Wise to 'make hay' before the Galaxy iii comes out, one Wonders what it will be like!

Product superiority is a logical outcome of NOT outsourcing most of your manufacturing, presuming you are up to the task and Samsung clearly is.

Good review John, even if a little light on detail, but you've said why.


As for the little fanboy battery life phurphy ...

My colleague has a Galaxy S II (and the iphone4 he's trying to flog off) and says it is easily the best phone he's had.
By turning off some unneeded apps, indications are that a week of battery life will be a snack with light calls/texting/email/web browsing use.
He's not a bored teenager and has 4 days up already. I expect this would be easy if your phone is not your life.

If your phone is your life (no matter what brand), consider a battery charger for home, work, car and maybe a usb one as well and she'll be right mate :)
Most phone users buy 'extras', don't they?
amcmo
4 August 2011
Photohounds, you are incapable of accepting anything other than Android/Google.

Most are not saying it's a poor product (one of our UK staff has one and likes it though did comment on a cheap plastic look and feel, and the screen resolution could be better.

The common thread is that the writeup reads more like a Samsung add than an unbiased review. Several 'if I could pick one failing...' type statements. Is there one or several failings??

To address other points:

Most reviews indicate there is no consistent antennae problem on the iPhone. OK under certain circumstances you can drop reception level. Big deal- the horse has been dead for so long it's hide has been well and truly whipped off by Android fanbois!

Some of the greatest products in the world are contract manufactured. A good percentage of the best semiconductors are manufactured in exactly this way. NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Altera, Broadcom, Conexant, Marvell, and VIA and many others all use contract fabs. Are you suggesting there is somehow something inferior about their products? GET REAL!

If your strength is in design and marketing (Apple certainly a case), why tie up all those funds in a manufacturing plant when there are companies that do nothing but manufacture and have the equipment and processes in place. GOOD FINANCIAL SENSE! One of the first rules of business - PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS!

We have had problems with some Samsung equipment reliability, hinge failure on notebook, high failure rate on 1TB hard drives (HD103 drives are no longer on our approved equipment list), flaky monitors.. so shoots your argument down.

Yes, I'm sure the Galaxy III will be great, as will the iPhone 6... there will always be a leapfrog. You could spend a lifetime in a 'the next version' piss..g contest.

et_tu,

The add on hardware is not proprietary, it has a distinct Apple interface, however hundreds of companies around the world manufacture thousands of accessories at competitive prices. Probably more independently produced accessories for the Apple 'proprietary' interface than any other. The vast majority of apps (hundreds of thousands) are developed by small independent companies. So they have to get them approved by Apple as functional and clear of malware.. protects you.

The bullshit sprouted about Android being open and iOS being closed is just that bullshit!

What about the Samsung proprietary headphone interface, on all but the latest phones (I have one in my drawer with the silly slot that meant you could only get Samsung's lousy headphones. The Galaxy IIs has Samsung's proprietary interface on top of Android, that MAY make it necessary for apps to be customised to work correctly on the Galaxy.

Anyone can develop for either platform, the only difference is sometimes overbearing, but in most cases beneficial review by Apple prior to sale.

Funny how many Android fanbois all have 'a friend' who wants to get rid of their iPhone 4, not one iPhone user I've spoken to want's anyting else. (just as I'm sure most Galaxy II owners wouldn't)

At the end of the day both products are so far ahead of where we were 2-3 years ago that most people could use either without any feelings of phone inadequacy.
rubaiyat
4 August 2011
...a friend of a friend knows this bloke whose cousin once met someone who heard...

Just love the PC "facts" that are "true" because they get repeated round in circles until they come back to confirm themselves.
ory_zm
4 August 2011
amcmo wrote:

Some of the greatest products in the world are contract manufactured.

Totally agree with you there, can't see photohounds point either


amcmo wrote:

We have had problems with some Samsung equipment reliability,

Trying hard not to be an Android fanboy, but my iPhone 3G had lots of reliability problems (dropping calls or being unavailable to receive calls for instance)... 3 of my friends smashed their iPhone 4 screens - and not in any extraordinary circumstance (drop the phone from a 30cm table for example). In fact give me a company which didn't have some flop products, at this day and age.


amcmo wrote:

Yes, I'm sure the Galaxy III will be great, as will the iPhone 6...

We are not talking about next gen phone, but comparing the two latest offering of the two giants in the mobile phone business. That said, I don't think it's such a fair comparison, SGS2 was launched almost 8 months after the iPhone 4 and available to the public after almost 10 months. That's two life times in the tech industry.


amcmo wrote:

The add on hardware is not proprietary, it has a distinct Apple interface

Completely agree on your point that apple products have no second in accessories offerings


amcmo wrote:

The vast majority of apps (hundreds of thousands) are developed by small independent companies. So they have to get them approved by Apple as functional and clear of malware.. protects you.

The bullshit sprouted about Android being open and iOS being closed is just that bullshit!

OK I have to completely disagree with you there. First of all when people are talking about open or close the first thing they mean is this: You can see Google's code. You can't see Apple's code.
Obviously this has nothing to do with a Samsung phone which in this respect is exactly like an Apple phone.
However there are other points in which any Android phone will be more open that an iOS one: Android allows you (and your apps) much more room for customisation than apple. Basically in an iPhone (correct me if I'm mistaken) you don't have access to functions like the screen brightness, the keyboard layout, the way notifications are displayed or turning on and off the radios. All of those are available on Android out of the box, no hacking needed.
And lastly for the more "Hacky" people amongst us, there is a huge difference between what you can do on a Jailbroken iPhone and a rooted Android (I know, I've had both)


amcmo wrote:

The Galaxy IIs has Samsung's proprietary interface on top of Android, that MAY make it necessary for apps to be customised to work correctly on the Galaxy.

Not sure why you think that.


amcmo wrote:

Anyone can develop for either platform, the only difference is sometimes overbearing, but in most cases beneficial review by Apple prior to sale.

Apple's review process is better by definition just because there is one, however I believe it is not necessarily to the advantage of its users. In this respect again Android is more "open" because anyone can write and publish an app. Obviously there are security risks here and I do believe Google should beef up their game in this respect, but I'm quite confident that my Android running Lookout is safe enough. After all you usually only have to follow some simple guidelines in order to not download malware affected software.


amcmo wrote:

Funny how many Android fanbois all have 'a friend' who wants to get rid of their iPhone 4, not one iPhone user I've spoken to want's anyting else. (just as I'm sure most Galaxy II owners wouldn't)

I was an iPhone user that wanted to get rid of it, and I know a few others too. what is your point? that all your friends fall into the stereotypical apple customer profile?


amcmo wrote:

At the end of the day both products are so far ahead of where we were 2-3 years ago that most people could use either without any feelings of phone inadequacy.

+1
amcmo
4 August 2011
My comment on Galaxy III/iPhone 6 was in response to Photohounds, the Galaxy III will be much better - of course each new version is better than the last - couldn't see the point of his statement.

We have had a bad experience with several Samsung product groups. We ban 1 hard drive model due to the number of failures, however we WILL evaluate the Tablet and have a II S. My point was look hard enough and you'll find even the best have an occasional dud run.

My point on the 'open' was that for the vast majority of users who gives a..

So you can tweak this and that extra in Google, part of the whole Apple arguement is a consistent experience, whereas withthe ability to jack up the brightness (sound level also?) you can get applications that dimminish the experience. Remember 99.9% of the population want it to just WORK - don't give a rats about the minute additional adjustability - that functionality is really of concern to the very few of you who just want to be able to do it... and more power to you.

A number of developers who work on both platforms have commented that they have to develop specific versions of applications for a good number of Android phones due to the difference in the overlying GUI. This makes their work that much harder. If I recall, even this mag has commented that all Android apps do not necessarily work on all Android phones. With Apple (and presumably HP) it should just work.

Yes, simple guidlines to avoid malware - it's been shown that there have been a number of apps that use stealth to infect after the initial installation.

Remember, again we are talking about a public with limited/no appreciation of the risks. It's fine for those of us with good technical knowledge, however the vast majority, again don't have a clue, and when the local Telstra shop insists that it is much safer to do on-line banking on an Android phone than a PC (I heard the conversation myself) and that there was no way for criminals to put trojans/viruses on an Android phone - makes you worry!

My 'friends' are business collegues, customers and staff across 4 countries, and vary from outright Apple fans to Linux fanatics - hardly stereotypical Apple customers.

Yes, 1 cracked a screen, down a flight of stairs..., but still very happy with the phone itself. My point was that some of the posters regularly throw the 'friend with the iPhone' into arguments in favour of Android phones. I know of one of our staff with an HTC who almost smashed it to the floor in a 'hissy fit' and wants nothing to do with it. Doesn't mean that HTC are worse, just that that customer didn't like that phone. Hardly cause to use it as an argument for iPhone (or any other) superiority.

photohounds
4 August 2011
And some people cannot accept that the Big A is not the only answer. I have some apple products - they are good. So are the others we have. ANd my colleageu? Sits right next to me and showed his battery gauge. Well within expectations, and now HE's laughing at the Big A bias. He has an iPad too - likes it. Bias - mirror, mirror. The point about MAKING vs. outsourcing is that you can keep the best for yourself - or at least roll it out earlier than your on-sellers can. Not a difficult concept for unbiased people to grasp.
amcmo
4 August 2011
My PC is just that, a Win 7 PC, My phone a Nokia, my notebook a Win 7, - not an Apple product in my daily use - Funny if I were the biased Apple fanatic you portray, surely there would be at least 1!!!! So you and your mates can laugh at yourselves as much as you like.

I have borrowed the one iPad we have for a trip (and liked it), will be using the Galaxy when we get one, and will also try out the HP. Then I will make a decision on POSSIBLY getting one for myself based on my own comparative test, not on your biassed view, and not on the questionable reviews from this mag!

I looked at the II S one of our UK staff has and did not like the plastic feel (neither does he), otherwise was close to getting one.

I own the companies, so could have whatever I want....

Your comment about making vs outsourcing is so far from the mark...

Apple are such a force that they regularly get the latest components exclusive for up to a year, none of their outsource partners dares copy. No disadvantages and every advantage!

photohounds
7 August 2011
amcmo wrote:
My PC is just that, a Win 7 PC, My phone a Nokia, my notebook a Win 7, - not an Apple product in my daily use - Funny if I were the biased Apple fanatic you portray, surely there would be at least 1!!!! So you and your mates can laugh at yourselves as much as you like.

I have borrowed the one iPad we have for a trip (and liked it), will be using the Galaxy when we get one, and will also try out the HP. Then I will make a decision on POSSIBLY getting one for myself based on my own comparative test, not on your biassed view, and not on the questionable reviews from this mag!

I looked at the II S one of our UK staff has and did not like the plastic feel (neither does he), otherwise was close to getting one.

I own the companies, so could have whatever I want....

Your comment about making vs outsourcing is so far from the mark...

Apple are such a force that they regularly get the latest components exclusive for up to a year, none of their outsource partners dares copy. No disadvantages and every advantage!


Users are "biassed" towards their needs and vote with their $$. The mate has 7 days out of his Galaxy so far ... OK by me as I'd probably turn off all the )(*^ware too.

The Galaxy is very good hardware, every review detailed or not, in a non-fan-boy mag agrees. To like it above others is not 'bias', just pragmatism. The relative openness is a bonus. It is a good size and very light. I never got beyond iphone 3 as there's so much competition now. As for the 'feel', the HTC seems the goods there. If you get a plastic case (many do no matter WHAT brand) that's moot. I like rugged hardware, so I'd buy a plastic case. I can get one on a business plan too, big deal.

My DSLR and I made some rainy pics on the snowfield yesterday. I like not having to mollycoddle gear, or worse, having to worry about a moisture sensor, cynically 'invalidating' a warranty, or the maker telling me how I may use it. It's MINE.

Outsourcing gains only short term advantage these days. I must be biassed more to the Big A than you as we have 4 ipods in our house, only one on itoons. Many others also complain about itoons but it is the ONLY game in town for many. Unlike these Apple or Windows users, I'm not 'stuck' for SW to use with our little Big A music players.

Agree about Samsung drives. Hitachi have what is effectively a better than lifetime warranty. I have had good service from them on a 4-1/2 year old drive. Replaced with a bigger drive (which was still hopelessly small - the warranty extended beyond the product's useful life).




Edited by photohounds: 7/8/2011 04:55:09 PM
amcmo
8 August 2011
'Users are biassed towards their needs' - which might be why, as of this moment, Apple is the number 1 smartphone handset maker (remember Android is an ecosystem, not a manufacturer).

That said, Samsung will probably overtake Apple in the next quarter, however Samsung cover from basic to full-featured in smartphones, whereas Apple (at present) have only the top end.

I'm not disputing that the Galaxy may well be good product - and we shall evaluate it, however reviewers I consider unbiased still rate the iPad2 as market leading.

Outsourcing remains an extremely efficient manner to manufacture and will continue to be. The semiconductor industry is the ultimate example.
photohounds
12 August 2011
re: "Number 1 ... whereas Apple (at present) have only the top end" Whereas Samsung don't have a three year head start. They've done very well and as all of their phones are NOT identical in appearance or features, they can't all be "copies", surely?

Consider: Entry and mid-level touch screen Apple phones might qualify as "copies" of products from Samsung HTC et al., so should the Big A win this round, it may well place the "copy" boot on the other foot in a later fight:) Just silly.

I agree with that other poster, suppliers might very be wary of doing business if they have any intention of making a phone or tablet in future. Who'd want to be told what they can make in their factories on the what appears to the outsider to be the flimsiest of definitions?

The Galaxy IS a good product, according to the unbiased reviews, and eschewing 'advice' from apple AND android fan clubs. Easy to find that in the various reviews. My colleague ended up eking well over a week out of it, BTW. You might not bother as there's a charger at home, work, in the car etc. The silicone case that many buy for ANY phone puts paid to most of the durability considerations doesn't it?

The Tab may well be at the same level of excellence, and the Big A's reaction is telling. If it was Cr*p they simply wouldn't give a hoot, and they are preventing us being able to judge - for now.

//*

Edited by photohounds: 12/8/2011 05:10:11 PM
amcmo
12 August 2011
You've not read my previous correctly.

I said clearly that the Galaxy may well be a good product (reviewers do say so, though I prefer to test in house), but that most reviewers still rate the iPad2 as being superior by varying degrees.

Some manufacturers may choose not to be in contract manufacturing, however there are enough that are more than hapy to focus on only doing that. They keep factories running at full capacity and make good dollars doing so. That is their chosen niche.

As for component suppliers, there is enough choice out there and enough who want Apple's or any other major designers dollars to supply. Witness Intel even hinting they would be open to producing ARM processors for Apple. Samsung, your most used example, also purchases hundreds of millions of dollars from other component suppliers, so in that sense are not too far removed from Apple - it's all a question of volume.

Samsung are also unlikely to walk away from however many billions Apple spend with them this year. Explain that one to your shareholders.

I suspect Apple would equally go after a high volume crap product from a major manufacturer to prevent the market being harmed by the bad press from a rubbish product at this early stage of it's development.
ory_zm
12 August 2011
I agree that currrently the Tab 2 is one of the best tablets for sale, at its price range. However that is being judged against the old Galaxy tablet, the new one is currently being held from sale (and thus review) and might (should given that it is newer tech) overshadow the Tab (not sure about pricing though). Only time will tell....
amcmo
12 August 2011
On the current Apply vs Galaxy (and Tab2?) it appears there is an agreement between Samsung and Apple that Samsung will provide Apple with the Australian version of Galaxy 3 weeks before release for Apple to confirm that it does not conflict with the Apple patents. Seems that logic may well have prevailed. (hopefully)
photohounds
13 August 2011
amcmo wrote:
... that Samsung will provide Apple with the Australian version of Galaxy 3 weeks before release for Apple to confirm that it does not conflict with the Apple patents. Seems that logic may well have prevailed. (hopefully)


Logic? Advance notice to a greedy competitor who cannot manufacture?

You forgot that Samsung asked the same in return = 2-way 'copy' protection from what one can see on the surface.

I doubt that S will give the Big A the AMOLED screens ... nice advantage that THEY developed. Oh yeah, ARM processors were developed by who - Big A??

What did the Big A actually contribute to the state of the art that benefits ALL consumers without having to follow the Big A brand? and they make very little.

Intel? Any more than a phurphy to stem that blood loss to the mobile market?
amcmo
15 August 2011
Photohounds, you claim to not be an irrational Apple hater, though everything you say points to the exactly opposite,and a lack of any understanding of the realities of business at that level.

Samsung have agreed to provide samples to Apple as a way out of their current bind. they are trying to put all sorts of spin on it, however it all points to a tacit admission that the first units did breach Apple patents. Nothing to do with advanced knowledge (what on earth do you think Apple could do with 3 weeks advanced notice as you put it), just a matter of ensuring the revised unit don't breach patents and will be allowed to be released.

'Greedy competitor who can't manufacture'.

What does it take to get through to you that Apple choose not to manufacture. They have the money to set up a world class plant if they so wished, however they choose to focus on their design and marketing strengths as a good number of other leading companies do. Many renowned economists subscribe to this very same process of tight focus on strengths and not trying to have everything in house just for the ego. (it's in a good number of MBA programs.)

I've listed some of these companies before, however doubt that listing them again with get the message across as you apparently choose not to see that logic.

All the greedy copiers who, seeing Apple make the first useable and successful tablet have rushed out copies. They to my mind are the greedy ones. Let's ride someone's coat-tails.

You (and some others) continually harp on about Apple being greedy in wanting to keep the market to themselves. Wake up to commercial reality.

When you develop a market, if you have ANY commercial brain, you protect that market at all costs and do not willingly give ANY of it to competitors. If you have valid patents and competitors infring, you sue! Forget about what you think of the patents, we're talking the law as it currently apples to patents, not your wishful thinking. If competitors do succeed in getting established, you work to maintain any technical and marketing edge you may have.

That is what being in business is all about. Maximising profit and staying in business.

Google are trying to take over the phone market with their supposedly 'open source' model (while keeping most of the profits). They will happily drive Apple, Windows and any other platforms to the wall, again, simple business logic, nothing inherently greedy or evil in that.

If that ever happened see how the licencing model would change and what your choice would be. A google phone with a Samsung, HTC etc label, or they'd possibly pull the source back in house and go back into manufacturing a Google brand phone. (and an app store still open to malware)

ARM processors. Again you focus on the fact that ARM is a core design that many use. It's not an off the shelf processor like Intel's. What you may not be aware of or choose not to acknowledge is that when a company licences ARM, depending on their licence that have various rights. Apple have their own semiconductor design house (actually they purchased 2) They have the right to take the standard ARM core and add i/o tweaks, memory, integrate it with other design logic (ie the VR graphics processors), which is what they did with A4 and A5 (and Samsung apparently substantially copied the A4 for their own use). Similarly NVIDIA integrated their own graphics core in their version. That is innovation on the part of Apple, NVIDIA etc in maximising the performance of the ARM core in applications.

'Samsung developed AMOLED' - enhanced, not invented.

Actually Samsung's AMOLED is merely an excellent enhancement of a technology that was discovered and worked on in a number of universities (France, USA, UK - notice Korea does not factor there)and eventually patented in the UK, before being first commercialised by Kodak, so Samsung did not develop the technolgy, merely enhanced, as have Sony and others with varying levels of success. That does take innovation, however Samsung were not the inventors (or original thinkers).

Intel want to manufacture for Apple because they acknowledge them as an excellent customer who generate substantial revenue (and to protect their profits - good business sense).

You continually harp on about a supposed lack of innovation from Apple because they didn't invent the semiconductors or manufacture themselves. Innovation is thinking of an idea or substantially improving on current practice. It does not necessarily have anything to do with making a box or producing a piece of plastic.

Apple developed in house or were substantially involved in the development and or comercialisation of a good number of products and technologies in current use. They have also been on the certification board of a number.

Their innovation extends to the design of casings and even just to the efficient layout of the internals of computers, including motherboard. Apple are masters at that. There are a good number of other innovators in their own fieldor market segment, however for the time being we're discussing your apparent fixation on branding Apple as without innovation with regurgitation of your already disproven theories.

Looking inside and iPad or Air, you may say, it's just a motherboard, however how you maximise it's capabilities and package it most efficiently is also innovation. No one else has yet managed to copy the Air for example. Samsung possibly close, for an additional $1000.

I have designed and manufactured electronics products, both digital and analog in addition to working with a number of major semi manufacturers. There is nothing simple in even coming up with a standard reference type design, with usually a good number of revisions involved before production, followed by further tweaks to production product.

To come up with a product such as iPad and the Air does take innovative design and manufacture whether you choose to acknowledge that or not. There have been any number of other companies over the years who have also applied innovative design to electronic products, Apple's not alone in that, however the companies that have jumped on the iPhone and iPad bandwagon have generally displayed to complete lack of innovation and a substantial capacity to copy, then add a few 'frilly bits'. The IIS is a noteable exception to the copies.
ory_zm
24 August 2011
Fully agree with Apple being an innovative company. I also agree that they should protect their IP. However I do not agree with them claiming ownership to ideas that preceded them (such as the icon layout on an iPhone).
Notice that in the last court battles it is no longer really about right or wrong, inventions and inovations. It is now about batteries of lawyers and who can bend the law better to their purposes. That goes for both sides by the way.

Also, personally I do not like the closed ecosystem Apple imposes, but I do think that it fits most people, I have no problem with that. But it does drive me to buy an Android device.
amcmo
24 August 2011
Ory_zm,

If you've been following the HP WebOS mess, you'll possible be aware that we're headed towards a substantially more open Apple eco.

Not through specific choice by Apple, however the Webkit they open sourced (used in Safari and Chrome browsers) is being used by a growing number to make their own web based apps outside of the App Store.

WebOS has been shown to work very well on WebKit and, if they can keep developers working with it, could contribute significantly to both the iOS and Android eco's.
ory_zm
24 August 2011
I haven't actually, heard about it but didn't have time to look at it. You got a good link?
amcmo
24 August 2011
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/19/hps-webos-reportedly-runs-significantly-faster-on-ipad-2-than-on-touchpad/

http://www.businessinsider.com/html5-apps-2011-8

There are a number of other's out there, reporting on different aspects.

Edited by amcmo: 24/8/2011 03:19:25 PM
ory_zm
24 August 2011
Thanks.

Anyway the apps themselves are not the only closed feature of iOS that I don't like: for example I was saying before that I chose to use a 3rd party SMS app instead of the Samsung one. In the same way I use a different (better IMO) launcher. Those are things that cannot be performed in iOS.
amcmo
24 August 2011
Can if you jailbreak iOS, but that's a whole other can of worms.

That's the beauty of multiple platforms, and why I hope WebOS becomes a cross-platform development system.
ory_zm
24 August 2011
You really think that if you JB your iPhone you can change your launcher? different to my experience... but anyway like you say that's a whole other discussion, let's not get into it.

And yes, I love the versatility and options offered by many competing platforms.. in fact I don't think there were ever more good choices in the phone market.
photohounds
26 August 2011
This seems to be a great phone, not "copied" - just better than the current bag of fruit.

Apple will probably leap frog it with the ip5, and a cheaper version. Then Samsung will do the same with the Galaxy III and so on ...

THAT push from competitors accelerates development and is what benefits all users of these technologies. Stupid lawsuits have the capacity to stagnate that and the user experience to what an incumbent wants and nothing more than what an incumbent wants.
amcmo
26 August 2011
Lawsuits can in fact increase innovation by making companies get off their arses and actually design something outstanding, not just as close a copy as they feel they can get away with, plus a few tweaks.

Not saying that applies to S II, however certainly applied to a good number of the first crop of Android phones.
photohounds
26 August 2011
None of which are still sold as they were not apparently very good. The Galaxy II is the a-list phone - for now.

As implied by the court decision, almost of the ideas originated elsewhere, these new devices simply bring together existing technologies.

There is nothing seminal about Apple's toys, except the excellent marketing and that they work well - for the most part.
amcmo
26 August 2011
Whatever - you win. I'm sick of trying.](*,)
photohounds
27 August 2011
still can't let go that the galaxy S ii is a great phone/device/whatever. eh?

... it deserves to be at the top - for now.
jwaustincrowe
10 September 2011
I've got both the iPhone 4 and now the Galaxy S II. I've ditched the iPhone4 because, next to the Galaxy it is a child's toy. There is no shortage of Apps for the GS2, and, besides, most apps are crap anyway. How many idiot tests and turn-your-phone-into-a-torch apps do we need? The iPhone4 is the epitome of all that is wrong with Apple- closed platform, technology slowly meted out for corporate gain, and a user base that claims to be tech-savvy as much as an alien abductee can claim to fly a spaceship. You only need to find out what company they are suing to know who's got a better product.
rubaiyat
10 September 2011
jwaustincrowe Just a suggestion. Follow up the "it is a child's toy" with some actual details, real comparisons and thought out reasons.

I'm up for a smartphone soon and after the iPhone5 is out I'll be making a choice.

One thing is clear, technology leapfrogs and users love to compare their next with the other's last. Apple is always claimed to be "so yesterday" then their new model comes out and everyone is back playing catch up again. Copying does speed up development but then you have to have something to copy from.
amcmo
12 September 2011
jwaustincrowe

Never ceases to amaze me how many Android 'Fans' also claim to have an iPhone 4 and claim they are rubbish, childs toy...... You name it.

Let's look at this logically,

Most tests of the two devices (even from such pro-Android rags as PC&TA) rate them as similar performance and functionality.

The iPhone reportedly has a lower return rate
iPhone consistently tops satisfaction surveys amongst all users
They run at near enough similar speeds in all tasks
The iPhone currently has more useable business apps and is used by more fortune 100 customers
The iPhone (via the app store) has greater security against malware.
The Samsung has a user interface that looks exactly the same as iPhone when side by side
The Samsung does have a larger though lower resolution screen.

Seems to me that any unbiased reviewer would rate them as so similar in function and useability that either one would be an excellent buy, apart from security issues.

So just how did you arrive at 'childs toy?', other than to prove your bias?

FYI, latest reports on phone/tablet malware point out that the (semi) open system for Android apps has resulted in a growing number of Android app stores, many of whom do not bother to have ANY rules, even allowing outright rip-off copies of genuine apps to be listed. Seems that up to 400,000 Android phones infected is the trigger point before Google takes any steps to kill a malware app. On many of the additional app stores, that trigger point never happens.

Currently, from a strictly business point of view, I think I'd prefer my staff have the secure 'childs toy' as the device that connects to our system. We do actually now have 3 Android phones, though the restrictions on connections and app store downloads are severe to say the least.

j876
11 October 2011
To all the whiners on this thread complaining about security of corporate data. The most secure devices are the Blackberries which are more secure than iOS, Android, and Windows Phone put together because they were designed for the corporate world from the ground up and have data security as their highest priority. How long they (RIM) will stay in the market is another question.

There are also corporate e-mail clients for Android on the market that have more features and controls than the standard client.

Another thing is there are security suites now available for Android that prevent installation of malicious apps although they are still in their infancy.

Even on the rose garden that is the Apple App store there are still a lot of low grade apps that are just a waste of phone memory. The user reviews on any app store/market will give you a good indication if the apps are garbage or not.

Also the moderators should clean up this thread because most of the posts on here are not related to the review of the Samsung Galaxy S2. It has become an iPhone preach fest.

To the Apple fanatics who keep trashing this phone on this thread. Buy an iPhone 4S and stop trashing an alternative that is more than a match for it for people who don't want to buy Apple.

Let’s face it, Windows Phone and Blackberry (RIM) have a lot of catching up to do if they are going to be an alternative to Apple.

If people want to buy Apple, that's fine too. At least there are some decent alternatives for a change.

I have corrected the spelling on this post because other posters are apparently perfect and don't make typing errors. J876 12-10-2011

Edited by J876: 12/10/2011 12:11:08 PM

Edited by J876: 12/10/2011 12:13:27 PM
amcmo
12 October 2011
J876, so you'd like a little censorship of comments that don't agree with your anti-Apple version of life? How about censorship of posters who rubbish the opposition as just a toy?

William has stated in the past that it is valid to raise concerns about a product on any thread related to it. You are welcome to raise any iPhone concerns on iPhone related threads. Usually those who call for censorship in any arena are those who fear open discussion..

The issue with malware on Android is well documented and a valid concern to any business whether connected to the corporate networks or stand alone. It is valid for posters to raise this concern in discussion of any phone or app store that is open to such issues.

There is a world of difference between low grade apps you mention on the Apple app store and malware designed to steal your informationa and potentially cause significant financial loss. If you choose to ignore that, that's your call, but not in any company I own!

The programs available for Android do not appear to detect malware hidden within an otherwise apparently valid app on the store, nor hidden within updates.

You call anyone bringing up this issue 'wingers' (I think you mean whingers) or Apple fanatics. Just because we choose not to look at some product through rose coloured glasses and choose to speak up about these issues does not make us either. In my earlier post I do rate the phones, security issues aside, as very similar and either as a potentially excellent buy. Apple fanatic?

Our Android phones (yes we have some) are not permitted to access any Android app store without permission from the IT mgr and any attempt to do otherwise is a disciplinary matter. That's not being a whinger or an Apple fan, just conservative on security.

That said, only programs tested and approved may be installed on any equipment connected to the company network, regardless of platform.
j876
12 October 2011
My question is what do all these posts have to do with the Samsung Galaxy S 2 that is what I am asking.

This thread has nothing to do with Android, iOS, RIM, Windows Phone or app store or how to run a corporate network or how to run a business.

What people do in their own business is up to them.

All I am saying is this thread has gone off a massive tangent and needs to be cleaned up because most of the posts on here are full of off topic posts.

I am not saying censor it I am saying put it on another thread like for example "the pros and cons of each mobile platform".

Is that a fair call or not?

Edited by J876: 12/10/2011 12:19:56 PM

Edited by J876: 12/10/2011 12:22:07 PM
blockcentre
12 October 2011
amcmo, I think the point that j876 is making is that this thread was supposed to be about a particular device but has been derailed to become another of the Apple vs Android threads. It's a common trend here and I'm not pointing any fingers. I don't think he wants censorship, he just wants threads to stick to their topic which is probably what should be happening.

I don't speak for the other mods or admins, however I'm personally hesitant to remove or shift posts from threads as I do not want the members to think of the moderators as authoritarian. That said, I believe this place needs a really good clean up and strict rules regarding posts.
amcmo
12 October 2011
Blockcentre,

I agree to an extent, and I'm always mindfull of not actively promoting another product hence my comment in this thread that I consider either to be a good buy with no established overwhelming superiority, however do believe there is reason to discuss openly any potential pitfalls, i.e. the security issue.

Where it's a result of a 'review' by the magazine and take exception to the accuracy of the review, then I believe it's on for young and old to pick the review to pieces.
amcmo
12 October 2011
J876,

The thread does have everything to do with Android - it's the OS on the phone, therefore a valid point of discussion.

It does have everything to do with App stores as that is one of the central aspects of smartphones.

It does have everything to do with corporate networks as smartphones in a business environment often inteface with a corporate network, making security a central issue.

You can't evaluate the phone beyond it's physical beauty without taking those aspect into consideration and in the context of the headline 'Samsung Galaxy SII review: it's nothing short of remarkable' topics worthy of discussion.



Edited by amcmo: 12/10/2011 02:32:02 PM
j876
13 October 2011
amcmo this review article is about the Samsung Galaxy S II not about iOS vs. Android. Read the article again and read the majority of the posts by people who have posted on this SPECIFIC article.

Do you see where the posts are going?

The posts are gradually going completely off topic talking about software, security, and corporate infrastructure, why each OS is good and evil, instead of the actual device in question.

I am not pointing fingers, I am just highlighting the general trend of the thread.

Get the picture now?


Edited by J876: 13/10/2011 05:03:10 PM
amcmo
13 October 2011
j876, I always had the picture.

Yes, the article is about the Samsung Galaxy. An integral part of the phone is it's OS and the App store, which is where the valid discussion of security comes in.

Some posters have lauded it's release and claimed superiority for the Galaxy over another brand, therefore comparison is also valid.

As always, there are those who then sink to the 'mine is bigger than yours' which does tend to drag the discussion down somewhat.

I don't have a view either way on the product, however believe in the right of posters to discuss valid concerns (ie security) and comparisons to other ways of achieving the end result.
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