This is the best phone I’ve ever used. How’s that for an open? The Samsung Galaxy S II isn’t without faults (beginning with its clunky name), but it is so pretty and fast that everything else is inconsequential.
It’s difficult to describe the screen in words. More blacks. More contrast. That’s the result of SUPER AMOLED technology.
The iPhone has greater resolution. I can’t paper over that. I haven’t yearned for additional screen real estate yet.
Everything is fluid and fast. You touch, it happens. You swipe, it keeps pace with your finger.
There are apps for the iPhone that aren’t available for Android phones like mine. The opposite is true too. The vast majority of what I want to do with a smartphone is already taken care of.
Android exposes more of the inner workings of the phone. For a geek like me it’s fun to see what the GPS is seeing, even if it’s worthless from a practical standpoint. There are lots of other small peepholes into the hardware.
The phone is a little larger than the iPhone. It easily fits in a shirt pocket and rides nicely in my pants pocket. The screen is Gorilla Glass and reasonably impervious to scratching.
When people pick it up that always comment about how light it is. It’s mostly sturdy, though I worry about the back cover over time. It’s very, very thin.
Smart phones suck batteries. I spent $12 and ordered two spares and a charger off eBay. The batteries are small and flat and easily carried.
A large problem with any new technology is you have to make choices before you understand your device. It was my intention to use the phone for a little while then wipe it clean and start again. That way I had a small idea before I downloaded and installed apps permanently.
The factory restore took ten minutes tops. Painless.
I was pleased to see we are served by 4G out here on Mount Carmel. I’ll still stick with WiFi when I’m home.
We have WiFi at work, but it’s very weak at my desk. Unfortunately as soon as you lock onto WiFi the phone disconnects you from the 4G network. That’s the bad news.
The good news is a program called Llama. It allows you to create profiles so your phone acts differently at different times and places. The phone knows to shut its ringer between 4:00 and 5:00 and again from 10:00 to 11:30, but only if I’m at work! It also knows to turn off WiFi at work. That’s a pretty neat trick.
The profiles changes can be triggered by a variety of things including nearby cell towers, GPS location, time of day, etc. That’s one feature Apple didn’t have.
Yesterday I took my friends Peter and Farrell on separate tours of the station using Skype and 4G connectivity. I walked up and down stairs and through the newsroom and studio.
There are tiny things wrong with the phone. I wanted to answer a text message with a video reply. Only the rear camera is enabled for that. Why?
I can’t seem to get Gmail, from the same company that built the operation system for the phone, to push emails to my phone as received. Instead the phone polls Gmail every ten minutes.
The menu structure is often non-intuitive, but there are so many menus because there’s so much you can customize. This complexity unlocks the phone’s power!
Is the Samsung Galaxy S II for everyone? Yes, if you want to play at least a little. If you’re going to use your phone as it came out of the box the iPhone might still be the right choice.