Samsung Galaxy S2 review
|Review: April 2011|
In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy S2 is Samsung's flagship phone for 2011 and is the first Samsung phone to be powered by a dual-core processor.
Back in June 2010 we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S and proclaimed it the best phone on the market today. And the thing is, it probably still is the best phone on the market. Until now, because the best phone in the observable universe just got better!
You'd think that the best phone couldn't get much better, but Samsung have entered some kind of crazed accelerated development programme and have introduced loads of improvements over the original Galaxy S. The first thing you notice is the absolutely incredible screen. This has grown from a huge 4 inches to a mega-enormous 4.3 inches, matching the HTC Desire HD and making this the biggest screen on any phone. The poor old Apple iPhone 4 has just 3.5 inches of screen. But it's not just size that counts. The Galaxy S2 introduces a new technology called Super AMOLED Plus, which is eye-popping in its brightness and clarity. The Super AMOLED display of the original Galaxy S was leagues ahead of most smartphones, so to leap forward to yet another generation of display technology is mightily impressive. It's certainly a match for Apple's Retina display, even if the S2's resolution of 480 x 800 pixels isn't quite the highest.
The surface area of the phone has grown to cater for the enlarged screen, but the phone still rests in the hand nicely due to its incredible thinness. At just 8.5mm, it's the thinnest smartphone on the market (the iPhone 4 is a flabby 9.3mm). Below the screen you'll find a single home button flanked by two touch-sensitive buttons for Menu and Back. It's a minimalist design that gives you everything you need. At 116g the phone is pretty light for such a high-powered beasty, and that's thanks to the plastic construction. It lacks the high-end feel of a metallic case, but avoids the reception problems that have plagued the iPhone 4 and also to some extent the HTC Desire S. Something called Gorilla Glass is used to protect that all-important Super AMOLED Plus display.
The operating system is the latest version of Android - 2.3 (Gingerbread). Android is our top choice for smartphone OS, and global sales of Android phones seem to be overtaking iPhone quite decisively. The number of apps available has exceeded the 100,000 mark and is continuing to grow rapidly. Android 2.3 is combined here with a new version of Samsung's TouchWiz user interface - version 4.0. Along with various home screen customisations and Swype text input for faster typing on the QWERTY keyboard, this introduces a number of hubs into the user interface. The Social Hub, which we've seen on previous Samsung smartphones brings together contacts, calendar and email with Instant Messaging, facebook and twitter. Reader's Hub is a platform for ebooks and magazines, with access to over 2000 newspapers in 49 languages and featuring interactive features like page curling effects. Music Hub is a combined music player and Music Store - we'll have to see how that works out. Perhaps more interesting is the Games Hub where you can download premium HD games (and some free games) optimised for the S2's dual-core processor, Super AMOLED Plus screen and 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope sensors. The phone also comes preloaded with social games - We Farm, Safari, We Rule, We City. Being an Android phone, the S2 comes with pre-installed with all things Google, including Google Maps 5.0, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Picasa integration.
The headline grabbing feature of the S2 is its dual-core processor. It isn't the first dual-core phone to be released (that was the LG Optimus 2X) but it's the most highly anticipated. Anyone who's experienced the instantaneous response of the single-core Galaxy S might question the need for a faster processor, but the 1.2GHz dual core processor opens up new possibilities in video - particularly the Full HD video recording capability and the enhanced gaming experience.
It's logical then to talk about the camera next. This has been dramatically improved, with an 8 megapixel sensor and an LED flash (which was incomprehensibly missing from the original Galaxy S.) The camera has plenty of features taken from Samsung's digital camera range, including autofocus, touch focus, face detection, smile shot and image stabilisation. As already mentioned, the video camera has been uprated so that it can now record at Full HD resolution - that's 1080p format. Only the LG Optimus 2X can match that, and the Samsung does a better job with a sharper, more detailed picture quality. A secondary front-facing video camera is available for making video calls. There's a pre-installed image and video editor too.
The media player brings a great deal of functionality to the table and is capable of playing DivX and XviD format movies. The Super AMOLED Plus screen and the dual-core processor are a match for any video you might want to watch. 5.1 virtual surround sound is also supported. There's also an FM radio with RDS for listening to music on the move. Naturally a 3.5mm headphone socket lets you plug in your choice of headphones, and you can also connect the phone to a Full HD TV via DLNA and play movies or even games on a big screen.
Another area where Samsung have taken a great leap forward is in internet connectivity. The Galaxy S2 has an uprated implementation of HSPA enabling downloads of up to 21 Mbps where a network supports it (3 have just rolled this out.) That's faster than home broadband! This really is a phone created by speed junkies. And when it comes to web browsing, the fast internet access combined with a crisp, large display, multi-touch zoom and the super-fast Android web browser with Flash support and BBC iPlayer compatibility make it top dog.
Signal strength and call quality are good too (hey, it's a phone as well?) and battery life is excellent. For a device with so many features, you'll probably be playing with it all day and night, but Samsung have recognised the need for a monster battery and have stepped up to the mark. The S2 has a 1650mAh battery, which is the largest we've seen as standard in any mobile. Amazingly it doesn't seem to add any great weight to the phone (have Samsung secretly captured an alien spacecraft and stolen their technology?) Nevertheless, as any smartphone user knows, overnight battery charging will be required for the first couple of months at least. Once the battery - and the user - have been properly conditioned, the battery may last 2-3 days. That's pretty good going.
We're totally in awe of the Samsung Galaxy S2. To our minds, this is without question the best phone on the market today. The only reason not to buy it is the cost. But as of June 2011, it's available for free on contract for around £30 per month, which is gallons less than the iPhone 4. There will be more dual-core phones released later in 2011, and the next iPhone of course. But if you want our opinion, you should choose the Galaxy S2 - you won't have any regrets.
Samsung Galaxy S2 features include:
- 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, face detection, smile shot and 4x digital zoom
- Full HD video recording (Up to 1080p)
- Display: Super AMOLED Plus, 16 million colours, 480 x 800 pixels (4.3 inches) capacitive touchscreen with auto-rotate
- Music player
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- MP3 & WAV ringtones
- Integrated handsfree speaker
- AGPS with geo-tagging and Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Personal organiser functions
- Document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Memory: 16GB plus 4GB MicroSD memory card (up to 32GB)
- Connectivity: Dual channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, TV-Out, NFC
- Internet: Layar Reality Browser, Chrome-Lite web browser with Flash support, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSPA (21 Mbps download)
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), dual band 3G (900/2100)
- Size: 125 x 66 x 8.5 mm
- Weight: 116g
- Battery: 1650mAh battery
Samsung Galaxy S2 user reviews
Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 343 reviews:
Reviewed by Bev
on 8th Oct 2014
I hate the samsung Galaxy S2. Why did my husband buy it when he, my daughter and son all have iphones. I can't send them photos. I use my husbands iphone with ease and it responds quickly with every tap. My samsung takes ages to respond, screen goes black. I'm going to run over it and get an iphone and save my sanity.
Reviewed by Victoria Evans
on 27th Sep 2014
This is by far the best phone I have ever used. I had to write this review due to how amazing the phone is. It is basically water resistant.
Over two years I have managed to spill a bottle over vodka and a glass of Whiskey over it and it still works perfectly. It had a bit of a funny moment with the vodka but I left it alone on charge all night and by the morning it was working again. I also, last week, dropped it down the toilet, it went flat and refused to charge but again I left it on charge all night and didnt touch it and over night it fixed itself and is like new again.
I am very happy with it and i highly reccomend it to any one who is accident prone like me.
Reviewed by LIAM
on 19th Sep 2014
Like this phone but have problems gaining access to any network during the last three days.
Can txt,call/receive but no network for internet or other business.
Can anybody suggest what I can do to resolve this issue.
Reviewed by jan
on 14th Jun 2014
The samsung galaxy s2 is the worse phone I have ever had. It constantly freezes, cuts off during a conversation, takes ages to flick over when searching or to refresh. I cannot download pictures if any have been sent via email. I have taken it to a shop they told me every thing is working fine and set up but it still does not work properly. Absolutely hate it I am tied into a contract and it cannot be changed unless I pay x amount for another phone...Also gets very hot..my advice dont buy....
Reviewed by Mahesh
on 13th Jun 2014
I have used Samsung Galaxy S2 and the phone is pretty awesome. Sony Xperia Arc also launched at the same time, but with 512MB RAM with beautiful design. I got both the second hands phone Quikr and I managed to use them very well.
Reviewed by KM
from New Zealand
on 12th Nov 2013
Got this phone 14months ago while living in the UK and loved it. That is, until recently when it started crashing and deleting my messages without warning then last week it crashed completely and now wont restart AT ALL! am peeved to say the least as I have lost everything. Yes I KNOW I should've backed up but quite honestly was not expecting such a relatively new phone to crash. I'm gutted.
My daughter, who got her white S2 a couple of months before me has also had problems with her S2, the microphone has all but stopped working (making it sound like she is silent calling people), the headphone jack has packed up and, despite trying various chargers, the phone wont charge properly.
Considering the price we paid for these phones I would expect better.
Reviewed by Taiwo
on 29th Oct 2013
The best phone i have ever get, excellent
Reviewed by DAVID SUMPTION from UK on 9th Sep 2013
THE ONLY THING I DONT LIKE IS THE MASKING FOR HOME OR LOCK PICTURE IT CUTS THE PICTURE DOWN AND CANT USE FULL PICTURE ON MY OLD PHONE YOU USE TO BE ABLE TO USE THE WHOLE PICTURE AS WALLPAPER OR BACKGROUND
Reviewed by rob from england on 24th May 2013
just got this phone as my contract phones (lumia 800)micro usb port broke and i still have 6 months to run on contract. the screen is brilliant, its fast, and with an extended battery it lasts more than a day. i might even keep this phone instead of upgrading.
Reviewed by paul from England on 23rd May 2013
Really good phone battery life not so good put on kitchen worktop went upstairs come to look at phone again blank screen looked like hair on it wiped it closer inspection lcd screen had cracked by its self nothing around not been dropped samsung not helpful and said it was misused 6 months old said to much pressure must of been applied to phone if so screen would have broken and never been dropped wasnt misused not happy !!!!!!!
Reply by frank from uk on 23rd Jul 2013
What has a screen issue and problem with Samsung got to do with your comment? This site is to review the phone not the company. S21 you have to get a handle on these review and only publish the ones that are informative.
Reply by S21 from UK on 23rd Jul 2013
Hi frank, we do remove irrelevant comments, but we thought this was kinda relevant.
Reply by lee
on 28th Oct 2013
I dropped my ace 2 but it had nothing to do with the phone!
Reviewed by Damian from UK on 15th Apr 2013
I have had this phone more or less since they launched it.
The phone, on the whole, has been very good, although on 3 occasions an update has forced me to send it for repairs, I think I have a Friday afternoon model.
I am now considering a replacement and the only thing that discourages me from getting an S4 is Samsung's software.
Kies is totally rubbish, Kies Air is less rubbish and I generally use Airdroid.
Tonight I added 10 albums to my PC music library, I cannot add these to my S2 in bulk, whichever software I use wants me to send it track by track.
To top that off, when I connect my S2 by USB the Kies software doesn't find it. This is not a new phenomenon it has been bugging me for years.
Samsung need to sort this out, they make great products but if the end user experience is rubbish they will dip out to Apple.
I have been anti iPhone for a number of years but if Samsung maintain this sh%t I may just jump ships!
Reviewed by Robert from London on 15th Feb 2013
If you can still find this phone, buy it!!
Samsung Galaxy S2 + extended 2000 mAh battery + Samsung Jelly Bean ROM is simply superb and the most affordable powerhouse phone money can buy today.
I will be keeping this phone for another year or two. ;)
Reviewed by Freddy from UK on 22nd Nov 2012
Just a quick review to you guys that wonder how this phone stands the test of time.
I got this phone the day it came out, so i've had it for nearly 18 months, I had the HTC Hero before this, and that did't stand the test of time, was so slow/unresponsive by the end of the contract I ended up slamming it against a table.
Speed - Still lightening quick, haven't rebooted the system since i've had it (2.3 Gingerbread), it took months for it to have a little fit where i'd asked it to do something too quickly and took a couple of seconds to catch up. I began to wonder if it ever would have a slow down, but does it every now and then more recently i'd say once a week for about a second.
Sensitivity - Still very responsive, and calibrated perfectly (the hero used to think i'd pressed an inch over on the other side of the phone sometimes)
Battery - I'm unsure on whether i've got too many apps running or haven't set up battery options properly, but my battery lasts just about a day of moderate use (music walking to and from work - 1hr, 1hr - phone call at least followed by an 1hr here or there browsing the web.)
Durability - I never bought a case for the phone, I don't like them, so it's been braving the elements from day 1. I'm quite clumsy sometimes (as you can probably tell from the way i've typed this review up) the phone has been drop quite a few times even on it's face from waste height, and hasn't even got a crack or suffered from it. I have had it out in the pouring raining trying to change songs (it was impossible to) but it never suffered water damage either, so it's top notch in that area too.
Verdict: I'm so happy with this phone still, I don't think i'm gonna be happy to upgrade as easily as I have done in the past, most of my old phones were knackered by upgrade time and I was counting down the days, however with this i'm considering just keeping it and selling the upgrade, or keeping it as a festival phone perhaps. You can't go wrong with this phone. My mates girlfriend just got a contract on this for 600mins, 1GB internet and unlimited texts at £19 per month, and this in my opinion is a phenomenal deal!
Hope that helps!
Reviewed by Matt C from England on 15th Nov 2012
Well, I thought it is about time I put in my review of this phone since I bought it based on reviews on this site.
I should highlight now that I am not a power user, and there are a lot of features on this phone I have simply never needed to use. I came from an iPhone 3G so getting to grips with Android took a little while, but overall I think it is a good OS. However, it does seem to lack the simplicity of iOS and whilst iOS feels very linear, it just works. As an overall experience, I have to say iOS is a lot more user friendly, and a lot easier to get on with. I appreciate the lure of Android for power users, but for people like me a lot of the ability of Android is lost.
I have used the phone for just over a year now, and in that time it has been near faultless.
I have always used a faux leather flip front case, so my screen is still like new, which is nice. I have dropped it quite a few times and although the case has seen better days, the phone itself is still going strong. However I have had 13 months out of a £3.50 case which is an achievement!
The screen is superb on this phone. Granted, by todays standard it is last gen quality but I have never had an issue with it. Throughout a year of use it has remained responsive and I have not suffered the 'pink tinge' problem that some users were reporting back when I bought it.
All of the buttons still work, although I think the 'home' button has developed a fault recently. I have never had the OS lock up, or any of the other random problems that some have reported. I should note that my phone is on an O2 contract, and whilst I have never had any issues with the OS, I find that system updates for this phone have been pretty non-existent through my network. Having never bothered with Kies, I expect that is partly my own fault but my partner uses a Desire HD and she has had around 3 updates in 18 months (On Vodafone) without the need for proprietary software. I have had none at all on the S2 in 13 months of use :( However, that is not a failing of the phone as far as I am aware, but of the network.
I have also never suffered from poor signal as others have. Both telephone signal and wi-fi have been consistently good and I am more than happy with the reliability. On that note, call quality has also been consistently good, and even though the phone has been dropped a few times on hard surfaces, both the earpiece speaker and mic still function fine. The loud speaker is ok, but a little quieter than other phones I have used. However it is still perfectly functional and does the job, albeit not quite as well as other phones.
A big issue for this phone has always been battery life, and because of this I prepared by purchasing an upgraded battery! However, it is still in my cupboard at home, unopened. For my personal use, I have found the battery is lacking in some circumstances, but my lifestyle means I have rarely been caught short. I accept that for other users, battery life has been worse, but for my use it has been acceptable. I tend to charge my S2 once every 1.5 - 2 days. However if I have had a mad browsing session or have been playing heavily on a certain game involving a catapult and irate poultry, it soon depletes! But seeing as my wi-fi is always on at home, and I have emails synching regularly too, the battery lasts long enough for me. I have found tweaking screen settings has helped, as well as restricting social networking sites and turning off haptic feedback.
Internet connectivity and browsing has always been flawless, and fast. However, I find there are a few issues at the moment with the web browser occasionally locking up. I think, though, this may be down to some unwanted bloatware rather than any fault of the phone. The browsing experience is quite fluid once you get used to it, and you can add and manage favourites with relative ease. One thing that is frustrating, though, is that you can't close down the browser completely without using task manager. When only one browser window is left open, it would be nice to be able to close it and exit to home screen. But you can't, so your browser is always open in the background unless you close it via task manager. Another element of the browser that I think could have been tweaked is the downloads page. Once you have viewed a download and deleted it from your list, it does not delete the file from the media folder. It would have been nice to have the option to delete both for those occasions where you download something only to decide you don't actually want it. It just means having to delete things manually, but it would have been nice if they could have incorporated a menu where you get the choice to delete the actual media at the same time. All in all, though, these are very minor gripes. One final point to mention is that I use wi-fi when at home and during longer browsing sessions the phone gets quite warm. It concerned me to start with because I wondered if it was going to cause any damage, or premature screen burn out but thus far I have seen no ill effects but I accept that at only 13 months old there is time for it to develop some yet.
One major gripe that I currently have, though, revolves around non-removable programs, one in particular. I am, of course, talking about voice talk! I think my 'home' button may be faulty now because even after only one press, voice talk opens and is doing so with annoying regularity at the moment. Suffice to say I wanted to remove it, but can't. I could live with that if I could just turn it off, but alas I can't. For a supposed fully customisable operating system, I find that curious and a bit annoying.
One thing I have used quite a lot is the camera, and I have to say for a phone camera (and a Samsung one at that) it is pretty respectable. It has plenty of settings and takes some good quality snaps. Browsing the media folder is easy as is sharing media via social networks or MMS/email. OK, it is no DSLR, but it is better than my partners 10mp Samsung compact digital camera. Video recording is great if the light is good, but in low light conditions it gives very noisy footage. I can't really complain though as it is a phone, not a camcorder! Although the phone comes with editing software, I have never used it so I cannot comment on that.
Texting is quite easy, but then I only use the standard Samsung keyboard. I tried the 'swype' and keypad sweeping settings and found it to be unreliable and clunky - more of a marketing gimmick than a real-world feature. I daresay I could have kept at it, but if it isn't broke, don't fix it, right? A point I want to make here is how fragmented some of the OS options are. For instance, in messaging you can set many options for SMS, MMS etc, but there are no settings for input which would lead you to believe there are none. So you have to exit and go to the main system settings in order to change that. Except you don't, you just have to press and hold the screen in your message field and an input menu opens. There is yet another menu in the keyboard itself for changing predictive text and other options. Being new to Android, I have always felt it is counter intuitive to have so many fragmented options menus, but as I have become more experienced I have become more familiar with how Android and Touchwiz work so I have reached a state of competence. That said, why can't all the settings for messaging be in one place? Finally, this phone will not let you send SMS messages greater than 3 messages long. I have no idea why. Anything longer than 3 messages gets automatically converted into an MMS, and there is no way of changing it that I could find. As with everything else though, these things are minor gripes, but if they were addressed they would go a long way to making the experience a little more enjoyable.
One feature that I found out about by complete accident is this phone can be used as a turn by turn satnav! Granted, it kills the battery, but when your actual satnav dies unexpectedly when you are in the middle of London, it is a really nice surprise to find out your phone can do the job just as well! I was actually speechless that it worked so effectively, and got me to my next appointment on time. I have used it several times since and although it works brilliantly in major cities, it is a little more hit and miss in countryside areas. That said, as a backup I think it is an awesome feature.
I have never used this phone for music, so I cannot comment on that element.
Emailing is a fairly nice experience, and the phone has the built in ability to view .pdf, .doc and .xls files and the ability to edit the latter two as well. I use a Blackberry as a work phone, and the S2 surpasses it for it's ability to open complex documents. I also like how the S2 synchs with my mailbox so if I delete something on my phone, it removes it from the servers inbox too. However, I use my S2 with a Hotmail account and have never been able to get it to work with the junk folder. There is a list of all the folders that I have in my account, but if I select junk, it says 'refreshing' but nothing ever loads. This is a little frustrating as sometimes I get important emails come through that go to junk and I would like to be able to access that folder in the same way I do my inbox without having to use the internet browser to log into my account. Overall, though, emailing is a good enough experience and the phone handles things competently.
Apps are easy to come by, and the Play store is easy enough to navigate. However, I feel that a lot of apps want unreasonable access privileges to my phone, and because of that I am very selective with what I install. The previously mentioned title involving irate poultry is one example. Initially the app only wanted basic access rights, but as soon as the next update came out it was asking for a lot more. Why does a game I play need to know my GPS location? Why does it need to know who I am talking to on my phone? I don't believe it should need any more access than phone state so that it can allow incoming calls etc. I didn't update because of these unreasonable 'rights'. What frustrates me about the Play store is that some of the main titles are not available to buy. They are free 'ad supported' apps that are nothing more than a front to mine personal data from people in my opinion. I am very careful with what I install on my S2, and other than a couple of apps, it has remained pretty much as it was when I had it.
Every day elements of this phone are also present and functional. Calendar, alarm clock, calculator etc. There appears to be a bug with my phone where if I press my clock display it will not open the clock menu. I had to put a separate shortcut on my home page for the clock to access it. It's only a little niggle, but one I believe should not be there.
Overall, I have been really happy with this phone. It has taken some getting used to but it is a brilliant phone for the money when compared to it's closest rivals. At the time I bought it, it was over £200 cheaper than the iPhone 4S and did everything the 4S did and more. This was bang for buck the best phone on the market and whilst it is dated now it still packs a mighty punch for it's current price and is still £200 cheaper than the 4S. I would recommend the S2 to those who want a versatile phone but do not want to pay the earth. Granted it is not a top spec phone by todays standards, but for the money it is a great choice.
I have decided to give the Nexus 4 a try and see if I can finally settle into Android. I will be keeping my S2 as a backup though as although it feels less intuitive to me than my 3G, it has not only been reliable but also extremely useful.
Reply by S21 from UK on 15th Nov 2012
You've said it all, Matt! Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review.
Reviewed by roger.stark from israel on 13th Nov 2012
Reviewed by shelly from uk on 22nd Oct 2012
Amazing phone, i love it! i have got in the pink and it looks soo nice, super fast.Was using the blackberry 9790 before and that seems so slow now.
Reviewed by Sumant from UK on 21st Sep 2012
Amzing fatures and definitely the best phone on market before S3 although a real awful battery life. I am into 15th month of my contract of 18 months and I have to recharge battery after 6-7 hrs of use . Intemittently disconnecting HD screen interface.
Overall big bang mobile but as usual a very very poor batter... characteristic of samsung. Disappointment.
Reviewed by ace from Jamaica on 6th Sep 2012
Such a device.I am walking around with my laptop.and phone all in one a give the SII a 5 ratings
Reviewed by rahman.M from uk on 4th Sep 2012
All rounder Galaxy s2 Android is a very good quality light weight truly smart phone.Get it enjoy it.I used it for seven months no complain.
Reviewed by Sam from Kenya on 31st Aug 2012
I bought the S2 phone two months ago, Good phone but i cant upgrade to ICS with kies, The phone also keeps hanging time and again. who has an idea?
Reviewed by MEL HARRIS from UNITED KINGDOM on 25th Aug
BEST PHONE I'VE USED AND I'VE RECOMMENDED IT TO ALL MY FRIENDS.
I'M DISABLED AND HAVE POOR HAND MOBILITY,THIS PHONE IS IDEAL FOR ME,I CAN TEXT,E MAIL AND SURF THE NET,WHERE I WAS PREVIOUSLY UNABLE TO DO
WITH A LAP TOP.
DOE'S TEND TO JUMP ALOT STILL WHEN U ARE TYPINGREVIEWS THOUGH,BUT I'M SURE SAMSUNG WILL SORT THIS GLICH OUT EVENTUALLY.
HAVE TRIED THE GALAXY 3 BUT COULDN'T GET ON WITH THE SMALL KEYS
Reviewed by Adam from UK on 23rd Aug 2012
I had a Galaxy S2 on Vodafone, and apart from Vodafone's terrible service the phone was amazing!! When I moved to o2, I stupidly got a HTC One S, which was awful. After only a few weeks I sold this and bought (as a last minute replacement) a Sony Xperia P - whilst this started off well, just like the HTC did, it's really not that great and after only another few weeks I have made the decision to sell this, and buy a new Galaxy S2.
I was considering the Galaxy S3, but it's just a little too big for my liking. I compared the specs of the S2 (even though I knew them already) with my fiancee's Xperia S, and for all of the benefits of the Sony, there were ten for the Samsung.
After years of being a Nokia fan, I am well and truly a Galaxy S2 fan.
Reviewed by freddy from Costa Rica on 19th Aug 2012
Simply amazing phone fast light and stetics kick others phones off
Reviewed by Mardave from Flintshire North Wales on 1st
I am very disapponted with this phone as the screen keeps blackening out, and keeps moving around from up right to sideways when browsing through internet and making phone calls. Not ideal phone for hard of hearing as the volume not very clear on speaker mode. Difficult to hold as it to streamline (to thin) as you are catching the side buttons, which turns off and altering the volume as well. It's going back and out comes again my Blackberry 9780 as it is a better phone
Reviewed by Paul from N.Ireland on 26th Jul 2012
Brilliant phone. Great design and very fast. Works well on ice cream sandwich 4.0 and can't wait for Jellybean 4.1. Well worth buying
Reviewed by Jade from UK on 17th Jul 2012
This is the worst consumer product I have ever bought. I have had three in a row which have been faulty and Orange now refuse to replace with a different model until their "diagnostic system" says so.
Oftenhave to turn it off and back on again just to make a phone call, and the same to receive email. The dictation ("tap and speak") does not work at all. The screenlock does not work, so if the phone cannot be carried in your pocket without a case as you end up randomly calling people. I have never had a whole days battery life out of it - if I have been out for the whole day there is no chance of using the phone on the way home. If using frequently (eg for internet) battery will not last past lunchtime.
I was persuaded into buying this phone by staff in an Orange shop - worst purchase ever as I can't now get out of my contract of get a different phone. Should come with a warning.
"Sywpe" texting function is absolutely rubbish - inputs words which are nothing like what you have written and so you have to check carefully and it takes ages to text.
As a result of having this phone, I will never buy another Samsung product, and will switch to another network as soon as I can get out of my Orange contract.
Reply by Mardave from Flintshire North Wales on
2nd Aug 2012
If Orange your network provider can't sort you out with your phone, I'll would change your network provider to Three as they very good and helpful. Good luck
Reply by evohicks from UK on 27th Sep 2012
I have often heard of problems with these phones using Orange software, a mate at work also has problems with it rebooting etc... I have had 2 Galaxy S2's now, (Sold 1st one to get the white one) both have been perfect, also I have family members using them with no problems. I admit there are problems with software etc but there are lots of phones out there running fine.
Reviewed by Sam from Kenya on 16th Jul 2012
Bought the galaxy S2 one week ago. Its so exciting, beautiful and very fast How do i upgrade to ICS?
Reviewed by b atkin from england on 5th Jul 2012
Could love the phone if it had a user guide for operating. the system . Any help out there would be usful
Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 6th Jul
Link to official user guide.
Reply by S2 User from England on 10th Jul
You can download the ICS manual from Samsung's official website for free... Samsung then support... Check it out !
Reply by Pete Jackson from U.K. on 7th Aug
Try Samsung H/O very helpful, have just agreed to send a user guide to me. I belive that a manual should be sent out with every phone, for, if like me this is your first android phone then it can be a daunting experience setting up what is a great phone
Reviewed by sam son from uk on 25th Jun 2012
This is the most comftable and lightest mobile ever .
Its so powerful user friendley and such a big advantage for everyday use i recommendec this outstanding device to anyone
Reviewed by maureen from great britain on 20th Jun 2012
I like this phone i have not come across any problems really just wish i could write on the screen with something apart from my finger.
Reviewed by Peter from UK on 2nd Jun 2012
The S2 which I have had for over a year now will run ICS 4.0.3.
As I have installed it onto my phone via my PC and Kies.
I only found out that it would install after going to a 3G shop to get a Xone phone for my wife and saw that a staff member had put ICS 4 onto the Galaxy SII they had on display for people to play with.
It seems to run even better than it did with the old android 2.3
as mine had a problem with rebooting by its self.
Reply by Peter from UK on 6th Aug 2012
Hi Just an update to my post on this great Phone. I am using my laptop to write this update which is now setup to connect to the net via my Galaxy SII which is running as portable WIFI hotspot as my 3g dongle(1gig per month limit) has run out. I am really impressed with the speed it runs at, way faster than any dongle. plus its not dropped out in the 2hrs I have been surfing the net. It never crossed my mind to use my phone this way but I will be using it now! when I am away from home. plus you dont need to be a network wizard to set it up.
Reviewed by rich from uk on 24th May 2012
samsung galaxys 2 the best phone ive owned so far, can do most things with, customise, great phone.
Reviewed by Jamie from UK on 17th May 2012
I've had this phone for six months now and I absolutely love it! It's enormously customisable - I change the look of it almost daily or whenever I get bored. I think other reviewers have dealt with the camera and internet, so I won't go into those. For people who are complaining about the battery life, that's one of the prices you pay for having a powerful phone with a bright display. I bought a more powerful battery than the one supplied, and it will get me through nearly three days if I don't touch the phone or comfortably through one day if I spend most of the day playing with it. I also make sure that I have a battery saver app and also change the settings so as to minimise battery use when I'm not making calls or playing with it. There are endless fun apps in the market, and with the price dropping due to the forthcoming S3, you'll be getting an absolute bargain if you choose this phone.
Reviewed by Cuspchild from Barbados on 16th May 2012
I have the G2 for the past month, and I am very pleased with the phone. I also have the iPhone 4s, but prefer to use the G2, however I have two issues.
1) I cannot update to ICS. The phone is running Android 2.3. Checking on software update it states there is no update available. When I go on Kies it states my phone cannot be updated through Kies. How can I get the latest update to ICS?
2)I notice photos taken with the camera have a greenish tint and colours seem over satuarated
Any suggestion to my two issues?
Reply by S from England on 7th Jun 2012
Try un-installing Kies from your computer & reinstalling I had the same problem.....
Reply by rock from uk on 23rd Jun 2012
you can download a offical samsung rom from a web site for ics 4 as kies does not always work
Reviewed by Bill from England on 12th May 2012
It's a good phone but why are all the good phones so expensive. I've used mainly SE phones up to now but as android levels things out I thought I would give Samsung a go.
Nice screen brighter and more colourful indoors but in sunlight I can't say it seemed that much brighter than a high end SE. At first I thought the phones WiFi connection was poor as it only showed a couple of bars compared to my old SE's full rack. Then I realised as I re-downloaded a lots of apps that the WiFi connection never missed a beat. While the SE connection had kept dropping despite showing as a better connection. I think someone somewhere explained that the Samsung WiFi connection display is not in any way poorer it's just more truthful.
It was also good to see that some basic software was present like a file manager and a voice recorder.
One big plus I have to say is the camera. Very clear and sharp even full size on a PC screen. That's one thing SE have to work on. I found their 8mp pictures less sharp than one of their 5mp ones. Over compression is the problem there I believe which is a shame.
All in all the phone functions well with a good signal and clear sound. Easy to connect to a PC but Kies is nightmare software. Much better to use MyPhoneExplorer. So either find the drivers (SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe) on the net or do what I did. As I regularly do back up images of my PC it was simple just to download and install Kies, find the required file, then reload the earlier image. Very necessary as Kies installs lots of things besides itself.
The only thing I haven't tried is NFC which sounds more like a northern version of one of our favourite takeaways. I'm hoping that will catch on later this year. I think NFC has a lot of potential for much more than just paying bills and the like. Could be interesting.
Reply by Bill from England on 24th May 2012
I take back what I said "I can't say it seemed that much brighter than a high end SE." Using it today in the bright sunshine on the end of Bournemouth pier taking pictures it was obviously easier to see the screen than my previous high end SE phone. Even played a game and I definitely couldn't do that without struggling to see things on my old mobile.
Reviewed by dawn from uk on 12th May 2012
Had the s2 for a week. Bought it sim free on o2. I have to say, it's a great phone. It's super fast and has an amazing screen. Call quality is great. I also prefer touchwiz to HTC sense (never thought I would say that). Battery life seems pretty fair, bout a day and a half, moderate use. Samsung keyboard is totally pants tho, first stop was smart keyboard pro on google market! Really wish Samsung would make a phone of this spec/quality with a smaller screen. I tried the galaxy W, but it was handicapped by a ridiculously small RAM. I'm a girl with small hands, one handed texting isn't really an option with the s2. It feels more like a mini tablet than a phone. That's OK tho, as this is my backup phone, got a BB for the real stuff. Oh, the camera is great too. So, not really a pocket friendly phone but a gorgeous bit of tech. Def a smart investment, s3 is looming but s2 is smaller, future proof and will only get cheaper. Win win.
Reply by dawn from uk on 14th May 2012
Just a note of warning. My s2 is the NFC version, some cases and the Samsung extended 2000 mah battery pack do not fit this phone. It's a tad larger than the original s2.
Reply by Robert from South Africa on 29th
Hi Dawn, You'll be happy to know that the Galaxy Ace 2 is out...it is basically a Galaxy S2 with a smaller screen (3.8"). I've also got the Galaxy S2 and while it's a fantastic phone, also too big for my liking. I can't wait for the Ace 2 to be available in SA!
Reviewed by Dina from Scotland on 11th May 2012
I am very disapponted with this phone as the screen keeps blackening out. one simple example - when I dial 123 for answerphone, the screen blacks out and I cannot press 1 to listen to my calls, without having to switch on and off (maybe several times). It often blacks out when I'm on a call and there is no way I can see the 'end call' button. I mostly use the phone for making/receiving calls, checking emails, google. This is the second S2 I have had, the first was replaced by the firm for exactly the same reason.
Reviewed by pizzed off wityh samsung from uk on 10th May
rubbish signal on these,its a great phone apart from that but whats the point if theres no reception ,also callers complain i sound like im in a tin or something.
Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 11th
Are you using some kind of case? What network are you on?
Reviewed by michelle from ballymena on 28th Apr 2012
I have a samsung s2 in white an love it the battery great pictures are great i bought this outright on pay an go an cost me 449 but have one downside internet takes ages to work on it other than that its great
Reviewed by joan from ne245ej on 22nd Apr 2012
very good phone singnal very good
Reviewed by s70lky from england on 22nd Apr 2012
Galaxy s2 and outstanding phone having owned it for seven months.l did some times think it was a bit slow at times,going in to contacts. After upgrading to ice cream sandwich the phone got much faster. And connecting to samsung kies got alot more easy and face recognition is so cool, definitely the best phone on the market
Reviewed by Lizzo from UK on 21st Apr 2012
Samsung Galaxy is a dead loss. Signals are poor, fair or just not there at all. I can't access Virgin Media email. Why wasn't I told that all servers may not be available Orange? The phone was pushed as the best thing since sliced bread. I can only give it one star as the very thing I wanted it to do it won't, my email. I try to access BBC i-player, it tells me to switch to Wi-Fi when the phone is ON Wi-Fi. I couldn't recommend this phone to anyone. It's a disappointment.
Reply by FT from UK on 25th Apr 2012
Stop moaning about the phone when you have a network issue take it up with Orange. Don't moan about a network carrier then give the phone poor marks! I upgraded to ICS 4 lost my email (NTLWorld) until I manually entered the IP info on the connections setting not the phone fault but Vodafone. I would suggest you make sure your connections settings are correct go back to your network provider and make sure they give you all the details you need the automated text i got to update the WAP and MMS settings were wrong again not phone problem.
Reply by SnarlingRabbit from United Kingdon on
28th Apr 2012
Have you tried ringing Samsung? Agree, Orange tech staff haven't a clue when it comes to smartphones these days. You could try getting through to their busines section (few more brain cells). Android phones are still a bit techy and require some degree of knowledge to operate. I think this phone would be flawless if it had hTC Sense.
Reviewed by lee from england uk london on 21st Apr 2012
First can i say iv had this phone a month i also have a iphone 4 which iv had since launch
first the good points
the phone looks good screen is big its very light
Then we turn it on
Screen is bright and nice to look at os runs fast apps open quickly
internet is the best iv seen on a mobile phone full flash full internet also the 4-3g connection is also the fastest iv seen on a phone everything data runs fast reception is good (t mobile uk)
the reason for 2stars is that the battery is the worst iv ever seen on a phone out of the box i always do the factory hours charge before turning on as i did to this phone but the battery only last more than a day if you only use phone to make calls everything else even a 2hour a day user will need a charge its terrible so many features such a good phone ruined by a rubbish battery plus the recharge system is the most backward iv seen on a phone (meaning) when you charge it will charge at 5% an hour it just about allows normal use while charging if you for example are watching a video online the battery will run down fast really fast plug in charger and it will still run down iv only ever seen this when a phone is used as a wifi hotspot not normal use of data but this phones battery and slow recharge system cant handle it this is why its a 2stars
as such a feature rich phone you would feel that they would give it a ok battery even current standard would have made this phone a 4-5 as everything else is perfect but i fail to see how any type of user can be ok with these flaws as its impact on the phone are clear for all to see
thanks for reading this review
Reply by lee from uk london on 22nd Apr 2012
Update also the phone gets so hot when in use (phone calls data) so hot be warned iv tested this on 4 sg s2s as two the battery times eveb with turning wifi 3g brightness etc everything you would want the phone for leaving it with screen off total time 23 hours 46 mins (in effect thats stanby time with everything off) Heavy users stay away midium user stay away low users buy a cheaper phone that has most features and most problems this would be better example (samsung galaxy w) thanks for reading
Reviewed by TommyC from UK on 21st Apr 2012
Superb phone, previously owned a BB9700 which was everything I needed until upgrading to the SGS2, what a difference. Everything is super quick - apps, internet, gaming, and email. Touchscreen does need a bit of getting used to and you have to research the whole set up of the phone as to get the best battery life/performance comprimise, however there are plenty of forums with good tips - this is more like a pocket computer than a phone!
Call quality is excellent, never dropped a signal. Have not regretted for a second leaving the BB behind...
Reply by Laura from UK on 23rd May 2012
I've literally just purchased the SGS2 a couple hours ago, and it's on its 24 hour charge at the moment! I was wondering if you could possibly recommend where you got the research on battery life/performance compromise? I'm a heavy user and will find any tips on preserving battery life a big help! Thanks :)
Reviewed by Ian from UK on 20th Apr 2012
An unbiased Review:
Owned my S2 for 4 months now - here's my opinion (previously had iPhone and HTC Android):
Performance - Have to say as a piece of kit it is fantastic. Everything snaps open and closed - I've never had any delays with any applications or using the browser (I have good Wi-fi / 3G where I live) and it blows the iPhone and previous Android phones I've used away - no comparison.
Display - brilliant screen. Best I've ever used (prefer it to iPhone4 although some people disagree).
Value for money is outstanding - £10 per month cheaper than an iPhone with a better contract.
Touchwiz - previously used HTC Sense and was skeptical with this but find I prefer it to Sense now. Overall I like Touchwiz as it's simple and not intrusive.
Size wize I'm neutral - love the fantasic big screen (indoors - not so good in outside light) but I think it's just a bit too big as a phone - awkward to handle one-handed.
Messaging software (either the built-in one or 3rd party like Handcent SMS) is average - I find editing texts difficult and no where near as good as the iPhone - this needs improving.
Google Play (Market) - okay but not outstanding. However this is rapidly improving but has a long way to go to equal the Apple App Store. Lots of free stuff though.
Battery - won't last more than 2 days if you play games / use browser but that's okay - my iPhone was the same.
It's too thin and slippery - a good case is a must as I found it would slip out of my hand without one (use a Case-Mate Tough which is brilliant).
Heat - gets a bit hot if you play some games for a long time (as my son does quite often!). Must be the graphics chip as it's the graphics intensive games that do this. Not a showstopper though.
Absolutely brilliant as a mini-computer/tablet.
Average as a phone/texter.
So if you want more of a computer than a phone I think it's the best smartphone out there for price/performance (until next weeks new model of course!)
Overall I give it 4 out of 5 (to put that into context I wouldn't swap back to an iPhone).
Reviewed by Joe from UK on 17th Apr 2012
I highly recommend this phone...best phone ever.....
Reviewed by Vlad from England on 17th Apr 2012
Has any of you guys and girls managed to get latest ICS 4.0 for yours SII? It was announced that sim free version will get and update from 19 of March, I tried but Kies still saying NO, also annoying thing is that O2 and 3 are already rolling with new ICS update.
Oh and the phone is great, could be better if TouchWiz 4 is not wasting a battery like mad.
Reply by s70lky from england on 22nd Apr 2012
Yes upgraded ice cream sandwich my phone is on the 3 network And updated through samsung kies.on 21/4/12 have heard that the orange network will be ready in the next few days if not now, and the rest of the networks very soon.
Reviewed by ali from uk on 9th Apr 2012
ive had the samsung galaxy s2 for about five months its a great phone apart from it gets very hot when on call and internet i get sore heads when the phone gets hot orange have replaced the phone and battery on several ocations i think 4 batteries and about 10 handsets all the same for that i can only give this phone a 1. can anyone help what should i do ive asked orange to let me change my phone to something else they wont let me do that as im 5 months into my cantract
Reply by king from uk on 11th Apr 2012
I have been using this phone for quite a while and m having a issue that it heats up while playing games m getting a replacement so let c how duz dat go
Reply by lizzo from uk on 21st Apr 2012
I agree, the Galaxy is a dead loss. I don't want to use it for games but I did want it for email. The phone was recommended by Orange who did not tell me that some Internet providers aren't accessible. Orange have not been at all helpful, in fact the manager of my local outlet was downright rude. Like you they won't allow me to change the phone I am 8 months into my contract. The Consumer Protection Act doesn't seem to apply to mobile phone companies.
Reply by JK from UK on 6th Jul 2012
Legally, Orange have responsibility if you inform them within the 1st 6 months. After the initial 6 months, the buyer has to prove it existed at the time purchase if I am right. Think it is the Supply of Goods and Services Act-products have to be of satifactory quality and fit for purpose. RE: Internet and internet providers, there may be an issue of misrepresentation, but I am not completely sure about that.
Reviewed by rayraysworld from England on 6th Apr 2012
The Samsung Galaxy S2. "the best phone you can get", I was told. Well, I hope not because I want a better one.
I do like the phone but there are many things I don't like about it. Sadly, some of these gripes would be the same with other similar phones.
Firstly, having to download the ghost-like programme Kies to be able to transfer info is a massive thumbs down and is the main reason why I will NEVER EVER (EVER) buy a Samsung phone ever ever again.
I have had many phones over the years and it's always been a simple case of linking my phone to my PC with a USB and dragging the pics or whatever over. Oh No.....that's too simple for Samsung. So I plugged in my phone and......nothing. You have to download Kies! It wouldn't work! And it's so difficult to use....and I'm no computer novice either!
I have tried to use KIES loads of times now and even had a friend round to help and he fixes computers for a living and he couldn't do it either!
So I used Bluetooth to transfer photos but it just saved them on my pc as thumbnails so the pics were tiny and would blur if expanded! Rubbish system and if you are not a PC expert, I would stay away from Samsung phones.
In the end, I went to the Dropbox website, put my pics on there and then transferred them onto my pc which is a pain in the butt. As for music, I have to transfer music from my pc to an old Sony Ericsson phone I have and then Bluetooth the songs over to my S2! Not that the music player is any good anyway.
The ON/OFF button!
It's directly opposite the volume button so you can accidentally turn your phone off when adjusting the volume as you naturally hold it on the sides. Rubbish!
Music Player......I can't get it to play music for very long despite going into the settings and playing with it. One song or so and it switches off automatically. Not ideal for listening to music while shopping or walking!
Not a bad camera but one thing.........I can't take photos silently. The shutter sound is a nightmare. I sat there trying to take some pics of some birds feeding and when i took my first pic, the shutter sound frightened them off. I can see no way to silence it.
One thing that is also a problem with all the new 'smart' phones is that if you are looking at a web page and you lose your signal you will lose the page. On older phones, the page would be retained. Very smart huh?
And if the battery is low, you can't use the camera!!! what a nightmare! On all my previous phones, I have still been able to use the camera even just before the battery was about to die.
I am going to give this 3 as it is a good phone and the apps are good and the games are good but I don't need to write about the good things as every reviewer before has been praising it to heaven.
The thing is....I say it's a good phone but all the good things about it are being done just as well by other phones. Personally, I can't wait for my contract to end so I can get a better phone. Looking at the reviews before this one, you can see why i believed the hype.
If this is one of the best phones on offer, God help us.
Reply by Bill from England on 13th May 2012
Why use Kies at all. Just install the usb drivers like you would do for any other phone and then you can copy back and forth to your PC with ease. If you want to sync stuff with your PC then use the very good MyPhoneExplorer. All phone companies seem to make awful PC software. Sony's is the same. When I had a Sony phone again I used MyPhoneExplorer. It's all pretty simple stuff and easy to do a search and find. The driver file you want to search for is SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe it's 23meg. My version is 220.127.116.11 (the latest) and is digitally signed.
Reviewed by king from uk on 5th Apr 2012
Received this phone yesterday and this phone is simply the best even compared to android tablets the browser is amazing. i would recomend to every1 whoeva wants gaming, browsing, smartphone device
Reviewed by Paul Holliday from England on 3rd Apr 2012
well im well pleased with mine ive got it in white so much better looking i think what a phone its amazing and i get two days battery nearly already only had it a week cant wait to see what the 3 is like but to be fair id be happy with this its light powerful slim and well fast id deffo recomend it to anyone from tangentman in Derbyshire
Reviewed by jack limrisa from england on 3rd Apr 2012
great phone ! :)
Reviewed by tony from uk on 30th Mar 2012
Battery life is terrible. Any phone calls at all deplete it at an alarming rate.
Size wise, it must be right on the limit in respect of what is practical to carry in your jeans pocket. In my view, actually too big.I have to take mine out of my pocket whenever I sit down,which increases risk of leaving it behind somewher or someone stealing it when you're distracted.
Lots of problems with echo on phone calls if you have a cover on. You then have the dilemma, lose it for a week whilst the fix is carried out (which doesn't always work) or use a pouch to protect it.... which increases the bulk.
I moved rom a Blackberry Curve to this phone about 2 months ago. I had no issues at all with the Blackberry, other than the screen size.
The Samsung is easy to navigate round and is very user friendly. I have to admit the size of it is my main concern. If you want a gameplay/web surfing size screen it fits the bill and is probably worth the compromise. If these aren't on your priority list, get something a bit smaller.I wish I'd stuck with Blackberry!!!!
Reviewed by Andy E from UK on 29th Mar 2012
I am a novice user of smart phones having finally decided at the age of 64 I had better join the 21st century. I am a capable PC Windows user. I am in awe at what these phones can do, and as a novice I clearly cannot compare this with another phone. I think it's great. My two gripes are battery life - admitedly I'm using it a lot at the moment as you'd expect but even so getting through a day without charging is not possible if you turn on too many things. Second as a novice user the Samsung guide (both written and videos) are pretty useless. When as I am you have NO idea how to use such phones it has proved a challenge although I'm getting there. Great fun and display OK even in bright sun.
Reviewed by Najim from London on 28th Mar 2012
I was originally hoping to get the iphone however what interested me most about the G2 was the fact that it is open source meaning I am not restricted. I have had the G2 for nearly 6 months and it really is a mini computer you can get any app or games for free without having to jail break. You can give yourself root permission allowing you to run the latest Ice Cream Sandwich well before it has even released. I can run any emulator and all the roms as I please. Heres a tip to you people out there check out "omnio" google it and get the phone from there. It will be unbranded so you save some money and bloatware. In regards to the battery life well you can make the phone easily last 3 days by using one core (turning the second off), disabling accounts and lowering brightness. or you can drain the battery in 3 hours by switching everything on. Take into account that white pixels require more energy to power than the other colours in the spectrum. I love this phone it has brought me hours of entertainment
Reviewed by Davis john from India on 25th Mar 2012
it is a good phone in the world market .
But one thing ? How long it will last?
Reviewed by Mark from UK on 25th Mar 2012
I have now owned and used the S2 for a few months. I always check out the latest reviews before deciding and have found this site to be one of the best places to go if you are looking around.
Nearly everyone i know has an iphone and i just wanted to try something different so finally decided on the S2. Got a great deal as well which when i compared it to iphone deals was pretty amazing!
Moving past the deal though the real question (as deals are always out there) must be whether the phone actually lives up to the reviews and reputation! I for one say it does.
I don't think i could be more pleased with this phone. Of course there will always be varied opinions flying around but overall this phone is simply superb.
The screen is amazing, takes great pictures, excellent HD movies, access to the internet almost anywhere, very slim even though being full of features, good to look at, lightweight and very unnoticeable hiding in your pocket, responsive and so on. If i max out and use as many applications as possible the battery does suffer but that will be the case on any phone or item with a battery. Works fine for me.
I would seriously be shocked if anyone didn't enjoy using this phone. Yes, as a phone it works brilliantly too which is quite amazing considering what is packed in there!
Reviewed by Naz from UK on 25th Mar 2012
Best phone ever made.
Reviewed by charlene from England on 20th Mar 2012
been using this phone for a week and i must say I LOVE IT. i can say im a total convert of qwerty keyboard user to touchscreen texting queen HAHA. however, is it possible to rename the name of music files on the phone/ kies? They are often mismatched and it's very annoying. anyways i still love this bad boy!
Reviewed by Lesley from England on 19th Mar 2012
Well what can I say ... OMG this phone is the business , I have always used apple iPhone since it's concept , not any more , I borrowed my friends galaxy S2 it is fabulous , I have now changed over to the galaxy S2 , I must say to any other IPhone users look at this phone go into a shop , borrow a friends it is fantastic .
Reviewed by Claire from England on 18th Mar 2012
I have had this phone a week and LOVE it! The screen: amazing, rich and vibrant colours and great touch response. The speed: Really quick, responsive and can run multiple apps and it does not seem to slow down. The size: a nicely sized screen, ideal for videos but ultra light. I have bought a gel case for mine and even with that on it is still unbelievably light but not tacky feeling. The design: Well thought out, looks gorgeous, sleek and sophisticated and easy to use. I like the menu and home screen personalisations so I can have my phone exactly the way I want it. Good free apps (as always with android), great camera, great music player and I do virtually EVERYTHING on my SGS2; send and receive email, access the net and social networking sites, take pics and vids, create mini movies, listen to music, the alarm wakes me up of the morning and I even use it as a diary, store shopping lists and bill payments on there and much more. I'd be lost without it. The battery life is good for droid phone; make sure you charge before using the first time to avoid problems. also there are onboard features to preserve battery life such as powersaving mode so I dont know why some whinge about it. The back FEELS flimsy when taken off but is very robust. I have invested in some screen protectors and a case which you can pick up cheap from play.com, amazon and ebay.
I had the Galaxy S before this and thought that was hard to beat but the Galaxy S2 has done it. I couldnt recommend highly enough, far better than the iphone 4s!!
Reviewed by ozziejohn from UK on 18th Mar 2012
Hi everyone, I don't yet own the S2 but am buying in the next 2 weeks.
I'd like to comment on the negative remarks ref the battery life of the S2.
I'm sure that the negative commentators will have used their phone as soon as they got it out of the shop! The battery will then expire after a short period of time and they will re-charge.
THIS IS NOT THE CORRECT WAY!!!
When you receive your phone it is MOST IMPORTANT to give it the correct INITIAL charge which is......a MINIMUM of 16 hours, I personally charge mine for 24 hours.
Then use the phone till it expires and charge it for a further 16/24 hours, use it till it expires and charge it for a further 16/24 hours...3 cycles of charge/discharge.
You can then revert to a normal charging cycle and your phone will not have battery problems.
Hope this helps future users and provides some kind of consolation to the negative commentators.
Bye for now.............ozziejohn.
Reviewed by DJS from England on 15th Mar 2012
Mate this phone is the most amazing phone ever Yeh. Top PHONE
Reviewed by Kelly from England on 13th Mar 2012
Hi, ive had this phone a while now and i do like it. People are complaining about the battery life but i charge mine and it can last about 5 days so ive no complaints there! Takes good pictures and videos. Same problem as somebody else though as sometimes the gallery doesnt work and gets stuck on the loading page but all in all i cant complain really.
ONE THING WHICH DRIVES ME MAD AND IF ANYBODY CAN HELP PLEASE TELL ME:
I cant seem to attach photoc to messages or send a picture from my gallery, the message gos but the receiver never receives it, my mum has the same problem with hers too. Any advice on how to send pictures to people from your gallery by messages? Thanks
Reply by ifti from england on 13th Mar 2012
Reply by SiFi from UK on 19th Mar 2012
If you are sending photos to someone who will only be viewing them on their phone it is best to send them as small photos (640x480 pixels) as some phones will be limited by the size of photo they can view or attachemnet size they can receive. If that works then you can increase the size next time you send to that person, to see where their size limit is. If you are sending photos to someone who can view them on their computer then there is no need to reduce photo size. Another factor to consider: have you enable MMS(Multi-Media Message Service) sending on your phone? Your SIM card / service provided will normally activate this within a few minutes of your phone being switched on.
Reviewed by Tom from England on 12th Mar 2012
I've had this phone for four months now and it has been absolutely amazing!
What really strikes me still is the Super Amoled Plus screen. Normally with new tech the wow factor wears off quickly. However, with this phone I am always in awe of it each I pick it up. It is though I am looking at it for the first time each time!! It's just that good because the screen is so full of life, colour and personality!!
And this is just the screen alone! The Music player (have also downloaded Poweramp music player - amazing options like increased bass now), Camera, Google maps, internet access, call quality, speed and interface are all exceptional. Battery life is good also. There's just too much that's good about it to mention here.
For anyone who has the White GS2 I would recommend the Case Mate Barely There matt black case cover. The matt black really compliments my white phone. It makes the silver camera stand out and makes the phone look really sophistated. Overall this is a world class device and rightly the winner of best phone for 2011.
Reviewed by Tony M from England on 11th Mar 2012
Had the Samsung GS2 for 2 weeks now....and waw what a piece of kit.I could start to tell u how amazing the phone is, there isnt enough space on here?
Thinking about getting a new phone, don't even contemplate anything else...... you'll know what i mean when you get it.
Reviewed by john from uk on 11th Mar 2012
brilliant phone 1 problem when you listen to your music on your headphones it just goes off pain in the xxxx
Reviewed by Stuart from England on 8th Mar 2012
I purchased a cover and screen protector for my Galaxy S2 from Ebay. I have never experienced any sort of echo whilst on a call on my phone (incidentally the cover is black silicon and covers around the screen's edge and the back of the phone entirely and cost £1.99)
Reviewed by terry g from united kingdom on 7th Mar 2012
Just traded my old nokia n8 for galaxy s2, really pleased but the one thing my nokia does i cant make the galaxy do it, namely send a text message to 50 plus people in my group it will only do the first 10 in the list, any ideas please
Reply by Mark from GB on 10th Mar 2012
have you tried adding the people too a group and then send a text too the whole group?
Reviewed by Robert from Philippines on 4th Mar 2012
I bought Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy SII...it's really awesome, a perfect smartphone I have ever used. The UI is nice you will never ever regret buying it inspite the fact it cost that much. It's really a "smart"phone!
Reviewed by Colin from Scotland on 1st Mar 2012
I have to echo (Pardon the pun) previous review by Keith over the persistent problem I have had with the S2. An echo developed with my first handset and when i received a replacement the problem persists not only with mobile to mobile calls but also to landline calls. It would appear to relate to protective covers of which I have purchased many different types all of which suffer the same problem- infuriating call receivers.
i am loathe to return or get another phone as like the other reviews state this is an outstanding phone if only Samsung would get their act together and acknowledge/address this fault.
Reviewed by cheryl o'shea from england on 1st Mar 2012
i have had this phone for about 4 months now and it is amazing everything about it is fantastic. its fast on internet, light, brilliant camera and video camera all i can say is AMAZING
Reviewed by Keith Watts from UK on 28th Feb 2012
I may love the phone having just got it, but it has a major fault regarding call echos when any case is fitted. These are heard by the third party. What's more, Samsung admit this to be a known problem. I report as following:
Having received 2 Galaxy S2's this week (one for my partner, one for me) both have the echo problem. After talking to a helpful T Mobile support member, I spoke directly to Samsung. As a consequence, I have just finished a long and detailed call with Samsung. The following are direct quotes, made contemporaneously during a conversation with Samsung support regarding the echo problem.
I was informed by the Samsung staff member, “This is a known problem.” When asked what Samsung intends to do about it, this received the following response, "We are still investigating the problem but doesn’t work with any case.”
When pushed further I received the following statement “until we develop a case that works with the phone there is nothing we can do about.”
I naturally argued that, by definition, this was a phone fault. I return to the quote above., "This is a known problem".
Call was logged at 1320hrs today , I also have a reference number.
I have suggested a firmware settings update allowing the noise reduction system to be user switched off permanently This, as reported by others and tested by me, will eliminate the symptoms (although the technology problem will still exist).
Does this technically mean that the phone is not fit for purpose,I feel so.
If we want to get this addressed, please Samsung Phone Support on 0330 726 7864 I am told that his number is a standard rate call.
Please feel free to qote me in any press.
Reviewed by Al from Scotland on 25th Feb 2012
This phone is the dog's and no mistake. Never mind the Apple tat... This is the future!
Reviewed by gypsyking from france on 25th Feb 2012
Hhe phone for 2 months now. Amazing handset, great screen, very fast android system. This is definately an iphone contender. Tell me something? Does anybody else think the call quality is below par? I have tried to remove the case I bought and also the screen protector after a colleague thought this improved the issue. I have also visited a voda shop and they said there is no history of any issues, although they changed my sim card. I am loathed to send this back because I will get a nearly new handset in replacement which I feel is not right. There is definately a hardware issue with this. There must be other people with this isssue. It is a pity becausse i love the handset, but is not to good if you cannot use it for its primary function.
Reviewed by Tim from South Africa on 20th Feb 2012
Had the phone for 7 months now and it has never given me a headache or increased my blood pressure. Has only crashed and restarted once since I've owned it but I'm sure it was down to a buggy app. I've also tried really hard to make the system laggy by running it with as many processes as possible, but with no success.
The only small gripes I have is the battery life. Its not excellent but with the right amount of conditioning and optimizing, it makes it quite bearable. Bought an extended 1900mah battery which helps. Also when using the camera's flash at night, there is a purple tint on the side of the picture. And if I want to be really picky I'd say the wifi signal receiver isn't the strongest.
All in all, superb phone. Can see myself with this phone in the years to come
Reviewed by salim from INDIAN on 19th Feb 2012
Reviewed by nitesh from india on 18th Feb 2012
Hi,i am using this phone since last 2 month.this is one of the best phone i ever had.thank
Reviewed by George from Surrey - England on 17th Feb 2012
Fantastic phone, a lot better than the iPhone due to the smoothness it has whilst navigating through the phone. The screen is the best screen, in my opinion, of all of the touch phones out there. I haven't seen better yet.
Apart from the perfect clarity of the screen, there is little to be disappointed about. The interface is superb, the applications all run smoothly and are really nice to use.
Only problem is the music program. When playing music, the background is an image of flowers with a pinky-orange background, I don't use the music on the phone, not because of this, but because I have an iPod Touch. The Touch screen on the iPod touch, is NO WHERE NEAR that of the Samsung Galaxy S2 :)
Reviewed by Noland from USA on 16th Feb 2012
I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and I have had problems with the phone signal inside a building. I had a HTC G1 and the phone would work in numerous places inside the building. the Samsung will not do that. I have to be at a certain point to get the signal I need to talk to someone. For a phone so expensive and 2 years newer you would think that would not be a problem. Well in my case it is a problem.
Reviewed by Gary from UK on 15th Feb 2012
If Volkswagen made phones, this would be it. Perfect phone. Been a nokia guy for years. Just love this phone and the Gingerbread operating system.
Reviewed by caroline from uk on 15th Feb 2012
my screen is so sensitive which is annoying. When i hold the phone to my ear it cuts off many times when I answer calls. Can anyone advise me? Thanks
Reply by Sue from UK on 16th Feb 2012
check the settings you have on answering and finishing calls. Go to settings, call and the answering/ending bit, you can use different keys to turn off and on, may work better for you.
Reviewed by Mark from United Kingdom on 14th Feb 2012
The Galaxy S2 has a big screen, and a nice camera. And you can probably get it for a chunk less than an iPhone, due to Apple's airtime/hardware pricing policy.
HOWEVER, here is a list of things I really don't like about the phone and the Android apps for it:
-Swype is more of a pain than it is useful: despite repeated tinkering with the speed vs accuracy scale, its accuracy is poor enough to require such careful Swyping that it takes me twice as long to type a sentence with Swype as it did with an old numerical keypad. Additionally, 50% of the time, predictive text chooses words which have yet to ever appear in my vocabulary.
-The phone randomly crashes every week or two, and will not do anything.
-The battery lasts at absolute maximum 2 days, and that's with screen timeout set to 30secs, wifi turned off, virtually no web/email usage, virtually no talk time, and Advanced Task Killer installed and set to auto-kill all apps at maximum frequency. By contrast, a friend has wifi on all the time, uses it regularly for web access and does not have Advanced Task Killer installed, and he has bought an extra battery as he cannot go out for a NIGHT OUT with only one battery - it does not last.
-The search button on Google on the web browser does nothing. Press it, and I get the brief highlight to register that I've pressed it, but nothing else happens. No search. Press it as many times as you like. To google something I have to go to Images, run an Image search, then click "Web".
-1/3 of the time, dragging the screensaver all the way from one side of the screen to the other will still not unlock the screen.
-Over 50% of the time, images upload sideways: 90 degrees anti-clockwise from the correct orientation. It doesn't matter how many different ways around I try uploading it, I'm stuck with a sideways image. So in order to reliably upload images, I have to email them to my computer and upload from there.
-Sometimes, the Gallery will refuse to open. It gets stuck at the Loading screen.
-Sometimes, when I take a picture with the camera held in portrait orientation (double-checking with the reticule that this is definitely the case), when I go to gallery the image is in landscape orientation.
-Reading or marking emails as read/unread or deleting emails or saving drafts in the Gmail app does not register these changes with Gmail itself. So when I go into Gmail through a computer, the drafts are not there and the read/unread/deleted changes have not been made.
-Just now I was writing an email, using the Gmail app. Holding down backspace deletes word by word rather than letter by letter, which is quite useful. So I did that, until it had deleted the words I didn't want, then I let go. It wouldn't stop deleting. It backspaced through half of my rather long email, before pressing random letters stopped it.
I was sucked in by a big screen and nice camera.
Reviewed by Visigoth from England on 7th Feb 2012
I've had this phone for a while now and whilst being a bit of a technophobe I've forund it really easy to get along with after 4yrs with N95. Texts are really easy once you've worked out the T9 predictive text and added your own short cuts. The camera has more features than my hand held cybershot and takes brilliant snaps and pin sharp videos. The screen is superb and crystal clear, yes it uses the battery heavily but then this is more of a computer with phone rather than a phone with a computer I've bought the extended life batery and it lasts 2 days easily. From and old git with a N95 to full touch screen phone user this was an easy transition. I'm really pleased with my S2 and think it was worthwhile jumping to a full touch screen phone. I think some users want everything yesterday and have no time to read a user manual so as to work out what this phone actually do.
Reviewed by goli from uk on 7th Feb 2012
this is worst phone i have never seen in my life it has poor battery life and poor touch pad
Reply by Andy from UK on 11th Feb 2012
I have it and it is amazing
Reply by Jpd from Yorkshire on 11th Feb 2012
Try reading the description above or RTFM. Battery needs conditioning by charging frequently in the early days. Duhhh!
Reply by Ian from UK on 14th Feb 2012
Well I've had mine for 4 weeks and battery life is excellent. I always charge overnight and it has no problem lasting all day with heavy use (Wifi, 3G, email, music etc) and a couple of days with light use (calls, SMS).
Reply by Carlos from uk on 22nd Feb 2012
Try reading in detail the manual online forums etc, to establish and then rectify any quieries you are encountering with the Samsung Galaxy s2. Which in the opinion of the experts, critics and many millions of users around the World have voted this phone as the no.1. It currently holds the best smartphone award/s in the uk!...
Reply by mii from UK on 12th Mar 2012
JPD I have had mine since Sept 2011 and my battery sux too. needs charging after about 8 hours of light to medium use and I always charge mine overnight. I think it must be a battery prob as battery life is so variable
Reviewed by Oliver from UK on 5th Feb 2012
Riddled with problems:
I have gone from an i-phone to this and I would not recommend anyone else to do the same transition. Firstly the battery life is poor, even when spending time making sure all applications are closed.
Also I find it rather annoying that the texting is so unintuitive that you have to press shift then i then cycle through the punctuation to get to ' then press m to get I'm (which you use rather a lot in messaging), rather than simply typing i then m, which you could do on the i-phone.
The camel-back-breaking straw for me has been incessant problems with the usb connection, which cuts out every 5 seconds. I was looking forward to not having to bother with i-tunes but now I miss it.
Reviewed by Ruben from UK on 5th Feb 2012
Hmmm where do I start? I've only had the phone two days, so I feel like I'm still only scratching the surface, but from what I've seen and experienced so far I can honestly say I'm very impressed.
I was torn between this and the Desire HD, but in the end went with this and think I've made the right choice.
It's super responsive, the double tab zoom with 'Auto Fit Pages' option set for web browsing makes scrolling and reading websites a breeze, the camera is pretty sweet, although I'd have possibly preferred a button integrated within the phone's chassis.
Anyway, I can safely say I've had no connection problems, connects to my wifi flawlessly and loads pages very quickly. Still can't believe the technology to phone size ratio.
I had a Blackberry Curve which I could only text and call off (think that was my fault mind) but as you can imagine this is worlds apart. If you want an alternative to the iPhone look now further.
Reviewed by technostein from UK on 5th Feb 2012
Had this phone for a couple of Weeks, very pleased with it, much better than my HTC sensation speed and design wise. I have.good.knowledge of Android and touchwiz user interface is one of the most simplest you can get on android phone. Battery life is terrible so got the official
Samsung extended battery adding only 1mm in thickness. Now this is a perfect phone for everything. Strongly recommend.
Reviewed by Gill from England on 4th Feb 2012
sorry to say very disappointed. Had phone for only a day and was unable to send messages apart from brief interval of maybe 30 mins then all failing again. Advised by O2 takes 24 hrs to set up everything, but switch on and off every hour and if no luck register call with helpdesk!!?? I think not O2 it will be back with you shortly. I see on various forums this common p-roblem and not exclusive to the initial 24 hrs after purchase. Plus 2 phone calls that were totally incomprehensible, also highlighted on forums. On balance my sister has had same phone for sometime and it's been faultless. Everything else on the phone fab but if can't make calls or text when required it's not up to job!
Reviewed by Scott from uk on 4th Feb 2012
Like previous reviews I wasn't sure wether to get another I phone after having the 3gs for two years a few of my friends have the 4s but it want different enough to warrant a change.had a play with this phone and oh my God this phone its amazing, if you are in the same position as I was wondering to get get one or not don't worry you will not be disappointed.my friends who have the 4s wish they had got one too !!!
Reviewed by Trevor B from UK on 4th Feb 2012
Only had the S2 for about a week but have spent quite some time playing about on it (I should get out more ).Setting up email,internet and most settings very easy all just works straight out of the box.A particular interest of mine is the video recording, once the auto focus has set up you are good to go with fantastic picture and sound quality.I tried both HTC sensation models but neither are as good as the Samsung.The S2 battery is as good as it gets at the moment and should give about a day and a half with steady use.I will update this review in the future to report any faults but on my some what short time with the S2 I am very impressed.Samsung seem to be working very hard at the moment.Well done.
Reviewed by jenny barker from england on 4th Feb 2012
I would agree that this phone has a lot to offer but I have recently found after signing up for a contract that if a sms message is too large it will convert to mms which I have to pay for so I am not happy with this and will probably look for another phone as will cost me too much.
Reply by steve from uk on 24th Feb 2012
Download "go sms pro " from the market its free
Reply by Immac from Uk on 26th Feb 2012
There are so many free sms apps out there...i Use go sms, I had Pansi sms on the galaxy s and i had no problem...i receive sms fully as they are sent however long they may be. try this
Reply by LA from UK on 4th Apr 2012
Do these free sms apps mean that you can send sms messages as long as you like without them converting to mms messages? How does this work? Any answers greatly appreciated!
Reviewed by Deanie from England on 3rd Feb 2012
I have had the Galaxy S2 for around a week now & its excellent does everything I want a phone to do emails, nice camera etc..
But it does have a flaw & that's the battery life which is only a 1650mah battery which gets you through the day just.. but Samsung do a bigger battery for the S2 & its called a Extended battery & is 2000mah which now lasts up to 2 days ! but you lose the slimness part of the phone & you get the same backcover as before but it lines up with the hump at the bottom of the phone which is no big deal to me only 1mm difference. Also get a pouch case because those nearly fit cases causes the phone to give a echo to the caller when you speak very strange, but apart from that its a superb phone get one now they are much cheaper on contract than the iphone & has around the same spec as the iphone... I picked one up for £25 per month from Tesco great deal.
Reviewed by Kasser from England on 3rd Feb 2012
You'll love this phone, until you want to connect to wifi. It will work for a few weeks then BOOM! Nothing! It will show full bars for wifi but there will be zero data transferred. Don't believe me? Google 'wifi Galaxy S2' and you'll see. This POS is going on ebay and going back to BlackBerry. (Ps, call volume is absolute nrubbish as well. Believe it or not, if you lower media volume in, say, a game, it affects the volume in a call!!! KOREAN RUBBISH! And don't even get me started on Kies desktop software!!!). GARBAGE.
Reviewed by sarah from wales on 3rd Feb 2012
Love the phone so glad I got it
Reviewed by Dan from UK on 2nd Feb 2012
I do like this phone, but it feels a bit plasticy. Its like a wizard purple phone!
Reviewed by Kev from UK on 1st Feb 2012
Best phone out there by far, only gripe is the oral speaker phone is at the back and like the numpty i am i keep covering it up with my hand so the caller can't hear me or turning my head away from the phone which has the same effect......get one
Reviewed by chris H from uk on 30th Jan 2012
I pondered for a long time whether to go for the S2 or the 4S (previously was a iphone 3GS user). It partily came down to price, S2 contract significantly cheaper, and I was really not sure about android having used apple for 2 years. All I can say is WOW, the S2 is amazing, I was affaid I wouldn't get on with it, apple is designed for your nan to use it, but I shouldn't have worried. within two days it was 'apple' who? the screen is amazing, it is super fast, has flash, add a memory. I really can't rate it enough. If like me, you like the new tech, but it slightly scares you, especially when you read that you can customise etc, fear not, it really isn't difficult. Video play back is great, the camera is amazing, more or less done away with my digital camera and recording HD video is brilliant. There are a couple of points to note, as has previosuly been mentioned, the app store isn't as great, IMO, than apple, a lot of second rate apps, but there is something out there fore everyone. Also, the battery doesn't last for ages. Most days it will get me through until I go to bed, I'd say I am medium user, listen to music, check emails, texting, a few calls, a game or two. However, just buy a spare charger, or use one from all other devices except apple. If you are wondering which one to go for S2 or 4S, go for the S2. And to be fair, I can imagine Siri will get boring after a short time.
Reviewed by gee from uk on 30th Jan 2012
Xcelent fne had it for two months cnt go rong touch wood
Reviewed by GeeBee from Scotland on 29th Jan 2012
i've had this phone for around 4 months. absolutely love it, apart from the battery on my phone only lasts almost a day but thats because i always have apps running and always texting or calling people. so easy to use. got nothing bad to say about the phone at all. i love it!