Our impressions with the Galaxy S II are very positive, it's much improved over the Galaxy S. Probably the most immediately appreciable change is the completely different screen and in-hand feel. Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display does away with the PenTile grid that graced the original set of AMOLED displays, and instead uses an RGB line array just like a normal LCD. 

At the same time, Samsung is advertising response rates of below 1 ms, improved gamut, and viewing angles. From what we saw, Super AMOLED Plus was impressive, and having a 4.3" screen doesn't seem unmanageable compared to 4".  

The backside of the Galaxy S II is completely changed - thank goodness. Gone is the super-slick and scratch prone glossy plastic. In its stead is a textured surface that won't show aging nearly as much. The entire back doesn't peel up to reveal the battery, just square shaped area. During our testing and just playing with the Galaxy S II, the phone seemed to get inordinately hot, much hotter than I remember any other smartphone getting. It's also impressively thin - just 8.48 mm compared to the already super thin 9.91 of the old Galaxy S, and thinner than the iPhone 4's 9.3 mm. 

Almost all of the button placement is the same as the old Galaxy S, what's curiously different is the presence of a center home button and removal of the Android search button. It's amazing how integral the search button really is - in some contexts (namely kwaak3) it's the only way to bring up menus since it used to be a button every Android device was guaranteed to have. Whether this is something that will change in carrier-specific versions is something that remains to be seen. 

The Galaxy S II has an HSPA+ baseband with 21.1 Mbps downstream support. It's unclear whether any of the networks here at MWC have HSPA+, so although we ran speedtests, we're not sure if they're representative. 

 

The Exynos Powered Galaxy S II
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  • Exodite - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I don't know about that, personally.

    I prefer capacitive button, kinda like how the Desire HD does it, but I'd prefer SE's set of physical buttons to Samsung's capacitive/button-pad mashup.

    I'm ambivalent, the Galaxy S2 has the screen and SoC I want but I don't like the button setup (the button-pad, lack of two-stage campera button), back (the Nexus S looked better) or the lack of HDMI.

    I'm looking forward to what HTC brings into the mix, if they can avoid cheaping out on the camera and audio parts they may end up the way to go.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I think it's time to drop some of the slower phones from the benchmarks - the SunSpider benchs are especially hard to read now that the top-end phones are 400% faster than the bottom ones. Reply
  • Altemir - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    LG Optimus 2x hasn't AMOLED!!! Please, correct table. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Fixed! Dunno how that crept in there...

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Jellodyne - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Frankly if you don't have Android 2.2 benchmarks on phones like the Droid Incredible which are currently running 2.2, I would either run new benchmarks or if that's not possible I wouln't bother including them in the benchmark charts. It's really an apples to oranges situation and those dated benchmarks aren't doing any good, at least if you're looking to compare relative CPU performance. Reply
  • GreenEgg - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I agree, while I realize that users of the phones may be stuck on older OS versions due to vendor issues, these comparisons are not fair to the phones. For example, I am still running a Nexus One with CM7 build 43 (last nights build of 2.3.2) and I get in 4200 to 4400 range on the SunSpider benchmark. The Rightware BrowserMark was in the 44K area. This shows the Nexus One and I am sure many other phones in a very different light. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I actually completely agree. As it stands, we're a bit strapped when it comes to what to do about phones that the carrier or manufacturer have requested be returned. Those are things like (unfortunately) all the Droids and most of the earlier phones. We do have a number of other devices that for whatever reason haven't been updated (carrier, e.t.c.)

    Going forward we're likely going to be able to hang onto things and update as they update the software. Eg the Fascinate, myTouch 4G, G2, Optimus 2X, those are all ones we're hanging onto to compare properly.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • r1chy - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    just a thought, some 1 correct me if im wrong if the sgs2 has the new Super AMOLED Plus display at res of 480x800 ( the same sgs1), will it look better/sharper? because it has bigger 4.3in screen unlike the 4in screen for the sgs1 ,so the pixels per inch on the sgs2 will be LOWER than the sgs1? Reply
  • rcocchiararo - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    samsung said that since they no longuer use the pentile pixel matrix, its now 12 vs the old 8 subpixels, so its sharper.

    time will tell.
    Reply
  • Filiprino - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    In Barcelona there's HSPA+ on the networks of Vodafone and I think that Movistar has it enabled too. Reply

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