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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  • Brian Klug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Awesome information! I was wondering this myself and wasn't sure. The two Galaxy S II phones I touched were on Vodafone ES.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    The international Galaxy S also has the exact same button layout, with a missing search button. You bring up the search bar by pressing and holding the menu button. That may also work the same way on the S II. Reply
  • rcocchiararo - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    i only get the task manager doing that. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Long pressing the _menu_ button (to the left of Home), not the Home button. Reply
  • tnseoaos - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Optimus 2X's Memory is not 8GB intergrated, but 16GB intergrated. Reply
  • wolfman3k5 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Hey Anand, excellent writeup. Did you know that extended cell phone usage can lead to hair loss? Never mind, you don't have any more to loose anyway... Reply
  • glpdx - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I can't even consider buying another Samsung again being they they haven't even finished the promised v2.2 for the Galaxy S models already in the hands of their customers. v2.3 is already out and Samsung customers are still sitting on v2.1. Very unethical. Reply
  • keithwalton - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    I think you are confusing samsung with sony erricson, as I have a galaxy s, currently running android 2.2.1, it has been running 2.2 froyo since last november Reply
  • mwarner1 - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    I think you are confusing Carrier Specific version of the Galaxy S, released in the US, with the 'Standard' Samsung Galaxy S used in the rest of the world.

    The 'Standard' / Word Galaxy S is on firmware revision 2.2.1 at the moment (and has been on 2.2 for quite a long time), whereas the US Carrier models appear to be held back to 2.1.

    I strongly suspect that this is due to the carriers not being bothered to modify the standard Samsung firmware for their custom Galaxy S hardware revisions.
    Reply
  • solinear - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    I seriously doubt that it's the carriers. LG, HTC, Motorola... they have had Froyo on their phones for 4-6 months now, while Samsung phones are universally stuck (in the US) with whatever OS version the phone came with? I seriously doubt this has anything to do with the carriers and has more to do with Samsung. Even one vendor updates the OS on what is one of the most popular phone lines in the US and they would be the go-to carrier for the Galaxy S and the others would be there with egg on their faces.

    There is no justifiable reason why the carriers wouldn't release an updated Galaxy S, particularly since they received the original OS loads from Samsung back in September (5 months ago).
    Reply

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