Samsung Galaxy S II GT-I9100 Design Review

One of the best phones around in the Android market, which proves a good competition to the iPhone, the HTC Android phones, Blackberry and any other what-we-call a smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy S II. We played around with it, and would give a 3.5 for 5 for the design. Not the best, still classical. Read below for the entire design review!

The Samsung Galaxy S II comes with an elegant design, thin and large. Having the 4.3-inch wide screen, but still fitting pretty well into the hands, well compared with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, and the predecessor Galaxy S but although having the large external body, doesn’t feel that heavy, being just at 116 gms and that is after the battery is inserted. The entire body has the parts with varied textures, which not just add to the beauty of the device, but the rough matted texture provides the same function as the back chin did in the Galaxy S, preventing the device from slipping off the hands.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Though being larger, the SGS II has the weight same as the Galaxy S. Why? That’s plastic. Yeah, looks beautiful too. Gorilla Glass display adds to the beauty. Now you have the first point on why to upgrade from the Galaxy S to the SGS II. The device is incredibly thin, coming on lines with the SE Xperia Arc, and is thinner than the Galaxy S. Someone might have said it right, we didn’t dare to test it though – The plastic body is so fragile that you put it in your back pocket and sit on a hard seat, and it is gone!

  • The front and side has the glossy black body, and the back side has the bottom chin not that high raised like the other Galaxy devices. The Super AMOLED Plus display of the Galaxy S II definitely better than the Super AMOLED in the Galaxy S, with more pixels making the display far clear. The screen has a better resistance to scratches and finger prints (you would anyways need a screen guard) than many other capacitive touchscreens.
  • The front of the S II has the 4.3-inch screen, along with the center home button in the bottom, and on the either side of the home key, there are 2 touch sensitive keys – The menu and back keys on the left and right side respectively. The area above the screen has the earpiece just above the shining beautiful Samsung logo, the brightness sensor and a 2-Megapixel camera.
  • The back has the beautiful matted body, ending at the back chin, and below that lies the speaker on the right bottom area. The complete beauty of the S II on the back is stolen by the 8-Megapixel camera and the flash that are placed within a rectangular area.
  • The sides are the same as with many other Galaxy phones, which Samsung continues the trend with. The top pane has the 3.5mm headset jack and the MicroUSB charger jack. The left side has the volume jack keys, and the right side has a single key to lock/unlock the phone and the same key can be pressed long to switch off the device. The SGS II misses the dedicated camera shutter key, which could have been a good shortcut to use the camera quickly.

samsung galaxy S II bottom samsung galaxy S II right side

samsung galaxy S II top  samsung galaxy s II camera

When you hold the Galaxy S II and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc in your hands, the ease of handling is more in the Arc, as the SGS II has still got the Samsung default box-shaped design without the curvy edges. Look from the front, and you would see the Apple iPhone 4 widened a bit, with an addition of Samsung logo and the center button made into a rectangle. At least Galaxy S was not replicating the Apple’s killer model. Still, in the end the device is not bought for comparison but to flaunt it’s own best stuff, and the SGS II is no where less in that.

Turn the phone on, and you would see the beautiful Super AMOLED display, which is brighter but still less battery consuming as Sammy claims. We haven’t seen much different in the battery drain though, optimize and you are the winner. The display is known to have 50% more subpixels for a brighter and clearer image, though the screen resolution is still the same at 480 x 800 pixels, the same which we saw in the Galaxy S. When compared not only with the other members of Galaxy family, but with the other smartphones like the Arc, iPhone etc. the display brightness can be called awesome for what it shows in a bright background. Sammy added a feature of “Outdoor Visibility” which specifically helps in making the display brighter when you are under the sun and capturing pictures / recording videos. You get the options of adjusting the brightness separately for few apps like the video player, the default android web browser etc.

Open up the SGS II from the back, and there is wide section to receive the battery, the SIM card and the MicroSD card. Everything is set well apart, and you won’t need any skills here to remove the SIM card, unlike what you needed to do without removing the battery in the Galaxy S. The SGS II has the SIM card slot just below the camera section.

Samsung galaxy S II back panel open

A simple advice – Don’t hold the phone and curse it for the plastic material, but boast with its large display and the camera which show themselves on their own sides. We won’t call the SGS II, the best designed Android phone because the HTC Models are a range of killers, each one having their own best designs. It is high time now, for Sammy to think on switching to something better and unique with the phone designs. Continuing the trend of similar designs shouldn’t last long, or at least we would be seeing HTC or Sony Ericsson in our hands soon, if design is the point of buying a device.

Video Review

Overall, this is a sleek device with no confusion over the keys, a very ones with their own specific function, and as we said earlier, handle with care and the SGS II would rock in your hands! One of the best designed Samsung phones.

7 Comments
  1. Reply amar kumar April 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    my phone is lock with pattern password plz help me for unlock i also forget my gmail password

    • Reply Pradeep Neela April 9, 2013 at 1:38 am

      enter your device in the recovery mode to wipe the phone data to get away with the phone lock issue

  2. Reply MUKESH Kumar Singh July 25, 2011 at 12:29 am

    After using the iPhone for four years, now I’m using the S2 since 5th June. I’m of the view that majority of web reviews are stage managed and mainly focusing on the hardware side of the device. So, here is my review as a normal user, who mainly appreciates the functioning side of the device. I’ve compared the S2 with the iPhone mainly on angle of User Friendliness. Off course, S2 has many better features but iPhone is better to use on the day to day basis. Hopefully my feedback will help Samsung to improve this much hyped product. Till now, I have experienced the following short comings or the incompetency in S2:

    A USER’S REVIEW OF GALAXY S2

    1. Start from the shop… Samsung is unable to provide you a Screen Protector in the box of S2! It’s a must accessory and would cost them a very meager amount. Protector is NOT or easily available in the market even if you are ready to pay for it additionally. Samsung should make it mandatory for it self to provide a Protector for all type of its mobiles. 2. The S2’s mobile case is the next bad thing a buyer is noticing at the time of purchase! It has a great designing bug! Samsung has absolutely ignored its user friendly quotient! I failed to use it even for a minute and rejected it at the first stance! Not because of its material but the reason is its design. What a poor lady hand purse type of shape, inconvenient to keep it in pocket and keep out from the case to use every now and then!

    3. Now, the operational part of S2…

    Samsung is not providing the Hindi Compatibility. Why? Android 2.3.3 is very much supportive of Hindi, which is the national language of 1.21 billion Indians! But Samsung ignored Hindi in its Indian market version also. You may recall that while Froyo (2.2) only had support for 26 languages, Gingerbread is empowered with a whopping 57 languages. Hindi, India (hi_IN) is very much there in this extended list of supported languages of 2.3.3! Then why Samsung’s S2 is deliberately NOT having Hindi Support? Its note worthy that the Samsung is enjoying a large foot print in the Indian market. Yet, they ignored Hindi. Only God knows why! At least professionals at Samsung Support India don’t have any guess about this apathy! HINDI COMPATIBILITY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BE PROVIDED BY SAMSUNG IN S2!

    4. I’ve found that there few more bugs with the S2! First is with the built in GMAIL App. You can NOT copy anything from the attachments of your Gmail account using this App, be it of any type of file! You will witness similar COPY/PASTE failure with majority of materials while moving through the built in Google browser. Google’s Transliteration (not the translation) Tool is also not working in its own browser! Samsung needs to find out a remedy of it. It requires immediate resolution from Samsung or Google or both.

    5. With S2, you will confront with similar COPY/PASTE problem elsewhere also. For example: suppose you want to send two or more contact numbers of one person from your address book which are stored under one contact to some body else through SMS. Then you can’t do this without copying each contact number independently to the note pad and then to clipboard of your SMS protocol, that too, only after going in EDIT mode of the contact. This is quite tedious route for such top end smart phone from Samsung and needs betterment!

    6. In the SMS protocol of S2, there are few bugs also! Suppose you receive a long SMS from someone. S2 will show the full text in your mobile. But if you want to forward this lengthy SMS to someone else, then the whole text of SMS will first convert into a Multi Media Massage (MMS) and then it (the SMS) will be sent to the recipient as an MMS. Now, your SMS thread will show it as SENT and but the receiver will NOT get this SMS (Converted into MMS) in their ‘In-box’. This bug also needs to be solved on priority by Samsung!

    7. Its note worthy that the iPhone can send a SMS of unlimited characters. And when the limit of an SMS exceeds, the remaining text moves to the second or third or fourth or fifth packets, but never hesitate from sending the long SMS. The Charges for long SMS will be decided on the basis of these packets by the service provider. This is desired in the S2 also. Long SMS converted into MMS may save the cost for the sender by that is waste as the recipient is not getting the MMS in all type of mobile handset. If you want, you may develop an option for MMS or SMS before sending but please empower the S2 for sending the long SMS.

    8. There is one more issue with regard to forwarding of the SMSs. Suppose you have five SMSs in one Thread of your S2, and you quickly wanted to forward Two or Three of them to some body else. Then you can not select these Two/Three SMSs to be copied to your Clip board in one stroke and then send it as a combined one! This feature is available in the iPhone but not in Samsung’s top end mobile S2. In S2, one has to Copy/Paste these selected SMSs one by one. Samsung/Android should try to develop these user friendly features and update the phone as soon as possible.

    9. In your built in Weather update feature, one can just get the updates of 10 cities. I believe, iPhone is not having any such limit! Also, in this nice App, there shall be feature of auto update at the defined intervals.

    10. S2 is having a NICE feature of Black Listed numbers for calls and SMS. But its capacity is quite small. It was made large if not unlimited. 11. Now, the design part of S2… Location of USB port for charging the S2 is also not designed at the user friendly place. Its top location like of the Galaxy S is perfect. That gives us perfect grip to carry on the use of device while keeping it in hand and also charging.

    12. FM Radio is a good feature of S2. But it has a handicap with it too. It’s unable to work without the headphones attached to it. I can understand that the headphones are working as an antenna for the device. But it means that one should always carry the headphone in pocket! Suppose, you missed it at your home or in office or in your car and after a while you want to listen the Radio then you can’t do it. In technical term this may not an issue but from user’s point of view it’s a lacuna. This could have been avoided at the design stage by compromising a little more weight and slimness of the device. Probably, this might have led to some antenna radiation issue also and then a better hardware solution would have been developed by the R&D experts!

    In conclusion, may I submit that in spite of having several new features, S2 is not better then an iPhone especially in term of user friendliness! Samsung is supposed to come out of these challenges! Will the Samsung care?

    Lastly, I feel sorry for those professionals who are working in Samsung India (Support) that they are very severely handicap to serve the patrons better..! I extend my sincere sympathies with such people who bear the pain of being so much dependent on their Korean masters..! All of them had told me that my concerns are genuine but can only be rectified by the Koreans and hopefully by the time next update will be released. But most unfortunately they have NO idea that how much this may take!

    Regards,
    Mukesh Kumar Singh
    M +91 9811207745.
    mukesh1765@gmail.com

    Description of my handset: Samsung Galaxy SII Model No: GT-I9100 (Version: 11.05.20.01). Browser: Google.com Baseband Version: I9100DDKE4. Kernel Version:2.6.35.7-I91100XWKF3-CL276555 root@DELL101#2 Build Number: GINGERBREAD.XWKF3. Current Firmware Version: PDA: KF3 /PHONE: KE4 / CSC: KF3(INU).

    • Reply Perumal August 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Mr. Mukesh, Hats off to you! Great Job! I have got some ideas about S2. Thank you.

      • Reply Atul October 16, 2011 at 12:14 am

        All your poimts are useless and it does not have to do nythong with userfriendliness…u r a applefan boy…nyways s2 rocks and iphone is far behind galaxy s2..the world knows it..

    • Reply vipin October 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      this phone is just too good !!!

  3. Reply muneer July 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    best phone i ever seen…

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