Samsung Galaxy S II Smartphone Review

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Performance: Display, Camera and Battery Life

Let there be no mistake here: the Galaxy S II feels lightning fast. With a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, you'll be hard-pressed to find a smartphone in today's market that'll run Android as quickly and as smoothly as this. We found the benchmarks to be a little weaker than we had honestly expected, but in real-world use, this thing is a screamer, and having 16GB of onboard storage space for applications, cache files, etc., will help out during long-term use

Its screen, as mentioned earlier, is truly world-class, and the 8MP camera sensor around back is also amongst the strongest in the industry. Samsung's Camera app here is also slightly different the stock Android camera app. The company loads up a number of highly sophisticated controls that will probably best be appreciated by high-end users or fans of manually tweaking camera settings, but of course, that's the market that the company is hoping to hit with this handset. Below are a number of samples taken, with no editing outside of downsizing. Colors, on the whole, were incredibly rich, and the depth of field was fantastic. At night, of course, things got a bit noisy, but the flash worked well compared to rivals. It's certainly amongst the best cameraphones that we've used -- now, if only Instagram for Android would ship.




Click to enlarge

Samsung isn't making any outright claims when it comes to battery life, and that's not surprising. Smartphone battery life figures are hard to wrap your head around. No longer do "talk" and "standby" times have much to do with anything. Instead, we tested the phone as we usually do with smartphones, which serves to represent a taxing use pattern that should be a worse-case scenario to judge uptime by.

In an attempt to put a quantitative measure on the phone's battery life, we set up our own web-surfing test. In this test, we set up a webpage with a mix of graphics and text. The page automatically refreshed itself every three minutes.

We set the device's display to 50% brightness and turned off Wi-Fi. When we ran this, the Galaxy S II did amazingly well, clocking in just over 8 hours. In a more average test (i.e. just using the phone as our primary device for a full day), we easily went from sun-up to sun-down with around 18% life left at the end of the day.

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