So AT&T finally got a decent phone since Nokia E71x about 3 years ago. What’s more surprising, especially looking at how they butchered Galaxy S (Captivate), the S2 was left relatively untouched. The only hardware change from the international version was removal of the track-pad in favor of Back and Search optical keys on the bottom of the face of the handset. This will slightly disappoint those of you who like or need to have quick arrow-key capabilities, but considering other options AT&T offers, S2 is definitely an overall champion.
Specs can be found here, so I will focus on my impressions and some key features over older Android interfaces.
First and foremost, the dimensions of S2 are fantastic! It is lighter, thinner, and has a bigger screen than the new iPhone 4S (and naturally my chubby Nokia E6). S2 feels great in the hand- not too big, not too small. The textured battery cover helps keep a better grip on the device, but I would personally recommend a skinny silicone case of some sort just in case it slips through your fingers. The call clarity is excellent and both earpiece and external speakers are very loud. A whopping 2MP front facing camera is a welcome new addition that not that many phones prior to S2 had.
The screen is gorgeous and touch feedback is lightening-fast thanks to the dual-core Exynos chipset. All the menus, applications, and web work extremely smooth and quick. I’m yet to experience any lag on the S2. Flash support doesn’t disappoint either- I’ve been able to watch youtube videos right in the browser no problem, even ads on some sites play just fine. The phone can open your usual Office documents no problem and reading them is a pleasure on a big, bright screen. What was previously unavailable in stock roms is the folder widget that makes keeping main screen shortcuts organized instead of Apple-esque all over the place. A neat new zoom feature was added by touching the S2’s screen with 2 fingers and then tilting the whole phone backwards or forwards to zoom in on the current media displayed.
Main camera features macro mode for those close-ups and doesn’t disappoint. The main camera also sports wide angle resolutions for those “wide screen” photos many other phones cannot take. The pictures for this review minus iPhone S4 comparison were taken with the S2 camera, so you can see the quality for yourself. I haven’t played with HD video recording, but I hear it is great save not having auto-macro mode for quick close-up motions. This is probably a matter of a camera app update, so a matter of time rather than hardware inability.
All in all, this is a worthy iPhone killer and a proper multimedia + phone kinda device. As with all Android phones, the battery will last between a day and 2, which isn’t enough for me, but that’s why I trust my cellular communication to Nokia’s E series workhorses.