Samsung Galaxy S II review

Price when reviewed


So the hardware is pretty good, but what about the software? Not surprisingly, the Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which among other things means the phone is fully Flash capable. But this isn’t Android in its purest form: Samsung has added its own UI tweaks (dubbed TouchWiz 4), and there’s plenty to like.

There’s the usual selection of flat, sideways scrolling multiple desktops we saw on the Galaxy S, with a persistent, customisable toolbar running along the bottom of the screen. And when you pull down on the notifications bar at the top, you’ll see switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Sound, plus a button for auto-rotate lock.

Samsung Galaxy S II

A rather pointless tilt-to-zoom feature lets you place two fingers on the screen, then tip the phone back and forth to zoom web pages and photos. More useful is the inclusion of Motorola-like resizable widgets, and you can pinch to zoom out on the main app launch grid in addition to the desktop.

However, topping our list of favourites is the addition of wireless synchronisation via the Kies Air app. This allows you to access and manage the contents of your phone using a browser without having to connect it to a PC.

Switch it on, type the IP address of the phone into your browser, and up pops a web page of small square content panels, with navigation links down the left-hand side. Using these panels you can edit and delete contacts, download and upload files, photos and videos, and even access the phone’s call and text logs. It’s a great system, and you can connect via your wireless network, or directly using the S II’s personal hotspot mode.

Samsung Galaxy S II - UI


There’s plenty more in terms of software we could go into, from the excellent contact linking to the integrated task killer and the dead-easy DLNA sharing software, AllShare, but what you really want to read is our final verdict on the Samsung Galaxy S II. If you hadn’t guessed from the tone of the review, we absolutely love it.

Its power is unrivalled, its 4.3in is wonderfully bright and colourful, call quality is great and the camera is simply superb. The only concern we have is over battery life, but with everything else so good, a small hit in terms of stamina is the least of our worries. Even the price is reasonable: you can get one free on a £29 per month contract, a price that undercuts the best you can currently swing an iPhone 4 for – £69 and then £30 per month.

In short, the Samsung Galaxy S II is good enough to elbow the iPhone 4 roughly aside and grab the crown of the best smartphone on the planet. We’d encourage anyone who’s currently upgrading to push it straight to the top of their shortlist.


Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£29.00
Contract period24 months
Contract providerO2


Dimensions67.2 x 8.7 x 125.2mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating8.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size4.3in
Resolution480 x 800

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes


OS familyAndroid

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos