Weekend Nostalgia – The Samsung SII review
Throwback to 2011 and the review of the Samsung Galaxy SII. This was the smartphone that truly put Samsung on the path to smartphone stardom. The SII launched in April 2011 and by February 2012 it clocked 20 million in global sales. Back in 2011 Nokia was still the market leader. This review appeared in the Man magazine in August 2011:
It’s what the Hollywood studios have been doing for ages – creating sequels that are bigger and better than the original blockbuster. The Galaxy S was nothing short of a smart phone smash hit with its brilliant Super AMOLED screen that changed the way we look at our mobile phones. And now Samsung calls the S II its best smart phone ever. Should we be excited?
It ticks all the hardware boxes. A 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen (The display specs were – 480 x 800 pixels / 5:3 ratio / 217 ppi density. The S9’s display specs are at 1440 x 2960 pixels) puts its predecessor in the shade and gives the iPhone 4’s retina display a serious run. You have to hold this phone in your hand to realise how astonishingly thin and light it really is.
An 8-Megapixel camera shoots brilliant pictures even in lowlight conditions and awesome HD videos. There’s 16 GB of memory onboard plus an option to support 32 GB of extendable memory through Micro SD cards. The other defining feature for this beast is its best-of-breed 1.2 GHz dual-core processor which makes multi-tasking a breeze (These processors have come a long way since the SII). It is packed with an impressive 1650mAh battery which does reasonably well on battery life especially given the battery drain from the ultra-fast processor and the bold screen. Android’s latest OS Gingerbread 2.3 adds an edge to the S II and Samsung’s Touch Wiz User Interface gets a fresh lease of life for this device with newer apps and customisation.
The cribs are mainly minor; there is no dedicated camera hardware button which can be annoying if you want to shoot a picture in a flash. We didn’t fancy the plasticky back for a premium phone but have to admit that it looks better than the Galaxy S. And while Android is still very cool, the interface is almost on the verge of its Déjà vu moment unless the next gen OS offers a new user experience just like its 3.0 Honeycomb did for Tablets.
The Samsung Galaxy S II is probably the one device the iPhone 4 needs to worry about in India. The S II costs about Rs 30,000 (7 years later the S9 costs almost twice as much at Rs 57,900) and if you’ve been delaying that mobile purchase in your quest for an exciting new phone this is probably it. And just like the smart Hollywood blockbuster it released in India almost along with its worldwide release unlike some other phones that arrive in India a year after their global premiere! (Samsung’s ‘speed to market’ has always been it’s strength; the S9 launches on March 16 in India – the same day as its global launch)