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Video: Samsung Galaxy S II Hands-on and Quick First Look

Since the Samsung Galaxy S II can’t seem to find its way to the states, we decided to pick up an unlocked version and give it a good run-through to decide if it can really live up to the hype that has followed it around since early 2011.  We’re pretty sure it’ll arrive in some form to the major carriers including Verizon over the next few months, but without word from Sammie, there is no telling when exactly that could be.  And with the DROID Bionic possibly just 6-8 weeks away, we wanted to give you guys a good view of the S2 in case it somehow slips out of the summer.

So what sort of conclusions have we come to after just 3 days with it?  Let’s just say that we couldn’t be more pleased and have had a hard time picking up any other phone.  It truly is a pretty remarkable piece of technology.    

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  • Stephen D

    PLEASE VERIZON, get this phone with an LTE radio. They’d make a killing. My upgrade is July 27th, and this just has to be my next phone.

  • Tojus

    Sucks that it doesn’t have LED notifications … kinda a killer for me

    • Bob

      Is it really that difficult to just give the power button a quick press and check the notification bar? It takes like .5 more seconds of your life lol.

    • Grgrenon

      There’s app called NOLED that works on phones that don’t have LED notification. Should solve your problem

    • Stephen D

      BLN is baked into kernels, which lights up the softkeys when you have a notification. Works just as well as an LED.

  • Davros

    I seriously dislike the 1 button thing. If they’re gonna do that why don’t they make it the shape of a Droid eye that lights up or something cool.

  • Anonymous

    Pass. No Touchwiz infested Samsung for me.

    • Then root it day 1 and put Cyanogen on it. They’ve been working on this phone for a long time, seeing as Samsung sent them one.

  • Raj Patel

    how much will this thing be BOTH on and OFF contract?

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  • T Hall

    That phone looks better each time I see it!

  • Anonymous

    I really like the look and appeal of a physical keyboard on the Droid 3, but this phone could possibly make me change my ways…

  • Anonymous

    Awwww yeah…. Million points for you

  • Trdracer21

    July 24 for sprint yeaaaa boy!!!!

  • FortitudineVincimus

    no HDMI out???????

  • Anonymous

    If this phone ever makes it to Verizon, it won’t be until sometime next year.. Verizon being slow to get the latest devices has been a disappointment for me. 🙁

  • Emeraldjun

    When he pulled out that Thunderbolt and compared the thickness, I was like, “Oh my G….”

  • My wife has an old Samsung flip phone, prolly 4-5 years.  Works like a champ and the battery lasts 3 days

  • Anonymous

    have they rooted that yet? I would take that with 4G and stock android. 
    put your pitchforks and torches away, i don’t pay attention to samsung usually….

    • Emeraldjun

      It has Alpha builds of CM7 and MIUI right now!

  • as nice as it is its still a samsung…..im just not a fan

  • Anonymous

    Iphone 5 killer….

    • Gee

      Best part is from everything I’ve seen Iphone 5 will NOT have lte suck on that fruit users 

      • Anonymous

        Neither will the Galaxy S2? All the 4G phones are so bulky, there’s no way they’re going to redesign the thin profile of the Galaxy S2 just to fit that radio in.

        • Anonymous

          Only LTE chips are currently bulky….and maybe wimax to some degree.  HSPA+ is no thicker than HSDPA radios. Newer LTE chips could be developed in time to reduce size and power requirements as well.

  • Man, this is a sweet unit, if it gets 4G, them Moto can keep “enhancing” their Bionic til they’re blue in the face, cause S2, here I come!

  • Anyone else annoyed that you cant place the thunderbolt in landscape with the kickstand AND charge at the same time…

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        No, I do all the time…

    •  Guess if I paid full price for it (in or out of contract) I wouldn’t bad mouth it either. Going back to the Droid X.

  • Anonymous

    It honestly gives me a boner.

  • The Dave

    6-8 weeks on the bionic, you say? Not as bad as I was thinking. Any word on the new revision, Kellex? Prolly way too soon for your sources to divulge without jeopardizing their job status…. excited for the posts to come

    Going to be an interesting summer to see how the releases of the SGS2, Bionic, iPhone5, etc play out, looking like a crowded late July-August

    • Anonymous

      There are some things cookin’ in the background that would be big, bigger than most of us can imagine.  Wish I could say more.

      • Anonymous

        You COULD say to hold off on this new hardware for the INSANE stuff right behind it. If you are referring the ever constant specs race. 😉

      • The Dave

        Ill take that right to the bank. Some of us who read DL are of the real world, I wouldn’t want your guys to put themselves in  a bad spot. Ill take your word for it, you seem to know whats up.

        thanks, Kellex, some of us out there appreciate it!

      • Ckoch0125

        Any hints?

      • Anonymous

        probably some 3d, dual core, airplane fan cooled phones

  • Pennywise

    OLED looks terrible (imo)… I mean it looks fantastic and really pops (if you like unreal/unnatural colors and out-of-control contrast, and a display that dies in sunlight and is created/engineered to have a short life) – higher-res LCD please (yes even pentile)

    No LTE? No sale.

    • Anonymous

      Colors and contrast are adjustable with some file modification, OLED has infinite contrast & viewing angles, consumes less power and has a much wider color gamut than LCDs.  The only advantage LCD has at this point is higher resolution capability but at these screen sizes 800×480 is perfectly acceptable; it’s actually higher density than any HDTV and even most computer monitors.  This density race is just another overstated modern idiotic trend set off by crApple’s marketing that the blogosphere and fanboys have latched onto.

  • Joe Joe the Indian Dancer

    Yo….isn’t that the same as the Samsung Infuse 4g???

    • no its the continuum

    • Anonymous

      Nope.  Infuse isn’t dual-core and doesn’t have 1GB RAM to my knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    If it has 4G LTE this would be a contender.  If not, too bad.  After seeing 4G in action on the Thunderbolt, and being able to pull down web pages at lightning speeds AND talk at the same time, I would be hard pressed to go back to a 3G device.

  • Jeff Martines

    It, along with the Sensation, use the newest mini usb protocols that can do video output. I don’t know if Samsung has their dongle available yet but the one for the Sensation is 20 bucks.

    • Anonymous


  • Raptor007

    GS2 needs 4G LTE on Verizon to be worth upgrading.

  • No pentile FTW!

    • Stephen D

      Ext4 file system FTW too.

  • Anonymous

    If it hasnt already been said. There is a dongle that goes from micro usb  to full sized hdmi that should be available for this phone. my infuse came with one

    • Anonymous

      also if this hasnt been said the state side version will have the four keys at the bottom we all know and love

  • Here we are on Droid-life and you are reviewing this phone. This tells me something…… Verizon must be getting it.

    • Anonymous

      All the carriers will get a version, it’s not a matter of if really, but more a matter of when the telcoms here get done with having sammy add (or even take away) a ton of nonsense ..

  • Slllllyyy

    the beauty of the screen gets overshadowed by the ugliness of the device. 

  • Anonymous

    Why even tease like this Kel…mean man…mean.

    • Anonymous

      This and the Bionic already make the iPhone 5 obsolete.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    ahhhhhhhh (smoke cigarette here)

  • Anonymous

    Over the past few weeks I’ve done a complete 180 and could care less about the Bionic. My contract is up in September and I just want the GS2. While I would really really really like it to have 4G, part of me is worried that putting the 4G radio inside is going to add thickness. Add the battery problems with 4G means either a bigger battery (which also means thicker phone) or crap battery. So… I’d really like Verizon to make it 4G, but I also worry how that is going to impact this phone that I have come to covet so much.

    • Zeas28

      I don’t think LTE would affect battery that much. The Droid Charge seems to do just fine. However I am worried it might add some thickness.

      • Anonymous

        People have said that, but the Charge also has a bigger battery than the Thunderbolt (1600 vs 1400), so the perceptions of good battery life in the Charge may just be reflective of the bigger battery size and not a lack of 4G impact on battery. I’m pretty sure to make this phone 4G they’re going to need to add a bigger battery.

    • Stephen D

      The Galaxy Tab with an LTE radio is 8.6mm thin. This Galaxy S2 is 8.49mm thick. If they make it 8.6 mm thick to accommodate the radio on Verizon, it doesn’t matter, it’ll be hard to tell the difference, and who  knows, maybe they’ll somehow squeeze it in?

      • Anonymous

        Maybe, hopefully…. but the tab also is a lot bigger, so components can be
        spread out in such a way that’s not possible on a small phone.

        • Stephen D

          True. But you never know. Samsung is good at making things thin and packing a lot in.

          • Granted

            Wow you all need to touch some women. Listen to how you talk about phones “squeeze it in” “pack it” “i bet it’s thick”…. these are things my girl says when I put too much in, but the way you guys talk I almost think smart phones are your sexual desires. “Oh man don’t put your pentile that far in, my buttloader is sore from last night!”

  • Zeas28

    I can’t wait to get this phone. I’m leaving Verizon if they don’t release it with LTE.

    • Vrbas123

      I steady did 🙂

    • i can’t wait either! please have a lte radio pleeeeeeease!!!

      • Trdracer21

        its gotta have 4g!!!! im 100% positive it will have lte remember overseas they have lte

    • Inkster09

      OMG wow

    • I want 8, maybe 9 if Santa thinks Imma good boy this year….fuck it, I’ll buy the 9th hahahahaha

  • Anonymous

    Said it before and I’ll say it again. Giving this thing LTE would double the thickness, and verizon would happily charge us all like $400 on contract for it. Whether that’s a problem for everyone I don’t know, but I think I’d rather have it for $199 with only 3G, though that probably won’t happen either. 
    Here’s a thought though, and of course I don’t know squat about cell sites or anything like that, but how about Verizon beef up their 3G instead instead of charging and arm and a leg for 4g and not giving us a choice if we desire decent data speeds?

    • Ckoch0125

      It wouldn’t double the thickness check out the galaxy tab its not that much thicker. They can add lte and would be smart to but we will see

      • Anonymous

        Yeah but for tablets they’ve got alot more X & Y axis real estate to build on, least thats why I imagine they can make the Galaxy Tab so thin.

  • Slllllyyy

    Meh…i’ll pass.
    Nothing this year looks to be worth and upgrade. 

    • So please describe to us the wunderphone you have in mind!

      • Granted

        Well my Motorola Startack has all of them beat! Plus my calculator watch can make CB radio calls, so funk your phones! I’m just gayin’.

      • Slllllyyy

        12 megapixel camera. Quad 1.5 gHZ. 4G. 4.5 inch super duper amoled. Great Call quality. Loud speaker.
        Kickstand.  On Verizons LTE/3G speeds. 

  • 2G is all I need.  FTW!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Question, what size battery does the SGS 2 have compared with some of the recent and future phones that are coming out?

    • Maniko (Meister_Li)

      1500 on the European version, so about as much as the Galaxy S, the Sony Ericsson and others. It’s smaller than some of the upcoming Motorola phones, but it seems to last just as long if not longer than most of them.

      • Zeas28

        I’ve heard many say it’s 1650 mah…. are you sure it’s only 1500?

        • Maniko (Meister_Li)

          Whoops! Just checked again and you’re actually right! 😀 I forgot they put the 1650 into the late Galaxy S as well, so it makes sense. Yeah, mine also came with 1650 Mah

      • Anonymous

        Cool thanks. I guess its mostly programming that makes the battery last so long compared to other phones.

  • if they put lte on it. the bionic would be sweating bullets

  • verizon better release a phone worthy of my update so i can keep my unlimited data and possibly get this phone!

    • previous customers wont lose their unlimited data… read DL more

      • um I do read DL…often…its my crack…but I am considering the fact that my contract expires after the 7/7 deadline so knowing the fact that vzw wants to keep its existing customers in contract without an opportunity to leave for another carrier without them making money from the ETF…so if i wait a bit without renewing my contract waiting for a great successor to the og droid cuz my thunderbolt didnt cut it…i think vzw might try to find a way to swindle a customer…so im being careful…:D

        • I called last night. My contract is currently up for upgrade/ renewal, and the (extremely rude) lady on the phone told me that if you are an existing customer, even on month to month after a contract, you are grandfathered in. So you should be fine!

          • No i know that..but i mean knowing verizon..they can shaft you really hard…2 months ago i got charged 1000 for data usage..they had my sim card mirror my data on my secondary line which didnt have unlimited data lol…so after that incident i wouldnt put it past them to shaft their customer lol

          • Tcal

            The real question is will the current Unlimited Data plan (3G) apply to 4G LTE capable phones after the 7/7 date? Or will they try to screw us over as usual and force us to gulp up a Data plan “compatible” with 4G?

          • see thats a concern i have as well…but i wouldnt put it past them lol

          • Anonymous

            It doesn’t. I just got the charge as a placeholder. The rep there is a tech geek like us, and he showed me his screen. It definitely said that my fascinate was a 3g device and my charge was a 4g device and had the different packages, so they are coded differently. I called Verizon and the woman I spoke to in said she can’t comment on any unannounced changes, but if we were speaking in “hypotheticals” and there was a change to the plans, 3g and 4g are coded differently in the system, so a 3g phone has a 3g plan and a 4g phone has a 4g plan. They are seen as different by the computer, so you would not be grandfathered into an upgrade in technology, only if you kept the same exact data plan. Just a warning.

          • Anonymous

            Thats funny because you could go out and buy a Thunderbolt/ charge today activate it on the line that your Droid/Inc/etc… is on and start using 4G without “changing your plan”

            They may be coded differently but as of right now on the consumer side they are one in the same. This may change in the future but I bet you that a separation of 3g and 4g will not happen for at least 6 months after the tiered plan goes into effect. 4G LTE is a “small” market right now so only a small amount of people will find the LTE network a necessity.

            Its all about slow cooking the frog. They are “giving” you the ability to stay unlimited down the road, then they will switch the 3g/4g plan so people who kept 3g will have to go tiered when they finally go 4g. Also they bank on the fact that people become “families” and use a family plan to save money, which means they switch to tiered until eventually everyone is now (theoretically) tiered.

          • Anonymous

            That is actually exactly what I did. I transferred the fascinate to my new number and put the Charge in my line. I was at a booth, and the guy who works there showed me his verizon set up screen and on it it said the droid charge was a 4g device with a 4g plan and the fascinate was a 3g device with a 3g plan. He said that it wasn’t coded like that up until a month or two ago. It used to just be a smartphone and a regular phone. Once he saw the difference, he got a Thunderbolt himself to lock in his unlimited 4g. It isn’t important that to us consumers there is no difference. In Verizon’s system, they differentiate between a 4g phone and a 3g phone and their data packages. If you don’t change your package you can upgrade with no problem, but since 4g and 3g are coded differently, you will have to get the tiered plan. I confirmed it with Verizon’s customer care as well. Verizon isn’t stupid. I’m still amazed at how fast LTE is. It’s faster than my broadband at home. If i’m pulling down 3-5 gigs on 3g, imagine what I can do with that type of speed. They are doing it now before the onslaught of 4g users with this ace in their back pocket. When everyone goes 4g, they well get caught in the tiered plan.

        • so this is what you do. upgrade to a smartphone and do a WFG exchange so the phone swaps over. best to do this through online because actual reps have to change your old phone back, unlike online where you get sent another phone then send the other back. but when you do this on July 6th youll only have 14 days and we arent sure what the release is in July. VZW is supposed to get it before ATT in july apparently and we (sorta) know ATT will be getting it on the last week…. oh and youll be risking a $35 dollar restock fee which isnt bad if you get the unl data(thats what i did last year when ATT got rid of theirs. ive been doing CS for VZW)

  • virtual

    If the Bionic has a locked bootloader, this may well be my next phone

  • D.A.

    I like how he used “KANG” in his video……only on DL

    • Granted

      I thought he said wang because he was equating how he wants to put his inverted pentile into the phone.

  • Nunyazz


  • Rob Meyer

    Moto better get that bionic out now…because this thing might steal me away if they dont come correct.

  • EC8CH





  • This may make me reconsider samsung

  • t_jr3

    Would Love to have this phone on verizon but something bout the Droid Bionic just don’t let me. I’m torn between the two & i hope Verizon gives this baby 16GB built in and not only on a sd card ala fascinate and of course a serving of 4G LTE.

    • Ckoch0125

      If it has lte its bye bye bionic for me

  • fuz

    As nice as it is, I’d be hesistant without LTE.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think people who have not used LTE realize just how much more blindingly fast it is over 3g…

      It ushered an immediate reaction from me and others that I know with Thunderbolts.

    • I would rather buy the T-Bolt with LTE than the Bionic or the SII without.

      • Dpdonahoe

        Wrong answer.

  • Between this and Engadget’s review a couple of months ago, I could definitely see myself waiting a few months past the end of my contract for this to come to vzw.

  • I’m excited about this phone.. while I love the Droid lineup, this seems like it would be a great phone!


      over rated phone is over rated

      • MicroNix

        Wow, what planet did you come from??  iPlanet?

      • I agree completely!!!

      • EC8CH

        completely wrong comment is completely wrong