Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
We’ve seen several iterations of Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S II phones. Now we have our hands on the AT&T version.It’s not that much different from the others, so for a full review of the Galaxy S II platform, check out Steve Kovach’s review.
But, this Galaxy S II might edge out the others.
So what’s different about the AT&T Galaxy S II?
First off, it runs on AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network (not AT&T’s LTE network that it just began rolling out).
And it’s a bit different cosmetically, for one. The screen on the Galaxy S II is 4.3 inches, unlike its brothers on Sprint and T-Mobile that have gargantuan 4.5-inch screens. This phone’s also a touch thinner.
But, it’s still the same old blasphemously beautiful Super AMOLED Plus display.
On the inside, the AT&T Galaxy S II has a 1.2 Ghz dual-core Exynos processor, which is a bit faster than the dual-core Tegra 2 processors in many of the top-tier Androids today.
One unique and gimmicky new feature on the Galaxy S II for AT&T are “motion” features, which allow you to put two thumbs on the screen, then tilt the phone to zoom in/out of pictures, web pages, and more. It was a nuisance so we turned it off.
Is This The Best Android Phone On AT&T?
This is really the only question that matters if you’re in the market for an Android phone on AT&T right now.
The first thing to mention is that none of AT&T’s “4G” HSPA+ phones get stellar connection speeds, so using that as a comparison point is irrelevant. We got 1-1.5 Mbps download speeds in our tests, which is a mere fraction of Verizon’s 4G network.
The calling quality is decent (if the earpiece isn’t a little soft), and battery life was pretty good. The device makes it a few days on standby, and barely makes it through a full day under normal use.
The Galaxy S II on AT&T fits right in under the wing of the massive Samsung Infuse 4G, a nearly identical-looking phone but with a 4.5-inch screen and a 1.3 MP front facing camera (vs. the Galaxy’s 2MP camera).
Unlike the Infuse 4G, the Galaxy S II runs Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 Android skin on a brand new dual-core processor, atop Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread.
The Infuse runs TouchWiz 3.0 on a single-core Hummingbird processor atop Android 2.2 Froyo.
There’s also the HTC Inspire 4G, which runs a slower single-core processor, shoots video in 720p (vs. 1080p on the Galaxy S II), and
So is the Galaxy S II the best Android phone on AT&T?
No doubt about it. It’s an amazing deal for $199.99, especially considering it comes with 16GB of storage built in.
The Galaxy S II will go on sale October 2nd for $199.99.
The phone feels nice to hold, but can be a bit slippery because of how big and flat it is. Reaching the notifications bar with your thumb can also be a stretch.
The Galaxy S II's screen is arguably the brightest screen, but the iPhone 4's screen is still sharper.
Here's a 4.3 inch screen (left) up against a 4 inch screen (right). The screen size makes the Galaxy S II a bit cumbersome.
The Galaxy S II's plasticky back gives off a much less luxurious affect than the iPhone 4's glass back.
The top of the phone has an ambient noise microphone and a headphone jack. This phone keeps it simple with hardware buttons.
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