Photo: Dylan Love
The Galaxy S II has been out for almost two months, but it steadily gathered attention once it was announced in February. Samsung touted it as thinner, faster, and just generally cooler than any other phone out there.After spending three days with the phone in my pocket, I’m inclined to think that it absolutely lives up to the hype.
This time I tested the Galaxy S II Skyrocket, a new model of the phone that is one of the first to run on AT&T’s new LTE network.
But other than a faster processor, larger screen, and LTE, not much has changed from the original AT&T model of the Galaxy S II.
Keep reading for my flash review of Samsung’s zippiest new phone on AT&T.
Samsung clearly spent a lot of time optimising the form factor — this thing is wonderfully thin without feeling fragile and it manages to be big enough to comfortably text or watch a movie as well.
The Skyrocket is slightly larger than the original AT&T GSII. It feels almost exactly like the Galaxy S II T-Mobile adopted.
The camera is more than capable for your casual point-and-shoot needs — it has an embedded flash and the camera’s finished images weigh in at a very agreeable 8 megapixels. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the volume rocker buttons adjust the camera’s digital zoom, too.
While I never had cause to use the front-facing camera, you should know that it’s there for your video chat apps and for taking endless self-portraits.
I have one big complaint about the hardware — only the power button will wake up the phone, and it’s a little small in my opinion. I’d love to be able to use the volume buttons too.
Since AT&T has yet to launch LTE in NYC, I didn’t have an opportunity to check out what’s supposed to be the Skyrocket’s real killer feature. From what I’ve heard though, you should be able to get download speeds up to 10 Mbps if you live in a city with LTE.
Same Old Android
I didn’t spend too much time customising the phone to my tastes, but know that Android allows for nearly endless tweaking and adjusting.
The phone comes with all the basic apps you’d expect — email, mapping, videos, and music. But I was especially blown away by the navigation app. It will easily replace the TomTom GPS unit in your car.
But that’s only scratching the surface. The real gold comes from the Android Market, where you add even more utilities (and a few games as well, probably).
Should You Buy It?
As far as I can tell, this is easily one of the best Android phones available on AT&T. (The new HTC Vivid, also powered by LTE, is a close contender too.) If you’ve ruled out iOS, then the Galaxy S II is your phone. It feels good in your hand, it has a nice clear screen, and it’ll tackle whatever task you throw at it.