Our impressions with the Galaxy S II are very positive, it's much improved over the Galaxy S. Probably the most immediately appreciable change is the completely different screen and in-hand feel. Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display does away with the PenTile grid that graced the original set of AMOLED displays, and instead uses an RGB line array just like a normal LCD. 

At the same time, Samsung is advertising response rates of below 1 ms, improved gamut, and viewing angles. From what we saw, Super AMOLED Plus was impressive, and having a 4.3" screen doesn't seem unmanageable compared to 4".  

The backside of the Galaxy S II is completely changed - thank goodness. Gone is the super-slick and scratch prone glossy plastic. In its stead is a textured surface that won't show aging nearly as much. The entire back doesn't peel up to reveal the battery, just square shaped area. During our testing and just playing with the Galaxy S II, the phone seemed to get inordinately hot, much hotter than I remember any other smartphone getting. It's also impressively thin - just 8.48 mm compared to the already super thin 9.91 of the old Galaxy S, and thinner than the iPhone 4's 9.3 mm. 

Almost all of the button placement is the same as the old Galaxy S, what's curiously different is the presence of a center home button and removal of the Android search button. It's amazing how integral the search button really is - in some contexts (namely kwaak3) it's the only way to bring up menus since it used to be a button every Android device was guaranteed to have. Whether this is something that will change in carrier-specific versions is something that remains to be seen. 

The Galaxy S II has an HSPA+ baseband with 21.1 Mbps downstream support. It's unclear whether any of the networks here at MWC have HSPA+, so although we ran speedtests, we're not sure if they're representative. 


The Exynos Powered Galaxy S II
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  • anexanhume - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    So glad to see it's not a PenTile. TouchWiz still begs to be rooted, unfortunately. I hope the carriers have sense enough to ask for all 4 buttons on their models.
  • Alexstarfire - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't mind them dropping the search button. I don't see the point in having it. It's not a basic function. Perhaps that's just cause I rarely use search though.
  • bplewis24 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I used to think the same thing for about the first 9 months I owned my phone. Then one day I basically had an epiphany, and began using it probably 30-40% of the time that I wake my phone up from sleep mode.

    IMO, a significant reason for owning an Android phone is because of the Google, Universal Search functions.

  • mwarner1 - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    The Galaxy S II button layout is precisely the same as my UK Galaxy S - I think it is only the US variants that have a different button layout.

    As MWC is held in Europe and all European carriers will have the World version of the Galaxy S II (i.e. not a Customised version as released by US carriers) it makes sense that the buttons are laid out as shown at the show.

    To be honest I like the physical home button on the Galaxy S I and am pleased it has translated over to the Galaxy S II. I have not really missed the search button.
  • Acrono - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I think some of the screen resolutions on that table of physical comparisons are wrong.
  • VivekGowri - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Fixed the Atrix 4G, the rest looked right to me.
  • zorxd - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    From samsung's web site

    Quad-band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
    4.3" WVGA SUPER AMOLED Plus (not 4")
    1GB RAM
  • VivekGowri - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Thank you, updated :)
  • sarge78 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Also from the website...

    Samsung Dual Core Application Processor*

    * May not be applicable in some regions.

    Guess it's not quite ready yet, some markets could get a tegra 2/Hummingbird SoC.
  • fujii13 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Samsung, stop trying to win the "Thinnest phone in the world" award and just give me a bigger damn battery. Thanks.

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