IT Pro Verdict
Although it would benefit from a build quality that befits its premium price, that’s the only real complaint we can level at the Samsung Galaxy S II. This is by far the best Android smartphone we’ve seen and anyone currently eyeing up an iPhone 4 should give it some very serious consideration.
Android may potentially pose a serious threat to the success of Apple's mobile devices, but we've still to see an Android smartphone that could compete on equal terms with the iPhone 4. At the risk of giving the game away before this review is even underway, however, the Samsung Galaxy S II might just be the model that can.
This smartphone is something special and that is apparent straight from the box. Its most striking feature is its thickness or lack of it. If not for a small bulge at the bottom end and around the rear camera lens, the Samsung Galaxy S II would measure a mere 8.7mm front to back and the slight 116g weight only adds to the allure.
Sadly, while Samsung clearly knows how to design a premium smartphone, it's yet to figure out how to make it and the all-plastic case feels cheap and slippery in the hand. Of particular concern was the flimsy back panel that has to be awkwardly prised off to get at the battery, SIM and microSD card slots, but this snaps back into place with such a snug fit that it's unlikely to cause a problem.
That said, we soon forgot about the preponderance of plastic when we switched on the Samsung Galaxy S II. The front is one vast expanse of Gorilla Glass screen that's 4.3in from corner to corner and the Super AMOLED Plus display beneath it is a marvel to behold. The Plus' denotes an improvement over the old PenTile Matrix technology used on the Samsung Galaxy S and other AMOLED phones. In short, this improved display technology uses a full complement of RGB sub-pixels to create a gloriously crisp, vibrant image, with pure whites and inky blacks.