Samsung Galaxy S2 i9100: a short review

"News: 3 Chimps escaped from the zoo... 1 was caught watching tv... another playing football and the third one was caught reading this txt message."    — SMS joke.
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Quick (but real) review

After two years of happy use of the HTC Hero, it's time for a change. So, which one between the Buy at Amazon.comSamsung S2 or the Buy at Amazon.comHTC Sensation, two very similar phones ? Let's run a short compare. The Samsung has a brighter screen, is lighter, has more video codecs, draws less power and has a more powerful battery resulting in longer runtimes, more internal memory, is easier to root. The HTC has higher resolution, regular updates (even years later), a better web browser, a better user interface (stacked onto Android) and of course I'm already familiar and quite happy with the HTC Hero.

It was a difficult decision and I almost went for the HTC for its mouth-watering resolution (trice that of the Hero at 960x540, the Samsung has twice that of the Hero at 800x480). But before that I thought about my use(s) of the phone.

Lately I've been using the phone for two main things: as a GPS when mountain biking on god-forsaken trails in the middle of the forest, and to view videos on public transportation (associated with good Buy at Amazon.comactive noise cancellation headphones). On the Hero I had to transcode the videos to the 3gp format, which was fine but time-consuming and quality-degrading. On the Samsung the videos can play straight: avi, mp4, divx, mkv, even with multiple audio channels and extra subtitle files. FLV (flash) videos don't play out of the box, you need an app for that. As for the OLED screen, yes it's a bit more readable in sunlight than a classic screen, but the highest brightness mode is not activated automatically, you need to delve into the menus to find it and the colors are ugly when using it: it's okay for viewing maps, but not for watching a video (basically, it's just a software contrast enhancement). On the other hand, the blacks are truly dark, a good thing if you use your phone in the dark. It's actually fine to add 'in bed' to the end of the previous sentence.




[SamsungTestSensor.jpg]
Sensor test of the Samsung S2 which you access by dialing *#0*# in phone mode. If it says 'Need for calibration' like here, simply hold it in your hand and do a figure 8 like you would if you moved a nunchaku on both sides for you body. Once is enough.

Some observations after only a night of use

Right: Sensor test of the Samsung S2 which you access by dialing *#0*# in phone mode. If it says 'Need for calibration' like here, simply hold it in your hand and do a figure 8 like you would if you moved a nunchaku on both sides for you body. Once is enough.




[SamsungUserAgent.jpg]
Changing the user agent on Samsung Galaxy S2.

A few tips

I found those on various sites:

And a side note to remove the answering machine: ##61# call, ##67# call, ##21# call.

Right: Changing the user agent on Samsung Galaxy S2.