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Samsung Galaxy S II - The Second Installment
By Wong Casandra - 14 Jul 2011
Launch SRP: S$998

Performance - Part II

Multimedia & Battery Life Performance

The Galaxy S II’s display is nothing short of spectacular. To start off, its size is optimal for mobile entertainment, be it watching clips or playing games on-the-go. Secondly, it boasts of excellent color reproduction, contrast, and viewing angles even under sunlight. Thirdly, AMOLED screens are known for its higher level of power efficiency, and with the Super AMOLED Plus display, the phone managed to last for 8 hours and 13 minutes. This is almost 80 minutes more than the Galaxy S on our standard battery test. If you are not a big fan of the intensely saturated colors on the screen, the phone comes with a new screen setting called Background Effect with three saturation modes – dynamic, standard and movie – to choose from.

The Samsung Galaxy S did pretty well in the photography aspect so naturally, we had high hopes with the Galaxy S II. 

The Galaxy S II comes with an 8-megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash capabilities. The device also comes with a 2-megapixel camera that's found on the front, specifically for video calls and low-res self portraits.

 The built-in camera app comes with a clean and simple interface that is easy to use. You can select up to four shortcut buttons from a whole list of features to place on a strip on the right.

The Galaxy S II comes with a comprehensive list of settings, including metering modes, scene modes, effects, ISO settings and more.

Colors were well-contrasted and clarity levels were good.

The camera exhibited low noise, and high level of detail in our mock shot. Colors seem a tad oversaturated here, but it is not a huge issue.

We found that the overall photographic performance for the Galaxy S II was pretty good, and we had no problems shooting on the smartphone - colors were well-contrasted (sometimes, a bit over-saturated) and photos exhibited a high level of detail and clarity and low level of noise. We especially like the shortcut functionality of the built-in camera app as well as the extensive settings that it offers (touch focus, face/blink/smile detection, ISO levels and more). However, the annoying quirk that showed itself on the Galaxy S comes back on the Galaxy S II: the camera app won't start when the battery indicator falls into the red zone.

Next up, we compared the Samsung Galaxy S II's battery performance with a selected group of devices chosen for their similarities across battery capacities, display sizes, resolution and processing power. This standard battery test consists of looping a 480 x 800 pixels resolution video clip at 100% volume and screen brightness, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth active with push email or data being pulled at regular intervals. For this handset, we compared it against other similar Android devices such as the Motorola Atrix, LG Optimus 2X, and Samsung Galaxy S.

Specifications/Device Samsung Galaxy S II Motorola Atrix LG Optimus 2X Samsung Galaxy S
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • 1GHz
Display Size
  • 4.27-inch
  • 4.0-inch
  • 4.0-inch
  • 4.0-inch
Display Type
  • Super AMOLED Plus
  • Super AMOLED
Display Resolution
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 540 x 960 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm
  • 117.8 x 63.5 x 11 mm
  • 123.9 x 63.2 x 10.9 mm
  • 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm
  • 116g
  • 135g
  • 139g
  • 119g
  • 1650mAh
  • 1930mAh
  • 1500mAh
  • 1500mAh


The Galaxy S II performs extremely well in battery life testing. The Samsung Galaxy S has always been known for its good battery life amidst the other Android  phones (even those that have been released after it) and the Galaxy S II ups the ante with an even better battery life. AMOLED screens are generally more power efficient than its peers, and the Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus display has shown its worth in this case. 

As a result, the Galaxy S II also exhibits the lowest level of power consumption. This is pretty impressive given that it shares similar hardware specs with the Optimus 2X and Atrix but requires only 2/3 of their levels of power consumption.

The Galaxy S II is the lightest smartphone in the lot, and followed closely by its predecessor. It comes with the second highest battery capacity, with Motorola Atrix taking the highest spot with a battery capacity of 1930mAh. With all these factors combined with the longest battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S II naturally scored the highest in our Portability Ratio index. To recap, this ratio derived from dividing battery life against (weight x volume).

Overall, the Galaxy S II did extremely well, lasting way beyond its fellow peers. To give a good gauge, while rationing the phone for normal day-to-day operations, the phone could last for at least a working day and a half.

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 9.5
  • Value 9
The Good
Lightweight and ultra-thin body
Easy to use & detailed UI options
Brilliant Super AMOLED Plus screen
Speedy performance
Excellent battery life
Good camera capabilities
The Bad
Plasticky build
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