BEN HANSON REVIEWS THE LATEST KIT ON THE TECH SCENE
Any time I have played devil’s advocate between technology slender profile contains a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor,
firms or criticised one product or another in these pages, it has 512MB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and an 8 megapixel
been with an understanding that the industry owes, now more camera capable of 1080p video recording.
than ever – at a time when we carry the world in our pockets – The display itself is also remarkable. Coated in the same Gorilla
a gargantuan debt to a select few pioneers. Glass as the iPhone 4, the AMOLED Plus technology in use here
Whatever the outcome of the ongoing patent lawsuit unpleasantness delivers superlative-straining colour reproduction, excellent black
between Korean giants and Silicon Valley titans (with the Galaxy levels and surprisingly lean battery consumption.
Tab 10.1 still unavailable in some European territories), devices like The S2 arrives with Android 2.3.4, with Samsung’s popular Touchwiz
Samsung’s Galaxy S2 simply would not exist without the vision interface shell in place of the stock interface. Touchwiz is one of
of people like Steve Jobs. few tasteful manufacturer-specific overlays, and coupled with
Steve, co-founder of Apple and evangelist for the enabling power the S2’s powerhouse performance it serves to eliminate most of
of consumer technology died this month – aged 56. Too young. the rough edges (pervasive gesture lag and odd layout choices)
With its pared-back form and dominant 4.3” AMOLED Plus display, that persist throughout Google’s operating system.
there is no question that Samsung inherited some of Apple’s design Slightly flimsy-feeling plastic construction and, as always, the
nous in assembling the Galaxy S2. But in my resolutely non-legal anaemic Android Market prevent the S2 from feeling quite as
opinion, this is more likely to represent a convergence of design well-appointed in operation as it does at a distance, but Samsung’s
and functionality than any outright thievery. close partnership with Google holds promise for future development
I can’t help but ask: how else would one design a device that in both areas.
incorporates an earpiece and microphone a set distance apart, It’s a line I’m forced to wheel out quite frequently, but the S2 is
and is characterised by a capacitive touchscreen? With even RIM by every reasonable metric the best Android phone money can
(who are launching the first all-touch Blackberry) conceding that buy, and is likely to remain that way until it’s superseded by the
physical buttons are wasted space, it seems to me that smartphones – Galaxy Nexus at the end of the year.
like tablets – simply look this way now. By now you know whether Android or iOS is for you, and with
The S2’s raw power, though, is more than enough to differentiate the S2 there are superb devices for both persuasions. One thing
it from a pack of possible muses and mock-ups. I hope we can all agree on: the interconnected world we’ve built
Despite its size, this is Samsung’s thinnest and lightest smartphone is a wondrous thing. It’s time we all just got along.
(at 0.3 inches thick and weighing in a slight 116 grams). That