At this point, Android phones are officially being created faster than human babies. Samsung’s Galaxy phones have been the blueprint for the last year, literally. The Galaxy S II is the new blueprint – and it’s a very nice one.
The fastestest Android phone I’ve ever used, bar none, no holds barred, etc, thanks to a crispy Gingerbread core and a 1.2GHz dual-core chip paired with 1GB of RAM. I can get used to this kind of whiplash. It’s stupid thin, like thinner-than-an-iPhone-4 thin. The camera is like, good: the shots (though the iPhone 4’s tweaks makes its photos more pleasant), the 1080p video (which murderfaces the iPhone 4’s indoors) and Samsung’s more camera-y interface. (Samples can be had in the gallery below.) Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus display continues to be lovely, if slightly lacking for pixels.
If this is what we can expect as baseline for the next 6 months of Android phones, well, I can live with that.
What I can't live with: Samsung's terribly gauche custom software/interface, TouchWiz. There isn't an Android phonemaker on the planet who outdoes what Google's already doing with Android. (Not to say that Android's interface is good: Watching a serious nerd / web developer friend struggle with a clean build of Android this past week was eye-opening in that regard. Normal people, sure, Android's confusing. But to a real nerd too? Hrm.) I really wish would figure out whatever alchemy is required to produce plastic that doesn't feel like a bad joke. The incongruity is jarring: The best of technology, the worst of materials. Ugh.
This is the international version of the Galaxy S II, so it's not available in the US yet - and it'll probably carry a different name depending on your carrier, just like the original Galaxy.
Galaxy S II, 1080p
iPhone 4, 720p