Video: Bell Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Review

Comments

  • cybik

    Finally, confirmation: no NFC.

    • Sean

      DRAT I was hoping this would have it

    • TomatoGuy

      NFC or not, buying iPhone from now on instead of Samsung Galaxy II is a very stupid move. Even if you are Apple fanboy, this phone is superior in every possible way. And iPhone 5 won’t change anything.

  • Aj

    1st, I want sooo bad

    • Jerrik

      I hear ya. I use the demo version of this phone all the time at work and I love it. I can’t wait to purchase it from work on the 21st!

  • Aj

    Damn foiled, I assume the unlocked one you can purchase from newegg.ca will be NFC capable.

    • Richard

      No, the version from Newegg is the international i9100 and it doesn’t have the NFC chip either.

  • BBC

    I am not too concerned about not having NFC. To me it’s like Master Card Paypass. I have the feature but rarely use it.

    • Richard

      While not a deal breaker for me, I would have liked to have the capability. I use the Paypass from both my MC and Visa cards from time to time and I’m intrigued at what Google wallet will bring to the table in the coming months, as well as Paypal’s answer to that.

  • EmperumanV

    Will the UK factory unlocked version be able to get the 21Mbps speed if with a Bell him card?

    • Vito

      The Bell version won’t even get the 21Mbps speed…

  • Sean

    Ugh I9100M was hoping we would be seeing an I9100 version… or is the M what europe has also ?

  • stephan

    I will be getting one on the 21st for sure. And whats awesome is, Ill be eligible for antoher upgrade in november(which I’ll likely save) if anything else pops off lol…joys of having two phones on my account. one of which is monthly, and another which has less than a year left on contract.

  • y2b

    Great review, I can’t believe I read it all! It was really, really good. In fact, the Engadget review of this was worse than this. Great job Mobile Syrup 🙂 Looking forward for news of the Droid 3 for Canada.

  • kljasdg

    i think some of your cons are invalid.

    1. battery life: it is amazing, i’ve tested it out.
    2. headphone audio out. samsung has great audio quality.

    • Vito

      I have an unlocked GS2 from Europe and it has NO connectivity issues – this might just be a Bell issue.

      SIP/VoIP *is* available for this device. I’m not sure what firmware was supplied for this review, but clearly it isn’t a new version. I just upgraded to the latest firmware and it includes Google Talk with Video and the VoIP option. That said, you can’t count on Bell to provide a timely upgrade, but it’s pretty easy to upgrade yourself.

      All phones battery will be compared to iPhone. With that in mind, battery life isn’t great – it’s not bad, it’s just average – which isn’t bad for this type of device. Battery goes down really fast when you’re recording 1080p video or using GPS.

      Camera really is fantastic.

      The default MMS app is crap. Picture messages come in a slide shows that you have to “play” – unlike the default Gingerbread MMS that makes presents them as standalone pictures. This annoys me to no end.

      I’m curious about some of the “Pros” in this review… Touchwiz does not add any value and at best can be described as not getting in the way too much. Hubs are useless and drain battery unnecessarily. GPS working is a “pro”?

      The phone is very nice to hold and everyone who has handled it has only good things to say – but they do note it feels lighter than expected.

      I found the Samsung keyboard to just get in the way. The most annoying thing about it is that when you turn on word prediction it will keep popping the guessed word window up and down as you start a new word. It’s not an issue with all apps, but it affects the MMS app and it just drove me crazy. It’s very distracting to see you message window bobbing up and down every time you hit the spacebar. You need to try it to see what I mean. Thankfully this is easily corrected by downloading one of the Gingerbread Keyboard apps from the market.

      Fixable quibbles aside, this is the best phone I have ever owned and I whole heartedly recommend it.

      One last thing, a friend of mine also has the phone and we had Video Chat using the built in Samsung software and we were charged by Rogers for a “roaming video call”. Not sure if this will be an issue with Bell, but Rogers doesn’t carry the phone and yet the video call app triggered a charge on their network – so just keep an eye out.

    • KingK

      You are wrong. Audio is not great, already been tested throughly. Check the hardware, it’s a step back in audio.

      Battery is horrible, anyone who says otherwise is not using the phone. There’s only a HUGE thread about bad battery life on xda. You can’t expect good battery life from any top end phone unless you use it like a blackberry or try a million different hacks.

  • Huttfuzz

    First of all, great review.

    Secondly, for the part about Loss of connectivity, i hope it’s not the same thing that happened with my Atrix. It came out with 2.2.1 OS and i had to reboot it once a day because i completly lost connectivty with the HSPA+ network. When the 2.2.2 release came out, this was fixed.

    I know some Bell representatives talked about some phone not “software ready”…maybe that is one of the reasons…

    I’ll see on the 21st i guess..

  • James

    I just put down a deposit for the phone to arrive next week.. I feel like a kid around Christmas time all over again

    • Jerrik

      You and I both hahaha.

  • dan

    It sounds like s**t when using headphones?…. That’s a deal breaker.. Please elaborate

    • Steadiman

      Samsung is in denial mode when it comes to head set call volume. Google “Samsung galaxy s II headset call volume” and sort your way through the 2,140,000 hits returned about the anemic, poor, weak, just plain crappy reality that comes to users of headsets of the Galaxy S II.

      Samsung tech service can’t call anything up on their screens that even acknowledges that it’s an issue.

  • Big 3

    anything over 4.0 inches is too big!!!. Besides the size, it’s a good phone

    • Canadaboy

      that’s NOT what she said

  • Gab

    Not the first reviewer to mention audio quality.

  • Viper

    love the use of none shall pass by aes 🙂

  • roman129

    No CRT-off is a deal breaker. :p

  • Tom

    Noticed the model number is GT-i9100m… How does that differ from the GT-i9100 model?

    • Richard

      I’ve been wondering that myselt too. The old i9000m had a different radio band from the international version. This one seems to be identical to the i9100 so I have no idea why they gave it a new designation.

    • R

      the m stands for “canadian version”

  • Justin

    Roman129….You can download the CRT-off. It’s an Android device…you just need to learn how to use it to it’s potential. I’ve had the device for 6 weeks now….it’s hands down the best smartphone I’ve ever had the chance to use and I have had over 50 smartphones.

    • ObiWanPhonobi

      There’s no way you’ve had over 50 smartphones. You’re talking out of your a*s. As for everyone saying this is better than the iPhone I can’t help but laugh. battery life is worse, it has 1/2 the resolution, terrible speaker and headphone quality, considerably less apps in the market place and is technically in violation of Apple patents. And don’t give me that crock that people are trying to say. The Super AMOLED screen does not mean anything. I can still tell the difference between the 2 and the Galaxy 2 just looks blocky and pixilated like every other smartphone other than the iPhone 4. So it doesn’t have a dual core processor? Who cares? It’s a cell phone.

  • Scott

    Can anyone tell us whether bluetooth dialing works on this phone? Thanks.

    • Zena

      oh god! Apple fanboys and Android Fanboys at it again.

      Go find something better to do. Every phone is made for a different person. Dont like this? then go get the iphone. and if ya dont like the iPhone get this.

  • Tony

    Tried it today…Plastic and more plastic…colours are weak..sound is terrible for a super and expensive smarthphone. Will wait for the new Iphone. The Best Buy guy told me that Rogers will have the same phone in a few weeks…(I always had terrible service with Bell).
    Not Impressed.

    • Jerrik

      Your Apple fanboyish comment is irrelevant.

    • mrpulla

      Obvious troll is obvious. The colours are weak? That’s how we all know you’re auditioning for the Apple cheerleading club. The colours are the best to ever touch a smart phone, or should I say super phone? Period. As the gsmarena (check the review there, amazing as well) review showed, the audio for this phone is elite. I really hope you get paid to do what you do (troll, blatantly lie), otherwise you need a new hobby my man. God bless.

    • Josh

      stupid apple lovers you know samsung is the reason apple phones exist right? the processor in the iPhones are made by samsung to the more you talk about how much samsung sucks the more u say iPhones suck as well ahaha

  • UserNumber42

    Hey Mobile Syrup, can you add an option to hide any comments where somebody mentions an iPhone on an Android posting and an Android phone on an iPhone posting? Reminds me of when I was 13 and I’d fight with my friends over Genesis vs Super Nintendo (ie: Genesis has blast processing! SNES has better RPGs! Genesis has blood! SNES has more colour and better sound!)

    I digress…

    As for the plastic… a friend of mine has a Nexus S with a minimal rigid plastic “case”. Teenager with his first phone. Stood up and it slid off his lap, down the deck and 7 feet onto concrete. Blew the case right off, and yeah, there were some scratches (should have gotten an Invisible Shield), but NOTHING ON THE PHONE BROKE.

    Must also mention that I live in a small town in the mountains of BC and I’ve never had a problem with reception with Bell, even snowboarding on the back of the local ski mountain.

    But seriously, a person should be worried about the practicality of a phone, not how it feels (plastic vs metal) or how it looks in your hand.

    Also, hey Mobile Syrup, this is my first comment. You rock for info. Been waiting for the S2 since February and you’ve been a great source of info! Thanks!

  • Joe

    For any smartphone I would expect data connectivity to be a non-issue. The whole point of a smartphone is the data connectivity. Can you imagine a BlackBerry or iPhone that needs to be rebooted once a day because it loses data connectivity? “Oh, I never got your email because my phone lost connectivity”. I score this a huge negative. I hope it’s not a hardware issue as the reviewer puts it. I hope it’s a software issue and can be fixed on the next release.

    I’ve been waiting to get the SGSII and will buy the phone but the data connectivity is a huge negative in my books.

    • WoofWoof

      @Joe: How can you even say that? The iPhone has connectivity issues right out of the box. Apple’s solution? Buy a skin. Blackberry has always had lower signal resolution compared to other smart phones, and the slider issue with the torch? I mean, seriously!

  • Josh

    How much did HTC pay you to say that bud?

  • Claudiu Corbea

    This phone would be so sweet with a 3.5-3.7 inch screen in a smaller form factor.

    • KingK

      That’s too small. 4″ is the sweet spot.

  • Inhert

    So can I just walk in a bell store, say I want to buy an SGII no contract, walk out, unlock it, go to rogers and say this is my new phone, can I have a new contract with it?

  • Max

    It’s a day one buy for me that’s for sure.

    One thing tho, I wish battery life and audio quality is great or at least, acceptable.

  • Jayyy

    I talked to someone at bestbuy and played around with the phone they had on display and i was told that the phone was delayed from the 14th to the 21st due to the connectivity issue and that samsung has recalled all phones to install gingerbread 2.3.4 which will correct the slight connectivity problem.

  • John

    Are you working for HTC or something? You always bash samsung phones here. At least GS2 doesn’t have death grip/dust under the screen/screen flickering nightmares of the Sensation.

  • John

    oh and add loose battery covers and unresponsive touchscreen too.

  • jim

    I think it is funny that they still compare everything to the iphone which came out a year ago. Wow a great phone with a crap battery. I think I will stick with a phone I can count on the whole day and is more fun because it has the best selection of apps. The iphone.

  • Chris The Amazing

    Pro… GPS Works, Thats Not Exactly A Pro.. Thats Something That Just Should Work.

  • Sunshine

    You guys know that the phone was recalled on the 13th of July because of an unannounced error within the software. This review was using a SGS2 before the fix. Now that’s not to say that it will be different but ya just never know what they are gunna do. I hear (rumour) 2.3.4 will be added on to the phone before release date. I really do hope so 🙂 Can’t wait to get this. Was all ready on the 14th until I found out they delayed it one week :\

    • Daniel Bader

      @Sunshine,

      We’re hoping that Samsung took the time to update the software to 2.3.4 and fix the outstanding bugs before shipping to retail. We have to review units based on their current software, and cannot assume things are going to be fixed until they actually are.

      In the event the device ships with a different software version, we will update this review with a follow-up piece and do another hands-on.

  • EmperumanV

    Maybe all for the best in terms of the software update to 2.3.4.

  • some dude

    just went to pitt meadows Costco and lady told me Rogers will be getting a sgs2 later this year behind bell also.

  • Chris

    Great review, just a few quibbles:

    – Why not mention the free Google navigation as an alternative to the $10/month Tel Nav?

    – Moving apps to the SD card means the INTERNAL SD card, e.g. the provided 16GB memory, NOT onto any external SD card the user buys & installs

    – Android 2.3.3 does not run atop TouchWIZ4; you got it backwards.

  • antoine

    Hey I’ve been using my Bell store demo galaxy S II for some days now, and I happen to get 3500 quadrant mark, 6mpbs on speedtest.net and a maximum of 90mflops in linpack, dont know what version you used but it’s probably a pre-release ! anyways great phone overall, I’m probably gonna order one for myself within the next few days, I currently have a wp7 and im tired of waiting for mango to get all the goodies that wp7 is lacking…

  • Shan Khabra

    I was just wondering if it is worth putting a screen protector on the samsung galaxy s II 4g? Because I heard this screen on this device is made of gorilla glass and it doesn’t get scratched easy.

  • Frank

    One day left and…well, I think the reason why it was delay is purely marketing and have time to pile stocks of the phone. The excuse Bell gave is purely nonsens come on! A software problem that took only one week to solve!?? What happen to ”all” the phones they already have in stock?

    Marketing and stock number that is the only reason!

  • Masood Shah

    BEST PHONE EVER! if only i could afford it!! 🙁

  • thantos

    beyond the screen… I don’t understand why this phone gets such high praises while the atrix, which based on this review, is next to identical with a bigger battery. Doesn’t make sense to me and possibly a little biased. If someone is willing to lend me an SGSII to compare along my atrix, I’d happily retract my statement.

  • Keyvan

    What is the difference of this 4G version of the SGS2 and the international version on the web? is the CPU/GPU different? NFC/no-NFC? or is it simply a marketing ploy to put 4G on the Bell version?

    Should I wait for the Samsung Hercules coming to Rogers (so I hear) or should I buy the SGS2?

  • Julia

    Will this device ever arrive at Roger’s?

  • A. Carmine

    $599.95, expensive??

    Lets not be tools of carrier pricing. This thing is priced to deter people from buying phones outright (as we should) so that people will lock themselves in for 3 years

  • Dave

    Don’t give out false info! I rooted mine the day it came out (I9100M). I used the kernel from CF. No issues here.

  • Mike

    okay iphone 5 has NOTHING on this. Samsungs finest yet

  • Curtis R

    Samsung Fascinate is a piece of crap..usability is terrible. Cannot see screen except inside without any glare and cannot hear the phone while driving or out on the street. When will the Product Design team realize they need to real world test.

    I will go back to iPhone and definately the iPad since the Galaxy tablet is likely just as bad. Oh yes and when will Google actually build something again that works…Android seriously sucks!!!

  • Steve Dion

    Great phone, really. But one MAJOR complaint i have is that it gets really hot close to the ear when using it moderately. Very uncomfortable. Stock keyboard offers no french canadian support.

  • SUNIL BANSAL

    VERY FINE HANDSAT

  • GO4IT

    great write up!
    cheers
    Moe

  • howard olsen

    I waited and waited and waited for the Apple announcement and I can tell
    that what came was a HUGE disappointment. I don’t care that there
    wasn’t a major design overhaul, the 4 and 4s are the sexiest hardware
    designs out there at the moment IMO, but for me the deal breaker was this: No
    LTE support. With carriers all over the world rolling ot LTE networks,
    for apple not include support in this release was a deal breaker. I
    predict they are going to come out with 5 within the next year and piss
    off everyone who just locked into new contracts to upgrade to 4S, just like they did when they
    announced 3GS shortly after 3G. I was angry then but forgave them for it. This time I pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S2 on Rogers which LTE
    ready and backward compatible and couldn’t be happier. I and am now
    fully future proofed and completely off the Apple Train a free to do what ever I want with my phone. I loved my iPhone but I know I’m going to head over heals with Andoid and this Samsung.

  • SK

    Is there any good fellas who can how to unlock iphone4 and where. Many many thanks.

  • Confused

    Pros

    – Good battery life, especially with power-saving features turned on

    Cons

    – Battery life sometimes lacking

    ????

  • Me

    I dislike the unlock key being on the side, it is so awkward to me.

  • andrew

    did anybody else notice that scrotie mcboogerballs is one of his contacts in the video?

  • Tyya

    Good to find an expert who knows what he’s talknig about!

  • bailey

    I like the phone but the volume sometimes drops when talking, and phone occasionally freezes. Using advanced task killer has helped with battery life but not happy about less than great volume.

  • bailey

    like the phone – had it for 2 months now but battery life isn’t great (task killer helps a bit) and occasionally the volume drops when making calls…

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