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printed November 24, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T

Form Basics Extras Wrap-up Comments  7  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Galaxy S II's 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus display isn't that much different from Samsung's other recent offerings. It has the standard 480 x 800 pixel count found on many Android devices. The Galaxy S II's display is bright both indoors and out. Not even direct sunlight put too much of a damper on its viewability. It was sharp, crisp, colorful, and easy on the eyes. Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus displays continue to be excellent.

Signal

The Galaxy S II was reasonably good at attaching itself to AT&T's network. Traipsing about northern New Jersey, it ranged between 2 and 5 bars, and never lost the signal entirely. In Manhattan, it had a little bit more trouble, but still held onto the network without a hiccup. I didn't miss any calls while testing the Galaxy S II, but I had trouble connecting two from NYC. Data speeds were inconsistent. When there was good coverage, data speeds excelled, but when coverage was not good, web sites slowed down noticeably. It performed on par with other AT&T devices in the same environment.

Sound

The voice calls I made with the Galaxy S II on AT&T's network sounded very good. Most were loud, free of noise, and consistent in their timbre. I didn't hear any network-based gibberish and the earpiece broadcast clear, conversations. It can be set to a loud -- but comfortable -- volume so calls can be heard in noisier environments. The speakerphone also sounded very good. Use of the speakerphone did not introduce any unwanted interference, and it could be set loud enough to handle conversations in even the largest board room. Ringers and alert tones were extremely loud, but I thought the vibrate alert was a bit weak.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T lasted a full day of intensive use in New York City. I unplugged it at 5:30 AM, and it was still going -- though just barely -- at midnight. It died off completely that night, since I forgot to plug it in to charge it. On other days, it did just a little bit better, lasting a full 24 hours between charges. For heavy users, the GS II will need to be plugged in each night, unless you have access to a charger during the day.

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