Phone Scoop

printed April 21, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy S II for T-Mobile

Form Basics Extras Wrap-up Comments  5  

Media Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

Camera

The Galaxy S II for T-Mobile doesn't differ much from its brothers with respect to the camera application. The viewfinder window is busy with controls running down both sides, but there's one awesome difference. The left side of the viewfinder has two control shortcuts out of the box: one to switch to the user-facing camera, and another to toggle the flash on/off. There is a lot of blank space below these two controls. Using the settings menu, you can customize which other controls are in this space. That's very cool.

Once you've got the left side of the viewfinder customized how you want, you can adjust the shooting mode (single, panorama, beauty, cartoon etc.), set the flash, the exposure, or dive into a fuller settings menu. The main camera settings menu is extensive and lets advanced users adjust nearly every facet of the camera and picture-taking experience. Exposure, scene/setting, metering, ISO, and more can all be tweaked.

The Galaxy S II has touch-to-focus, and will lock onto anything you want in the viewfinder. Focusing is extremely fast, and then the image is captured immediately.

My one complaint? Just like its siblings on AT&T and Sprint, there's no physical camera button. Samsung has given up on including dedicated camera buttons on its high-end devices. This decision is baffling to me.

The camcorder software behaves in exactly the same manner as the camera.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Gallery

The Galaxy S II makes use of the stock Android 2.3 photo gallery software. Images are stored in floating stacks based on date. The view of the gallery can also be switched to a more linear timeline view. Once you dive into the gallery or photo you want, you'll find more of the same stock Android behavior.

The on-board Gallery app is also excellent when it comes to editing photos. It supports a wide range of tools for adjusting images after the fact, and makes sharing images through MMS, email, social networks, etc., a breeze.

The Galaxy S II also boasts a third-party photo editor application, as did the AT&T and Sprint versions. The application can access photos via the on-board gallery or take new ones and then be used to perform a wide range of edits. Crop, rotate, and zoom are all supported, as is the ability to make selections and copy them to a clipboard for pasting into other apps, such as Gmail. The app also lets users adjust saturation, contrast, brightness, grey-scale, and exposure. It includes effects for added creativity and plenty of options for sharing when you're all done editing.

Disappointingly, the T-Mobile Galaxy S II doesn't have the useful video editing application as found on the AT&T and Sprint versions.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Next Page: Photos/Video  >

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