Samsung Galaxy S II hands-on

Samsung has, as we reported earlier, launched the Samsung Galaxy S II (GT-I9100), and we've grabbed a hands-on already. Boy is is it a powerhouse. Wrapped up in a wafer-thin shell.

The new phone II comes with a dual-core processor but, unlike the 2X, it proudly sports a 4.27-inch WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen display, in a sleek and impossibly lightweight design.

Considerably thinner than the iPhone (at 8.49mm x 9.3mm), you could be forgiven for thinking that the new Samsung Galaxy S II would blow way at the gust of a strong breeze. It's like the bastard son of the original Galaxy S and a playing card. Indeed, our only reservation is that you'll have to handle it with care for fear of snapping it in two.

It uses the latest version of Android (Gingerbread) - although, at present, that's 2.3, but we know that 2.4 will be feasible by the time the device is in the shops, so we wouldn't be surprised if there's a speedy update.

The phone also packs either 16GB or 32GB of storage, depending on price and preference, while 4G (HSPA+ 21) network support is touted, as well as GSM world standards (handy for the UK, of course) and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n. Surprisingly, in a good way, it has Bluetooth 3.0+HS instead of just Bluetooth 2.1.

Additionally, Wi-Fi Direct is on-board allows consumers to connect to wireless-enabled PCs and printers without the need for access points. And for those who're into such things, the device is is compatible with near field communication (NFC) technology, making it the second Samsung phone to do so. Interestingly, the company is also releasing a Galaxy S II without NFC, for those who are more cautious.

Past the sheer speed, size and lack of any kind of waistline or weight, you get an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus. It's capable of 1080p Full HD recording and playback at 30 frames per second and, for the less adept photographers, there's a whole range of modes to help out: Single Shot, Beauty Shot, Panorama Shot, Smile Shot, Action Shot, and Cartoon Shot modes. DivX support is also a welcome feature.

Naturally, there’s a 3-axis gyroscopic sensor, accelerometer, light sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor, GPS and Swype. Indeed, you might ask what this phone hasn’t got rather than what it has. And one stand-out feature is the voice to text message option, which can create, send and read a text message without you having to touch a button.

Phew. Certainly, initial impressions are good. It's smooth, mighty and meaty in screen size, yet the lightest and thinnest smartphone we've handled. Clarity is definitely a buzzword, and the AMOLED display's colour rendition is superb for both video and game playback.

From what we've seen so far, we like. Lots.

There's no word yet on availability or price, but Three has announced that it will be stocking the Galaxy S II. The rest of the networks, it's over to you...



>