Samsung Galaxy S II: A First Draft of Your Next Android Phone

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.

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The fastestest Android phone I've ever used, bar none, no holds barred, etc., thanks to a crispy Gingerbread core and a 1.2 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, or here.) 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.

Samsung Galaxy S II: A First Draft of Your Next Android Phone

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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 Samsung would figure out whatever alchemy is required to produce plastic that doesn't feel like a terribly mean 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. Update: I've confirmed I used the Exynos 4210-powered model, not the Tegra 2 variant.

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Specs
Samsung Galaxy S II
Price: TBD (in the US)
Screen: 4.3-inch, 800x480 Super AMOLED Plus
Processor and RAM: Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB RAM
Storage: 16GB/32GB
Camera: Rear: 8 megapixels, 1080p video Front: 2MP
Weight: ~ 116 grams
Battery: 1650 mAh