Samsung Galaxy S II
Slicing just shy of the Sony Ericsson Arc’s 9mm, the Galaxy S II is the skinniest phone in the group at 8.5mm and extremely light too at 115g. The 1.2GHz dual-core processor has its work cut out to power the 4.3in Super AMOLED touch screen, which is startlingly vivid and sharp, despite its so-so 480 x 800-pixel resolution. Android 2.3 is running the show, and it’s augmented by Samsung’s latest TouchWiz 4.0 user interface, which now includes four ‘Hubs’ for Social, Game, Music and Reader, to help you organise your interests. The 8Mp camera offers a good range of features and takes good shots, plus a 2Mp camera on the front. There’s also the option of 1080p HD video recording, and while there’s no HDMI port to send it direct to your telly, like the HTC Sensation, there’s an optional adaptor for the micro USB port. The Galaxy S II’s weakness, however, is its battery, which you’ll need to top up pretty much every day, though it’s no worse than any other dual-core handset in this respect.
Reg Rating 85%
More Info Samsung
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
SE’s super skinny single-core hero handset de jour is just 9mm thick, though its curved back makes it seem even slimmer, and packs in an impressive range of top notch tech. The Xperia Arc's 4.2in touch screen offers 480 x 854-pixel resolution and uses a Bravia processing engine adapted from Sony’s TVs to deliver reduced noise and enhanced contrast when watching video. The 8Mp camera has a fistful of features as well as an Exmor R camera sensor, previously only to be found in Sony’s mid to high-end cameras and designed to improve shooting in less than ideal light situations. It can record 720p HD video and there’s a mini HDMI slot and supplied cable to transfer it direct to your TV. Just a single-core processor, but it’s still impressively nippy in use, and with the latest Android 2.3 on board, out-of-the-box, it’s an exceedingly classy handset.
Reg Rating 85%
More Info Sony Ericsson
The current state of art in Android smartphones offers a bewildering array of alternatives, as each manufacturer does its bit to make its hero handset more distinctive than the rest. The best are refreshingly different, with unique widgets and features. The latest dual-core handsets also open up additional possibilities for HD viewing, gaming and multitasking, if only the batteries can keep up with them.
Both the Motorola Atrix and the SE Xperia Arc have fine feature sets, with the SE's elegance stealing the show among the single-core models. If you'll excuse the pun, it was a tough call between the neck-and-neck functionality of the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II. Given the close call, personal taste will swing it one way or the other for some, however, the Samsung just clinches the Reg Hardware Editor's Choice award for its super-slim form factor and its quality camera. ®
Am I being too picky?
All of my friends, every single last one of them, thinks my continued use of Nokia phones is now an unhealthy obsession. And while they all admit that an iPhone is a little on the basic side for me they all continuously push various high end Android phones at me. And with this article I thought I would finally be able to see which ones could be in line to replace my N8 if I give in and jump ship. But. What on earth is going on with these camera's? I had assumed that by now that most of the device makers would of struck deals with Carl Zeiss or someone similar to build them some proper phone camera's. OK so some of them record video at higher resolutions than on my N8 but I'm much more interested in the stills quality, and as far as I'm concerned the video quality from my N8 is not in anyway shape or form bad. I'm not exactly a professional photographer but I do really like having my N8 with me and being able to trust in it's camera abilities. My second point. HDMI out. Does any Android phone come with a standard HDMI mini output socket? What about an adapter to link said socket to a full size HDMI cable in the box? Why no mention of USB on the go features? How many of these support this? I have a 16GB card inside my N8 with music etc. but as far as movies, TV series and podcasts go I have those on a pair of 64GB USB memory sticks. And it's such a boon being able to play whatever I feel like off of one of these. Even when out and about it makes for a commendable entertainment hub. It seems as if everyone has a 2mm Nokia charger in their house, and as the HDMI out also pumps out Dolby Surrond sound up to 5.1 out, my N8 has been plugged into several amp's, plug in either a memory stick, or a powered external HDD and give it a charge and off you go! And don't get me started on Ovi Maps. Although I will now concede that Sports Tracker is out for Android as well now.
Many of my friends say I'm not "getting" the whole point of Android. But I thought the whole point of getting one of these high end devices was that as well as making phone calls and sending text messages etc they also offered all the latest advances in terms of hardware. Or am I really not getting the whole point of Android?
Exactly the same.
Came from a Desire to the S2, and I'm seeing better battery life. The screen's got a lot to do with that I think, no power to the black areas and all that. It's an amazing phone.
Wonder what'll be available...
...when it finally comes time to replace my Nexus One? I think I've probably got at least another year's good use out of it before it's retirement time. I hope by then Google have returned to asking HTC to make their flagship phones.
I really hate the design of all the Samsung models - they're ugly, and feel cheap and flimsy. I rather like HTC phones, but hate Sense. And of course I want to be sure to get OS updates as soon as Google release them, as I've become accustomed to on my N1.