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  • mlj11 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I figure's the best place to ask this...

    One criticism always leveled against SAMOLED screens is how displayed colors appear to be over-saturated, ie not true to life.

    This time round, Sammy's added an option (at least in the international version of this phone) under: Settings>Display>Background effect that allows users to choose from 3 pre-set color saturation levels.

    Guys, when you go through your rounds of testing on these phones and if the option is available, could you include a segment on the color levels using the preset values? I would really like to know if color reproduction is better on the lower-saturated one.

    Thanks in advance!
  • lpjz290 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I think that's a great suggestion. Sometimes the AMOLED screen do show oversaturations with colors. If it's true that Samsung have included the saturation control, it should be reviewed and tested. Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Ever compared "raw" image to jpeg generated by Canon/Nikon cameras?
    jpeg is ALWAYS more saturated.
  • mlj11 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    And your point is..?

    I'm interested in this from a phone hardware perspective, and how the different technologies that go into making different displays affect what a user sees.

    Specifically, I'd like to know whether the option to change the display's saturation levels brings the accuracy of color reproduction of the SAMOLED+ closer to LCD levels.

    You can lose the snarky comments, thanks.
  • duffman55 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Some people like really saturated colors. Of course there are varying degrees of saturation, and the SAMOLED display is very saturated. The colors on that display are too unnatural. It's still a great display, though. Just not as good as it should be for displaying real life objects.

    I haven't spent much time using the new SAMOLED+ display or the Nexus S display with the revised color temperature (not sure if they changed the color saturation).

    Does anyone know why Samsung calibrates their displays like this? I think it would be great if they included the tool for changing the color saturation to the user's liking.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    They do it because it's a consumer product and consumers like it that way.

    It's the same glossy-matte argument all over again.

    Eventually, it will get absurd and manufacturers will provide options to deal saturation back into reality.
  • s44 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    From the tweets, Brian may actually end up testing supercurio's fine-grained calibration app. Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    My GSII has this colour option (non-US version luckily, as the US versions are a mess. 3 variants of the same phone with different names, looks and hardware?! ridiculous)

    By default the colour is actually pretty accurate. I have a 30" professional LCD monitor that i've calibrated with hardware and software, it's extremely accurate with colours and for a phone the GSII isn't far off in comparison. BUT... my friend also has GSII and on his the colours ARE saturated on default setting. So it has to be turned down in the colour setting, which makes saturation a little too low. The contrast is also way too high on his phone and this cant be adjusted. It isn't as bring on the same setting either. I also tested another GSII in a store and this was closer to mine but still different.
    Basically it seems that each screen can vary quite a lot, more than is normal.

    Maybe it will be different for the US versions, infact i'm sure it will be being as they dont even all have the same screen on each!
  • agentsmithitaly - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    It will interesting to see battery life tests. One thing I've noticed in previous smartphone reviews is that you didn't tested standby battery life.
    My girlfriend Galaxy S II, europe version, has difficulty to reach 15 hours standby with a very light use, ie. a couple 5-min calls and nothing else.
    I've set the brightness to minimum, switched off wi-fi, gps and bluetooth, removed animated background, set baseband to GSM only, updated to latest KE7 firmware but the situation improved only by 1-2 hours, which why probably I'll buy one of that portable power banks for emergencies.
    I hope it's only a firmware issue and that sometimes Samsung manages to iron it out.
    Dual core CPUs seems to use lots of power, they should give a little more weight and thickness (it's just 116 grams and 8.5 millimeters!) for a 2000 mAh battery, 1650 isn't enough.
  • warisz00r - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    This news should interest you then
  • Impulses - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    She's gotta be having some sort of wake lock issue (app keeping the phone awake), either that or the Galaxy S2 has an issue with sleep state. If I don't use my EVO 3D at all it'll easily idle for 40+ hours, the thing sleeps like a champ even with FB and a couple of email accounts set to sync... The only other thing that could tap a phone dry withou any user input would be am excess of background sync services and/or a particularly bad signal. Nothing kills battery faster than sitting in a low signal area and allowing the phone to constantly and hopelessly struggle to find a stronger signal. Reply
  • InDenial - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    It might be due to a known bug on that phone where the WiFi Sharing Manager starts up for no apparent reason and starts consuming the battery. The phone also gets very warm during this time. I use Watchdog Task Manager Lite to keep an eye on my CPU usage and if I notice it very high (constantly over 20%) it's usually becauase of that sharing manager. Go into Settings, Applications, Battery usage. Select wifi sharing if it's on the list and Force stop it. Samsung are supposedly working on a fix for their next firmware release. The sharing manager is normally only used while tethering. Reply
  • InDenial - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Also, with her usage and your settings, she should be able to get at least 2 days out of each charge. I usually get over 48 hours on that phone with a few texts and short calls and 1 or 2 hours of internet or games per day. If possible, use wifi at home rather than 3G as it's meant to be better for the battery. Otherwise, your settings are good. I've heard that using a dark/black background can save battery as it doesn't have to display strong bright colours. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Remember that battery life isn't just what you actively do with it. If your girlfriend had a few 5 minute calls AND her phone was passively downloading e-mails, Twitter updates and Facebook data then it may have actually consumed a lot of its battery life in 3G data. Given that WiFi battery life is often better than 3G, you should consider seeing what her stand by time is if you turn WiFi on, set it to never disconnect, and see if it improves. If it does, then you should also consider changing your refresh intervals for whatever data hogs are consuming her battery life.

    Either way, I know Brian is working hard on putting together a great review of the international version. We don't typically do stand by time because it's too dependent on variables (how much e-mail we received that day, what our WiFi or 3G signal is like, etc) but hopefully our regular battery life tests will give you some idea whether you're phone is performing up to snuff. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming.

  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    It's probably the AOS bug, which is reportedly fixed in the leaked 2.3.4 update ROMs.

    Open battery use details, if you see "Android OS" using a high percentage of battery, then that is what you're experiencing. It affects all 2.3.3 ROMs including those for Galaxy S(1).
  • Mike1111 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    What about the just announced Galaxy S II LTE with a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU? Seems unfortunate to finally release the Galaxy S II in the US right after announcing its successor (or more high-end SKU). Reply
  • s44 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    AT&T will probably release it late in the year when their LTE network goes online. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Check in just after 5AM EST and we should have coverage of Sammy's IFA event. Reply
  • realmike15 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I want to move away from the iPhone, but I haven't found a suitable replacement yet. I've had a chance to play with the Android OS and I was pleasantly surprised with it's performance and overall style. The handset makers on the other hand, just can't seem to get the design of their hardware right. Most of the phone styling out there pales in comparison to the iPhone. That's not a jab at the other manufacturers, there's plenty of problems with the iPhone... but from a hardware standpoint the design is just so sleek, minimalistic, and well done. The competitors phones just feel "cheap" in your hand, the mention of how "light" the galaxy feels does not instill confidence for me. I want a phone with some weight to it, it doesn't have to be heavy... but I want to know it's there. There's too much plastic in the mobile market, glass and metal are much better building materials. I'm not an Apple fan boy, I own both PC and Mac and probably always will. While I think Apple does great design work, it bothers me how slow they are to implement new technology like USB 3.0, or that the specifications of their computers usually don't match the price tag.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to turn this into a Mac vs. PC dead horse debate. I just don't understand why these other manufacturers can't design hardware that looks as good as Apples. I'd like to make the switch and try something new, but their hardware designs aren't even close.
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    The only aspect which is wrong with plastic for build quality is people's misperception of it. Plastics are easily at the stage that they can offer the necessary strength as well as lightness which metal cannot. The S2 and Sensation are a good example, people frequently favour the Sensation for its supposed better build quality but in truth it's just the feel. I'm using a newer Sensation at the moment which has a creaking rear cover already while the S2 is still flawless, no marks, no creaking it just feels solid.

    As for the IPhone build quality it perhaps proves that while its build quality may feel great the build quality is actually poor, the previous iterations suffered a variety of problems with the cases cracking and the screen breaking far too easily and based on Iphone4 friends have it's no better with its own share of problems. I'll take the superior plastic build quality of the S2 any day of the week
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    This is entirely true and I want to make clear that while the "feel" of the device is made cheaper by the glossy plastics, the reality is that plastics are fine structural components for a phone. The gloss does make scratches much more noticeable, but anyone that's seen a certain era HTC phone age over time knows that the soft touch plastics take on their own marred appearance over time.

    Are glass and metal more premium materials? Kind of, but they both face different challenges. Glass is brittle, and metal is expensive to mold. I think it's noticeable that no one has been able to produce a thin aluminum unibody phone. Where it's been used, by HTC, it's for less svelte phones. Machining aluminum so that it could form the main frame and outer structure of a phone in the <10 mm thin range would be quite the technical feat.

    So, plastics don't feel great in the hand, but they do last.
  • InDenial - Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - link

    I agree that the plastic design of the S2 feels really good. I am new to smartphones so find holding the bigger and thinner phone during calls a bit strange at first. But it is very light and I rarely notice it in my pocket.

    The downside to such light weigh for me is in the car. I usually leave my phone on the centre console and when turning a corner, the S2 usually flies off over the seat and down beside the door :) I have since purchased a grippy dashboard mat to hold it in place, rather than shell out for a car kit.

    But overall, I am very happy with the phone.
  • s44 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Glass is a much worse phone building material, as anyone who's dropped an iPhone 4 can tell you.

    If you want the heavy stuff, get HTC/Moto.
  • mrSHEiK124 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Can we get any confirmation on whether or not Sammy actually ditched the Wolfson DAC from the original Galaxy S? Not going to upgrade if I'm downgrading, I've got the headphone's to appreciate it! Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Yeah that was confirmed a long time ago - it's gone from the SGS2. There's a Yamaha audio IC in its place.

  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    IIRC, supercurio said that it had an inferior chip and so he's not going to bother creating Voodoo sound for it. Reply
  • Uritziel - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Maybe I'm just slow, but I don't think those two 20% boosts result in a 40% boost. If the clock bump gives a 20% boost, then you're at 1.2x performance. If the A9 bump gives a 20% per clock boost, then you're at 1.2 * 1.2x = 1.44x. So it's really more of a 44% boost. I realize that I'm being picky and that the performance boosts are just rough generalities, but still... :) Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    We try and save the last 4% for a rainy day. Thanks! Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    800x480 on a 4.5" display? This is supposed to compete with a 14 month old iPhone that does 960x640 at 3.5"

    Come on, Samsung. You MAKE displays---Surely you can produce something competitive for your own products.
  • Jumangi - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Yes cause as we all know the number of pixels is how to determine whether a display is good or such ignorance... Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    No need for strong language. I think it's a fair complaint to levy, and I do so as well. Pixel density provides a crisper image which is easier on the eyes and allows more of an image to be shown on the screen, without any scaling. This configuration provides a pixel density of 206 ppi, far off the iPhone's 330+ ppi. But it's also noticeably deficient against the recently popular 4.0" qHD screens we've seen at 275 ppi. And, we know that higher density screens will become the norm sooner, rather than later, with every expectation that this fall we will see 4.x" 720p phones on the market. This is also the trend that we should expect in tablets, and I'm sure that Samsung will not miss this trend and will produce phones to match those specs.
    This time, however, Samsung chose to highlight the characteristics of their SAMOLED+ screens at a lower, and likely more affordable resolution. Don't think for a minute though that they're not trying to gin up some way of shipping these at full HD.

    Thanks for the comments, keep'em coming, but keep'em civil.
  • Omid.M - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    How do these compare to other popular 4.3" screen phones:

    EVO 4G
    EVO 3D

    Are these variants with the larger (4.5") screens wider than the above models?

  • Omid.M - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Nevermind, just saw the other page that I did not first see.

    SGS2 (4.5")--2.7"

    They're really pushing it. That's honestly too big to be comfortable, because you will (I will at least) be putting a case on it, too.

    I wish a Samsung prod design rep would speak on the decision to go that large in screen size. There's no way they can cite usability research for this. Ridiculous. Makes me lose faith in the Prime, if it's really 4.5" let alone 4.65" ...
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    It's easier to sell big than it is to sell small. The iPhone's tiny little pixels lit the geek world on fire, and even the most laymen iPhone user knows that pictures look real pretty on their small screen. But the density isn't as much a wow factor, particularly when bigger and brighter still sells TVs at Best Buy. Truth be told, I didn't think I could put up with a phone bigger than my OG Droid, I just didn't see the point, till I started using an Incredible and couldn't stand being tied exclusively to the onscreen keyboard. Now, I can't wait to get something bigger, though 4.5"s is too much for my tastes. Reply
  • PenGun - Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - link

    A very sweet phone. I've had mine for about a week. One thing not widely highlighted is how amazingly fast it is. Mine has never been anything but fast and responsive. I have never had a hitch or lag. I only wait for networks. Reply
  • kreacher - Friday, September 09, 2011 - link

    There have been a few complaints about the Super AMOLED+ display over at XDA forums -
    1. Its not able to display 16 million colors - banding can be seen on gradients.
    2. Low brightness issues - There are discolored bands seen on the notification area and any app with a white / light color background.

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