Will Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S II do well despite the bad history?

Samsung Galaxy S II

In terms of Android, 2010 was arguably the year of Samsung as they entered the high-end arena and made a huge impact with their Galaxy S devices, both internationally and here in the US. Shipping over 10 million Galaxy S devices in 2010, Samsung was able to show that a new competitor had arrived and was ready to take on the big dogs like Motorola and HTC.

When the US variants of the Galaxy S debuted here in the states, they shipped with Android 2.1 (Eclair), which was outdated as Android 2.2 (Froyo) was already available. Samsung promised that Froyo would be pushed out in a few months after the initial release; however, this was not the case as months and months went by before the T-Mobile Vibrant finally got a taste of Froyo in January 2011, making it the first variant to receive the update. After this debacle, many owners threatened to never buy another Samsung smartphone ever again…but with the upcoming release of the Galaxy S II, the overall mood in the tech blogosphere seems to be quite different. So how will the Galaxy S II do despite the bad history? Read on to find out what we think and why.

The original Super AMOLED display was simply AMAZING

Despite the lack of Android 2.2, the US Galaxy S’s (T-Mobile Vibrant, AT&T Captivate, Sprint Epic 4G, and Verizon Fascinate) were able to perform impressively thanks to Samsung’s speedy Hummingbird processor (1 GHz). In addition, the company’s Super AMOLED display was absolutely gorgeous and well received by consumers and tech enthusiasts alike. Both the Galaxy S’s processor and display were key ingredients to the phone’s popularity, and its successor will be no different.

The Galaxy S II will continue sporting the beautiful screen technology, but with some improvements. The new Super AMOLED display, dubbed Super AMOLED Plus, brings back the vibrant colors as well as a higher sub-pixel density, which will ultimately result in sharper images. Many complained about how AMOLED displays have over-saturated colors that don’t look real, but we feel that they are absolutely wonderful and that “over-saturated” colors are vibrant and a pleasure to look at.

Besides the newer display technology, Samsung will also be including their new dual-core processor known as Exynos in the Galaxy S II. The final clock speed of the Exynos processor is believed to be 1.2 GHz/core, but we’re not 100% sure. There have also been rumors that certain devices in particular locales will actually be equipped with Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor instead of Samsung’s new chip. All the details will be finalized soon as we approach the device’s European release.

After Samsung failed to deliver Froyo in a timely manner to Galaxy S owners last year, many were threatening to boycott the Korean manufacturer. Comments often included bad-mouthing of Samsung and the Galaxy S devices in general. Despite all this, it seems rather strange because if you read the comments of current Galaxy S II articles on various tech blogs, the mood is actually quite positive. Why do you think the attitude towards Samsung seems to have shifted from bad to good? The answer is easy…the trolls who were threatening to boycott Samsung secretly know that despite the lack of Froyo out of the box, the original Galaxy S was an extremely powerful device and that Samsung actually did an outstanding job building it. Like I mentioned above, the Hummingbird processor and Super AMOLED display were industry leading technologies at the time, proving that Samsung had the chops to deliver great smartphones. Coming off of such success, we all expect the Galaxy S II to be an amazing device as well with many additional features. So all in all, we think that last year’s software debacle with Android 2.2 will not stop people from buying the upcoming sequel. It’s an awesome device that will surely impress the masses and when the dust settles, people will buy it because it’s a great device, not because its predecessor didn’t get updated in a timely manner.


Posted on April 25, 2011, in Devices and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Great write up on a great phone. I even like Touchsense UI. Especially interested in trying the gesture based zoom. I own a Galaxy S original and it’s been the best phone I’ve ever owned. The screen is truly Magical and Revolutionary unlike Apple just using the words! ….like the rest of their RDF propaganda!!!

    When a ROM came out it took only minutes to upgrade Android OS…. but didn’t have Touchsense which I missed. Now that SGSII is out it’s time for me to upgrade and listening to absolutely asinine and ludicrous iDiots after actually having owned a Galaxy is is ridiculous. YOU CONVINCE NO ONE…. YOU FOOLS!!!

    People buy the technology and innovations that are in devices, not whether it looks like another device, or doesn’t get some stupid update you can easily apply yourselves. The GPS wasn’t Samsung’s fault, it was a driver issue with Broadcom and their Combo radio and the driver hadn’t been fixed in time for that version Android which had just came out itself. The radio was better featured than any Combo radio out with Wifi 3.0 support which they didn’t even have fixed until well into into next Android release!

    Exynos represents a solid leap in technology. 1st Quad Core GPU in the first all ARM SoC with incredible bandwidth never before seen on any mobile device. The bandwidth alone is enough to power two native local WSVGA screens with feeding a third simultaneously via HDMI at 1080p up to 60fps!

    With two great cameras (2mb front) HD Video Chat, 1080p video and incredible pics are now possible on a Phone for the first time! Galaxy SII is the GodPhone!!!

  2. CactusCat,

    Why should anyone ever have to go to the lengths of putting a custom ROM on their phone so the issues that came with the phone are fixed that is crazy. Nobody should have to go that far to fix problems out of the box and besides the custom roms are never perfect themselves they fix one thing and break 3 more.

  3. Never buying a Samsung phone again. I bought my SGS on launch date from T-Mobile moving from a G1 to a Galaxy S at first I was amazed it was a huge speed boost from the aging G1 I was using but now I wish I never bought the phone.

    Yes it sucked not having 2.2 I was angry that we were promised time and time again with 2.2 dropping and when it did great but i could live with that but what I couldn’t live with and still can’t live with is the GPS.

    GPS should just work it shouldn’t take 10 minutes to hopefully get a sat signal and when it does seem to work it will be working then start thinking I’m hundreds of feet in a different direction its been useless since day 1 and even with the “fixes” given to us it still doesn’t work.

    Lag – Unacceptable this is a 1GHZ phone it is top of hte line and there is lag when I move from window to window? give me a break.

    Unresponsive phone – My phone for no reason will just go unresponsive and I have to wait 30 to 60 seconds to do a double vibrate to signal it is back and working it is so annoying when the phone decides to crash when I’m trying to do a google search. The sad part is I don’t have a lot of applications and stuff like that.

    Finally all these quick updates that have come out since the Galaxy S 4G now the Galaxy S II I know technolgy moves fast and what not but it hasn’t even been a full year since release and already two phone models are better? that is just a slap in the face to the 10 million people who purchased an SGS in my opinion but I also understand its progress and the phone doesn’t stay “new” forever.

    I guess what it boils down to I feel I put my trust in Samsung it looked like an amazing phone but after using it for months on end since launch its a pile of poop painted gold. Yes its thin and has an amazing screen but when the damn thing is laggy, can’t do simple things like use GPS and then the manufacture just ignores their paying customers with no fixes and basically says nothing is just low in my book.

    I’ve been an android phone since G1 the first freaking Android handset and I felt T-Mobile was finally getting a good phone to compete with Verizon and the Droid I was wrong I’ve used HTC products in the past and had zero problems Samsung will never be purchased again the company lies to its customers and ignores pleas for help on the hardware they produced and just moves on to the next phone.

    Sorry to be so long great site will continue to read more I just happened to find this site by searching google about the Galaxy S and any fixes with GPS on 2.2

  4. Nice cheerleader piece. Rah Rah.

    Back to reality – As the owner of a Samsung Behold II and a Vibrant, I will never but Samsung again.

    The Behold II was unusable, laggy, bug ridden, horid battery life, constant freezes, and all because Samsung had to insert that damn TouchWiz into android. The inability of them to update it was entirely because of touchwiz.

    Why they bother with android at all is a mystery, why not be honest and just release their phones as having touchwiz?

    The Vibrant was fast, but constant GPS problems and that screen lag, waiting for the launcher were again problematic. My impression is that they did not upgrade for so long was because they could not get that stupid apple iphone wannabe touchwiz to play nice with froyo.

    Samsung needs to seriously stop wizzing on their phones. How about release them with real android, and stop integrating your touchwiz mess into android and make it a launcher and apps that can be readily removed. Until then, I don’t care if it could build me an island and fly me there, I am not buy any more samsung with touchwiz.

    • The Behold II was laggy because it was a first-generation Android phone with poor hardware just like others of its time. Sure, the lag was probably made worse with the addition of TouchWiz, but again, the lag was mainly caused by poor hardware.

      “My impression is that they did not upgrade for so long was because they could not get that stupid apple iphone wannabe touchwiz to play nice with froyo.”

      The international Galaxy S received Froyo in November 2010, 5 months after the phone’s launch back in June 2010. The T-Mobile G2, which is running stock Android mind you, has yet to receive the now 5-month old Gingerbread. So as you can see, it’s not because of TouchWiz that caused the delayed Froyo update since the international Galaxy S received it in a timely manner. The G2 is living proof that having stock Android doesn’t mean that you’ll get the next update any faster than a phone with a custom UI. The real problem was probably caused by the carriers, as they weren’t able to get their bloatware apps to work on Froyo. So, as I’ve proven through facts and not mere assumptions, TouchWiz doesn’t make getting the next version of Android any longer than any other UI, or even stock Android for that matter…it’s all in the hands of the carriers.

  5. I agree that it was awful to have to wait for the official froyo release for the galaxy s (1), but as you mentioned, the device it self was so nice (well..other than gps), I could forgive them for that. And now, with the Galaxy S 2, they could take a year to update it and I think I’d be happy with just the way it is now ( <a href="http://www.jrin.net/2011_04_24/samsung-galaxy-s-2-in-depth-review&quot; my in depth review of the galaxy s 2 )

  6. Ack! Sam-dung is a joke. The reason the Galaxy S line has continued to do well is because the average person doesn’t do their do diligence in researching. If they did, they would see that it is riddled with issues. Lag, gps, behind in software updates, just to name a few. Sam-dung even managed to use an antiquated filling system (which is the main reason for the lag.) Need I remind anyone of the Samsung Behold II? Those poor consumers didn’t receive ONE UPDATE. Not one? Really? Samsung had proven to be a company of poor character and the truth is the average person just doesn’t know any better. If you would like to know how happy their customers are you can check out Samsung’s facebook page. When I first started reading their page I realized that the majority of the posts were negative. After reading a few more minutes it got down right funny. The negative comments are so overwhelming I felt embarrassed.

    So will the next Galaxy S phone do well? Yea, probably. Will the average person be happy with their new phone? Yea, probably. Will Samsung continue their track record of poor support in software and hardware? Yea, probably. So truly none of those are the real question; the real question is what issues will Samsung decide ignore this time and how costly will those issues be to their customers…and Samsung themselves.

    • Well Jim, you make some valid points, but you get lots of exercise jumping to conclusions. True, the average person is not nearly as informed as you and me. However, my Galaxy S has none of the issues that you mentioned. Why? I fixed them, clear and simple. And how did I do that? As an “informed” user (not just the average user – your words), I did what you don’t want to hear, I installed a custom ROM that eliminated those issues. After all, you and I are the “informed” users, not just average users. So we can do stuff the “average” user can’t. So what does that make you? A policeman for those “average” people? Not in my opinion. I see you as a whiner and complainer that instead of taking care of the issue, prefers to complain. I grant you, the average user doesn’t read these forums, but you and I do, so that just makes you look bad to gripe about something that is TOTALLY in your control. Your point about their filing system is accurate except for the “antiquated” part. It was normal for the time when the unit was built. It did cause some lag. Updates? That’s a hodge-podge of a variety of things. You blame Samsung. I blame the carriers. Example: The Tmo G2 is vanilla Android, but still has not gotten Gingerbread yet. Why not? Is that HTC’s fault? Nope. The carrier again. Don’t hear you whining about that one. The fact that the Galaxy S series had different versions with each of the US carriers proved to be a major PITA for everyone. Each carrier wanted the phone “thier” way. So yes, it became a problem to make the OS work correctly with each one. But that was not Samsung’s fault. The international version of the Galaxy S got the updates in timely fashion. Nov 2010 if I remember correctly. And as to future stuff… Samsung is releasing source code to appease people like you. We’re now seeing source code releases BEFORE the phones even are released. So quit your belly-aching.. buy whatever phone you want, and check your facts before you open your mouth (err…. keyboard).

  7. Im on the Galaxy now and looking at this but would like it to play more type of media file.

    • Here are the rumored supported video formats for the Galaxy S2 as reported by gsmarena.com:
      MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player

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