Samsung Galaxy S II

I have for two years have been a happy iPhone user, and still consider that iPhone provides the best overall user experience. But the iOS is getting old, and particularly Android has been able to pass it on certain areas. My new work phone is Samsung Galaxy S II, which is running Gingerbread (Android 2.3). In the hardware area, it has a dual core processor (1,2 GHz), SuperAMOLED+ screen (4,3″), and 8 megapixel camera, to provide the key details. This thing can run all the games I have thrown at it without any hiccups, and it can record and play Full HD video when used to document events. In terms of user experience and competitive relationship to iPhone, comparison gets a little difficult. There are things like Swype sliding text input in Android/Samsung, but I still find text editing and web browser to work a bit better in iPhone. On the other hand, there is much more room for tinkering, configuring and modification in Android, so it can be set up to fit the actual user needs in a much more flexible manner. The Android app ecosystem is vast, but I feel iOS has generally better quality apps. Almost every search produces tens of different competing apps in Android Store, and it is sometimes really difficult to find something that actually fits your needs. Apple keeps tighter controls of their app-universe, and have already filtered out rubbish. In some cases though, it is impossible to find the feature or function you need from the Apple side, whereas Android is much more open and provides flexibility. It is also easy to fill your screens and data transfers with dozens of non-optimized processes in Android – iOS is more controlled and balanced environment also in this respect. There will be the new iOS 5 released later this autumn, which will bring some key elements that Android already has (like the notification centre, over-the-air updates) to iOS. It will be interesting to see how comparison will turn out then. At the moment, iOS is better for “general user”, while Android shines as a “power user” toy and tool of choice.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the Tampere University, Finland. Occasional photographer and gardener.

3 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S II”

  1. Tuntuuko tuo näyttö tai puhelin liian isolta? Tekstin kirjoittamisessa isompi näyttö varmaan toimii paremmin mutta joutuuko pystyasennossa yhellä kädellä käytettäessä kurottelemaan liikaa tai vaikeasti peukalolla ylä- tai alalaitaan?

  2. Pienemmät puhelimet ovat tuossa mielessä (ja taskuunsopimismielessä) tosiaan näppärämpiä, minulla on kuitenkin sen verran pitkät sormet että saan tuon kokoisen näytönkin yhdellä kädellä aika hyvin ulottuville. Kannattanee kokeilla ennen mahdollista hankintaa.

  3. Further experiences: it now feels really clumsy to use traditional typing techniques in the touch screen – swype, the swiping keyboard of Android is so much better and faster. Its ability to guess words from the finger movement is not perfect, of course, but it is good enough to soon become intuitive. On the other hand, much of the Android applications are not working as well (feature-wise, but particularly being slower, or somehow unreliable or clumsy). But there are exceptions. For example, I think that the Android version of Spotify app actually feels better than the iOS one. There are apps like (the newspaper app) that feel better in Samsung, due to what I consider the better screen of this Android phone. And as a downside, Samsung had so much trouble connecting reliably to the wifi network of my work place (University of Tampere) that I actually have turned it off over there. iOS devices has also had troubles with it (the Cisco router configuration they are using has something really funny going on), but not as bad as the Samsung phone.

    Gut feeling is usually the best test. Currently I find automatically taking up the Galaxy S II rather than iPhone when I need to use a service or application, and that is really good sign about the current state-of-the-art level of Android user experience.

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