Just test drove a Galaxy S II

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by brig2221, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. brig2221 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    I went down to my loacal AT&T store to test drive a Galaxy S II in anticipation of possibly switching if I don't like what Apple rolls out this afternoon. I have been hanging on to a 3GS for over two years now, so I'm itching to get a new phone and am not real excited about the prospect of getting a 4S (could be completely wrong, will know in a couple hours).

    Here are a few of my takeaway's after test driving the Galaxy S II:

    The Good:
    Beautiful 4.3" AMOLED display. I know it doesn't have the PPI of the current iPhone 4, but I literally could not tell a difference. The colors are very striking and vibrant, which is all the more enhanced on a 4.3" display.

    I have literally NEVER used an Android device before, even to mess around. Test driving the Galaxy S II today was literally my first time to do so. I've got to say that the Android OS was not bad. It was pretty intuitive IMHO, and I easily figured out how to get to most everything I needed to in a short amount of time.

    It was as light as a feather! I literally could not believe how light that thing was. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with the rear attachment. It is a piece of plastic, whereas the iPhone is a piece of glass. That said, I did not mind the plastic at all, and I liked the texture it had as it would seem to be resistant to scratches and such.

    The Bad:
    The keyboard is freaking awful! I could not type worth a darn on that thing, and that was with a much larger screen and real estate to work with. I figure I would obviously get more used to it over time, but I've gotta say, I was really turned off by the keyboard.

    Fluidity, or lack thereof. You get used to how smoothe the iPhone operates when pinching and zooming, flipping from one screen to the next, scrolling down pages, etc. Althought not terrible, the Galaxy S II, and probably to a greater extent the Android OS, does not match the iPhone in fluidity. They don't have pinch and zoom, but some weird way of holding your fingers on the screen, and using the gyroscope to zoom in and out. Not terrible, but I much prefer pinch and zoom. Flipping from one screen to the next was not as crisp and reactive to that on an iPhone, and scrolling down web pages seemed to be an all or nothing proposition. That is, you scroll very very slowly, or you scroll down at the speed of light. Not much in between.

    Overall I think the phone was very nice. I think I would be happy with it if I were to pick one up. That said, I'm really hoping I don't have to go that direction as I am happy overall with iOS and the comfortability I have with it. That said, I'm just flat out not going to upgrade to a new iPhone if it still retains a 3.5" display with upgraded internals.

    As noted above, the presentation is in a few hours, so hopefully I won't be disappointed. That said, I thought I would post my Galaxy S II impressions for anyone else that might have had similar thoughts of looking elsewhere if today's presentation misses the mark.
  2. SXR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2007
    Good read. That's been my experience as well.

    But, what's with everyone wanting a larger screen these days? Is it really that important?
  3. YaBoiD, Oct 4, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  4. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    As far as the keyboard there are other options you can use on Android. The keyboard I love is called SwiftKey and now I hate the iOS keyboard with a passion.

    I wish iOS / Apple would open more of their platform so I could install a third party keyboard like I can on Android.
  5. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Funny - I test drove it and it had pinch to zoom AND had the gyroscopic action you speak of. I also found switching in and out of apps, pages and widgets extremely fluid.
  6. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2009
  7. BowTheMan89 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2011
    Thanks for the notes. Depending on what i see from the event today, i may go to the ATT store and take a G S II for a 30day test run and then try an get a 4S if im disappointed.
  8. auxsend macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
  9. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
  10. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I played around with it yesterday and was able to get it to work. Depending on what apple does I just may end up getting this..
  11. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    Well, I may not have worded it correctly in my description. It wasn't that they weren't fluid, just different from what I'm used to. Didn't feel as smoothe to me, althought it certainly wasn't laggy. Just my perception from what I'm used to.

    Honestly the only real negative that is holding me back at this point is the darn keyboard. Not sure what they do differently than Apple does on theirs, but I can blaze away on my iPhone when typing. Using the Galaxy S II was a very frustrating experience when attempting to type.
  12. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.6; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRK39F) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I've personally had no issues with the GSII performance wise. It renders webpages far faster than my wife's iPhone 4 and I can be smoothly scrolling around whilst her iP4 is still displaying checkboards.

    The GSII trounces the Nexus S I'm using now and easily competes with my wife's iPhone 4. Perhaps AT&T have borked their firmware some how?
  13. macinnv macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Swiftkey is pretty good and it 'learns' from how you type and your accuracy. I have tried many of the keyboards on the android market and I like 'Keyboard from Android 2.3 +' from the developer Steven Lin. Its a very customizable keyboard. In the advanced settings you can change the spacing of the keys, change its colors etc. I think its $0.99 but worth checking out.
  14. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    To me, a 4'3" phone really is the sweet spot. Any larger and it's almost too big. That said, a 4.3" phone fits inside my pocket just fine.

    As far as why I would want a larger screen, I would say it's the same as wanting a 50" display instead of a 42" display for your primary TV (about the same ratio). It's just easier to see, and in the case of a smartphone, the extra real estate is very helpful IMHO.
  15. Chief Oddball macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2009
    See, this is what's cool about Android. I had the same experience as the OP when testing the SGS II the other day; the keyboard was completely unusable at the speed I type. Knowing that there are other options that can be installed (coming from iOS, I would never have guessed that I could install a custom keyboard on a phone) is great.

    I still prefer certain things about the iPhone 4 -- namely the display DPI and build materials -- but the SGS II was an amazing phone, and I couldn't believe how lightweight it was either.
  16. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    I don't know which keyboard you used in the setting, but I got like 3 in my galaxy mini. Stock android, samsung, and the swipe. I use the samsung one and it's pretty much the same as on the iPhone.
  17. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lexington, KY.
    This is EXACTLY where I am right now as well. I'm still hanging on to my 3GS (like the OP) and I seriously doubt I'll use my upgrade on a 4S (although I won't rule it out until after 1 pm today). After messing with some larger-screened phones, I've been hooked. I absolutely LOVE my 3GS and I'm sure I'd love a 4S if I gave it time. But I'm going to weigh all my options carefully before making the jump in either direction.
  18. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010

    I'm right there with you. I never would have thought I would be doing this either. I'm not Apple fanboy, but I have been using their iPhone since it's first iteration. I never would have thought I would be contemplating this move....

    That said, I know software is a very large part of any smartphone, and I'm sure that is what Apple is going to sell hard if they give us a 4S, that it's the software (iOS 5) stupid!

    I just can't wrap my head around knowing I waited over two plus years to purchase a phone that looks exactly like a current iPhone 4 (that could have been purchased 16 months ago!). Sure, it will have upgraded internals, but I doubt it will be able to do anything that much better than the iPhone 4 can do already.

    Don't want to get too far ahead of myself as noting has been anounced yet. Just thinking out loud......
  19. pacmacman Suspended


    Jan 6, 2010
    I have no idea what you're talking about in terms of fluidity. The S2 is amazingly fluid, and much faster than the current iPhone. The touchscreen is every bit as responsive too.

    I've been using one for work for the last week and while I still prefer iOS overall the S2 is an absolute beast of a phone and quite frankly has every feature I wish iOS would incorporate.
  20. theperipheral macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I feel the same way about most of what you said. A few months ago, if somebody had said "buy this android phone" I would've attacked them emotionally and denied it instantly.

    This is the first time in 4 years that I'm 100% sure that I'm switching if Apple fails to deliver the goods. Very strange feeling. I'll be back to Apple once they redesign, though.
  21. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback. Again, my takeaways were from 15 minutes of use only, and were obviously just my opinions, certainly not fact.

    That said, I'm glad you provided such a positive review on the phone as I may just wind up owning one before the day is over. Time will tell.
  22. Apollo 13 macrumors 6502a

    May 29, 2010
    maybe you were on a mobile site. I know the iphone doesn't zoom whine on a mobile site. Also android has an option to calibrate the keyboards.
  23. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2010

    I know what you mean about going back. If I were to switch this generation, I could almost guarantee you I would switch back next generation if they offered a re-design with a larger screen and 4G LTE, but, you never know what the competition is also going to through out there in the future as well.

    In the end, I don' think Apple cares what I think because for every guy like me that might be looking to leave, there are 10 other people ready to buy iPhones.


    I was on a mobile site actually. I was on ESPN.com and another site, and I remember being ticked off that I was being directed to the mobile versions of the sites. I cannot stand mobile websites, so ugly. Anyhow, glad to know that's why the pinch and zoom didn't work.
  24. pacmacman Suspended


    Jan 6, 2010
    It's the first Android phone where I feel it's a legitimate competitor to the iPhone in terms of what an Apple person would want out of a phone. I know Touchwiz gets a bad rap, but this iteration of it is *very* iOS like. It's almost like what an iPhone would look like with Android features on it.

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