Hands-On With The Samsung Galaxy S II

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYZTZdWptRg&w=640&h=390]

We’re fresh out of Samsung’s “Unpacked” event in Barcelona, where the Internet connectivity (be it WiFi or 3G) was about as stable as a skyscraper built out of warm butter.

Fortunately, Samsung brought along a new toy to make up for their lack of Internet: the Galaxy S II. We just spent some hands-on time with it and brought back video footage of every glorious second — check out the video up above, then hop behind the jump for our first impressions and a gallery of hands-on shots.

First Impressions:

  • At 8.49mm thin, Samsung’s able to claim this is “the world’s thinnest smartphone” — and man, does it show. This thing is about as slim as I can imagine ever wanting a phone to be. Any thinner, and I’d be tempted to shave with it.
  • That thinness is pretty much uniform along the device. In other words, there’s no big hump around the camera as other slim devices (like the Droid X) tend to have. There’s a mild chin down on the bottom where I assume the antenna is located, but it’s pretty subtle.
  • The 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus screen is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve heard people complain about the ugliness of the previous’ Samsung Galaxies “sub-pixel layer” (Nerd alert) which made certain fonts, curves, and edges look a bit off — couldn’t find any of that here.
  • Of all the custom Android UIs (HTC’s Sense, Motorola’s BLUR, etc.), Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 is probably the least invasive. It doesn’t tend to do much fixing of that which isn’t broken, and that seems to hold true in this device.
  • As you can see in the video above, the lock screen can be a fit finnicky
  • As you can see in the image gallery below (or better yet, in the high res version here), the iPhone 4’s screen still has a noticeable advantage when it comes to resolution/font smoothing.