1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Are you 'blown away' by your GS2...?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Sak01, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Sak01

    Sak01 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Just a little survey for GS2 owners.

    Are you amazed by the phone or are you underwhelmed?

    Does it meet your expectations?

    What phone did you come from and how does it compare?

    Do you think it blows the competition away or is it just an incremental step up?

    Your co-operation is appreciated :)


  2. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    I have to say that yes, I am.

    I am very happy with the phone. It's super quick and it does everything I want it to. I've had no real problems with it and I love the flexibility of Android (coming from an iPhone).

    That said, there is one area that has left me deeply unimpressed. The phone on its own is great but as soon as you want to connect it to a computer (a Mac in my case) the experience turns very ugly very quickly.

    Kies (the desktop software) sucks hairy balls in the Windows version. The Mac version isn't even as good as that. Trying to sync anything with anything else was a deeply unsatisfactory experience but the trouble I had trying to get music onto my phone was so bad that I started to regret my purchase. I use iTunes (like hundreds of millions of people) to manage my music. Sadly there aren't any products that work well with iTunes. The phone cannot play certain formats (eg m4a Apple Lossless), it doesn't recognise ID3 V2.4.0 tags so most of my music's metadata was lost, a lot of album art didn't copy across properly. I never found a good solution and the horrible workaround that I did find required major surgery on my iTunes database.

    Added to that, there is no easy way of doing a full backup. On my iPhone it was absurdly easy to do a complete backup of absolutely everything and to restore it. This does not appear to be possible even with additional software on Android.

    In summary, great phone, unbelievably crap integration with the desktop.
  3. heshanj

    heshanj Android Expert

    agreed with the crap desktop integration part. never used an iphone so i cant compare but i really feel this could be better. i really love the phone, but im not particularly blown away with the speed of things, as much as i am blown away with how awesome using android is (its my first android phone) everything just works like it should, google integration is very nice to use n it just seems right for me. about the speed, i notice it sometimes gets a bits sluggish on homescreens, especially when ive loaded all 7 homescreens with widgets.. i expect a dual core CPU to handle that a bit better.. other than that, it zips thru everything like an iphone does with a far slower CPU.. not complaining, just not blown away with the speed.
  4. elektrobix

    elektrobix Member

    Yes i'm pretty much blown away by it after a few weeks of use. I came from a Milestone (hated it) & BB Bold (loved it) and this feels like a big step up. I don't usually like typing on touch screens but this feels really easy to type on.

    I don't use Kies because it won't let me drag folders (of albums) across to my phone - i'd rather just plug the usb lead in or use bluetooth for individual files.

    I take photos and little videos of my pets all the time and i've been really impressed with the camera. I love how fast it is! The screen vibrancy is brilliant. Very happy with the call quality, something that wasn't great on my Milestone.

    I'm not really loyal to any brand/software and it was a toss up between this and an iPhone, i'm glad i got this one now although now. I think i'd miss the customization of android now and of all the android phones i looked at i think this is the best one at the moment. No regrets :)
  5. steslatt

    steslatt Android Expert

    Blown away is a bit strong. Im impressed with the phone. I think its fast, the fastest phone i've been on anyway. I came from a desire and even though it was overclocked it seems sluggish compared to the SG2. The only thing that has not impressed me is the battery life, it could be better.
  6. carthesis

    carthesis Well-Known Member

    Yeah - Apple and Droids don't really play nicely together - it's not that much of a shock when you stop to think about it! Personally, I don't see that as much of a problem as I've never used iTunes and never will. Mainly because when I've used it it's been clunky, slow and horrible because Apple and MS products don't integrate that well either! :)

    I'm told it works quite well on a Mac.

    There is a very easy way of doing a full backup of the phone - it's called Titanium Backup, and it's free from the Market. You need root for it, but that's fairly easy to achieve on the SGS2 apparently. At that point you can do a full back up of just the software, or software+apps, or software+apps+data, and various other combinations that may or may not take your fancy. These it dumps to a folder on your SD Card, which you can then very simply copy to your PC if you so wish.

    Hope this helps.
  7. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    Is that really a complete backup? My understanding is that this doesn't backup the OS.

    There is also an obvious flaw with only backing up to the SD card in that it will only have enough room if I have used less than half of my available space.

    On my iPhone, I could backup (simple one step process), wipe the phone completely and restore the backup and I would be exactly back to where I was with all my data, settings, apps, music and importantly OS in precisely the same state as when the backup was taken. Can Titanium really do this?
  8. carthesis

    carthesis Well-Known Member

    No - it's a full complete backup of the OS and everything. There are options for exactly what you want to backup etc. The only downside to it is that you actually need an OS installed and rooted with Titanium backup installed to be able to do it - it's not like an iPhone where you can restore the backup through iTunes on your PC. It all has to be done on the phone itself AFAIK.

    As for backing up to the SD card - that's true, assuming you don't have an external SD card in the phone as well as the internal SD card. The way I work, I keep all my media on the external SD card so this can be easily swapped between phones. On the SGS2, I know there is a 16Gb model, but is the full 16Gb available for apps installs etc.? BUt yeh, you can just whack in an external SD card and backup to there.

    As for the 'full' backup, it is a simple onestep process once you've got root, and getting root isn't THAT tricky. Generally, all you have to do is flash a version of the software already rooted. You'll be able to find one easy enough by perusing the XDA forums, or Modaco, or here even. Like I said, it *IS* a full, complete total backup of whatever you want it to backup. I use it when I try new ROMs - I have a backup of my current ROM, so if I don't like the new one i can restore to exactly where I was, including the specific, customised versions of the OS.

    Again though - it's not something that can be done through the desktop machine - it's done on the phone. Unless someone else knows of a way to do it in a similar fashion to iTunes? Theoretically, it shouldn't be that tricky to implement, as it could just be pushed over ADB back to the desktop... </theoretical musings of a non-Android programmer>
  9. steslatt

    steslatt Android Expert

    Not sure about titanium but I know that CWM does a full and complete backup of everything.
  10. Miths000

    Miths000 Well-Known Member

    Yes, but then it's my first smartphone, so I guess that's not surprising :).

    I'm particularly fond of all the interface customization you can do - very different from the "one size fits all" approach of my 2nd gen iPod Touch (and I would assume iPhone as well? Or do widgets and stuff like that actually exist there too?) - and the large screen.
    At these sizes 4.3" vs. 3.5" is really a pretty substantial gap, and for me makes the difference between being able to read page after page with the Amazon Kindle app - or do just about anything else for relatively extended periods of time - or alternatively with a 3.5" screen suffer eye strain within minutes.

    Deciding on the best way to move my iTunes music collection to the Galaxy is about the only thing that really caused me some minor headaches.
    The Kies desktop application seems like a piece of garbage indeed (I just use manual file copying from PC to phone now), and I while I've been reading about DoubleTwist, iSyncr etc., I eventually decided on a back to basics approach, where I've simply converted my unprotected iTunes songs (that's most of them fortunately) to MP3 format and copied them over - which seems to work fine with embedded album covers and everything.
    And in the future I think I'll start buying my music from an MP3 store instead of iTunes.
  11. akanimbus

    akanimbus Newbie

    It's a phone ffs!
  12. zer0snap

    zer0snap Newbie

    It's a great phone. The speed and feel of this phone is truly amazing. I agree with other complaints on the connectivity to PC using Kies, that is crap. Battery life is OK so far and I'm getting a days use (not a heavy user) out of it easily. The screen is crisp and clear and I love the ability to change fonts to make it even more customizable.
    I love this new phone and it is by and far the best phone I have owned. Can't wait until CM arrives. :D;)

    edit: I came from an HTC Incredible S to my SGS2.
    edit: I love the addition of Swype. I used to use SwiftKey on my old Inc.S but Swype has me converted.
  13. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    I do use CWM to do nandroid backups but the resulting file is 890MB and I have >15GB of data on my phone and SD card so this cannot be true unless it's capable of spectacular levels of compression.

    My understanding is that CWM does a complete backup of the system partition but doesn't touch /sdcard at all and this seems to be borne out by the file size.
  14. polaris777

    polaris777 Newbie

    Screen really great.. I have the firefly live wallpaper and could stare at it for hours.

    Samsung, fix the email issues please.. Keyboard, forwarding etc and I will die happy.
  15. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    Mine isn't.

    It's a web browser and music player. It's also sometimes a video recorder and a camera. Occasionally it's an N64 and a GameBoy. It's also my watch and my calendar. Sometimes it's also a satnav, torch, radio, ebook reader and a star map.

    I do believe that it can make phone calls as well, but that's less important to me ;).
    Fluffer, sweeds and cleanermonkey like this.
  16. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    I have already rooted mine so I clearly should look into Titanium a bit more - thanks.
  17. greggebhardt

    greggebhardt Android Enthusiast

    I love my SG2. I am a long time Blackberry user and also iPhone 4 owner.

    They need to work on Kies or kill it and come up with something else.

    If Samsung is going to be as big as a player with Android, they need to take some of that money and put it in some Desktop Software!
  18. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    Well said that man.

    It's the only really weak point but it is really weak and it needs sorting. It has every appearance of being a complete afterthought.
  19. Foxy1

    Foxy1 Newbie

    Absolutely love it!

    Came from iphone 3 ....its been a bit of a journey of discovery what with the iphone wiping my arse for me and telling me what clothes to wear but now I am in Driod zone and i'm free .....FREE
    gulickgurl likes this.
  20. cleanermonkey

    cleanermonkey Member

    (came from a SGS) The SGSII rocks! Its blazing fast and smooth, does every thing the SGS did... just better. AND the GPS WORKS... Yay!!! (had alot of problems with it on the SGS)

    I don't have that many problems with Kies (other than it is a bit slow) I have had ALOT more problems with iTunes... wiping my 25 gigs of music on my iPod and not wanting to athorize the PC because of a new motherboard, crashing, freezing oh yeah and beeing slow as f**k (god how I hate it!) :D

    I usually just drag and drop stuff like Pics, music, videos etc. onto the device as it is alot easier than any desktop program ;)
  21. lotus49

    lotus49 Android Expert

    It has been interesting during my saga with the music to hear comments about iTunes. At first I was mystified why some people were so negative but it seems to be the Windows users who like it least.

    It's somewhat unsurprisingly that Apple may have put more effort into the Mac version which has always been a model of speed, stability and elegant ease of use on my MacBook Pro. I gather that many Windows users have not been so lucky.
  22. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    Impressed, certainly.

    Yeah, I'd say so. Exceeds them in some areas e.g. multimedia.

    HTC Desire Z. The GS2 beats it on the multimedia front and has an edge in graphics performance, but third-party ROMs like CM7 and Virtuous G-Lite close the "everyday use" performance gap. The physical keyboard of the DZ is a unique advantage for some things, but the GS2 is definitely more pocket-friendly. On balance, after almost two weeks ownership, I prefer the GS2 as a "daily driver".
  23. jimlad

    jimlad Well-Known Member

    what do you use kies for ? i can see it rubbish, but so far not had to use it
  24. greggebhardt

    greggebhardt Android Enthusiast

    I am a Blackberry user.

    We sync with MS OutLook.

    Kies synced my SG2 with OutLook perfectly the first time. I was up and running in only a few minutes and have not looked back.

    Other have had so much trouble with Kies, I have not.

    What else would sync with OutLook:thinking:
  25. Lol mahmood

    Lol mahmood Member

    Came from SGS to SGS2, and feel that the 2 is everything the 1 should have been. There are still a few irritating little bugs*, though, and Kies is largely crap (although seems to work far better with the SGS2 than it did with the SGS).

    *Random resets (which have ceased since I stopped using the stock Samsung music player), wifi sharing battery use, etc.

Samsung Galaxy S2 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S2 release date was April 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, Exynos 4210 Dual processor, and 1650mAh battery.

April 2011
Release Date

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