The Samsung Galaxy S2 just hit the global markets a few days ago after having sold in the millions in Samsung’s own country, South Korea in under a month. A lot of people are looking at what is essentially a superphone, as their next smartphone and why not! It packs a 1.2 dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, a beautiful 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display, is thin as you like, feels extremely light and is power by the latest in Google’s software.
But there are also a lot of people who still like the predecessor to this device, the original Galaxy S. Some would wonder if it is worth the upgrade if they already own a Galaxy S and some would wonder if it makes sense getting the now much cheaper Galaxy S original if it meets their needs. In this post I’ll attempt to put the two Galaxy S devices head to head to see if the successor has enough extras to make it a compelling upgrade. You can jump directly to the all encompassing video, or get the background in text below.
Physical: The all apparent physical bits first, both devices have essentially the same design with the S2 going a little easy on the curves. However, the S2 is slightly larger on account of the bigger 4.3″ display as compared to the 4″ display on the original. But the thing to note is that despite the boost in specs, its now much thinner 8.5mm v 9.9 mm and is also lighter by 3 grams, 116g to the original’s 119g, making it the thinnest and most powerful smartphone on the market.
Finally, because of the light weight and the slim profile, the Galaxy S2 doesn’t feel much bigger than the original. If you are used to the S1, you shouldn’t have any problems adjusting to the S2.
Display: Its not just the size of the display, but the technology behind it that’s improved as well. The 4.3″ screen on the S2 is ‘Super AMOLED Plus’, compared to the original’s ‘Super AMOLED’. Does this make a difference? Yes. Everything is better, the colours, the sunlight visibility, the viewing angles, the blacks. When you first move from a Galaxy S to a S2, the difference isn’t obvious, but when you move back to the Galaxy S, it then that you realize that Samsung’s new display does deserve the ‘plus’ moniker. That’s not all, the sub-pixel count has improved from 8 to 12, so this means that despite having the same resolution 800 x 480, the S2’s display will be sharper and the corners smoother than the original.
Power: The S2 is powered by a 1.2 Ghz dual-core exynos processor that literally blows the competition away on benchmarks. It also comes with a gigabyte of RAM with about 833 MB being useable. Compare this to the 1 Ghz processor on the original and the 329 MB of available RAM on S1.
Camera: The S2 comes with an 8MP auto focus camera with a single LED flash. It also shoots in video in 1080P at 30 frames per second. The S1 on the other hands has a 5 MP AF camera without any sort of flash and shoots at video at 720P, 30 FPS. Needless to say, the camera on the S2 is better, but the one thing to note is that when shooting at 1080p, the frame is slightly zoomed in, watch the video below to get a better idea of what I’m taking about.
Software: The S2 runs Gingerbread 2.3.3 out of the box with a TouchWiz 4 overlay. The S1 originally ran Eclair, but with the recently leaked 2.3.4 Gingerbread release, the S1 runs the absolute latest in Google’s software, even bettering the S2, which is supposed to get 2.3.4 is the coming weeks. Officially the S1 now also runs Gingerbread and newer units ship with it. TouchWiz 4 on the other hand is a very welcome improvement over TouchWiz 3 that runs on the S1, making it my favorite Android launcher/skin by far. A bunch of things have changed, the messaging app has skins, the memo app is better, the homescreen layout and switching is faster, you have music control from the lockscreen which itself has improved and looks much better. See the video to get a better idea.
Battery: The S2 comes with a 1650 mAh battery (compared to 1500 mAh on the S1) and slightly better battery life than the original running the latest Samsung ROMS. Also, the back on the S2 is matte and non glossy, giving it a premium feel. However, removing it does show you how thin it is and that can cause some anxiety. Overall, its still a definite improvement.
Connectivity: The S2 immensely benefits when it comes to connectivity. First it has HSDPA support for speeds upto 21 MBPS, compared to the 7.2 MBPS cap on the original. It also has USB on-the-go and WIFI direct support (more on that later today), not to forget the HDMI out with the microUSB adapter.
So these are the broad difference/improvements that the Galaxy S2 brings compared to its predecessor, I have outlined all of these and more in the video below. What is my final conclusion? Watch the video to find out!