Review Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P) Smartphone

Till Schönborn (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/03/2013

Old made new. Samsung launches a refresh of its successful Galaxy S2 called Galaxy S2 Plus on the market. The 4.3-inch smartphone powered by a swift 1.2 GHz dual-core, updated Android version and NFC support competes against midrange contenders.

For the original German review, see here.

In mid-January, the Korean electronics giant Samsung proudly announced that its Galaxy S smartphone series broke the barrier of 100 million sold samples. Analysts expect that at least just as many devices from the upcoming Galaxy S4 top model will be sold.

As excited many customers and the international trade press might be about the latest high-end buster, one thing should be considered: Not every buyer can afford a smartphone from the 500 Euro (~$651) category. Thus, it is all the more important to be well positioned in the lower price ranges – either by offering low-priced entry-level devices or selling older models for an attractive price.

Samsung now relies on just this proven means for the Galaxy S2. Almost two years after the actual release, the manufacturer refreshes the smartphone as Galaxy S2 Plus. But what is behind this name? Many things have been adopted at first glance. The AMOLED screen still features a size of 4.3 inches and a resolution of 800x480 pixels; the dual-core SoC clocks with 1.2 GHz and pictures are shot with an 8.0 megapixel camera. However, Samsung has reduced the storage from 16 to now only 8 GB, which can be tolerated owing to a micro SD slot. The new features, such as the (optional) NFC support or the updated Android operating system (4.1.2 Jelly Bean) alongside the TouchWiz 5.0 user interface, are much more interesting. But is that enough to justify the purchase price of approximately 300 Euros (~$390)?

Case

High-end plastic casing
High-end plastic casing

Samsung has largely adopted the casing's design from the Galaxy S2 precursor. A simple yet quite high-quality plastic dominates the looks. The buyer can choose between the colors blue and white. Stylish details, such as the display's glossy metallic rim let the smartphone look both elegant and unique. The design is in no way stale even after two years. However, one drawback of the glossy surfaces is that every tiny dust particle is seen and makes regular polishing inevitable.

The casing convinces with good stiffness although light metals are not used. Nothing creaks or crackles despite the S2 Plus' thickness of just 8.9 millimeters (~0.35 inches) (without NFC: 8.5 millimeters/~0.34 inches) and a weight of 121 grams (~0.27 pounds). This is insignificantly heavier than the Galaxy S3 Mini (112 grams/~0.25 pounds), which also sports a smaller, 4-inch screen. Unlike Google's Nexus 4, the back cover can be removed without tools. This should however be done with care in view of the fragile-looking clip design.

In terms of build, Samsung has done a great job. We did not find any interfering gaps or sharp edges. The screen covered with Corning's Gorilla Glass closes flush with the bezel and underlines the high-quality claim of the entire device. The S2 Plus can easily compete with the S3 Mini. The iPhone 5's unibody casing is even a bit better due to its design. However, we do not want to use it for direct comparison in view of its much higher price.

Connectivity

Like most other Android smartphones, the Galaxy S2 Plus does not feature many hardware buttons. The power button is on the casing's right and a longish volume rocker is on the other side. Both buttons feature an accurate and firm pressure point and are easy to access with only one hand. The familiar home, menu and back buttons are also available. Both latter buttons are implemented as touch keys.

As usual, the smartphone can be synchronized or recharged over the PC via a micro USB port (USB 2.0, MHL standard). The 3.5 millimeter jack for headsets or headphones as well as the integrated card reader is just as standard. The latter supports micro SD cards up to 64 GB and is a very important extra in view of the tight internal storage.

Left: Volume rocker
Left: Volume rocker
Top: Headset jack
Top: Headset jack
Right: Power button
Right: Power button
Bottom: Micro USB port
Bottom: Micro USB port
Android 4.1.2
Android 4.1.2
Home screen
Home screen
GPS reception (outdoors)
GPS reception (outdoors)

Software

The Galaxy S2 Plus includes the latest Android 4.1.2, code name "Jelly Bean" version ex-factory. Various innovations have been incorporated with Android 4.1. Some improve the performance ("Project Butter") or supplement new features. For example, the user can now look forward to a virtual, intelligent assistant like Apple's Siri. It offers an increasing scope of features starting with weather forecasts up to browsing through emails. However, a permanent Internet connection is imperative for this service dubbed "Google Now".

The features of Samsung's TouchWiz interface, version 5.0, are just as convenient. One feature that we particularly liked was that video could be placed on the screen as a small pop-up while working with other applications; real multitasking barely known from a smartphone to date.

Communication & GPS

First a minor downside. Similar to the Nexus 4, the S2 Plus unfortunately does not feature mobile Turbo LTE technology. Apart from this flaw, the smartphone's connectivity can be called decent. Gross data rates of up to 21.6 Mbit/s in downlink and 5.76 Mbit/s in uplink are possible in UMTS networks with HSPA(+). Owing to quad-band support (GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz) and W-CDMA, the user can make calls and browse almost everywhere in the world.

Besides the compulsory Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth version 3.0 standard, a few versions of the Galaxy S2 Plus offer NFC (near-field communication). Samsung adds a "P" at the end of the model name (i9105P) and offers these devices for virtually the same purchase price. Although this standard is not yet very widespread in Germany, the diversity of application fields, such as micro-payment, key lock, general data sharing over short distances, should not be underestimated for the future.

The smartphone can use both the signals from the American GPS satellites as well as the Russian Glonass system for position finding, which is particularly important for navigation applications. Thus, the likelihood of determining the exact position coordination increases when the reception conditions are poor.

Telephony

The clearly arranged telephone application will not cause problems for new smartphone users and impresses with sophisticated operation. Swiping over contacts from the left to right automatically prompts a call; swiping in the other direction opens the message screen. Calls using enabled "Direct Call" are even easier. The phone is simply held to the ear and the opened contact is automatically called.

Cameras & Multimedia

The rear-facing camera in the S2 Plus has a decent resolution of 8.0 megapixels (3264x2448 pixels) and surpasses the company's own competition, such as the Galaxy S3 Mini (5.0 megapixels). The result is focused pictures featuring balanced colors that can compete with the compared contenders. Of course, an LED flash and video feature, which records in a Full HD resolution, is also included. The autofocus could be a bit faster, but this is insignificant to the overall good impression.

Our verdict about the front-facing camera is more negative, as expected. With 2.0 megapixels (1600x1200 pixels) and accordingly low details, it is mainly thought for video chats. These are however limited to a lower resolution of 720x480 pixels.

 

Front-facing camera
Front-facing camera
Rear-facing camera
Rear-facing camera
Reference (EOS 600D)
Reference (EOS 600D)

Accessories

Besides the smartphone and the battery, a matching power supply unit, USB cord and an in-ear headset with various pads is included. , The user will not find any other accessories, such as a memory card or case, but neither among most contenders.

Warranty

Samsung includes a 24-month manufacturer's warranty on material and processing flaws for all its current smartphones. However, it only applies to the device. The warranty on all accessories is limited to a meager 6 months. Of course, this does not affect the 2-year statutory warranty.

Input Devices & Controls

Screen keyboard (portrait mode)
Screen keyboard (portrait mode)

Users who have dealt with other Android devices will quickly be accustomed to using the Galaxy S2 Plus. The touchscreen as the main input can be used precisely and without delays. It is also big enough to accurately hit every letter even on the selected QWERY keyboard. Apart from minor differences, the layout corresponds to the usual Android standard. Nostalgists can also choose a classic mobile phone layout with large number buttons.

Display

The smartphone world has gone pixel crazy. The manufacturers are quickly closing in on 500 dpi, Full HD screens like in the new HTC One. Such high resolutions can naturally not (yet) be expected from a 300 Euro (~$390) device. However, the 800x480 pixels displayed by the Galaxy S2 Plus seem rather outdated nowadays. We would appreciate at least qHD (960x540 pixels) in a 4.3-inch screen. It not only improves the font quality, but also increases the comfort while browsing because more information can be displayed at the same time. At least Samsung does not use the so-called PenTile matrix that works with a reduced sub-pixel count.

246
cd/m²
243
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
243
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
243
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 246 cd/m²
Average: 240.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 239 cd/m²
Black: 0 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1

The great picture quality on the Super AMOLED Plus screen compensates the user for the somewhat disappointing resolution. OLED screens are traditionally known for brilliant colors and a virtually perfect black reproduction; strengths that the S2 Plus once again confirms. Our gauge even failed to measure a contrast rate simply because no remaining brightness was measurable in black picture components. Pictures, movies and games are rendered accordingly saturated and plastic. The higher the contrast in a scene, the bigger the advantage over a normal IPS screen.

AMOLED screen
AMOLED screen
The brightness is limited...
The brightness is limited...
outdoors
outdoors

One of the most important qualities of a smartphone is outdoor use. Consequently, it must have sufficient brightness in addition to good image quality. The Galaxy S2 Plus cannot completely convince us with its average brightness of 240 cd/m². Most models on the market easily achieve 400 to 500 cd/m². Since the screen's surface is reflective like all smartphones, direct sunlight should be avoided where possible. The same is true for the Galaxy S3 (Mini) and many other contenders.

Outstanding viewing angle stability
Outstanding viewing angle stability

IPS screens already offer a largely undistorted content representation even at very acute angles. Nevertheless, the AMOLED screen in our test device clearly excels that and maintains its great contrasts and colors from every thinkable position. Although the equally expensive Nexus 4 is superior in many things, this plus point goes to the S2 Plus.

Performance

The S2 Plus showed up for our benchmark tests with an apparently unmodified 1.2 GHz SoC featuring two processing cores. However, a few differences are noticed when looking closely. After using chips from its own Exynos range (Exynos 4210 in the S2 i9100) and Texas Instruments (TI OMAP 4430 in the S2 i9100G), Samsung now relies on a Broadcom BCM28155.

The new SoC should hardly feature any surprises on the CPU side. The cores are still based on the Cortex A9 architecture (ARMv7 including NEON extension) and can access the 1 GB LPDDR2 memory via two 32-bit channels. However, the manufacturing process has been improved from 45 nm to 40 nm LP, which lets us hope for a lower power consumption and consequently longer battery runtimes.

A big stranger is the graphics card named "VideoCore IV". There were significant performance differences between both former SoCs, which partly attested the Exynos chip to have twice the power of the TI derivative. We will now examine how the Galaxy S2 Plus fares in comparison to midrange contenders, such as Google's Nexus 4 (Snapdragon S4 Pro, Adreno 320, 2 GB RAM).

GLBenchmark 2.5 - 1920x1080 Egypt HD Offscreen Fixed Time
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
11 fps ∼2%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
27 fps ∼5% +145%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
11 fps ∼2% 0%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
5.1 fps ∼1% -54%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
2622 points ∼25%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
3178 points ∼31% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
4116 points ∼40% +57%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
1988 points ∼19% -24%
Linpack for Android - Multi Thread
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
79.7 MFLOPS ∼7%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
221.638 MFLOPS ∼20% +178%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
137 MFLOPS ∼13% +72%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
53.494 MFLOPS ∼5% -33%
NenaMark2
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
58.9 fps ∼88%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
59 fps ∼88% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
58.8 fps ∼87% 0%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
38.8 fps ∼58% -34%
AnTuTu Benchmark v3 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
6575 Points ∼18%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
17555 Points ∼49% +167%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
15395 Points ∼43% +134%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
6605 Points ∼18% 0%
Epic Citadel - High Quality
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
52.6 fps ∼88%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
54.3 fps ∼91% +3%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
3909 points ∼16%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
4552 points ∼19% +16%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
5430 points ∼23% +39%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
2993 points ∼12% -23%

In the average of the synthetic benchmarks we tested, the Galaxy S2 Plus places itself clearly behind the Galaxy S3 premium model but still before the S3 Mini. The Nexus 4 from Google is unconditionally at the top. The hardware power it offers in this price range will likely remain unreached for a while. We were particularly surprised about the graphics power of the S2 Plus. Although the VideoCore GPU benefits from the screen's low resolution in the Epic Citadel benchmark - the Nexus 4 has to manage over twice the pixel count - the reached 52.6 fps are very impressive. The Galaxy S2 (i9100) precursor only managed around 34 fps.

Browsermark
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
1291 points ∼18%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
1038 points ∼14% -20%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1898 points ∼26% +47%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1839 points ∼26% +42%
HTC Windows Phone 8S
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8227, 4 GB Flash
1543 points ∼21% +20%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
1643 Points ∼9%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
1013 Points ∼6% -38%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1978 Points ∼11% +20%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1381 Points ∼8% -16%
HTC Windows Phone 8S
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8227, 4 GB Flash
477 Points ∼3% -71%
Sunspider
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
1434 ms * ∼14%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
2082.8 ms * ∼20% -45%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1477.8 ms * ∼14% -3%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1894.7 ms * ∼18% -32%
HTC Windows Phone 8S
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8227, 4 GB Flash
1410 ms * ∼13% +2%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1580.6 ms * ∼39%

* ... smaller is better

The S2 Plus compels with a constantly impeccable operation in practical use, owing to "Project Butter" and a highly optimized Browser. Even large websites open within seconds: Scrolling or zooming is absolutely smooth and without interruptions. Our test device even surpasses the superior Nexus 4 in two of three browser benchmarks on paper.

Another reason for the good routine performance is the swift flash memory. It is quite tight with only 8 GB (3.7 GB free), but the transfer rates are absolute premium level. Even the more expensive Galaxy S3 is impressively shown its limits with over 47 MB/s in read and good 15 MB/s in write (both sequential).

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
47.42 MB/s ∼28%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
49.7 MB/s ∼30% +5%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
30.08 MB/s ∼18% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
38.08 MB/s ∼23% -20%
Sequential Write 256KB
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
15.34 MB/s ∼27%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
13.97 MB/s ∼24% -9%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
9.28 MB/s ∼16% -40%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.44 MB/s ∼13% -51%
Random Read 4KB
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
12.22 MB/s ∼58%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
12.14 MB/s ∼58% -1%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
8.92 MB/s ∼43% -27%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.13 MB/s ∼34% -42%
Random Write 4KB
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
VideoCore-IV, BCM28155, 8 GB SSD
0.74 MB/s ∼25%
Google Nexus 4
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
1.07 MB/s ∼37% +45%
Samsung S3 Mini GT-I8190
Mali-400 MP, NovaThor U8500, 8 GB SSD
0.27 MB/s ∼9% -64%
Samsung Galaxy S3
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
0.58 MB/s ∼20% -22%

Games

Shadowgun: DeadZone
Shadowgun: DeadZone

We tested whether the Galaxy S2 Plus can really cope with graphically demanding 3D games using two free tracks from the Play Store. In Temple Run 2, we could convince ourselves of the installed hardware's performance (estimated frame rate: over 30 fps) as well as the accuracy of all sensors. Also, all inputs via the touchscreen were implemented directly and with high accuracy.

The online shooter ShadowGun: DeadZone did not run quite as smoothly with a frame rate of approximately 25 fps, but is playable without major restrictions. The Galaxy S2 Plus will have enough reserves for 2D games like Angry Birds anyway.

Speech Quality

All the features sometimes let us forget the real purpose of a phone or smartphone, namely making calls. The S2 Plus could exhibit a quite good and stable reception in our test, which is comparable with other smartphones such as Sony's Xperia Play and HTC's Evo 3D. The speech quality of our test device proved to be equally good on both sides. Owing to the receiver's high maximum volume, it is easily possible to make calls at conventions or other loud surroundings.

Emissions

Temperature

Unlike some other premium models featuring an energy guzzling quad-core SoC, the dual-core in the S2 Plus does not produce much waste heat. The casing's surface reached a maximum of approx. 37 °C (98.6 °F) even during constant full load, which is roughly lukewarm. We consequently also did not notice throttling when the processor and graphics card were loaded simultaneously. The smartphone even remained completely cold in idle or routine use (making calls, watching videos, light browsing). This indicates a very low power consumption, but more about that later.

Max. Load
 34.9 °C32 °C29.7 °C 
 36.3 °C32.8 °C30.4 °C 
 36.4 °C33 °C30 °C 
Maximum: 36.4 °C
Average: 32.8 °C
28 °C30.8 °C31.5 °C
28.9 °C32.2 °C35.4 °C
29.2 °C32.2 °C37 °C
Maximum: 37 °C
Average: 31.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.1 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

Mono speaker
Mono speaker

The mono speaker located on the S2 Plus' back impresses with a surprisingly clear and sufficient maximum volume. However, the volume reserves cannot always be completely used depending on the music style. Especially high pitches tend to quickly overdrive slightly. Some other smartphones also render bass a bit better so that a headphone or headset should be used for ideal music enjoyment in any event. The included in-ear model (EHS64AVFWE) is the same as we know from the Galaxy S3 model. Its sound quality and wearing comfort (6 different pads) range within a good midfield.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The smartphone proved to be a bit more energy hungry than expected with an idle power consumption of 1.0 to 1.8 Watts. Comparable phones usually consume a few hundred milliwatts less. Considering the massive influence of idle consumption by the power supply unit, we do not want to analyze these figures in-depth.

More significant are the full load rates. As expected, the dual-core SoC consumption of 2.2 to 2.6 Watts is much more efficient than the quad-core counterparts in the Galaxy S3 (3.3 to 3.4 Watts) or the Nexus 4 (3.9 to 6.5 Watts). This should have a positive effect on the battery life, which we will look at next.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 1 / 1.2 / 1.8 Watt
Load 2.2 / 2.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The removable back cover allows the user to take out and replace the 6.1 Wh battery in case of damage or heavy wear. Based on the installed hardware and screen size, the battery has a completely sufficient capacity, which allowed a maximum runtime of over 14 hours (Wi-Fi on, minimum brightness, reading a text file).

The battery's reserves were drained after 9 hours and 38 minutes when the screen's brightness is adapted (approx. 150 cd/m²) and we surfed via Wi-Fi. The Galaxy S2 Plus lasts for about just as long as the S3 Mini or Motorola RAZR i in this practical scenario. The Nexus 4 gives up about two hours earlier. Most users will have to connect the S2 Plus to the mains every second day, which is not a bad result for a modern smartphone.

The runtime dropped to a bit over 4 hours when the processor and graphics card were loaded using the Stability Test app. The power supply unit should be close at hand during long gaming sessions.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 17min
WiFi Surfing
9h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 05min

Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P)
Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P)

We admit, since Google offered a premium smartphone for a giveaway price with its Nexus 4, other manufacturers have a hard time scoring with their midrange models. Nevertheless, Samsung's Galaxy S2 Plus largely convinced us, which we would like to summarize here.

We will start with the casing. Its build, feel and stability do not give reason for complaint although the smartphone is extremely slim and light. The 4.3-inch screen is a perfect compromise between image size and pocket-suitability. Only the resolution is no longer quite up-to-date. However, the AMOLED technology excites with its brilliant image quality that is not excelled by any IPS screen.

The dual-core SoC's performance roughly corresponds to the 2-year-old precursor model. The user interface animation is smooth as silk and websites are loaded extremely fast - a swift browser and Android 4.1 make it possible. The features of Samsung's TouchWiz 5.0 also offer a real added value in contrast to some contenders. A decent 8-megapixel camera, NFC and the extremely handy micro SD slot add to that.

The bottom line is; the S2 Plus has clearly earned its purchase recommendation, even if the current price of 300 Euros (~$390) is definitely not a bargain. Consequently, the Nexus 4 remains to be the unchallenged star in the Android camp for enthusiasts who place particular importance on the latest hardware (at least in this price category).

Courtesy of ... GetGoods

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In Review:  Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, LPDDR2
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
4.3 inch , 800x480 pixel, capacitive, Super AMOLED Plus (RGB), 217 dpi, capacitive touchscreen, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB
:: Connections
Card Reader: Micro SD (up to 64 GB), Sensors: motion sensor, light sensor, proximity sensor, compass,
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth, W-CDMA, GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900), UMTS quad-band (850/900/1900/2100), HSPA+ (up to 21.6/5.76 Mbit/s)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 66.1 x 125.3
:: Weight
0.121 kg Power Supply: 0.04 kg
:: Battery
6.11 Wh Lithium-Ion, Li-Ion, 1.650 mAh, 4.2 V
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 17 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 549 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 320 h
:: Price
320 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
:: Additional features
Webcam: 8.0 Megapixel (Front) + 2.0 Megapixel (Back), Videos bis 1080p/480p, Speakers: Mono, USB cable, Headset, TouchWiz 5.0, Music Hub, Video Hub, S Planner, Samsung Apps, ChatON, 24 Months Warranty

 

Déjà-vu?
Déjà-vu?
In addition to an 8.0-megapixel camera with LED flash...
In addition to an 8.0 megapixel camera with LED flash...
Samsung also installs a 2.0 megapixel camera for video chats.
Samsung also installs a 2.0 megapixel camera for video chats.
A look at the back:
A look at the back:
It is only clipped on...
It is only clipped on...
and can be removed without tools.
and can be removed without tools.
Then a micro SD card with a maximum of 64 GB and
Then a micro SD card with a maximum of 64 GB and
the SIM card can be inserted.
the SIM card can be inserted.
The 6.1 Wh battery lasts for about 2 days of routine use.
The 6.1 Wh battery lasts for about 2 days of routine use.
A special feature: short-range radio, NFC, is supported.
A special feature: short-range radio, NFC, is supported.
The speaker features a clear and loud sound, but lacks bass.
The speaker features a clear and loud sound, but lacks bass.
A headset or headphone is connected here.
A headset or headphone is connected here.
However, it has a comparatively low resolution.
However, it has a comparatively low resolution.
The Galaxy S2 Plus is not really new.
The Galaxy S2 Plus is not really new.
It is more a refresh of the nearly 2 year old S2 (i9100).
It is sooner a refresh of the nearly 2 year old S2 (i9100).
The price is nevertheless self-confident.
The price is nevertheless self-confident.
Samsung demands 300 Euros for the smartphone.
Samsung demands good EUR 300 for the smartphone.
The buyer gets a well-built casing for that,
The buyer gets a well-built casing for that,
which is however only comprised of plastic.
which is however only comprised of plastic.
All keys feature an accurate pressure point.
All keys feature an accurate pressure point.
The phone is synchronized and recharged via micro USB.
The phone is synchronized and recharged via micro USB.
The AMOLED screen excels with its great colors.
The AMOLED screen excels with its great colors.
We already know the "Pop Up Video" feature from the Galaxy S3.
We already know the "Pop Up Video" feature from the Galaxy S3.

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Amazon.com

$12.79 Waterproof Case with IPX8 Certificate for iPhone 5, 5G, 4, 4S, 3G, 3GS / Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 Active, S4 Mini, S3, S3 Mini, S2 (NOT suitable for Note 2 or 3) / iPod Touch 3, 4, 5 / HTC ONE X, ONE S Z520E, Windows Phone 8X (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon) / Blackberry Q10, Z10, Bold Touch 9900, Touch 9930 / Motorola DROID RAZR (Verizon) / LG NEXUS 4 (E960), P760 / Nokia Lumia 920, 820 (AT&T) plus 1 Stylus & 1 ECO-FUSED® Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (White)

Suncase ® Original Suncase ® / Custom made for Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II - S2 / Genuine Leather Case / Cover / Quality Slip Pouch / Soft Phone Bag / with Pull Tab (Premium Quality) BLACK
» 11.90 GBP (lowest price)
11.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Suncase ® Original Suncase ® / Custom made for Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) - Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P) / Genuine Leather Case / Cover / Quality Slip Pouch / Soft Phone Bag / with Pull Tab (Premium Quality) Croco-Black
» 11.90 GBP (lowest price)
11.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

StilGut leather case for Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) & Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105) with clamshell and a removable belt-clip
» 29.90 GBP (lowest price)
29.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Suncase ® Original Suncase ® / Custom made for Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) - Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P) / Genuine Leather Case / Cover / Quality Slip Pouch / Soft Phone Bag / with Pull Tab (Premium Quality) Washed-Black
» 11.90 GBP (lowest price)
11.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

Suncase ® Original Suncase ® / Custom made for Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II - S2 / Genuine Leather Case / Cover / Quality Slip Pouch / Soft Phone Bag / with Pull Tab (Premium Quality) Full Grain-Brown
» 11.90 GBP (lowest price)
11.90 GBP Amazon Marketplace UK

The displayed prices can be up to one day old.

Pro

+High-contrast AMOLED screen
+Smooth user interface
+Good application and gaming performance
+Meticulous workmanship
+Micro SD card reader
+NFC
 

Cons

-Fairly high price
-Screen's low resolution
-Average equipment

Shortcut

What we like

Slim, light and well-built: The Galaxy S2 Plus is not at all just a weak refresh that wants to adorn itself with the good-sounding name of its precursor. Samsung has cleverly updated the smartphone in many areas and bundled an attractive all-round package - including the latest Android version and modern features like NFC.

What we'd like to see

With a price difference of only around EUR 100 to the Galaxy S3, the S2 Plus is simply too expensive for our taste. An 800 x 480 pixel screen, 1.2 GHz dual-core, 8 GB storage are the key specs of some EUR 200 smartphone. However, the model is relatively new on the market and the price could still drop a bit.

What surprises us

Who needs a quad-core processor? The S2 Plus proves that a well-optimized operating system, like Android version 4.1, still enables an extremely smooth use even on midrange hardware.

The competition

The absolute reference in the EUR 300 range is currently Google's Nexus 4. The Galaxy S2 Plus also competes with the Galaxy S3 Mini, Sony Xperia Acro S, HTC One SV, Nokia Lumia 820 and Motorola RAZR i.

Rating

Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus
08/05/2013 v3
Till Schönborn

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
49%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
42%
Weight
100%
Battery
96%
Display
84%
Games Performance
32%
Application Performance
47%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Add Points
78%
Average
74%
87%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (i9105P) Smartphone
Author: Till Schönborn, 2013-03- 3 (Update: 2013-03- 5)