Samsung Galaxy S II Plus review: Golden oldie

GSMArena team, 31 January 2013.
Pages: 12345678910

Samsung has been steadily setting the bar ever higher with each flagship released, and the massive success of the Samsung Galaxy S III and its predecessor, the S II, have catapulted it to the top of the smartphone food chain. And, as is expected in the aftermath of such success, the Koreans are looking to capitalize on the name put up by their top models. Enter the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus.


Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus official images

A quick glance at the spec sheet may leave you scratching your head, especially if you're looking at the original S II and the sequel side-by-side. The Plus version got the same dimensions, display, camera, RAM and battery, and the processor is still a 1.2 GHz dual-core. It even has less internal storage than the original. So how, if at all, is it better? Before we get into what sets the S II Plus apart, let's take a quick look at the pros and cons:

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and quad-band 3G support
  • 21.1 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4.3" 16M-color Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution
  • Android OS 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Nature UX
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Broadcom BC28155 CPU, VideoCore IV GPU, 1GB of RAM
  • 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, face and smile detection, image stabilization
  • 2MP secondary camera
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support; DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity and GLONASS; digital compass
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, microSD slot
  • Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB v2.0 port with MHL
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Great video codec support
  • Solid 1080p video recording

Main disadvantages

  • No dedicated camera key
  • Almost identical to its predecessor
  • Below average loudspeaker performance
  • Pricey at launch

The spec sheet is a far cry from what we've been treated to lately - there're no 1080p displays or quad-core CPUs here. Seeing almost no effort to build on the last generations' flagship, it becomes clear that the idea behind the Galaxy S II Plus is not to impress you with hardware, but instead the software that runs on it.

Samsung has arguably been able to implement the most feature-rich iteration of Jelly Bean so far, and with the official Jelly Bean release for the original Galaxy S II still available in very few markets, the Galaxy S II Plus aims to give you what's probably the most compelling smartphone experience in the midrange.

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus I9105P Samsung Galaxy S II Plus I9105P Samsung Galaxy S II Plus I9105P
The I9105 Galaxy S II Plus

All that being said, not everything under the hood is the same. The new Broadcom chip inside will undoubtedly put up some different benchmark figures, and may even help lower production costs so Samsung might even deliver the Galaxy S II Plus at a lower cost than the original.

On the following page, we'll begin with our usual hardware tour of the Galaxy S II Plus, including the new finish.

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