Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II preview: Second encounter

GSMArena team, 13 April 2011.
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A great web browser

While the interface of the Android web browser hardly has changed, the hardware specs of the Samsung Galaxy S II propel it to great heights of user experience. The large, sharp display with great colors makes reading a joy.

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Browsing GSMArena.com on the Samsung Galaxy S II

The browser supports the double tap and pinch zoom along with the new two-finger tilt zoom. There are niceties such as multiple tabs, text reflow, find on page and so on.

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Page options and settings

The powerful dual-core CPU (and probably some GPU acceleration) enables the Galaxy S II browser to play 720p Flash video – something a lot of netbooks would choke on. You can play touch-optimized Flash games without a hitch too.

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720p YouTube video working in the browser • Playing a Flash game

Android has grown Hubs too

Hubs are not just for Windows Phone 7 – Samsung, at least, seems to think so. They’ve added a total of 4 Hubs to their new Android super phone.

The Social hub we’ve seen before – it combines you email accounts with social networking (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn) and IM accounts (Gtalk, MSN and Yahoo! Messenger) and shows all incoming messages as one list with handy shortcuts to reply, mark as favorite and so on. There’s filtering by message source too, to help manage the inflow of incoming updates.

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The Social Hub is a true communication nexus

The Music Hub lets you browse music online (with search tools, charts, lists of new releases and so on). You can preview songs (30 seconds each) and buy individual tracks or whole albums.

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The Music Hub helps you discover and buy new albums and tracks

Next up is the Readers Hub. You can subscribe to Internet newspapers, magazines or buy e-books. You can download free previews of books, which include the first few pages of the book. Extensive genre listings will help you discover new books to read.

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The Readers Hub transforms your Galaxy S II into an eReader

Finally, there’s the Game Hub, which will quickly become your go to place for finding new games. The titles are separated into Social and Premium games and there’s a news section too. There’s a try-before-you-buy option, so you can check out a game before committing your cash. The nice thing about that Hub is it includes the titles published by Gameloft, which are otherwise not available on the Android Market.

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The Game Hub is great for mobile gaming fans

Editing Office files

The Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II comes preinstalled with the Polaris Office, which seems to be getting rather popular with hardware manufacturers lately. And for good reason, we guess - it’s one of the most feature rich mobile editors we’ve seen. You can view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and there’s a PDF viewer to boot.

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Polaris Office viewer and editor

Editing offers almost a full set of options – text style, justification, paragraph formatting, bullets, even creating tables (that’s a first). If you’re editing an Excel file, you get a formula wizard, resize rows/columns, border style, merge cells and so on. Even full-featured PowerPoint presentations are doable.

You can do practically anything with the app – it’s better than the other mobile editors we’ve tested, even better than the Windows Phone 7 one (which had many editing limitations).

The app doubles as a file manager and also integrates with Google Docs and Box.net.

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