Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II review: Brightest star

GSMArena team, 13 May 2011.
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Samsung Dive locates your device, remote wipes it

Competition between phone makers is getting really heated, so they're offering more and more free services to lure in customers. Samsung Dive is a prime example - it's a phone finder/remote wipe service, something which used to be a premium, corporate-centric feature back in the day.

The officially supported devices currently include the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S II, along with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Tab 8.9 and the Samsung Wave. That's it, even the Galaxy S Plus isn’t listed. An exception we found is that the Samsung Wave II is supported too even though it's not on the list.

The star of the show here is the Remote Controls feature (actually, it's the only feature). It can locate your phone or you can set it to track the phone for 12 hours on, recording its position every 15 minutes. If you’ve only misplaced your phone, say, it’s behind the couch or your dog’s been using it as a bite toy (true story!), there's an option to ring the phone out loud too.

And if it turns out that the phone isn't in the house you have the option to lock the phone, wipe its memory and check the call logs to see if there were any calls made from it.

Locking the phone lets you enter a message to display on the device (up to 100 characters) and you can enter a phone number, which will be the only number callable from the locked phone (you'll also get an SMS to that number if the SIM card is changed). A 4-digit PIN is also required, which can later be used to unlock the phone.

Ringing the phone is your first option • It's good to lock the device if it's not at home

Keep in mind that if you choose to wipe the device, you'll no longer be able to use Samsung Dive on it. You can re-register if you find it, but tracking will no longer work, which means remote wiping is your last resort.

Wiping the device clears all its data and disables Dive • Check the Call log first

When trying to locate your device, you have two options - Find my phone and Track my phone. They may sound alike, but they do differ a bit. Track my phone records the phone's location in 15-minute intervals over a period of over 12 hours and plots the locations on the map (Google Maps is used).

Locating the device on a map

But, for it to work, the phone needs to have a GPS lock - the Cell-ID and Wi-Fi positioning won't cut it. So, if the phone is in a building or in another area with poor GPS signal, tracking won't work.

Find my phone works fine with the less accurate options but it only shows the phone’s current location and it won't record past positions. The nice thing is that even if all location options were set to off before the handset was misplaced, those will be enabled automatically as soon as you start looking for it.

Unlike, Samsung Dive is purely for locating your device or remote wiping it. There are no options to view/manage contacts or messages or anything like that.

Final words

Absurdly powerful and having a one-of-a-kind screen – the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II is an easy phone to recommend. But that’s one thing you don’t need to do. Its reputation precedes it. The Galaxy II succeeds where previous dual-core droids have failed and provides the most complete smartphone experience to date.

Samsung were a few months late to enter the dual-core race, beaten by both LG and Motorola, but the time was obviously used well. The Galaxy S II doesn’t look like it was rushed to release halfway through the i-dotting. It’s a monster of a phone and one that feels comfortable with all that horsepower.

Little wonder really that Samsung are currently selling the Galaxy S II faster than they can manufacture it, never mind the slightly inflated price tag. Not only does it have everything – it sets the bar for the things to want in a phone. We just cannot see beyond the new Samsung flagship if we’re to name the ultimate smartphone.

And if rumors are to be trusted, and the iPhone 5 misses the expected June release, there only seems to be one challenger on the horizon – the HTC Sensation. We can’t be sure of course exactly how the HTC will fare against the Galaxy S II. Samsung are already using their head start though – they are selling their flagship as hot cakes.

HTC Sensation
HTC Sensation

Of course the LG Optimus 2X has the advantage of a lower price tag, while the optional lapdock gives the Motorola Atrix an added dimension. In terms of raw power though – and number of premium features – the Galaxy S II is the obvious choice.

LG Optimus 2X Motorola ATRIX
LG Optimus 2X • Motorola ATRIX

Of course, Samsung will gladly have you believe that the AT&T-bound Infuse 4G is the next best thing. But we just can’t see how more than a year-old hardware is to match the Exynos. So even if the bigger Super AMOLED Plus screen gives the Infuse 4G a bit of an advantage, it’s the Galaxy S II that has the future proofing. .

Samsung I997 Infuse 4G
Samsung I997 Infuse 4G

That by the way goes for the Sony Ericsson Arc as well. You may be saving a few bucks today but you will certainly be better off with the Galaxy S II in the long run. Especially given Samsung’s update record (the original Galaxy S is enjoying Gingerbread now and has seen two major OS updates since its launch).

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

There’re phones to look for, phones to talk about, phones to be seen with. The Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II is all that and more. Android is the smart platform of choice these days. With phones like the new Galaxy, Samsung is set on becoming the brand to beat.

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