Tips and Tricks, Final Thoughts, Availability, Conclusion

Tips and tricks

I’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help new Samsung Galaxy S II users learn some of the ins and outs of this smartphone. There are tons of other shortcuts people can do as well, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Take a screenshot: Press down the home button and quickly, simultaneously press the power button. 
  • Switch between apps and task manager: Hold down the home button.
  • Home page: Pinch the home screen to quickly change the order between home pages.
  • Power savings widget: Use the power savings widget to easily turn on/off wifi as well as change a lot of the settings (including brightness) without having to go to the settings.
  • Create shortcuts: Hold down an open spot on any home page, and click shortcuts. You can create shortcuts for settings preferences (e.g. battery status), website bookmarks, contacts, and e-mail accounts.
  • Dial pad shortcut: In the dial pad section, if you start typing out someone’s name on the number pad, or start dialing a number the contacts will automatically show up on the top.
  • Change brightness: Place and hold your finger on the top bar. Now go left and right to adjust your brightness. 


Final Thoughts

After about a week of using the Samsung Galaxy S II for basic web browsing, e-mail, texting, business/personal calls, and taking photos and video, I got a good overall feel for this smartphone’s capabilities that consumers and business users will want to take advantage of if they decide to this phone. The upgrades to the UI and CPU performance are really what stands out the most with the Galaxy S II. The massive, vibrant AMOLED display almost gives this phone a tablet-like feel, especially when I was watching HD movies on YouTube and browsing through my photo and video gallery. 


There are tons of improvements to the available functions and applications on the Galaxy S II as well like the Media Hub, Kies 2.0 and Kies Air, and HD video and playback. But, I was very disappointed to see that the T-Mobile version forced me to pay a $14.95/month fee to access the phone’s tethering and wifi hot spot capabilities. My previous phone (T-Mobile G2) at least allowed me to use the phone as a wireless hot spot without paying any additional fees to stream internet that I’ve already paid for.


Availability and Pricing

As of Oct. 23, the Galaxy S II was available at T-Mobile ($229.99 with two-year contract) , AT&T ($199.99 with two-year contract), and Sprint ($199.99 with two-year contract). The Galaxy S II’s features and technical specifications will vary depending on which carrier you use to purchase this smartphone.



This is my third Android smartphone I’ve used through T-Mobile and the Samsung Galaxy S II is by far the fastest and most complete Android-based phone I’ve used to date. The combination of Gingerbread and TouchWiz made my entire experience with the Galaxy S II more immersive and user friendly. The phone was very responsive when I was using multiple applications and the battery life was on par with what I would expected for a 4.52" phone.

My only beef with this phone is the construction and materials used on the Galaxy S II felt a bit flimsy and cheap for my personal taste. I was also frustrated with T-Mobile for making me pay a tethering and wireless hot spot fee. Other than that, I give the Samsung Galaxy S II our gold award for its blistering speed, custom user interface, and gorgeous AMOLED display. 




  • Massive 4.52" AMOLED display
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz processor
  • Custom TouchWiz UI
  • 16GB internal memory (upgradable to 48GBs with additional mini SD card)



  • Weak construction, felt flimsy
  • May be too wide for smaller hands; not very ergonomic
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