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We were impressed with Galaxy S2's battery life. Starting with a full charge, we ran the unit for eight solid hours before being prompted that the bettery was running low. During this time, screen brightness was set to auto (adjusted according to input from the unit's light sensor), WiFi radio on and active, the GPS radio on and activities including talking on the phone, browsing the web and playing games with intense graphics and sound. The Bluetooth radio also was on for about four hours during this time.
The first battery warning appeared when there was 25 percent of battery charge remaining. At that time the Galaxy S2 dimmed the display and disabled the backlight for the bottom row of hardware buttons. The system continued to run for another forty five minutes before another warning was displayed, this time with five percent charge remaining. Within 15 minutes, the system was out of gas. It recharged in six hours.
Larger than most, the Galaxy S2 is a beautiful phone. Its 800 x 480 Super AMOLED Plus display is large (4.52 inches), bright, crisp (206 ppi) and made of tough Gorilla Glass. It's available with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, and can address an additional 32 GB on a microSD card. The system includes 1 GB of system memory; boot time was measured at 25 seconds. A dual-function port on the bottom edge accepts a micro-USB cable for data and charging or an optional Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) cable for 1080p output to a monitor or television.
An eight-megapixel (3264 x 2448 pixel) main camera with auto-focus and LED flash also can capture 1080p video at 30 fps. There's also a 2MP front camera, WiFi Direct plus a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and playback of DivX, XviD, WMV and other major video and audio formats. The 3.5mm headset jack is on top, but the internal speaker puts out surprisingly and clear audio. A mesh-textured plastic back panel gives the unit a decent amount of stickiness and pops off easily for access to battery, SIM and microSD cards.
Versions of the Galaxy S2, an amazing feat of electronic engineering, are available for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile 3G and 4G networks. An unlocked version is selling at NewEgg.com for $549. This is a product recommended by the CRN Test Center.
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