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Posts Tagged ‘Galaxy s2’

Samsung Galaxy S2 Desktop Sync and Charge Cradle With HDMI Out Review

Friday, December 16th, 2011

With the Samsung Galaxy S2 packing a powerful 8MP camera capable of shooting stunning full HD video it’s just as well it comes with 16GB of onboard storage as standard; but what about when you want to share all your photos and videos with your friends? True it has an impressive array of features for sharing and uploading your recordings but it also has one rather well kept secret.

Instead of a normal USB port the Samsung Galaxy S2 has a Mobile High-Definition Link (or MHL) port, which allows you to plug all manner of things into it. The best use I’ve found though, is to plug that big TV in your living room in via an HDMI adapter to play back all those videos back on a massive display the way they were meant to be viewed.

One of the best solutions I’ve found is to use a mobile phone dock with an HDMI output which allowed me to output holiday videos to a 40” TV at 1080i resolution. Seeing them on a large screen really demonstrates how good the camera on the S2 is. Of course it isn’t just things you’ve recorded yourself, with the ability to stream and download videos and films from YouTube and – more recently – Android Market.

Samsung Galaxy S2 Desktop Sync and Charge Cradle With HDMI Out

The dock I used felt well built and had some weight to it, which is handy considering the S2 certainly doesn’t! When docked the phone sat at just the right angle to still use it when placed on my desk, and didn’t budge when using the touchscreen or home button.

In order to fully test the dock I downloaded and watched a film from Android Market, and whilst the lack of an HD option was a bit annoying (but perhaps something we can look forward to in the next year or so as Android devices start sporting HD displays) it still played really well, and looked and sounded great. The Galaxy S2 being as powerful as it is of course this didn’t surprise me!

Throughout my testing of the dock I did experience one problem I couldn’t quite eliminate, which was that my Wi-Fi signal would drop out when docked and outputting via HDMI. This wasn’t a massive bother as I was still able to download extra content beforehand (the film downloaded straight off Market and could be rewatched for up to 48 hours after the first viewing), and obviously all of my holiday films were already on the phone’s memory; however it did rule out streaming which would have been useful. Admittedly though, streaming aside, if you’re watching a film you probably don’t need an internet connection!

Pros:

  • Watch films and home videos from your Galaxy S2 using just a normal HDMI cable.
  • Demonstrate to your friends your (not so) amazing skills on Angry Birds.
  • Charge your phone while it’s docked so it never runs out of power when you need it.

Cons:

  • Wi-Fi signal dropouts made streaming impossible.
  • The Galaxy S2 appears to only support 1080i, which (some claim) lacks the full quality of 1080p. This is a limitation of the handset however; not the dock.

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Samsung Galaxy S2 case compatible dock, the Seidio Innodock

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Do you remember the CaseBuddy? It was an iPhone 4 dock we released a couple of months ago which was case-compatible, meaning you could use it with iPhone 4 cases still on your handset.  The CaseBuddy was one of the only iPhone 4 docks available that allowed you to do this, so it’s no surprise it was so popular.

Now however, we’ve managed to source a case compatible dock for the Samsung Galaxy S2, meaning no longer will you have to put up with the hassle of removing your Samsung Galaxy S2 case before docking your phone.

Seidio Innodock Case Capatible Galaxy S2 dock

The Seidio Innodock sits your Galaxy S2 at a comfortable viewing angle, whilst in it’s Samsung Galaxy S2 cover and charges and syncs your phone without any hassle or fuss.  Even better, the Seidio dock also supports extended battery and back covers, as well as handsets which do not have Samsung Galaxy S2 covers on: it caters for all.

Being small, means the Seidio Innodock is great for those who regularly travel, as it doesn’t take up much room and it can also be placed in your handbag for day to day use.  The Seidio’s size also means that it doesn’t clutter up your desk space and its curved look makes it look modern and stylish; in keeping with that of the handset itself.

The dock comes with a USB cable which allows you to charge and sync your Galaxy S2 from one single cable; again reducing clutter and an LED status indicator lets you know when your phone is charging so you can keep on top of your handset’s battery life.

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SIM Free Samsung Galaxy S2 – an in-depth look

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Handset manufacturers can be said to release phone sequels as excuses for new models: more often than not slight spec changes seem to end up as a whole new model. The Samsung Galaxy S was a great device, but it suffered chronically from a poor file system, poor GPS, and the absence of flash for its camera. However it seems that people who have been searching for a better device to replace the Galaxy S have found it at last.

Guess Who?

The Galaxy S2 or Samsung  Galaxy i9100 not only solves these problems above, but adds a whole new arsenal of features.  This ultra-slim phone comes with an upgraded Super AMOLED Plus Capacitive Touch Screen and is based on Samsungs Exynos chipset. Powered by a 1.2GHz dual core RISC processor with a wholesome 1 GB of RAM, this handset can churn out 1080p HD video at 30fps.  It then allows you to view this video on a TV and get full surround sound through Stereo Bluetooth v3.  Add all this to the 2MP secondary camera, NFC support, GPU acceleration, 16/32 GB internal storage, and full flash support and this handset really blows its competitors out the water.  Even more impressive Samsung managed to fit all this into a 8.5mm thick device that tips the scales at just 116gms. Amazing!

SIM Free Samsung Galaxy S2

Display

The Super AMOLED Plus display is just that – super! Comparing with the Galaxy S the new organic LED display is larger by 15%, has better contrast, has more accurate colours, and increased sharpness. Saturation can be customised by the user as well: Samsung has offered 3 presets for this. In short, this is by far the best display in the smartphone market rivalled only by the retina display of the iPhone 4. Considering this, it would be wise to have a good Samsung Galaxy S2 screen protector to protect the screen from scratches and dust.

Keys and Buttons

There are 3 main keys and buttons: a capacitive menu key, a capacitive back key and a conventional button for the home key. Upon a long press the Menu key handles Google search, while the Home key shows the task switcher: voice commands are activated by clicking the home key twice. The left edge of the handset has the rocker for the volume control which doubles as the camera zoom. Sadly there is no dedicated camera shutter button.

TouchWiz 4.0 UI

The Galaxy droids cool UI just got even better thanks to TouchWiz 4.0. Unlocking the phone is now possible by swiping through to any direction. There a lot of cosmetic changes to the handset including new live wallpapers, an updated notification area and a different design for the widgets. Gesture commands are also built in with TouchWiz 4.0 – like flipping the handset over to silence a call.

Cool Voice Commands

The Galaxy S2 has voice commands but this isn’t the regular Google crop. Instead, they’ve used a 3rd party app for the feature which has become more popular than the Google service itself.

Gallery and file browser

The Galaxy S2 uses the standard Android gallery that comes built in with the OS.  The gallery automatically searches for all photos and videos on your phone and displays them. It can also be set to sync with Picasa and comes with a built-in Image editor and a Video editor to do some basic touch-ups and mixing. The video player which comes pre-installed is the standard Touchwiz video player featuring support for an impressive variety of codecs. In fact the Galaxy S2 has one of the richest video support systems, coming just second to the Nokia N900.

Imaging

The Samsung Galaxy S2 sports an 8MP auto-focus camera. It comes with an LED flash also but lacks a physical shutter button. The camera application contains an array of features from digital image stabilisation, smile detection, auto focus, scene modes, special effects and geotagging to manual controls for ISO and the metering mode. This means that when you buy a Samsung Galaxy S2 case make sure it has a cut-out for the camera.

Video

Video recording is awesome with the device easily handling full HD recording: what’s more it can capture in both 720p and 1080p. It also comes with continuous auto-focus giving you sharper and more impressive videos.

The Samsung i9100 comes pre-loaded with a great web browser – but doing your own test run is advised to suit your style of browsing. Certain other features that you ought to check out are the built-in Polaris Office package, and the memo/calendar app. The default mapping app is Google Maps as expected but if you need any other apps, just browse around the Android market.

Cons

Even though the Samsung Galaxy S2 is an impressive handset, it does have a few minor cons including: a fully Plastic body, no dedicated camera key and the microSD not being hot swappable.

The problem with these ultra-slim touch screen phones is that they’re extremely fragile. The thin body and even thinner bezel can do a bad job at absorbing shocks if the handset is dropped. However, you can protect from this with some quality Samsung i9100 accessories.

Here’s a video review of the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S2 by Engadget.

Thanks to Dilin Anand of Symbian Oasis for this Guest Blog Post

 

Galaxy S2 Case – Inject some colour

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is by far one of the sleekest and most popular handsets on the market.  The only problem though, is that most of the Samsung Galaxy s ii accessories being released are black, so there aren’t many accessories for those who like to add some colour to their handsets.

Thankfully Samsung have released a new batch of Genuine Samsung Galaxy S2 Mesh Cases in three different colours: blue, pink and red.

Genuine Samsung Mesh Galaxy S2 Case

What makes these Samsung Galaxy S2 cases stand apart from others is not only their stylish design but also the fact that the initiative design actually helps the handset to run smoothly. How it does this is by providing heat ventilation through the holes of the mesh, keeping the handset cooler and running for longer.

Each mesh Samsung Galaxy S2 case provides tough protection from scratches and scrapes, without compromising the stylish look of the handset.  For easy attachment and removal the Galaxy S2 cases simply snap on and off; meaning those who like to inject colour into their handset can frequently switch between cases easily.

As the Genuine Samsung Galaxy S2 mesh cases have been made specifically for the S2, you can rest assured that it contains all the relevant cut-out for the features to keep the handset fully functional at all times.  However a Galaxy S2 screen protector is advised for full protection.

POP into a new Samsung Galaxy S2 cover thanks to Case-Mate

Monday, June 27th, 2011

There are an awful lot of Galaxy S ii accessories on the market which help to highlight the phone’s sophistication and style.  The latest offering from Case-Mate the POP, does just this and so much more.

The Case-Mate POP Samsung Galaxy S2 case is the newest addition to the Case-Mate family and the most forward thinking.  It’s made from a high gloss durable plastic, but has rubber sections to provide a better grip on your Galaxy S2, stopping those butterfingers moments.

Case-Mate POP Samsung Galaxy S2 Cover

Another great feature of this Samsung Galaxy S2 cover is that it has a soft, patterned interior material, which hot only absorbs shocks but keeps the back of your handset looking as good as new whilst it’s in the case.

What makes this Samsung Galaxy S ii cover stand apart from the others though, is its unique built in kickstand: a stand which can be ‘popped’ out of the back of the cover making media viewing and web surfing more comfortable.  Once you’ve finished, the stand is simply clicked back into place, flush against the side of the case.

Although a Galaxy S2 screen protector is advised for full protection, the side of the POP case does have a slightly raised bezel, which is designed to help protect your screen if you drop the handset face down.

As expected with all Samsung Galaxy S2 covers, the POP cover has cut-outs for all the ports and features to keep your handset fully functioning, whilst looking stylish and being fully protected.

The Case-Mate POP Cover comes in three different shades: black and grey, white and black and pink and grey, so there’s a POP case for everyone.