Home > Android Phone Reviews > Samsung Galaxy S II on T-Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S II (T-Mobile)
What's hot: Fantastic display, most attractive S II design, very fast HSPA+ 42Mbps 4G.
What's not: Given the 4.52" screen, we wish it were higher resolution.
Reviewed October 10, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
The Samsung Galaxy S II is back a third time, this time on T-Mobile US. It gained something pretty sweet while the Sprint and ATT versions launched: HSPA+ 4G 42Mbps. That's about twice as fast as other 4G HSPA+ phones for download speeds, and it bows only to LTE 4G. The Galaxy S II has averaged 12-13 Mbps down and 3-4 Mbps up in our tests (we're in a T-Mo 42Mbps upgraded area). That beats everything except LTE on Verizon, which averages 16Mbps with a middling signal.
The Galaxy S II on T-Mobile is the only variant in the US that doesn't run Samsung's wickedly fast Exynos dual core CPU. Instead, it runs on a third generation 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 220 graphics. The 1.2GHz Exynos scores 3350 on the Quadrant benchmark while Tegra 1 dual core phones average 2,000 to 2,400. The Snapdragon does pretty well at 2736, so we're not mourning the loss of the Exynos as we thought we would. The Snapdragon is particularly good at 2D graphics task like video playback, and like the HTC Amaze 4G that uses the same CPU, we were able to play 1080p high profile MPEG4 video; something the Tegra can't do.
T-Mobile, like Sprint, went with an enlarged 4.52" Super AMOLED Plus display vs. the 4.3" used on the overseas original S II and the AT&T version. It honestly doesn't make the phone that much larger, but it really begs for higher resolution. Things look really large at 800 x 480. As you'd expect, the display is very bright and super-color saturated.
Like Samsung Galaxy S II variants on other carriers, this Android smartphone has an 8 megapixel rear camera that can shoot 1080p video, a front video chat camera, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth and a GPS. It runs Android OS 2.3.5 Gingerbread with TouchWiz software minus some of the updates we saw on the Sprint version. The T-Mobile Galaxy S II has NFC (near field communications), but there's no app to make use of it, just a setting to turn the feature on and off.
Above: the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze 4G on T-Mobile.
This is our initial written review, and we'll update it with our full written review in the coming week. Don't miss our in-depth video review below.