Feb 14th, 2011

It’s here. The successor to the hugely successful Samsung Galaxy S became official yesterday at Mobile World Congress, and we were on hand to have a go with the refined and updated handset. Let’s get this out of the way first: the Galaxy S II is definitely an incremental evolution of the original, but the areas that have been improved only make for that much better of an experience. A dual-core CPU, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.3 and NFC support are just a sampling of where the Galaxy S II takes a huge leap forward.

Immediately the Samsung Galaxy S II feels a bit more sturdy in the hand than the Galaxy of old, but its slimmed down 8.49mm profile and light weight make it one of the sleekest handsets we have seen. This is in part thanks to the thinness of the new Super AMOLED Plus display, which is undeniably one of the most gorgeous screens we have seen. Compared head to head with the old Super AMOLED you immediately notice an improvement in brightness and color.

We’re still not huge fans of the TouchWiz interface, but here it is updated to version 4.0 and rests upon Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It brings in more customization options and the introduction of four separate “hubs” taking the place of Samsung Media Hub. Books, music, games, and social are all featured.

So far we are pretty impressed, even if the Galaxy S II showed up a bit late and after too many leaks to really get us pumped up. This definitely will be a strong frontrunner for best Android phone of the year (thus far, anyway).

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