Of course the week was not going to end without a post in here. We are all about being disciplined and whatnot. This was going to be another girly post. But one of my Google+ peeps requested me to do a review of my Samsung Galaxy S II Plus. Yes. I know. People are getting Galaxy 5 handsets and I am here with another generation of Galaxy from back in the day. (S II Plus if from January 2013 but you get my drift.) And I love it! The reason the title reads happier is because I wrote a sad Samsung story before and I claimed I’d never buy another Samsung phone in my life. Well, we don’t always do what we say, now do we?
Came with 4.1.2 upgradable to 4.2.2
I have had my Samsung Galaxy S II Plus (GT-I9105) since the 25th of February 2014. So we have been together for 5 months, Shindroid 2.0 and I. I have reset it twice because it starts to freeze once the device memory is packed, which is understandable. I will not give you the specs. That you will find on any joint selling phones online like GSMArena.com where I looked before I got the phone. (Or rather before I got my go-to guy to get me the phone. Yes you, you became my go-to guy now. J )
When my Samsung Galaxy Pocket died, I was looking for another low-end phone. My go-to guy refused the idea and told me that the Lumia phone I was mentioning was pointless. He actually thought I had got one and asked me to return it immediately. Lol. Anyway, if you are like me who is always on the phone with apps that take a lot of space and cache, don’t go for a low-end phone. I may not game or even subject my phone to major strain, but I realized that life is so much simpler with a mid-range to high-end Android. And just because it is not the latest Galaxy does not mean it is not good. You can take that to the bank. Here we go.
No small screen problems
At 4.3 inches, I can flip and read all I want. I have really stepped up my reading thanks to this phone. Seriously. Thanks to Aldiko too. Best EPUB reader ever. I loved Flipboard before I got the phone but I love it even better with my Samsung Galaxy II Plus. It was almost impossible to use these apps on a small screen. Not to mention Twitter and similar apps which cover the text area with the keyboard once you start typing on a small screen. Do not get a touch screen phone that is tiny. Just saying. You’d rather just go for one with a keypad although I am not sure they still exist. 😀
Less of ‘Add to wishlist’ button
When you have a low-end Android, a lot of apps are not compatible with it. With Android 4.2.2 Jellybean, you can have a lot of the apps. You get Google Now. I love that Google Search feature for instance. The downside is that some of the newer apps by Google and such are only compatible with Android KitKat. So my wishlist has five apps in it for when I get Shindroid 3.0 or when I visit another country someday: Google Camera, Google Keyboard, Cover Lock Screen, Google Play Books and Whisper. (Actually, there are now three apps as I type this. I just checked. Turns out Google Keyboard and Whisper are now compatible with Version 4.2.2. o/ Apart from Google Camera, the other two are not available in my country. Don’t you just hate it when they do that? Aargh. So basically, Jellybean is compatible with pretty much everything I need.)
A superior Mulika Mwizi
Any time I get home late (late in my folks’ book is past 7 pm) this phone comes through a good one. Assistive light which doubles up as the camera LED flash is great for girls afraid of the dark like me. I can point it at a possible assailant and he will depart. (Yeah right.) The camera is great too, only problem is it can freeze on you around that time memory is packed. So if you were all poised to take a picture to share all over social, your moment is gone and you will have to wait for the next time you or your cat is feeling photogenic. 8 MP. Favourite feature: Self-portrait 2 MP. Of course.
I never thought I’d say this about a default music player but I love it. It’s called Music. The Samsung guys are that creative. My favourite features are SoundAlive and the Music Square. SoundAlive is the equalizer. My favourite effect is Bass boost as expected. Hip hop nini nini. Music Square lets you pick what kind of music you want to listen to on a scale of passionate to joyful or exciting to calm. I love it!
I love Play Music too but because it has no effects, I use its Shuffle feature because I find it superior in its selection. Tends to pick out the tracks I want. Both work well with the earphone controls. Press the bottom button once to play or pause the music. Press twice to skip to the next track. Press up or down to turn the voume up or down. These controls come handy too when you cannot hold your phone because you can pick and reject calls with the bottom button. But these are features that are universal to most earphones.
I hate that the earphones have those earbuds that get into the earhole. But I got used to it because I like the bass. They tend to get lost though. I have lost two but it comes with replacements of varying sizes. I am not too sure I like white earphones because I have to keep cleaning them but oh well. They say our phones are the dirtiest things we own. Think about it, we never clean them but we are always holding them. Hmmm…
Connectivity is great with HSPA+ at best and Wi-Fi but this is Kenya. Kikuyu to be precise and I have to know the hotspots in the house to get reasonable speeds. But that is no fault of the S II, trust me. Back with my low-end Samsung, I had to keep switching it on and off or putting it on flight mode for it to bring back my Internet. Not a pretty picture.
I got Shindroid 2.0 at Ksh 23,000/- but I told my folks it was 20k because even that shocked them, my Nokia folks. They cannot see why one would get a phone for that much. Yes. Very reasonable. Again, my go-to guy is awesome. It’s blue but if you ask me it’s black. And I am not colour blind. I have dropped it three times. Yes, I count. Great improvement on my part from Shindroid 1.0. I can’t say much about battery life because I am always charging it in bed and throughout the day on USB cable but it’s alright. 8 GB internal capacity with a 16 GB memory card full of music (I am addicted to music.)
It’s a great phone and if you are thinking of getting a Samsung S II Plus, go for it. I know the guy who sat next to me the day I got it liked it so much he had to talk to me. 😀