Samsung Galaxy S vs Samsung Galaxy S II


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The Samsung Galaxy S received plenty of critical acclaim when it launched and has been one of the market leading smartphones ever since, but now Samsung have launched a new model so we’re taking a look at just what has changed and if the new Galaxy S II can carry on the torch.


Samsung Galaxy S II – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116 g
Samsung Galaxy S – 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9 mm, 119 g

The Galaxy S II has been tweaked a lot in comparison to the Galaxy S.

In terms of visual styling, many of them are quite subtle but the overall effect is very noticeable.

The S II is slightly larger but also slightly thinner than the Galaxy S, the S II is also a few grams lighter.

The thinner and longer shape of the S II has been combined with less rounded corners to make a sharp and distinctive silhouette which gives it a different appearance to the Galaxy S, the S II looks sleeker and more modern when you put them side-by-side, though you can still see the heritage.

They’re both very attractive handsets so it’s difficult to call but thinner and lighter is the order of the day with smartphones and the S II is both of these plus the refined styling makes it our preferred choice.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


As might be expected with phones in the same series, the touchscreens for these two models are virtually identical when you run down the list of features.

However, there are two relatively minor upgrades on the S II which give it the edge. First, let’s look at what they both have in common.

The Samsung Galaxy S II uses Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, where the Galaxy S takes of the ‘Plus’.

Both include a 480×9800 pixel resolution and feature multitouch input, a ‘Gorilla Glass’ display which is supposedly scratch resistant and near unbreakable, an accelerometer and gyroscope for auto-rotate and Swype text input.

They both have a TouchWiz UI too but where the Galaxy S has version 3.0, the Galaxy S II has been updated with 4.0. The other area in which the Galaxy S II has been improved over the original is in having a 4.3-inch screen instead of the 4-inch of the Galaxy S.

Not a massive difference, but progress is progress however slight so again we have to go with the S II on this one.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Operating System

Both the Galaxy S’s are Android phones, the Galaxy S runs 2.1 Eclair but is upgradeable to 2.2 (Froyo) while the S II runs the latest version which is 2.3 Gingerbread.

Gingerbread is generally a big improvement on the Android system tweaking most of its features, notably the keyboard has received a welcome revamp, for example.

Gingerbread is the best smartphone version so far but it’s going to get replaced by the next version which will merge Gingerbread with the tablet-centric Honeycomb 3.0, it seems probable the S II will be able to upgrade to the new version when it releases and the improved tech in the S II should allow it to really fly under the new OS.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II



Bigger is better with storage and the Galaxy S II thrashes the Galaxy S soundly in this regard.

The Galaxy S has the choice of 8GB or 16GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM, it also supports MicroSD up to 32GB.

The S II, meanwhile, has 16GB or 32GB of internal capacity with 1GB of RAM and has identical MicroSD support.

So the S II really does dominate here, much more internal storage and twice the RAM are that much more desirable in a modern handset.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


The Samsung Galaxy S has a 5-megapixel primary camera featuring geo-tagging, autofocus and face and smile detection, it also has a resolution of 2592×1944 pixels and can capture video and images at 720p. The Galaxy S also has a secondary VGA camera.

The Galaxy S II has an 8-megapixel primary with LED flash and a 3264×2448 resolution capable of capturing images and video at 1080p, it has all the same camera utilities as the Galaxy S such as autofocus and face recognition and the SII also has a secondary 2-megapixel camera.

More megapixels and higher resolution capture plus a better secondary means the Samsung Galaxy S II is a clear winner in this category.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


With both handsets running Android you’ve got much the same choice of apps, though unquestionably the S II will be able to access and use more of them easily, and more of the flashier ones, with the newer Gingerbread 2.3 operating system and much more processing power to boot.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II


The Samsung Galaxy S uses a
The S II runs a Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a Mali-400MP GPU on the Orion chipset, this is a far beefier animal and will likely be running some very demanding applications effortlessly for some time to come.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Final Thoughts

Well this has been awkward, it’s not easy seeing a competent and frankly rather good handset being utterly trounced by its successor. Like a son being better than his father at sports or something, it is bittersweet.

There’s no way round it though the S II is, as Samsung intended it to be, a thorough and complete upgrade of the Galaxy S which makes it an excellent phone overall.


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