Editors Note: I was offered the chance to use a Samsung Galaxy S II X (we’ll call it the GS2X from here on out) for a week and offer my feedback and review. I jumped at the chance for 2 reasons: the first being that the phone is a monster; Big, Bold, Fast and running Android 2.3.5; the second was that I got to try out the Telus HSPA+ network back to back against my current provider Rogers and see how they held up. So let’s dive in and have a look and see if we come out of this unscathed.
The Samsung Galaxy S II X packs:
-Android 2.3.5 and is running Samsung’s Touchwiz 4 overlay
-1.5Ghz Dual Core processor
-Dual Channel HSPA+ network speeds (42 max downlink)
-Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, a/b/g/n
-4.5” Amoled plus touchscreen at 800×480 resolution
-8.0MP back camera with a LED flash and 4x digital zoom
-2.0MP front facing camera for Skype amongst other things
-Huge 1850 mAH battery (to support the huge screen and processor)
-Quadband HSPA / Quadband GSM 850/1700/1900/2100 and 1900/1800/900/850 GSM bands
The GS2X on Telus didn’t disappoint me; it worked well, both for calls and browsing. Having Rogers as my main carrier, I really can’t get into specifics of the Telus network as this was my first real introduction to it, but there were many instances where the GS2X matched and bested the Rogers network (at the time of testing I was on iPhone 4 / BB 9900 and ended with iPhone 4S on Rogers). The network connections were strong and the data speeds plentiful on all devices respectively. In and around my stomping grounds (GTA) I was dual wielding both phones; trust me, people were looking. In my left I had my iPhone 4 / 9900 / iPhone 4S on Rogers and in my right, the GS2X. For good measure – and balance – I often swapped hands to throw people off.
Overall, I never had an issue with the GS2X on Telus. The reception of the phone was awesome and the quality of the network really impressed me.
The GS2X sounded natural; not the best I’ve ever heard, but far, far from the worst. Callers sounded clear and volume was balanced based on background noise conditions. I never needed to use the maximum volume output, but it was a good option to have.
The outgoing call quality was equally as good as there were no complaints from the people I called. Although, that could also be a combination of the GS2X and Telus network to be honest.
It was decent, but not the greatest I’ve used. The iPhone 4S in my opinion sounds a bit cleaner at higher volumes. It’s usable though, like most speakerphones are these days being in a quiet room or office.
The GS2X features an 8.0 MP camera which will take fairly adequate shots; it also supports 1080p video recording. Here’s a pic for your viewing pleasure:
Also worth noting is that there is no physical camera button.
Modern Day Conectivity:
No shortage of options here! Being a Google phone everything is in the cloud anyway. I’ve since migrated all my services to Google so it’s an easy setup. All I need is email address and password and I’m rocking with my Gmail, contacts, calendars and reader accounts all ready to go; but you all know that already.
The GS2X supports mobile hotspot and boy is it fast. Being a DCHSPA phone capable of up to 42 megs on Telus’ network this thing sizzles. I went for coffee with a few buds and as a test everyone jacked into the GS2x to browse and surf and go on Facebook. There was more than enough bandwidth to support 4 users all surfing and consuming media at the same time.
This phone as a hotspot will be more then capable for you on Telus’ network. It’s a beast
The GS2X flies. Case closed:
Furthermore, I even tried the GS2X tethered to my PC via USB cable. Check this out, 25.8 Mbit/s!
The GS2X has NFC on board, as I found out when I put the phone on my wallet. It picked up the NFC chip in my Credit Card. It was an unrecognized format but NFC excited me with the possibilities of payments that it can bring. I loved Shell for the simple reasons that they have high quality gas, and they had EasyPay. It was so easy when I was riding to pull the bike up to the pump, flash the tag, fill up and roll out. I look forward to a day that I can flash the phone at all gas stations, heck, all retailers and track my spending and spending habits online. But for now it’s relegated to reading my credit card and a few other business cards and posters that happen to have NFC in them.
The phone doesn’t pretend to be small. It’s big, brass and takes no prisoners.
This is easily one of the largest phone’s I’ve ever used, to be honest. It’s so large I’d say this is really a 2 handed phone. I say this because unlike the iPhone, for comparison sake, the GS2X is so large I can’t get my thumb across the whole screen.
Is this a deal breaker? For some it may be, personally I found it large. But for what the phone packs it’s something I’d easily live with. The upcoming Samsung Nexus at 4.66” has me scratching my head though, but who am I kidding, I’m getting one anyway.
Speaking of the screen, in typical Samsung fashion this thing is gorgeous. Blacks are black, colours are rich, vibrant and full of life. Pixel density is still the same 800×480 which is starting to get a little long in the tooth to be honest. A screen this large should be qHD or even a nice new 720×1280 version but I get that Samsung wanted to keep the 720×1280 screen under wraps for the Samsung Nexus.
Either way, the screen doesn’t disappoint. Media comes to live, pictures look amazing, movies are stunning and the quality is fantastic.
The overall build quality of the phone is good, although it feels slightly cheap. The plastics are top notch but I found the back battery cover was very finicky when you put it back on. You had to make sure to click in all the connecting points or you’d have a creaky experience until you did.
The phone packs a whopping 1850mAH battery. I should hope so being such a large phone. The phone was actually surprisingly decent with midrange brightness set. I was able to get a full day on moderate useage (30 mins of calls, nonstop Gmail / facebook / twitter notifications)
When I hammered on it I was able to get ½ day, I’m talking youtube vids, using it as a hotspot for several devices, surfing, making calls and just trying to get it to cry uncle.
-Killer speeds on the Telus network. So much so you can easily blow 6 gigs if you’re not careful
-Decent battery life for a phone rocking a huge 4.5” screen
-Speed of the processor and overall device “snapiness”
-earpiece volume is very good
-Camera takes a decent pic
-Phone is huge (may not be a con for many)
-800×480 screen is just pushing it’s limits at 4.5”
-no camera button on side
The GS2X is a quality phone coming to Telus on Oct 28th.
It’s a competent performer with a wealth of applications to choose from as well as a gorgeous screen and lightning fast processor to back it up. If you tether a lot the DCHSPA connectivity alone is a strong push to grab this handset. Never before have I seen speeds of 25.8 MBit/s wireless. Pricing will ultimately dictate the popularity of this phone, so if you end up seeing this pop-up around town, you know Telus has done something right.