T-Mobiles S II Performed Well Overall

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-10-26 Print this article Print

Call quality on T-Mobile's S II was solid overall though nothing to rave about.

For some reason-maybe the bigger screen produced bigger soft keys on the phone's virtual keyboard-I had a really easy time using the Swype gesture input application on this SII, where it is preintegrated and accessible via a single button tap on the keyboard, as it is on most Android smartphones.

The 8MP camera with 1080p high-definition video capture performed exceedingly well, as did the preinstalled Qik video chat application, thanks to the 2MP front-facing camera.

Another big difference between T-Mobile's S II and the other models is its inclusion of near-field communication tag-reading capabilities. But good luck finding good cause or opportunity to test this tool. I suspect it will eventually make the S II a good vector for the Google Wallet application, but neither T-Mobile nor Google have played up any such relationship yet.

Additionally, T-Mobile S II's battery life exceeded 1,800 mAh, compared with Sprint's S II at and AT&T's own pedestrian 1,650-mAh battery. I used it for a full nine hours before it burned down, though I did something different this time: I didn't watch a single Netflix movie or TV episode and not a single YouTube clip.

Instead, I tasked the battery purely with only email and normal Web browsing, as well as a handful of social media applications, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Google Reader. I took some pictures. Overall, I stayed completely away from video play, which wreaks havoc on smartphones, especially on 4G Long-Term Evolution devices like the S IIs.

Storage on this T-Mobile model is excellent, offering 16GB of onboard memory, expandable to 48GB with a 32GB media card.

I can recommend the device to a T-Mobile user looking to upgrade, though the uncertainty surrounding the company's future must give existing or prospective new subscribers pause. Sure, you get grandfathered in if AT&T gets T-Mobile, but you need to have a sound comfort level with both carriers. That's my paranoid opinion, anyway.

Bottom line: If you want fast, speedy application access and sound calling and texting and camera capabilities, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than the carrier's S II, assuming you live in an area where T-Mobile' 4G network is reliable. That's not me.

I found AT&T's model to work the fastest in my neck of the woods, plus it has a more modest 4.3-inch screen. Ma Bell still makes my favorite S II.



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