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Sam­sung, $79 per month over 24 months on Op­tus sam­


MUCH has been said about iPhone-killing hand­sets, but Sam­sung’s Galaxy S has been among the few to sneak up on Ap­ple’s high­selling beast.

About 14 mil­lion Galaxy phones later, Sam­sung has is­sued a se­quel that of­fers some im­pres­sive cos­metic up­grades.

That bright 4-inch Su­per AMOLED screen has be­come a brighter 4.3-inch Su­per AMOLED Plus screen.

Its body has also trimmed down to be­come the slimmest smart­phone avail­able (8.49mm) and it is also pleas­ingly light (116g).

But the truly im­pres­sive changes — the changes that make this smart­phone one of the smartest — are on the in­side.

Most im­pres­sively, the Galaxy S II has the fastest phone pro­ces­sor on the mar­ket and it shows. This hand­set runs on a 1.2GHz dual core pro­ces­sor, more com­monly seen in com­put­ers.

Users should no­tice the dif­fer­ence when skip­ping be­tween apps, sync­ing more than one email ac­count, tak­ing mul­ti­ple pho­tos, play­ing games or even when flick­ing from one screen to an­other.

Plus, its speed is helped by a sec­ond im­por­tant ad­di­tion: HSPA+. That acro­nym stands for High Speed Packet Ac­cess Plus and, when con­nected to a ca­pa­ble net­work (cur­rently Tel­stra), it de­liv­ers peak in­ter­net speeds of 21 megabits per sec­ond.

In re­al­ity, users should ex­pect speeds of 8mbps and only in cities, but that still rep- re­sents a big speed boost that will see you surf­ing the web faster, down­load­ing email speed­ily and pulling down fresh apps with­out a sec­ond thought.

Yet an­other speed boost is de­liv­ered to this phone in its Google An­droid soft­ware. The Galaxy S II uses the fresh Ginger­bread soft­ware that speeds up op­er­a­tions and saves on bat­tery. Un­like other An­droid phones, this hand­set’s bat­tery tends to last the day.

This new smart­phone isn’t all about speed, how­ever. Sam­sung has made a long list of soft­ware ad­di­tions to make it more user-friendly.

Also slick is this phone’s cam­era. At 8 megapix­els, the cam­era is im­pres­sive on pa­per but it’s bet­ter in ac­tion. The shooter, with an LED flash, does an ad­mirable job in low­light sit­u­a­tions and doesn’t take long to lock on to a sub­ject.

It’s also ca­pa­ble of record­ing full high-def­i­ni­tion video, which can be saved to its 16GB built-in mem­ory or an added 32GB mem­ory card.

There are draw­backs, how­ever. That Su­per AMOLED Plus screen can be chal­leng­ing to see in sun­shine as its colours wash out and the screen fades, plus its screen res­o­lu­tion is also a lot lower than that of its ri­vals, in­clud­ing the Ap­ple iPhone and Mo­torola Atrix.

Sam­sung’s TouchWiz user in­ter­face that makes apps look large and car­toon­ish is also un­likely to ap­peal to all and de­liv­ers text so large ad­just­ments are ad­vised, lest ev­ery­one reads your mes­sages.

Trimmed down: The Sam­sung Galaxy S II is the slimmest phone avail­able.

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