I got some hands-on time with Samsung’s new hero phone, the Galaxy S 2, tonight at Sammy’s pre-MWC festival held at an arena in the middle of the woods (literally). The phone is impressive; hardware and software both left a good enough impression to make me feel like Samsung is moving beyond the “commodity phone” bad rap they sometimes get from cranky journalists tired of the plastic-y feel and half-baked user interfaces of certain Galaxy S devices.
One of Samsung’s tag lines for the S 2 was “More with Less.” The phone is very thin and lightweight, but felt good enough in the hand to make me say things like, “It’s light but solid” instead of “It feels cheap, but at least it’s lightweight.” Whatever the truth about Samsung’s claims that their Super AMOLED Plus technology makes for better phone displays than IPS LCD does, the S 2’s screen was bright, rich, and easy on the eyes.
I’m also really impressed with the work Samsung’s been doing on the software and services side. TouchWiz 4.0 actually looks nice, and I’ve long hated TouchWiz. This version is polished and information rich without being cluttered, or at least felt that way on first glance. And Samsung talked up all sorts of interesting S 2 features ranging from a voice-to-text driving mode to optional NFC technology for using your phone as a credit card, transit pass, to enterprise-friendly initiatives with Cisco and other partners who shared the stage tonight.
But don’t take my word(s) for it. Spend a few minutes with our hands-on video of the Galaxy S 2 and chime in with your opinions on Samsung’s new flagship. And also check out my hands-on with tonight’s other new Samsung launch, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet with Android 3.0 Honeycomb.