I bought this phone as a replacement for my old LG Optimus Logic. I'd been wanting to branch up in terms of smartphones for a while, but still didn't want to pay more with a bigger cell phone company, and I definitely didn't have $300 or more dollars for one of the newest models. So when the SII went down in price, I decided to take a leap and upgrade.
VERY glad that I did.
1# EXCELLENT hardware and memory. One of the biggest issues I had with my Optimus Logic was the lack of memory, and the inability to run larger apps or more complex apps. I've got about 12 GBs of space for apps on the SII, at least 2 available for the RAM, and the processor runs several of them at one time without issue. Seriously smooth, and I have no complaints.
2) The design is slim, but still feels sturdy. I bought a case for it, but without it, the back feels more "grippy" than some phones I've had, and I appreciated that. Though I'm not a huge fan of the fact that there's no dedicated "home" key #some of the other versions of the SII on different carriers have a dedicated home button#, that's more of a personal preference than hindrance, and I don't count it against the phone in terms of usability.
3) The screen is large, with great contrast. The pictures, videos, and pixels are sharp and colorful, and render very well. It's very easy to type on, and is very functional without being overbearingly large.
4) Love the 8MP camera on the back. I tend to forget my own camera quite often, and the camera on this version does a great job with pretty good picture results. There is also the option to edit photos that comes on the phone, which makes for a good media experience. I also appreciate the 2MP camera, which I have found handy when Skyping. It's great to have the option available, though I don't use it all that often.
1) This version of the Galaxy SII comes with Android 2.3, which isn't the newest version. It also doesn't come with the ability to upgrade to a newer version because Straight Talk locks that ability unless you try and root it. Not a huge deal for me, because generally speaking, I like the usability of the older version and don't have issues with not being able to upgrade, but I do wish that the option were there.
2) Another preference that I would rather have would be that the power button weren't on the side. I tend to end up bumping it or pushing it accidentally, and I'd just prefer it to be on the top. Totally personal preference, but usability for me is a bit more awkward when the button is on the side.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this is you're looking for a higher-quality smartphone on the Straight Talk line that's not going to totally bankrupt you. It's a bit of an investment, since it's still $199, but considering that you'd pay that much and more if you went into a two-year contract in a larger wireless company for a "free" phone, long-term, it definitely makes sense.
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