Yesterday an official ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0) build for AT&T’s Galaxy S2, (non-LTE) was leaked to the public. The build was quickly ready for an Odin flash thanks to the people at RootzWiki. I was able to download and install Samsung Kies (for the Windows drivers) in moments. Then I downloaded Odin from RootzWiki and began pushing it out to my GS2. I have to say the process, as always, was pretty straight forward. I’ll run through the process and possible issues in a moment. Once completed the process I had my GS2 running the sweet ICS we’ve all looked forward too! The OS does have TouchWiz running on top; however it is so clean that as in previous version it blends very well. I did run a few speed tests following my flash to ICS and was averaging around 7000kbps down and 1000kbps up. Prior to the upgrade I had averaged around 3500kbps down. I think that shows a dramatic increase in speeds. So far the only issue I have found is with the alarm clock and the ability to schedule it for different days. I’m assuming this will be fixed before the its officially released. I was able to fix it by just installing a separate alarm clock app. I don’t have very much more input yet as I haven’t messed with it much more. I look forward to playing with it a lot more and playing with all the awesome features that the latest Android version has to offer. – Greg
NOTE: The following is for the US AT&T Galaxy S2 i777 (not the Skyrocket LTE)
The Samsung Galaxy S2 has actually been around for a while, but hadn’t quite made its way to the US until more recently. I have upgraded from my Captivate, the Galaxy S, recently and I’m very happy with my decision. I’ll be the first to admit that the first generation had 2 major flaws. The first being poor if any GPS performance and the second was the ridiculous delay in receiving the official Froyo ( Android 2.2) update. Both of those issues have since been resolved and the phone is still in my opinion a fantastic device. That being said choosing to replace it with the newest Galaxy S2 was fairly easy, with the exception of the choosing between the 2 versions, Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy S2 LTE or “Skyrocket“. Both these phones have 4G and are very similar with the main differences being the obvious LTE, as well as the Skyrocket has a larger screen (4.5″ vs 4.3″) and faster processor (1.5GHz vs 1.2GHz). Key factor to note is LTE is still unavailable in the Saint Louis, MO area and I am not a fan of anything larger that 4” screens. So, you can see why my choice wasn’t the LTE version of the Galaxy S2.
Enough about my decision, the phone itself is outstanding. I see NO lag at all when opening apps, swiping pages, taking pictures, or anything that doesn’t require Internet. The 4G HSPA+ is no slouch either as I flip through web pages with ease. I have seen pretty good speed tests around a consistent 3Mb down and 1.5 up. This is comical in comparison to the LTE network, but I’m also not downloading uncompressed 1080P movies onto my phone either. The phone comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is very good looking in itself. The phone included “AllShare“, as in the previous Galaxy S, which I was happy to see. Samsung’s AllShare makes its a cake walk to share media across DLNA supported networks and devices. The physical attributes of the phone leave it one of the thinnest and lightest phones made to date. It has a 4.3″ Super AMOLED screen made with none other than Gorilla Glass. The upgraded 8MP camera includes an LED flash this time around and supports 1080P video. They also included a 2MP front facing camera which has worked well video chatting using the included video app Qik. Some other features new to the GS2 worth mentioning are Samsung’s Kies Air and Voice Talk by Vlingo.
Kies Air lets you manage your phones content and more when it’s connected to a WiFi network by using a web browser.
Voice Talk from Vlingo takes voice control a step forward and using your phone using voice commands only pretty easy.
Overall I think they have really made a great phone even better. It’s going to be interesting to see what they will have in store for the GS3. I’m sure it will have a faster processor, but as you can see they add a lot more than voice apps and faster CPU’s when they create their next gen phones. When designing their phones Samsung takes it Siri-ously. -Greg