My new droid: Samsung Galaxy S2

Earlier this week I purchased a new Samsung Galaxy S2 to replace my HTC Desire (Though I will keep my Desire as a backup phone for geocaching, gathering GSM network information and the likes). The main reason I needed to replace the Desire was its lack of internal memory. It simply didn’t have enough memory for all of the applications I need. It’s really a shame since it still is a great phone (though lately I’ve been using LeeDroid and Cyanogenmod ROMs as the latest official HTC ROM is way behind).

Samsung Galaxy S2My choice of phones where between the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Sensation. My girlfriend owns an HTC Sensation, so I already knew a lot about it. I ended up purchasing the S2 unseen. The two phones cost exactly the same when extending my contract for a year, and the specs seemed very similar. After thinking about it for a while I finally settled on the S2 because it has more internal memory than the Sensation, and hey, the need for more internal memory was what prompted me to get a new phone in the first place.

I’m quite satisfied with my new phone, but I probably would have been just as satisfied with the Sensation. I’ll quickly sum up the pros and cons (in my opinion) of the two different phones:

HTC Sensation

Pros

  • It runs HTC Sense, which in my opinion is the best user interface for Android phones available at the moment
  • It’s solidly built, perfectly weighted and lies great in your hand
  • The build quality of this phone is wonderful, it doesn’t feel cheap in any way, shaper or form
  • When picking up the phone, you naturally always pick it up the right way

Cons

  • The battery life on this phone is horribly short
  • The screen isn’t that great in sunlight
  • Bad placement of the USB-connector

Samsung Galaxy S2

Pros

  • The screen is very readable in sunlight
  • Much better battery life than both the Sensation and the Desire
  • Correct placement of the USB-connector, and a very smart placement of the on/off-button

Cons

  • It runs Samsung Touchwiz, which in my opinion is not a good user interface. It lacks the finesse of HTC Sense, it’s very ugly, has strange quirks, and very bad UX choices.
  • Ok build quality, but not nearly as good as the Sensation. The back cover feels cheap and very plastic. To many surfaces on it attract fingerprints. The camera pokes out and is prone to scratches and fingerprints. The audio jack looks cheap and is not well integrated.
  • The phone is not well weighted and does not lie well in your hand
  • You don’t naturally pick up this phone the right way. I keep picking it up and finding out I picked it up upside down, or back to front.
  • The home button feels cheap, and the amount of pressure needed is not uniform over the whole button

If you find yourself in the situation where you need to choose between these two phones I would say you should consider the following:

  • Do you like Sense or TouchWiz best?
  • How important is battery life?
  • How important is readability in sunlight?
  • How important is the build quality and overall feel of the phone?

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