By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones has grown, not just in the number of models but also in size and capability. The Samsung Galaxy S II Hercules boasts a vibrant 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual core processor, with an 8 megapixel camera capable of 1080p HD video, a 2 megapixel front facing camera all running on Android 2.3.5. Reportedly coming to Telus on October 19th, this is the ideal supersized smartphone in the market today.
The most striking feature of the Galaxy S II X next to its impressive screen size, is its fit and finish. Not that previous Samsung smartphones were flimsy or felt cheap, but the S II X feels really solid and premium and a bit better than what we are used to.
Perhaps it is the nice textured rubber case on the back or the shiny metallic plastic border surrounding that resplendent screen that give the phone a substantial, although still relatively light, feel in the hand.
In terms of features, the Galaxy S II X will share many of the specs of similar Galaxy S II models but will bring some refinements of its own. It will have Near Field Communications (NFC) which will allow short-range transfer of information with NFC tags or other phones.
It also features some motion control and new gestures that can invoke various programmable modes. This smartphone's killer feature is the innovative Dual-cell HSPA+ technology for fast download speeds of up to 42 Mbps, which is pretty close to advertised LTE speeds.
This is definitely next generation data transfer speeds in a device that's just perfect for reading email and RSS feeds, managing mobile photos and playing back media like HD video and various audio formats.
Samsung certainly did not rest on its laurels after launching the successful Samsung Galaxy S II on Bell and put a lot of the desired features from that superphone, which in our mind is still in the running as smartphone release of 2011, and supersized the experience with the Hercules.
We've been fortunate enough to spend two weeks with a pre-production device and for the most part the Samsung Galaxy S II X was a pleasure to use. The camera, one of the first 8 megapixel smartphone cameras that really delivers as promised is simple to use and yields good results.
We were skeptical about a 4.5 inch handset but it works out. The device is not much heavier than smaller smartphones but the extra screen real estate really comes in handy when reading, touch typing and watching videos.
We can't comment on battery life as we were using a pre-production unit that had some bugs but if the Galaxy S II X is in line with some of the recent Samsung handsets, it would be more than adequate for a full day of calls, web and email plus sporadic multimedia use.
There is a definite trend towards large smartphones with more power and greater multimedia capabilities and having spent time with the Galaxy S II X Hercules, we're convinced that a lot of users will be open to supersize their Android smartphone experience, specially when there really isn't any compromise.
This is a shoo-in for an executive's Android smartphone or for anyone who is tired of having to work around the size limitations of smaller smartphones. Pricing hasn't been announced yet but the Samsung Galaxy S II X Hercules is expected to become a popular choice for Android users heading into the holiday season, specially now that Telus' network can support the boost in download speeds.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5