Galaxy S II Skyrocket Review:
“This is probably thebest LTE offering from AT&T of the Year…and yes, that includes the LGNitro”
As the legacy of the Galaxy S IIline lives on, AT&T has added the Skyrocket as one of their first two LTEdevices, alongside the HTC Vivid. This device packs some pretty hefty specs,and being the part of Sammy’s flagship line, we have come to expect high thingsfrom this type of device. Running Android 2.3.5 along with Touchwiz 4.0, theSkyrocket measures at 129.8x.68.8×9.5. The Skyrocket has great hardware, andLTE, but is it enough to keep up with the competition from Verizon?
Thisdevice has the classic Samsung setup: Left side volume rocker, right sidelock/power switch, headphone jack at the top and micro USB port at the bottom.It is a relatively slim device, and it has pretty decent ergonomics, a bitshorter and wider than most 4.5-inch displays. The back, unlike all theprevious GSII models, is not texturized, and is a smooth back plate (itattracts plenty of fingerprints). There is a small hump where the speaker is atthe bottom, but it is not very pronounced, and you don’t really feel it whenyou hold the phone.
Thisbad boy packs a large 1850mAh Li-Ion battery to provide for all that LTE use. Insidewe have the Snapdragon S3 Dual-Core Chip, clocked at 1.5 gHz, and the Adreno220 GPU chip. Additionally, it provides 1024MB of RAM to ensure a snappy andspeedy performance—and it does. After heavy use of this phone, it has proveditself to be consistently fast, and I have rarely encountered lag. It comeswith 16 GB of internal storage, but it is expandable via a microSD card slot,and it does support SDHC cards. NFC (Near Field Communication) is in thedevice, but unfortunately, AT&T does not have it activated on the device.Word is that they may activate it with ICS, so user can enjoy features likeAndroid Beam and Google Wallet. The Skyrocket comes with all the classicgoodies: Wifi
does not have it activated on the device. Wordis that they may activate it with ICS, so user can enjoy features like AndroidBeam and Google Wallet. The Skyrocket comes with all the classic goodies: Wifi802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.O, and GPS. It also includes an accelerometer,Gyroscope, compass, and proximity sensor.
Thedisplay is gorgeous. Samsung’s sAMOLED+ display technology has made its markonce again. It provides beautiful, bright and vivid colors on the large 4.5”display. On black screens, you can see text with incredible clarity, andalthough the resolution is lower than phones like the HTC Rezound, the SuperAmoled Plus technology is very impressive and conservative.
Rightoff the bat, this device is running android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and, on top ofthat, Touchwiz 4.0, which really isn’t so bad. Battery life on this thing wasgood, it lasted me throughout the day, and this is in Manhattan, where I amgetting an LTE signal. In my opinion, TouchWiz is really a pro, it makes iteasier for you to customize your home screens, and is a very minimal, discreteand good looking skin. It doesn’t create any lag either. For the record,AT&T has promised the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade sometime in Q1, 2012.
ThisThursday, AT&T, unofficially, launched LTE in New York. Because it has notreally been announced, these results are not 100% true, and the coverage is notfinal at all. My Skyrocket was getting a strong LTE signal throughout Manhattanand Brooklyn. The closer to the Bronx you get, the lower your signal gets.Regardless, AT&T hasn’t said anything yet, so there will presumably beservice throughout the city when made official. The network is still new, but Igot some very promising results:
Likethe rest of the Galaxy S II line, the Skyrocket has two great cameras. A frontfacing 2-Megapixel camera, for video chat (or personal entertainment), and a8-Megapixel LED flash rear shooter. The back camera features auto focus, touchto focus, image stabilization, smile detection, and lots of amusing featureslike panorama mode. It can film 1080p video, at 30fps, and like the photoquality, the video quality is stunning.
TheSkyrocket is a great device, but it there are plenty of variables that come into play when choosing a phone. AT&T Customers, listen up. If you live in anLTE city, or/and if you have an unlimited data plan, don’t give it up to get theGalaxy Nexus. This phone is a beast of a device, and the specs it packs aregreat. Hopefully, with ICS, this will get access to NFC, and personally, I thinkthe device as a whole can compete with the Galaxy Nexus.