My Samsung Galaxy S II was updated to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.3) recently and I have been playing with it a bit. In this review, my focus is on the changes that ICS brings to the Galaxy S II.
Samsung And TouchWiz
Samsung has applied their proprietary TouchWiz interface on the Galaxy S II. As such, the interface doesn’t look much like pure ice cream sandwich. That may be a good or bad thing, depending on what side of the fence you sit on. Personally, i don’t like it. The Galaxy S II with ICS simply looks mostly like the Galaxy S II with GingerBread. Too much, in my opinion.
However, TouchWiz works well and brings enhanced usability in various ways, so from that perspective there isn’t much to complain about.
Contacts Now Separated From Phone
The Phone menu no longer has Contacts as an embedded tab. Contacts is now a separate menu/app (see above screenshot). I think that I prefer it that way.
When you hit the Menu button on the desktop, the pop-up has been changed to a vertical menu. I prefer the Gingerbread version. However, going deeper via the Settings menu, the interface has also been modified and looks really nice.
Doing a screen capture on the Galaxy S II has now been changed. Now hold Volume Down and Power buttons together, and voila!
I like the new interface of the browser. There’s an icon to switch between tabs and to create/delete tabs. It also provides an option to browse incognito. This supposedly lets you browse without leaving a trace of your search history or cookies.
All those features aside, however, I am not liking how the new web browser renders text hyperlinks. The underline just too dark to me. beyond that, general page rendering seems okay. In all, the new browser is a huge improvement.
I earlier complained about the camera taking too long to focus, shoot, and get ready for another shot. It was just frustrating. I am pleased to say that this update has addressed the issue. The camera now works much faster then before, and I am finally able to use it without feeling frustrated.
I am not quite sure that I have noticed any significant battery life improvement. Some improvement may be there, but too small to be shouted about. That’s my experience.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update to the Samsung Galaxy S II is a nice one. Regular, non-techie users don’t miss anything significant, but geeks and techies will drool over a number of improvements.