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First Hand Review Of ICS On Samsung Galaxy S II
 
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First Hand Review Of ICS On Samsung Galaxy S II  
 
ICS lets you browse at a faster speed, helps you unlock your device using the face recognition feature but it also comes with a few drawbacks. Read on to know more...   
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Sunday, March 25, 2012 For long, we Androidians were just hearing about the magnanimity of the Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Much before it was even rolled out to the masses, the OS garnered accolades, awards and even got the phone of the year by T3 Gadgets. I was fortunate enough to be among the first ones to have the magical wand work on my Samsung Galaxy S II in India. Here comes the first-hand review of the ICS. The ‘MAGIC’ is about to begin!

As soon as you upgrade your phone with ICS, you feel the difference right after turning on your mobile device. It configures all the applications, contacts and more in a jiffy, and once you get to the home screen you will see a remarkable difference in speed. It’s cool and fast. But do not expect the original interface of ICS (like you see in Google Nexus, so unfortunately no virtual buttons). This version of ICS is garnished by the Samsung Touchwiz 4.0. Like it or hate it, but you have to live with it.

Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, Samsung Galaxy S II, review




Mobile OS Response:

I have worked on a couple of mobile OS, but much to my delight ICS is one of the fastest. It is swift and cool to work upon. Not only that, till date I haven’t even once faced any hanging issues.

Change in Look and Menu:

- You will find new options in the Menu now, like you have “Restart” in the menu when you long press the power button.
- Screenshots are now officially taken by “Vol Down + Power Button” for a minute. The default location where the shots are saved have changed to /sdcard/pictures/screenshots
- The settings menu also undergoes a revamp. It categorises the menu for easy scroll.

Scrolling:

- Samsung Touchwiz replaces the bounce effect while going up and down the scrolling menu. Since this feature is an Apple patent, so Samsung has now replaced it with blue illumination that lights up once you reach the end of the menu.
- The home screen now acts like a revolving door. You can keep scrolling your home screen without having to move backwards once you reach the last screen.

Face Recognition Unlock:

- The face recognition unlock feature is one of the highlights of the new OS. It immediately unlocks your device, unless you choose to try it from a distance, as it takes more time to recognise then.
- However, face unlock doesn’t mean that your phone won’t be unlocked if it fails to recognise you. There is a fallback option available.
- One of the drawbacks of the feature is that it does not work properly in dark (outdoors as well as indoors), for the obvious reason of lack of light.
- Also, it’s easy to crack. Anyone with your picture can easily unlock your phone.

Applications/widgets:

- The applications menu has a nice look and feel. It allows you to view all the recently visited applications as a list of thumbnails of the app.
- A new and better looking Gtalk messenger is another highlight. Though the application is a bit heavy, but who cares, we are on a 1.2Ghz Dual Core Samsung device supporting it.
- The e-mail client is a bit heavier and slow. The previous e-mail client was a clear winner in this regard.
- Once you start browsing the applications, you may find some new icons in the applications menu, like Google+ and messenger
- You can have Live Application widgets on your home screen. You can add your mail box, Facebook and even play music right from your home screen.

Wi-fi/Networking:

- WiFi is a big disappointment. The handset takes a long time to scan and enable wi-fi on the phone.

Data Usage:

- The new ICS allows you to view the data flow from your handset graphically as reports. It comes handy if you are on a limited data plan.
- You can select different cycles to view the data usage.
- It also provides an option to toggle between cellular and wifi data usage, which is a welcome feature.
- You can also know which apps are consuming maximum data transfer.

Kies Air:

- The upgrade lets you ‘Sync with Simplicity’ and eases phone to phone data transfer. For example, you start the Kies Server in device A and open Kies in device B. You shake the device twice and it will identify device A and initiate the data transfer.

These are the broad features of the new ICS. I will be experimenting with the device further so stay tuned...

-- Ashu Arun Sethi



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1 Comments

Prithiraj   1117 days ago

What is the update name? The latest firmware the Kies app ask for is PDAKL1PHONEKL1CSCKL1INU. This looks like 2.3.6 update so I haven't downloaded the upgrade yet. Please let me know how you got the 4.0 update officially.
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