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By Michael Oryl

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Messaging, App Store, Browser


Messaging

The Samsung Galaxy S II offers users a colorful and usable threaded text messaging application that can also be used for multimedia messaging. Instant messaging support in the phone includes Windows Live, Google Talk, and Yahoo! - but no AIM. Users can opt for either for Samsung's own keyboard for text input or they can use the very capable Swype keyboard, which allows users to trace words with a fingertip.

Samsung has done something interesting with its email client, adding split-screen tablet-like features to it, which you can see in our videos. It's a little cramped, perhaps, but it makes skimming through an inbox easier. The app supports POP, IMAP, and Exchange accounts (which also pull in contacts and calendar appointments). The dedicated Gmail client is present, and can also be used to synchronize with Gmail contacts and Google Calendar.

Samsung's Social Hub app is available for linking up your social networking feeds, such as Twitter and Facebook, but it doesn't offer a combined feed view.


Apps / App Store

As Google recently announced there are now over 200,000 applications available for Android devices in the Android Market. With a catalog that large, there are apps, free or paid, for most anything one could imagine.

The full suite of Google apps are pre-installed and available to users, including Google Maps with Navigation. Samsung also offers up a voice recorder, photo and video editors, and Polaris Office for editing and viewing Microsoft Office documents. There are a number of other apps included - perhaps too many, considering that none of them can be removed.


Browser

With its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display and wickedly fast dual-core processor, it is no wonder that the Samsung Galaxy S II likely offers the best smartphone web browsing experience available today. Pages load and render quickly and accurately, the multi-touch zooming is smooth, and the Adobe Flash support works. Samsung's two-finger tilt-zooming is neat, though not of much use, but I do like the visual window manager it offers (though I prefer tabs).