2011 has been a big year for mobile phones, and two of the biggest phones to have launched, this year have been Samsung’s Galaxy S II and the recent Motorola RAZR XT910. While they’re close, with regard to specs, each one has a few distinctive “earmarks” that set them apart from the rest of the heavy duty devices out there, right now. In another edition of our Gadget Grudge match, we’ve pitted these two power houses against each other to see who makes it out on top.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung’s Galaxy S II was this year’s "big deal" in the mobile segment. Sure Apple got its spotlight, but when the S II packed in the features into a slim fit that measured just 8.5mm in depth, the industry standard went up. The fact is that the S II managed to outperform a large number of handsets in its class and proved to be a very functional device. It had plenty to offer in terms of media capabilities as well as overall functionality. Features like gesture-based support for various purposes come in very handy. It pulls its weight extremely well and comes off as a feature rich device with great performance scores as well.
Motorola RAZR XT910
Knocking the S II off the slimmest handset pedestal, the RAZR XT910 is a bit late in making an entry this year, but certainly not one you can afford to miss. The RAZR comes off as a very serious piece of mobile hardware. From its Kevlar and splash resistant skin to scratch resistant display and ultra slim shell (7.1mm), the RAZR is, in terms of aesthetics, a very sound device. Motorola has tried to ensure that users get an equal helping of business class features as well as media support for all purposes. An AI like feature called Smart Actions has been pre-loaded onto the RAZR to help enhance the overall functionality of the device.
Well that’s’ a quick overview of the devices themselves. You can read the full reviews by clicking on the links. Here’s our Tech2 Score Sheet with the specs of both devices.
To sum it up, the RAZR wins by a few millimeters both literally and figuratively. When it comes down to it the RAZR, although it doesn’t have a removable battery compartment it is most assuredly of a better build quality and looks and feels sturdier than the S II. The S II, as great a device as it is, comes off as a tad flimsy. In the looks department the RAZR wins hands down.
Superficial features aside, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of it all, features and performance also played an equally important role. Both handsets are extremely capable devices. We ran Linpak and AnTuTu tests on both devices to see what kind of synthetic benchmarking we get. We found the Galaxy S II to be far more superior to the RAZR (see table). In overall functionality, although the RAZR had a far smoother UI with more fluid transitions and animations as compared to the S II, we did find that the process itself was a tad quicker on the latter device. While scrolling through web pages though, the S II appeared to have a smoother flow with the RAZR depicting slightly jerkier movements between pages.
A Millimeter slimmer
Both devices are equipped with Super AMOLED displays, but the pixel density and resolution is higher on the RAZR making pictures, video and generic imagery a little sharper with colours a little more vibrant. The white and black tones were also more vivid on Motorola’s offering and visibility in bright daylight conditions was definitely better as well. Picture and video quality was pretty much the same and only a hardcore photographer would be able to pin point issues, colour distortions and other artifacts. The S II is pre-loaded with plenty of codec support, so that takes it a bit ahead, but with free players available on the Android Market, the point is moot. With an HDMI port as opposed to MHL (Mobile Hi-Def Linking) found on the S II, we preferred the most common micro HDMI option to be better.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, if you’ve got Rs. 33,000 to spend, and you’re looking for a handset that embodies all of today’s most relevant features, looks good enough to impress the ladies and business competitors and is durable enough to take almost anything, the RAZR XT910 is that device. Mind you, the Samsung S II is a very worthy opponent, but loses out to the RAZR due a few minor things, although its pricing is surely not going to hamper its sales in any way.
Powerhouses all dressed in black
Please feel free to share your views and reasons why you believe either device should be the one to buy.