Does the Samsung Galaxy S II have a Design Error?

The answer, according to me, is yes.

I am talking about its physical design. With a 4.3 inch screen size, slim body (8.45 mm?) and compact all-round casing, the phone is a beauty to look at. In terms of functionality, as I blogged earlier, it is setting standards for the rest of the top-of-the-range smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S II

One of the best things about this phone is its cameras. With a 2MP front camera, you can skype with video. It also has a 8MP rear camera with flash. Here is a pic I had taken with it earlier Vs A Pic I took recently:

This is at The Tribe Hotel, sometime last year, photo by Calypso, my Galaxy S II.

Here is a pic I took this past weekend.

A view of the iHub on a quiet Saturday afternoon! Taken by Calypso, some months later

Do you see the difference in the quality of the pics? Regardless, the lighting and the views are different, but do you see my point?

So where is the Design Flaw?

When you put the phone the table, screen facing up, the part that touches the surface first is the lens cover! I think in a quest to make the galaxy S II slim (and the galaxy note too), Samsung designers left the LENS COVER protruding out bit and therefore EXPOSED to scratches and other damage!

The Nokia E6 has a 'depressed' lens cover.. meaning the lens cover doesn't touch the surface when the phone is lying on its back. The S II has a 'protruding' lens cover.

This means my camera currently takes pictures that are just so ‘dirty’, unclear, as opposed to earlier when images were sharp and crisp. This is definitely a major flaw.

A comparison between the S II and the Nokia E6 backs

Here is the back of the Apple iPhone 4S. The camera lens looks well protected. Steve Jobs knew a thing or two about design that Samsung could learn from!

The back of the iPhone 4S

Solution?

While we wait for Samsung to re-design (I hope they read this), if you have an S II or Note, or any other phone whose camera lens-cover is exposed, get a case for it ASAP.

I went to the Samsung center at Hilton, to see if they can replace the lens-cover for me. The camera is fine, it’s the lens cover that feels like one is looking through foggy glass!

They told me “hiyo hatuna” : we don’t have that.

I asked them if they can order for one, because I would be wasting the 8MP camera if I can’t use it for pics like I used to.

“Haiwezekani.” It’s not possible.

Sigh.

  • Baru

    Lost my Galaxy R recently but the photos were a little grainy when taaken in bright light. Still, great phone!

  • http://twitter.com/PhilipOgola Philip Ogola

    Savvy i get crystal clear pics from my SII at night it has shitty pics and yes i have a case……nice observation *winks* but functionality is WOW

  • Anonymous

    What? Nokia is better at design? :-) Hehe!!
    Ideally you should have gotten a protective case, but I see your point, they should have seen that coming :-(

  • http://twitter.com/VeehCirra Veeh Waithira
  • http://jastalentsnmodels.com/ Jas

    Hmm.. they need to consider the cover. Normally I’ll have an extra cover to protect the phone. Anyway, nice observation.

  • Patrick Steemers

    Hi Savvy, I have same problem. But it looks like the issue is really INSIDE the camera lense.

    • savvykenya

      It is? Is the surface of your lens cover scratched or it’s still smooth? #SII

  • ItsAllFuzzy

    I have the same problem. Did find a place in China that is selling replacement parts for SII and ordered a new camera cover (parts4repair dot com). It’s worth it to try to fix the crappy photos – otherwise I’ll have to Instragram everything to hide the “soft lens”-type fuzziness the scratches cause. Alernatively I was considering using some kind of glasses lens or CD repair kit that uses a liquid filler to smooth out scratches.

  • Wendel

    Hi! Same problem here! And I have the same ideia of the design error! If you don’t like a case for the whole phone, try to paste a little plastic adesive over the plastic! It’s a good idea!

  • RW

    This is not a perfect solution, but if you have an SII with the lens cover already scratched, as I do, you can pry it off. In my case the camera is then returned to taking clear pictures. So I put a small sheet of plastic wrap over the lens, replaced the back cover. This holds it in place and so far allows the taking of clear pictures. Cheap and replaceable.

    • savvykenya

      Well I no longer have the said S II but that was a good idea.. only the plastic wrap isn’t so pretty and can also cause pics to be fuzzy? Or you remove it whenever taking a pic, which is hectic?

  • Stephen

    My camera is unusable and has been for over a year now. Might try ripping the glass off…

    • savvykenya

      Let me know if that works for you