10 years ago the Samsung Galaxy S2 changed my life in a way that I couldn’t imagine

April 4, 2022 will mark ten years since I purchased my Galaxy S2 – the first Android smartphone I had. Buying a phone was a small decision, just a way to pass the time while I was stuck in a room with a broken leg for several months. I didn’t know that buying this phone would be the first step towards a new goal in life.

My knowledge of mobile technology in 2012 was limited. At the time, I was using a Samsung Omnia Lite that ran Windows 6.5, and I bought it only because I thought the Microsoft product would be the best of the rest. Once I realized how erroneous such an estimate was, I put more effort into researching the next purchase, reading and viewing reviews and comparing multiple phones.


I narrowed my choice to two devices – the year-old Galaxy S2 and the six-month-old iPhone 4S. Both could be got for about the same price from Amazon, but eventually the S2 won me over by including a slot for Micro SD. The 16GB of internal storage wasn’t going to hold all my music a few days before the broadcast, and I wasn’t going to pay extra for the 32GB iPhone.


The first thing I noticed in the S2 is the huge 4.3-inch display and how ridiculously thin it is. The S2 was almost half the size of the Omnia, and it’s still a bit thinner than my current Galaxy S22 Ultra. Everything improved when I turned on the phone, mostly thanks to the capacious touch screen. The old Windows phone still used a resistive panel, and using it was a nightmare, so the transition to a bright AMOLED responsive display felt that the game was changing.

The move to Android was also a noticeable improvement, as the Android Market offered thousands of apps I had never seen before. Having a device in my hands that could quickly access any information I want, play all my music and take pictures of my friends and family, really changed the way I spent my day.

It was a pre-installed program that made a real impact on my life – Google+. I had never used social media before, so this app, which I had never heard of, which was bundled with the phone, was an introduction to the wider world.

Here I started following Android Police and its founder Artyom. I can only imagine how annoyed Artyom was when I tagged him in screenshot after screenshot and asked, “Is this new?” about changing a Google app or a new version of Android.

I started writing long posts about the phone and apps I used on Google+, and eventually a friend I met on the site invited me to write for a small blog he created called littlegreendude.com. Here I discovered my love for writing and I am proud of what we have achieved, especially visiting Google I / O Extended in London in 2016.

Blogging on Google+ and LGD gave me confidence in my abilities to such an extent that I finally mustered the courage to ask Artyom to work here in early 2020. By this point I had graduated from car repair school in college and it was obvious that my health was not allowing me to pursue this career. Joining the AP was very nervous and certainly not what I imagined when I opened the little black phone box in 2012. But two years later I am glad that life brought me here.

I wasn’t the only person who bought and fell in love with the Galaxy S2. By 2013, Samsung had more than 40 million units – a huge number, even by today’s standards. Of all the phones that were released in 2011, only one sold better than the S2 – the iPhone 4S.

I remember a friend of mine, who was working at the Vodafone store at the time, telling me about the moment when his affiliate received the Galaxy S2 demo unit. It was the first phone to feel as fast as in all the ads.

The S2 put a lot of phones for that money, but that wasn’t the only reason it sold well. This device marked the beginning of Samsung’s significant investment in marketing. He became infamous for releasing an ad that mocked the iPhone and its users, and it all started here.

Advertising is hard to watch now, but at the time it was effective. One of the reasons why the S2 got on my list of phones to buy is the amount of advertising I remember then. I will never forget watching the movie “Transformers: The Dark Part of the Moon” in the movies and watching the commercial shown above three times before the movie started.

At the moment, the Galaxy S2 is ancient, but that hasn’t stopped it from continuing to remain a popular device. Two years ago, while I was still working in retail, I knew someone who used it as a daily driver. Aside from the poor battery life, it was capable of everything they expected from a smartphone. The developer community is also growing strongly: Android 12 ROM is coming out in January.


After the Galaxy S2 I stayed with Samsung for a while until the S4 turned out to be some kind of mess, and instead I switched to Nexus and Pixel phones. Even in those years of Google, I still paid attention to Samsung’s releases every year, hoping that the software issues that drove me away would one day be fixed.

Finally it happened in 2019 when I returned my Pixel 3XL for Galaxy S10 + and I’m glad I did. My pixels were unreliable – I had enough warranty replacements to know my Parcelforce driver by name. Samsung has perfected its bloated software into something enjoyable to use, like my old Galaxy S2. Since then, I’ve owned every Samsung flagship and I don’t see it disconnecting again. These phones are well built, full of useful and enjoyable features, and most importantly – reliable.

From a sixteen-year-old teenager who almost never used the internet, to a man who spends most of his time with him, my life has changed a lot in ten years. Buying the Galaxy S2 opened up a world of possibilities I couldn’t have imagined then, and looking at where I am today, I’m happy with how it all turned out.

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