Source Guru

Adventures with the Galaxy SII

by on Oct.17, 2011, under Personal

Good morning all!

It feels like forever since I last blogged…. Which is extremely bad of me *slaps own wrist*. However, I’m been horrendously stupidly busy.  As some of you may know, I’m very much an Android fan.  Recently, I’ve gotten myself a shiny Galaxy SII.

Given the fact that alongside my day job of being a Web Developer for an Online Retailer, I’m also a Voluntary Ambulance Person I thought it’d be useful to ask my current workplace if they’d provide me a mobile phone cover for my new phone.   Of course, work were more than happy to provide me with a shiny Samsung Galaxy S2 case (I actually went for the Case-Mate Barely There in brushed aluminium).

Being a voluntary Ambulance Person, I regularly have to go to random places to pick up an ambulance/attend an event.  Because of that – I rely quite heavily on Google Maps and it’s navigation features (Free Sat Nav – in my opinion, the killer feature of Android).

Having only had my phone a week, I started to find that there were a few problems with the GPS.  Whereas previously, I’d been able to lock on almost instantly, It’d now take me about half an hour (literally) to get a lock on anything.  I tried Googling, I tried everything I could think of, but to no avail.  I downloaded GPS Test, and it was showing that while it was picking up a couple of sattelites, it wasn’t picking up enough to get a decent lock

The image above is a screenshot of the GPS test from directly outside my front door, taken after it had settled down.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t happy – and was ready to send the phone back.

Then, for some reason, a brainwave hit me (It doesn’t happen often).  What changed from when it was working to now? I know! The Case

*takes case off, tries GPS test again*

It can be amazing what happens when you realise that shiny case you have is mainly made of aluminium.  Guess what works well at deflecting radio signals and the like… You got it, aluminium.

So now I need to decide whether to get another case or whether to just take the case off when I need to do sensible things.

Other than the case problem, I’m finding that the Samsung Galaxy SII is a great phone (as soon as I got rid of Touchwiz).  I’m not a fan of the OEM Samsung crap that’s been bolted onto the phone, and will, as soon as there’s a decent release, be putting a copy of CyanogenMod on the phone (I’ve already made most of the tweaks – I just want rid of SNS)

In other news – I’ve started more and more gaming again. If you’re interested in a couple of rounds of TF2 or some SC2 (or some Portal 2 Co-Op) then give me a shout with your Steam ID / ID and I’ll see what I can do.  I’m thinking of starting doing some “Let’s Play” Videos, as my Youtube Channel is looking a bit sparse!

I’m going to try and start blogging a bit more aswell – so if there’s anything you want to see me blog about – pop a post in the comments below!

Till next time..

4 Comments for this entry

  • E4gle

    I’ve been using the CyanogenMod (nightlie) on my Galaxy SII for quite a while now, and I’ve found that they are quite stable and fun to use. So I would recommend you upgrade to Cyanogen, before 2.4 is released and it becomes unstable again.

  • foo

    Its a shame you can’t experiment with it more, you could port Debian to it!

  • lachlan

    stock rom’s did the same thing for me and i don’t use cases on phones. the problem went away as soon as i put cyanogenmod on.

  • Ganneff


    I have a SGS II for quite a while and cant recommend a plain Cyanogenmod on it. Whats very good is “RevolutionRom” which comes with its own Kitchen App (bake your own style) or MIUI. Especially Galnet MIUI is plenty good.

    Litening Rom is also one to take a look at in case the other two wont work.

    SGS II has more different mods than you can think off, so dont go setting yourself on one before you havent looked around. Its so easy to change and nearly impossible to brick the SGS II, it would be idiotic to not check the rest. :)


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