There's a lot of speculation about the SoC used in Samsung's Galaxy S II, thankfully through process of elimination and some snooping around we've been able to figure it out.

We know for sure it's not NVIDIA's Tegra 2 or Qualcomm. That leaves Samsung or TI. A quick look at GLBenchmark2's output gives us the GPU string: ARM Mali 400. TI's OMAP 4 uses a PowerVR SGX, so it's out of the running. This leaves one and only SoC: Samsung's own Exynos 4210 (formerly Orion).

Exynos has two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1GHz. As a result, general performance of the Galaxy S II is competitive with phones based on NVIDIA's Tegra 2. The Galaxy S II runs Android 2.3.1 compared to 2.2.1 used by the Tegra 2 phones, and as a result has better Javascript performance which we see in some of our benchmarks.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9

Rightware BrowserMark

Physical Comparison
  Apple iPhone 4 Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate LG Optimus 2X Motorola Atrix 4G Samsung Galaxy S II
Height 115.2 mm (4.5") 106.17 mm (4.18") 123.9 mm (4.87") 117.8mm 125.3mm
Width 58.6 mm (2.31") 63.5 mm (2.5") 63.2 mm (2.48") 63.5mm 66.1mm
Depth 9.3 mm ( 0.37") 9.91 mm (0.39") 10.9 mm (0.43") 10.95mm 8.48mm
Weight 137 g (4.8 oz) 127 grams (4.5 oz) 139.0 grams (4.90 oz) 135.0 grams 116 grams
CPU Apple A4 @ ~800MHz 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core Cortex-A9 (AP20H) @ 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core Cortex-A9 (AP20H) @ 1 GHz Samsung Exynos 4210 Dual-Core Cortex A9 @ 1GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX 535 PowerVR SGX 540 ULV GeForce @ 100-300 MHz ULV GeForce @ 100-300 MHz ARM Mali-400 MP
RAM 512MB LPDDR1 (?) 512 MB LPDDR1 512 MB LPDDR2 @ 600 MHz data rate 1024 MB LPDDR2 @ 600 MHz data rate 1GB
NAND 16GB or 32GB integrated 2 GB, 16 GB microSD (Class 2) 8 GB integrated (5.51 GB internal SD, 1.12 phone storage), up to 32 microSD 16 GB integrated, up to 32 microSD 16 GB integrated, up to 32 microSD
Camera 5MP with LED Flash + Front Facing Camera 5 MP with auto focus and LED flash 8 MP with autofocus, LED flash, 1080p24 video recording, 1.3 MP front facing 5 MP with autofocus, LED flash, 720p video recording, VGA MP front facing 8 MP with autofocus, LED flash, 1080p video recording, 2MP front facing
Screen 3.5" 640 x 960 LED backlit LCD 4" Super AMOLED 800 x 480 4" IPS LCD 800 x 480

4" PenTile LCD 960 x 540

4.3" Super AMOLED Plus 800x480

The GPU accelerated UI used in Android 2.3.1 makes the Galaxy S II feel a bit faster than the Tegra 2 phones, however that's not always the case. While web page loading feels comparable between the Atrix 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II, Tegra 2 appears to handle flash a bit better than Samsung's Exynos.

Flash Performance

This is a pretty significant difference in our Flash benchmark, however it does translate into a somewhat less smooth experience when scrolling around web pages with Flash.

We managed to run GLBenchmark2 on the Samsung Galaxy S II and compared it to our recently reviewed/previewed Tegra 2 smartphones.

GLBenchmark 2.0 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.0 - PRO

The Mali-400 MP performs pretty well in GLBenchmark2, however it's still a bit behind NVIDIA's Tegra 2. Note that the Galaxy S II runs at 800 x 480 so its direct competitor in this case would be the Optimus 2X. These results don't tell us a lot about the GPU's performance other than the combination of hardware and drivers isn't quite up to par with what NVIDIA has today - at least under GLBenchmark2. There's so much that can be done with driver optimizations that it's difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions yet.

More Hands on Time with the Galaxy S II
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  • zorxd - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    the battery is a bit bigger, 1650 mAh
  • fujii13 - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Yeah but you could imagine how much bigger it could be if they left the thickness the same?
  • alovell83 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Of course we can, but for those who want a thick battery, you can get a new back and battery. The rest of us can make due with a spare battery and a thin phone, or just 1 battery. No reason to go after those who just want a big battery when you're already extremely competitive in that dept (best standby time of any Android phone last year). People who are in constant use of the device wouldn't really be greatly assisted by 1800mAh and the decreased profits that it'd give Samsung.
  • GTVic - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I chose a Samsung cell phone a while back and took it back when it required charging every second day (tried 3 different batteries and two phones before giving up). My previous LG and the new LG both last a week between charges.
  • rcocchiararo - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    and you went with a dumbphone, i guess ? or do you keep your new phone untouched ? :P
  • Darkstriker - Monday, April 18, 2011 - link

    Unless all other manufacturers silently upgraded the battery on their phones (rather unlikely if you ask me) Samsung already has one of the biggest batteries with 1650mAh.
    Sure making the thing 1cm thick and putting a 3000mAh would be nice for some but it would make the phone lose competitiveness in too many other areas.The SGSII will really be the best in all hardware aspects again. Battery included.
  • TareX - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Never have I been happier to be a NVIDIA fanboy... I was expecting the Orion to blast Tegra 2 out of the water.... Clearly not the case here. I was surprised by Flash performance. The reason why I'm getting a dual core is to have smooth flash in the web browser, with smooth scrolling. Clearly, a Tegra 2 is the phone to have.

    I'd like to see OMAP4 jump in the contest. I heard it has a somehow "better" or "more completely used" Cortex A9 than Tegra 2. I don't know much about it's GPU though, or how I should expect Flash to behave. I do know, though, that the Optimus 3D was ridiculously smooth in all video demos.

    I also want the final verdict on the Optimus 3D experience. Is the screen visibility handicapped when not in the 3D sweetspot, or is the 3D effect just lost (so it because a perfectly usuable 2D phone)?
  • djgandy - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Seems clear to me that the SGX540 is still the chip to have. The Tegra is clocked way higher, has way faster memory and holds a tiny lead.

    The main issue here of course is battery life, none of the figures matter without measuring how they affect battery life and working out some performance per watt metrics.
  • y2kBug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    The USB connector seems to be on the bottom, right? What about the headset one? No HDMI, right?
  • mongo lloyd - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Samsung really has the optimal button layout. I wish all Android phone manufacturers followed suit. The search button is pointless in my opinion, especially since long-pressing the menu button brings it up. But I guess Google, the search company that it is, has to have one in their own reference designs...

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