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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  • Exodite - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I don't know about that, personally.

    I prefer capacitive button, kinda like how the Desire HD does it, but I'd prefer SE's set of physical buttons to Samsung's capacitive/button-pad mashup.

    I'm ambivalent, the Galaxy S2 has the screen and SoC I want but I don't like the button setup (the button-pad, lack of two-stage campera button), back (the Nexus S looked better) or the lack of HDMI.

    I'm looking forward to what HTC brings into the mix, if they can avoid cheaping out on the camera and audio parts they may end up the way to go.
  • A5 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I think it's time to drop some of the slower phones from the benchmarks - the SunSpider benchs are especially hard to read now that the top-end phones are 400% faster than the bottom ones.
  • Altemir - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    LG Optimus 2x hasn't AMOLED!!! Please, correct table.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Fixed! Dunno how that crept in there...

  • Jellodyne - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Frankly if you don't have Android 2.2 benchmarks on phones like the Droid Incredible which are currently running 2.2, I would either run new benchmarks or if that's not possible I wouln't bother including them in the benchmark charts. It's really an apples to oranges situation and those dated benchmarks aren't doing any good, at least if you're looking to compare relative CPU performance.
  • GreenEgg - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I agree, while I realize that users of the phones may be stuck on older OS versions due to vendor issues, these comparisons are not fair to the phones. For example, I am still running a Nexus One with CM7 build 43 (last nights build of 2.3.2) and I get in 4200 to 4400 range on the SunSpider benchmark. The Rightware BrowserMark was in the 44K area. This shows the Nexus One and I am sure many other phones in a very different light.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I actually completely agree. As it stands, we're a bit strapped when it comes to what to do about phones that the carrier or manufacturer have requested be returned. Those are things like (unfortunately) all the Droids and most of the earlier phones. We do have a number of other devices that for whatever reason haven't been updated (carrier, e.t.c.)

    Going forward we're likely going to be able to hang onto things and update as they update the software. Eg the Fascinate, myTouch 4G, G2, Optimus 2X, those are all ones we're hanging onto to compare properly.

  • r1chy - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    just a thought, some 1 correct me if im wrong if the sgs2 has the new Super AMOLED Plus display at res of 480x800 ( the same sgs1), will it look better/sharper? because it has bigger 4.3in screen unlike the 4in screen for the sgs1 ,so the pixels per inch on the sgs2 will be LOWER than the sgs1?
  • rcocchiararo - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    samsung said that since they no longuer use the pentile pixel matrix, its now 12 vs the old 8 subpixels, so its sharper.

    time will tell.
  • Filiprino - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    In Barcelona there's HSPA+ on the networks of Vodafone and I think that Movistar has it enabled too.

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