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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  • anexanhume - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    So glad to see it's not a PenTile. TouchWiz still begs to be rooted, unfortunately. I hope the carriers have sense enough to ask for all 4 buttons on their models.
  • Alexstarfire - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't mind them dropping the search button. I don't see the point in having it. It's not a basic function. Perhaps that's just cause I rarely use search though.
  • bplewis24 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I used to think the same thing for about the first 9 months I owned my phone. Then one day I basically had an epiphany, and began using it probably 30-40% of the time that I wake my phone up from sleep mode.

    IMO, a significant reason for owning an Android phone is because of the Google, Universal Search functions.

  • mwarner1 - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    The Galaxy S II button layout is precisely the same as my UK Galaxy S - I think it is only the US variants that have a different button layout.

    As MWC is held in Europe and all European carriers will have the World version of the Galaxy S II (i.e. not a Customised version as released by US carriers) it makes sense that the buttons are laid out as shown at the show.

    To be honest I like the physical home button on the Galaxy S I and am pleased it has translated over to the Galaxy S II. I have not really missed the search button.
  • Acrono - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I think some of the screen resolutions on that table of physical comparisons are wrong.
  • VivekGowri - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Fixed the Atrix 4G, the rest looked right to me.
  • zorxd - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    From samsung's web site

    Quad-band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
    4.3" WVGA SUPER AMOLED Plus (not 4")
    1GB RAM
  • VivekGowri - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Thank you, updated :)
  • sarge78 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Also from the website...

    Samsung Dual Core Application Processor*

    * May not be applicable in some regions.

    Guess it's not quite ready yet, some markets could get a tegra 2/Hummingbird SoC.
  • fujii13 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Samsung, stop trying to win the "Thinnest phone in the world" award and just give me a bigger damn battery. Thanks.

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