On Day 0 of this year's Mobile World Congress Samsung and NVIDIA announced that the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 will come to market with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 (T20) SoC. At the same time, the two quietly announced they would be working on a new superphone together also based on Tegra 2. At Samsung's press conference however all we saw was the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy S II, the latter using Samsung's own Exynos SoC.

So what happened to the NVIDIA based smartphone and why would Samsung bother with using Tegra if it already had an Exynos based smartphone? To understand why we need to look at the Galaxy S. At its MWC press conference Samsung mentioned that it sold 10 million Galaxy S phones in 2010. The Galaxy S II should sell at least as much, if not more, once it's officially introduced.

Exynos however is a brand new SoC, with a brand new GPU for Samsung. Meeting demand for the Galaxy S II in all markets across the world with an SoC that Samsung has never shipped is risky at best. If you saw our benchmarks yesterday you'll note that NVIDIA's Tegra 2 is a near equivalent in terms of CPU performance and notably better in GPU and Flash performance. In other words, Tegra 2 isn't a bad alternative.

Meet the GT-I9103:

The GT-I9100 is the normal Exynos based Galaxy S II, the I9103 is the Tegra 2 edition. As one of our readers (thanks sarge78), Samsung lists its own dual-core Application Processor in the Galaxy S II as not being used in all regions. It's too early to tell if that means that we'll get Tegra 2 or Exynos depending on physical region.

I suspect Samsung didn't want to confuse users by announcing both a Tegra 2 and an Exynos based superphone at MWC. An unknown user managed to benchmark the GT-I903 at MWC and submitted the data to the GLBenchmark database. The GT-I9103's performance looks comparable to the Atrix 4G, meaning it's going to deliver the same experience we've seen in our Optimus 2X and Atrix 4G articles.

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  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    480x800 is fine on a 4" screen, stop complaining...

    What's more important is to get laptop manufacturers to stop shipping 15" notebooks with 1366x768 LCDs!
  • SanX - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    "Let's just hope it has a higher resolution than 480x800"

    Kudos! Agree with you. People by some damn reason do not understand that...

    Alas, it's still same unacceptable jerky annoying old cr@ppy VGA resolution. Great screen size but only same 480 lines ! This does not allow you to read full web pages and if somehow barely does, the fonts look like total sh!t almost similar to the impressions from the first CGA monitors. Remember this old junk ?

    Resolution has to be twice of that, or at least as a total minimum 800x1280 to be enjoyable for browsing or watching movies. You see each its fre@king subpixel when you watch a movie. And you can not browse at all without permanent zoom or using mobile version of websites.

    I specially wear +1.5-2 glasses for browsing and movies. This brings the viewing distance to 6-8" with so called implied or perceived resolution dropped to ... let me calculate....115DPI and below.

    So even 1200x1920 will not bring us "retina display" class implied DPIs with the optimal for such screen dimensions viewing distances! Wake up industry!
  • PubicTheHare - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Good battery life + Working GPS + Shipping with Gingerbread (and GPU optimized or whatever it needs to fully accelerated GB UI) + Good internal memory (at least 8 GB) + Verizon = Purchase another Samsung phone

    Seriously, if even ONE of those elements is missing, screw Samsung. They have the worst product support I've ever experienced. And I still like my Fascinate, but am fed up with the software/GPS.

    They may put out decent tech but the PACKAGE isn't polished. They aren't a software company and don't know how to dedicate resources to keep software updated.
  • halcyon - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    You are complaining about Samsung product support, when you buy an operator branded version from your operator which handles the support?


    We who bought the actual Galaxy S from Samsung have been enjoying software updates for long already.

    Go complain to your operator.
  • JHBoricua - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    so I'm not interested in buying it. Within 6 months they'll release another device and stop supporting the previous ones.
  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Pretty much. Took the entire Vibrant modding/hacking community complaining for months and months on end before the Vibrant got official Froyo.
  • B3an - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    @ Anand, will you have reviews and updated performance charts for all these new phones and SoC's once the phones are released and on final firmware?
  • sleepeeg3 - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    If the non-CPU specs of the GT-I9103 are the same as the GT-I9100, this should be one sweet phone (8MP camera, whopping 1650mAH battery, Android 2.3, AMOLED and large storage).
    Hopefully call quality is decent and it supports US 3G bands. I may have to buy this...
  • CyNics - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    who wrote that note?

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