Samsung's Tegra 2 Superphone: The GT-I9103by Anand Lal Shimpi on February 16, 2011 4:40 AM EST
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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Harry Lloyd - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkOh My God
kmmatney - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkI'm looking forward to June, when the 2-year contract on my 3GS ends, and I can upgrade. However, my phone is considered complete crap hardware on these forums, and it can already do everything I need - the interface is fast and smooth, and it does a great job of reading emails, web browsing, playing games, good GPS, multitasking (yes - not full multitasking, but the implementation works well, along with unlimited wifi tethering (jailbroken) and great battery life. I'm for sure going to upgrade, but I really don't know what a CPU/GPU with 4 times the performance is going to do for me. I'd rather get 2 the performance, and twice the battery life.
allingm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkI like the news and the reviews AnandTech has. This website is my favorite, but I'm tired of the reviews being drowned out by frequent news. I understand that there is a button to sort, but I want to see both at the same time. Why do I have to click a button? Can't I see both like every other news website? You even have DailyTech on the side. Why can't you do something similar for AnandTech news. Also, maybe it's just the news, but I much prefer the reviews that were an aggregation of multiple products instead of news or reviews for a flood of individual products. Is it just me or am I starting to care less about Android phone 29 and Tegra 2 phone 15?
-A concerned reader.
7amood - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linki like this news.
it's more important than the DailyTech on the right side (which I don't always follow)
and it's important enough to be in the reviews section (considering that it has something related to Tegra2 Galaxy S II performance) as a mobile device.
I prefer the Exynos Galaxy S II even thou it's slightly slower than Tegra2.
I'v had it with nvidia... i don't trust them anymore
jaredtrobinson - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkI too like this news. It is the most technical and in depth coverage of the MWC, something I am interested in. I'd rather have it 'streamed' to me than a giant report in a couple of days, although a good detailed summary recapping it all would be nice too.
vol7ron - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkI agree with Jared. It's tough keeping up with things when you have to read a book as an article.
Also, these news articles could be especially important to consumers that might wish to purchase a new phone in the coming days. A sort of, "you might want to wait" message.
What's even tougher is when articles are all posted at the same time. When you go a week or two w/o any news/reviews and then one weekend there are 10 to read, it's a little difficult catching up with things. I suspect sometimes NDAs are at play, but i'd still prefer a steady schedule (something that's hard to keep in the tech industry).
Anand has insured me that the SSD reviews are coming very soon, though :)
sarge78 - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkAnand and chums provided the best coverage for those interested in real info with limited hype and speculation! Keep up the good work chaps!
bplewis24 - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - linkI actually like the direction Anandtech is going.
First of all, their "news" articles tend to have more practical and technical analysis than other news sites that simply blog text from a press release with no real understanding of what it means.
Second, it lessens the need for me to have to read other "news" sites in the first place. I used to only be able to get new content on Anandtech a few times a week it seemed. Having more content from a quality site like this is good, IMO.
SlyNine - Friday, February 18, 2011 - linkI'll jump on this bandwagon.
In fact sometimes when I intend to go somewhere else, I typed in www.anandtech.com just out of habit.
Great job anandtech, Keep it up.
s44 - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - linkNvidia will give us drivers for full custom kernels. Samsung... don't hold your breath. SGS devs still don't have proper Hummingbird GPU code.