I read an interesting piece not too long ago on the games that carriers and manufacturers play. Essentially, it’s not a game; rather, it’s business. While some manufacturers were initially hesitant to cater to the every whim of their largest customers, the carriers, others were more opportunistic, and as such, produced multiple iterations of the same device to get it on as many carriers as possible. Case in point, the best selling Android phone of 2010 – the original Samsung Galaxy S. This phone, like so many others, was rebranded so many times I’ve simply lost count.

Bringing us to today, we are now looking at documents that have just cropped up on the FCC website, that are indicating that a release of the highly acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S II is coming to North America – albeit with a Tegra 2 inside as opposed to the Mali400MP GPU. Considering the English blokes this side of the Atlantic have received the 1.2Ghz Exynos variant, we have to ask – what gives?

Either way, Samsung’s North American version of the Samsung Galaxy S II has made its way past the ultimate technological gatekeeper, the FCC, but this one seems to be coming equipped with an Nvidia Tegra 2 on board.

This raises a lot of questions – and good ones at that. What sort of difference in performance can we expect? Which version is superior? Why is there no Exynos/Mali400MP GPU version presenting itself? Both are based off ARM’s A9 architecture, but are likely to be clocked at different speeds (1Ghz Tegra 2  vs. 1.2Ghz Exynos respectively). Performance wise, they are in roughly the same camp, but the Quadrant scores of the 1.2Ghz Exynos variant currently command the best benchmarks out of the box that we have ever witnessed.

As PocketNow opined, “it’s more than likely this new change in SOC’s has more to do with pricing and availability seeing how the Galaxy S 2 has been breaking sales records all over the world. ”

The radio featured in this particular variant suggests that it will be compatible with AT&T and Bell, Telus and Rogers in the big white North, Canada. When it will come stateside is yet to be confirmed officially, but a week or two from now and we should be seeing official announcements.

So – we leave it to you, our dear readers – how does this make you feel? Do you feel like most consumers won’t care or know the difference? Is this a matter of money, or a matter of availability? Like with all things not fully understood, it’s likely a combination of both. Either way, there’s no doubting that this is one of the best Android superphones of 2011, and we can’t wait to see hundreds of thousands of eager Android fans get their hands on one.

Would you rather have the Samsung Galaxy S II with the Exynos processor on board, with its lightning quick Flash functionality or would you rather have a Tegra 2 in your SGS II, with its access to the Tegra Zone market?

Source: FCC

Darcy LaCouvee
Darcy is the editor in chief at Android Authority. He follows the latest trends and is extremely passionate about mobile technology. With a keen eye for spotting emerging trends and reporting them, he works hard to bring you the best analysis, updates, and reports on all things Android. Darcy lives and breathes the latest mobile technology, and believes Android will be on a billion devices in the not too distant future.
  • max

    I doubt there will be much of adifference in performance, I think it will be able to run all the high end games (Dungeon Defenders, galaxy on fire) fluently.

    I think tegra 2 is good because of the tegra zone games albeit that is something that is wrrong with the world that certain games are restricted to the “tegra zone”.

    As long as I can get mine (canada) Im ok with either version. It really doiesnt matter to me because my asus eee pad has the tegra chip so i can play the nice games on a bigger screen anywas :)

    Anywys, that is what I am thinking.

    • No actually, exynos doesn’t run tegra2-optimized apps yet.
      Dungeon defenders on SGS2 exynos is not functioning at all.
      I’m sure when SGS2-tegra hits usa, there will be no issues.

  • droidbeat

    Simply horrified! I was counting on the speed of the exynos 1.2 gHz chip. I’ve been chomping at the bit for a GS2. But if it comes without the exynos, I’ll probably just wait for something better to come along.

  • Adam

    Both Bell and Virgin Mobile report that the speed of the Galaxy S2 will be 1.2 Ghz, so I don’t understand the logic here…

  • John

    Horrified. This likely means the US Galaxy S II will lack the absolutely fantastic video support of the European Exynos equipped counterpart. Tegra 2 has so far been useless for HD playback and codec support for both audio and video.

    Some might argue that Samsung will have fixed this issue by the time the phone is released in the US, but I’m not so sure. Their Tegra 2 equipped Android tablets suck in terms of hardware support for video playback – Samsung has not done shit to improve on that, so why would it be any different with their phones?

    Oh, and before anyone chimes in saying it’s pointless playing HD videos on a 480p screen – yes, you can’t take advantage of the full resolution, but it’s not about that. It’s about lots of people only downloading HD material nowadays, and they will want to watch it on their phones. They don’t want to spend a million hours converting a bunch of episodes to 480p just so that they can watch them on their phone, nor do they want to download low res episodes, on top of the HD ones, just to use on their phones.

    Anyway, I hope I’m wrong and that Samsung will find a way to not only make the Tegra 2 play everything the Exynos will play in terms of codecs, but also in terms of bitrates. The SGSII will play any mkv/x264 video up til about 18-20 Mbit/s, which is brilliant.

    • Actually the Tegra 2 is better supported IMHO.
      I had the LG Optimus 2x and there were loads of tegra 2 compatible apps.
      When it came to the exynos, even a simple game like dungeon defenders won’t run.

      Samsung with their exynos ecosystem can’t bring it up to speed like the tegra 2 can. and it does mean getting more out of your phone.

      I had both the exynos and Optimus 2x, and i can fairly say, i’m hesitating with the exynos just because of some compatibility issues.

      • Anonymous

        I saw the video with another game being played on the galaxy s2 & is was skipping frames allot, then they played the same game on the LG Gx2 & it was smooth as butter! I have the photon & I watched avatar @ 1080p off the hdmi & off the qHD screen at a constant 30 fps. Meanwhile no one seems to do enough research but the exynos SG2 can only play 1080i not 1080p & also when recording on 1080i from the GS2 it skips frames because its only a sales pitch a gimmick @ least 3D actually does 3D at 30 fps constantly. The dual cores we have right now imo cannot handle 1080 recording, but it can handle 720 recording with ease. So keep in mind that a phone manufacturer that only gives you 720 isnt BS’ing you into buying a half ass feature, rim, wp7, motorola, those are buisness companies & dont give you features that makes them look bad, and then u have other companies that want to look good on paper & specs sheets. This video shows you something that you won’t see samsung fans show. ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR4jzO3sN5U ” then watch this video its a galaxy 2 but with a tegra 2 soc instead running@ 1 ghz, more efficient & using less battery consumption ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSM27Mvn5Folet ” after seeing these 2 unpopular videos you’ll wonder wtf?

  • Daniel

    Well… i for one am very happy with my samsung gs2 and the fact i can download onto it put hd film on it and then with a (MHL ADAPTOR transfer film-games etc… from that (Small screen to the (Big screen) big smile :0

  • Adam

    Accruing to a bunch of people this is actually the Galaxy Z, not the S2. Hopefully that means we’ll get the 1.2 Ghz chip.

  • Adam

    According to a bunch of people this is actually the Galaxy Z, not the S2. Hopefully that means we’ll get the 1.2 Ghz chip.

  • Anonymous

    wouldnt be the first time the US got a worse version of a smartphone under a diff name………….

  • Anonymous

    The galaxy Z was known as the galaxy R & was reviewed on youtube, they even ran quadrant on the pre production galaxy R, guess what happened? The 1 ghz tegra 2 version galaxy R scored higher than the 1.2 ghz exynos version…the 1.2 ghz exynos score’s 3200 to 3400, while the 1 ghz tegra 2 scored 3600 on it’s first run, most of the time the quadrant test is ran 3 times but that score alone proved that all the BS & paper specs samsung were showing off was nothing but hype. Here I’ll let the video speak for itself & understand that every company will say their chip set is better than tegra after all tegra’s soc is in every tablet even in wanderings galaxy tab, ever wonder why? ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSM27Mvn5Folet