Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X: Head to head revisited

GSMArena team, 03 June 2011.
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Testing web browsing performance

Dry specs and synthetic benchmarks aside, it’s the real-life performance that really matters to users.

So we decided to put the dual-core phones toe to toe and use the Galaxy S Plus to represent the single-cores.

Before we continue we’d like you to keep in mind one thing – both Galaxy’s are running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while the Optimus 2X is still stuck on Froyo 2.2. And that casts a shadow on its performance.

We hooked-up all three smartphones to the same Wi-Fi network and began our browser test. The Galaxy S II loaded fresh pages the fastest with the Optimus 2X following closely behind. The Galaxy S Plus almost kept up with their pace but it took a long time to show any content.

The S II and 2X would very quickly render most of the page and then gradually finish it, while the Plus would display a white, empty page most of the time and only render the page when done.

When loading a previously visited page, the S II browser was the fastest thanks to its better caching, while the 2X and Plus browser had to reload basically the whole page.

Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X
Browsers head to head: Galaxy S II • Galaxy S Plus • Optimus 2X

Panning is smoother in the Galaxy S II and as is zooming, though the Optimus 2X redraws the page as you zoom, while the S II upsamples the rendered page and only redraws it once you stop zooming. Even the Galaxy S Plus felt smoother than the 2X, almost as good as the S II.

Flash performance is incomparable – the Optimus 2X does okay with 360p YouTube videos but gets terribly choppy at 720p. The Galaxy S II on the other hand played 1080p videos no problem. This is probably down to software rather than pure hardware performance, but the S II handles flash much better than the 2X and there’s no way around that.

As for the Galaxy S Plus, it played 720p YouTube videos just fine (the original can too) though 1080p proved too much for the overclocked chipset. It wouldn't have made a difference even if it was running at 1.4GHz instead of just 1.2GHz - the lag was simply too great.

Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X
Playing YouTube video: Galaxy S II • Galaxy S Plus • Optimus 2X

As for Flash games, most ran quite smoothly although there were a few that lagged quite a bit on the Optimus 2X while they ran smoothly on the Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus.

We tried updating the Flash Player to version 10.3 on the Optimus 2X (the V10B firmware comes with v10.1) but that didn’t fix the performance woes.

We’ve prepared a short video comparison of web browsing the two dual-core smartphones: the Galaxy S II and the Optimus 2X.

Mobile gaming performance

While looking for a game stressful enough to test our trio of droids we found out that the majority of games require much weaker hardware (to support the majority of Android phones out there) and we couldn’t really find a game that would push either of our phones to its limits.

Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X
Shrek Karting: Galaxy S II • Galaxy S Plus • Optimus 2X

On the upside that means that there are no games out there for Android that you can’t play. The Galaxy S II loaded games a little faster than the other two, which finished basically simultaneously. That’s probably due to the higher amount of RAM in the S II.

Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X Galaxy S II vs. Galaxy S Plus vs. Optimus 2X
AirAttack HD: Galaxy S II • Galaxy S Plus • Optimus 2X

Other than that, games ran equally well on the three phones. We shot a short video showing Shrek Karting and AirAttack HD.

GPS accuracy test

Satellite navigation is becoming very common use for smartphones, so we put our droid trio to the test. Using an app, we cleared their A-GPS data so they start fresh and we looked at how fast they got a lock and how accurate it was.

All three got their satellite lock in about a minute so there’s no clear winner here (a few seconds of difference don’t really matter).

The LG Optimus 2X was the clear winner of the test – it reported between 6 and 8 satellites in view, used 6 of them and reported accuracy of 5m. Now, reported accuracy is probably off real-world accuracy but the reports were consistent.

Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy S Plus beat out the S II flagship to come in second. It read 7 satellites in the sky and used 5-7 of those (you need a minimum of 4, but the more you use, the more accurate the positioning). Accuracy hovered around the 12-15m mark, though at times it fell as low as 5m.

Finally, the Galaxy S II saw up to 8 satellites and used 7 of them most of the time but its reported accuracy was pretty poor – it stayed around 25m most of the time, dipping to around 6m for short periods of time.

The S II claimed GPS lock even indoors (a couple of meters away from a window), with reported accuracy of about 50m and 6 satellites in use. The other two reported lock at first but lost it, even though they were still reading some satellites.

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