Samsung Galaxy S Plus review: Enter the Snapdragon

GSMArena team, 28 July 2011.
Pages: 123456789

Introduction

Someone has just finished off a six-pack of energy drinks. The Samsung Galaxy S plus is nearly identical to the original Galaxy S, save for the different chipset, which packs a faster 1.4GHz processor.

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Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus official photos

Samsung's bespoke Hummingbird chipset has been swapped out for Qualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon. The "T" means it's a faster version of the vanilla MSM8255 chipset found in a good deal of Android phones. With a clock speed of 1.4GHz, it could be up to 40% faster. We'll see how they measure up though, as they have slightly different architectures.

Qualcomm's chipset comes with Adreno 205 graphics instead of the custom PowerVR SGX540 in the original Galaxy S. We expect a slight difference in graphics performance too. Also, the new battery can hold up to 10% of extra juice, for a total of 1650 mAh.

Other than that however, you can't tell the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S Plus apart - not even with a caliper and scales. Here's a summary of what the S Plus has to offer, complete with a feeling of deja vu.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G support
  • 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4" 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution, PenTile matrix
  • Super slim at 9.9mm
  • Android OS v2.3.3 with TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization
  • 1.4GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255T chipset
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, microSD slot (up to 32GB cards)
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with face, smile and blink detection
  • 720p HD video recording at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g and n support
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Great audio quality
  • FM radio with RDS
  • 1650 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Document editor and file manager come preinstalled
  • Secondary video-call camera
  • Swype predictive text input
  • Full Flash support for the web browser

Main disadvantages

  • No flash for the camera
  • No dedicated camera key
  • Fingerprint prone plastics
  • Virtually unchanged year-old design
  • Adreno 205 GPU is weaker than PowerVR SGX540 in the original

We were quite pleased with the original Galaxy S, but the bar has been raised beyond reach by the new super flagship, the Galaxy S II. The Galaxy S Plus is a new and improved edition but one that will hardly make a big splash.

It's still a phone that can make a solid impression though. The 4" SuperAMOLED screen with WVGA resolution is a great performer to this day and at 9.9mm of thickness, the S Plus is a proud member of the sub-centimeter club.

We've already seen the Samsung Galaxy S Plus in action. An early premarket sample, running at just 1.2GHz, showed promising results as an alternative to dual-cores this year. If you're curious, you can check out the article here, but we'll be running the benchmarks and other tests anew anyway, so you may just read on as well.

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Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus in our office Galaxy S and Galaxy S Plus side by side

Flip to the next page where we'll look at the Galaxy S plus from all sides. If that doesn't make your heads spin, maybe trying to tell the difference between the new guy and the original Galaxy S will. After that, it's TouchWiz-glazed Gingerbread and a round of benchmarks.

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