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Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket unveiled: AT&T's take on 4G LTE

0. phoneArena 31 Oct 2011, 09:03 posted on

AT&T has just set the bar high for its 4G LTE smartphones - it has announced the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, an LTE-enabled handset with a spacious 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display…

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:10 1

1. ayephoner (Posts: 850; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:11

2. Anti-Fanboy (Posts: 38; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)

But is it an exynos?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:22 1

5. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

no.. its the hercules with LTE instead of HSPA+ 42mb/s.. which means its a 1.5ghz crapdragon processor

Exynos is not capable of 1.5ghz nor LTE.


posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:24 2

7. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Add in the fact that ATT's LTE is in like 2 markets and barely working and this phone is a total SKIP.

Get the regular SGS2.. its better in every way. you only lose about 0.2 inches of screen estate which isnt much.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:27 3

8. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

I checked out the AT&T and T-Mo/Sprint versions of the S II at Best Buy a few weeks ago. The AT&T version felt just right while the T-Mo/Sprint 4.5" ones were too wide.

And 4.5" at 800x480? Can you say pixelation?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:32 2

10. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

pixelation isnt so much of an issue because of the pixel density of the SA+ screen.. its still pretty to look at. Its the sub par crapdragon processor that pisses me off.

If its not exynos, why the hell would u buy it!?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:38 6

11. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

The colors may be pretty, but the sharpness leaves a lot to be desired. Everyone's been drooling over Super AMOLED Plus because it's an RGB stripe matrix, but that doesn't change the fact that it's low resolution by 2011 standards. On a 4.52" screen that's only 206 ppi. 50% more subpixels don't make up for lack of pixels.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:59 4

13. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

which is why im holding out for that SA-HD screen on the nexus :)

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:02

14. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:41 4

12. GoodFella (Posts: 112; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

I bought my SG SII a little over a week ago, rooted it and loaded CyanogenMod 7 on it. Hands down the fasted phone on the market right now. I absolutely agree remixfa, that the exynos would put any other processor to shame.

My fasted quadrant benchmark is 3981 with no overclocking.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:52

21. Snapdude (Posts: 128; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)

played with this along with the htc a few days ago... the HTC slightly tops this in overall desireabilty IMO becuase of the qHD display, the SA+ is sweet but the resolution holds it back. SGS2 still trumps this model by a mile... samsung could do better

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 13:59

29. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

so better in every way...except being incompatible with the better network tech? In 6 months to a year there'll be large LTE network backing this thing while the Exynos version is still stuck on HSPA+
And then what's the GSII left with? smoother scrolling so its owners can flick up and down a webpage like a really boring crackhead going "omg it's so smooth!?"
I'm just sayin, all these recent dual core devices can already get everything done in about the same speed -As long as the network allows them- and in this case I think I'd want a quicker network than a better optimized CPU that doesn't net me any real benefit.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 16:00 1

39. choupino (Posts: 69; Member since: 28 May 2011)

remixfa: Dude are you SERIOUS?????... I normally agree with most of your comments but you took me back with this one. Are you stating that someone should settle for bogus HSPA+ with BACKHAUL and skip getting into true LTE because they don't get an EXYNOS chip? That doesn't hold firm to me. The fact that the EXYNOS chip is incapable of clocking in at 1.5ghz and incapable of LTE support, makes me feel that it is not up to date with the most optimum data standard that is currently available.

I have grown to respect your wisdom, so please advise.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 16:58

41. bucky (Posts: 2570; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

trust me (and remixfa), you want the exynos chip. the snapdragon processor doesnt hold a candle to it. I dont care what the new sgs2 have. BTW, the exynos chip can overclock to 1.6 comfortably. The snapdragon just needs to be bumped to that degree so it doesnt look incredibly slow in comparison.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 17:04

42. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

the clock frequency hardly matters when comparing SoCs as different as Exynos and Qualcomm's S3 variants. even at 1.5GHz an S3 can't perform as well as even a 1GHz OMAP4 which is truly sad because even though it still can't beat an OMAP4 at that frequency it still eats battery because it's higher. given the choice between data speeds and processing power i choose processing power nearly every time because in this day and age Wi-Fi is offered in more than enough places to even justify sticking with 3G if you have to. i'm not saying data speeds aren't important i'm saying that data speeds are easily remedied while processing power is not especially with an S3.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:46

34. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1163; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

How do you know for sure it's not? I mean they announced not too long ago the 1.5 GHZ dual-core Exynos for South Korea's LTE network. It is a possibility. Not saying it's a high one, just saying it's out there.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:20

45. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

ok, for clarification

the exynos can only go to 1.4ghz (officially) it its current configuration

the next exynos 4212 dual core chip that is launching early next year is on a smaller die size which draws like 25% less power than it already does, but has an increased processing rate (from the smaller size) as well as a bigger GPU. Reportedly, its 50% stronger than the current Exynos GPU which is no slouch. That Exynos is supposed to go from 1.5ghz up to 2.0ghz.

We arent even talking exynos quad cores yet. ;)

If you are worried about the network in a year from now, then you should get a phone in a year from now when both the crapdragon S3 and the exynos 4210 chip will be old hat and bargain phones.
If you are buying a phone right now, then you want the processing power.
1) it will be an EVEN BIGGER increase in power when the SGS2 gets it's upgrade to ICS which is meant for dual cores
2) the exynos gets a huge increase in battery life compared to the snapdragon S3 (at 1.2... its a joke when you compare it at 1.5ghz.. lol)
3) HSPA+ "backhaul" can go up to 21mb/s if ATT does the basic software upgrade on the network to allow it.
Ive seen 2mpbs, 5mb/s, 10mb/s,20mb/s and 30mb/s. TRUST me when I tell you that anything in the double didgets is INSTANT to your phone. At that point you are more limited by PROCESSING POWER than by NETWORK SPEED...
So yea, that S3 enabled LTE phone might get higher network speeds, but the exynos enabled device will PROCESS that data faster. So for web browsing, if one is running at 14mb/s and the other is running LTE at 30mb/s.. they will either feel the same, or the exynos will still "feel" faster because it can chew up the info quicker than the S3 crapdragon.

Do you care more about a "speedtest.net score" or actual daily use?

And dont forget unless you actually LIVE in one of ATT's tiny LTE markets (all 2 or 3 of em), you will just be eating extra battery since it will be searching for LTE signal.. further degrading battery life.

And according to ATT, it cant "roll out" too many LTE markets without the Tmobile merger... so you better be praying for that.

That is a whole lot of "what ifs" and "maybes" to trade for guaranteed performance.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:16 1

3. deadinside (Posts: 26; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Can you say my new PHONE!!!..so glad i waited!!!!

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:17 2

4. McLTE (Posts: 821; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

impressive! Too bad the screen resolution is only 800x480.. would be nice to see this get bumped to 1280.

I'm liking the 249.99 price point also! Hopefully this will get Verizon to rethink their 299.99! :)

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 09:23

6. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3108; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

But does it have a bigger battery?

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 16:43

52. Nathan (Posts: 85; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

Yes, its a 1850mAh.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:20 1

15. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

I say let the early adopters take this beast for a test spin before making your decision on it. AT&T's LTE is just being born...(Think Thunderbolt on VZW; it was a great phone, but had reception issues and terrible battery life).

Hopefully AT&T has learned from VZW, but I still say wait for some real-world battery and performance tests. This is basically a repackaged GSII with LTE, larger screen, and different processor, if you need an Android phone now, get the tested and well-performing GSII.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:21 1

16. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

yes, its the hercules with LTE. blaaah.. its loaded with a crapdragon.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:25 1

17. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

I agree that the Snapdragon hypes its performance with high clock values, but it's by no means a terrible SoC. Let's wait for real tests to decide this one.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:57

22. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

comparitively its the weakest dual core on the market. Its weaker in many tests than an optimized single core hummingbird.

The tests have already been done. just find the comparison tests between the stock SGS2 and the Tmobile Hercules SGS2 to see the difference of the same set up with the only difference being an exynos vs snapdragon. This variant is nothing more than the hercules with LTE instead of 42mb/s hspa+.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 13:15

26. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Do you have a link proving your claims?

Also, please don't tell me that "optimized single core hummingbird" means over clocked, as that should not be part of this comparison.

I'm merely saying that we have no idea how the 1.5 dual Snappy will perform with AT&T's new LTE network...maybe they, too, will be "optimized."

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 13:57 1

28. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

his comparison of the Hummingbird and the S3 has everything to do with the discussion because it gives you a better idea of how bad the S3s are. it's no exaggeration, an optimal Hummingbird core can perform better than an S3.

the fact that the S3 will be used tandem here with LTE means nothing. an S3 is an S3 and S3s are bad. i think they should've used an OMAP with this. LTE has proven itself with OMAP4s and it would make for a more tempting offer sitting next to AT&T's original Galaxy S II.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:30

31. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Confused by your hypocritical statements:

"the fact that the S3 will be used tandem here with LTE means nothing"

"LTE has proven itself with OMAP4s"

Why does using a S3 with LTE mean nothing, yet an OMAP4 with LTE has "proven itself?"

My comment about the S3 and LTE being "optimized" was more of a jab. And once again, you and remixfa fail to display a reputable source showing an "optimal" Hummingbird core as better than S3. What is this "optimal" and "optimized" nonsense? Can you actually define what that means? Whimsical, Nonsensical terms mean absolutely nothing without real-world data.

I'm not really arguing with you, I'm basically saying, "Show me the Carfax."

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 15:00

36. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

1. "the fact that the S3 will be used in tandem here with LTE means nothing." i mean that even though this GSII does have LTE it doesn't change how bad the S3 is. it doesn't affect it's performance at all. it might affect LTE performance but not the other way around.

2. "LTE has proven itself with OMAP4s" the OMAP4 as i'm sure you probably know by now is the second best SoC available and it's been used with LTE a handful of times and they work fine together. it would've been ideal for that combination to have been made here.

i think remixfa actually HAS the proof. you'll have to ask him.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 22:36 1

46. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

exynos vs snapdragon browser benchmark

keep in mind, on these anandtech graphs, you are comparing a STOCK HUMMINGBIRD 1ghz vs a 1.2ghz Snapdragon S3 using Sensation AND Evo3D, yet the hummingbird either out performs or stays right with the dual core S3.

Sunspider test



HTC SENSATION, snapdragon S3 at 1.2ghz


SAMSUNG VIBRANT Humminbird Optimized at 1.2ghz.


Running the same test, at the same frequency, with both of them being optimized by the best ROMS that the world has to offer, the Snapdragon S3 scores around 2400 on the 3D test while the single core Hummingbird scores over 2800 at the same 1.2ghz clock frequency.

On my own in store comparisons between my vibrant which runs an optimized (aka ext4 file system found in gingerbread) hummingbird at 1.0ghz, vs the stock gingerbread Sensation with a dual core snapdragon s3 chip clocked @ 1.2ghz... running the NENAMARK 3D polygon test, my Vibrant runs at about 50+FPS where the Sensation runs around 24 FPS.

And I get a MUCH MUCH better battery life out of it.

The reason we keep stressing "Optimized" on the hummingbird, is that on the SGS1 and all its variants (NexusS not included), Samsung saw fit to use an antiquated RFS filing system. When gingerbread 2.3 rolled out it forced all filesystems to change to EXT4, which is a much faster file system. Faster access to files is all part of faster processing. The Hummingbird went from "above avearge" to "freaking speed demon" with that simple change. And if you happen to have an american SGS1 variant that doesnt have 2.3, a 5 minute simple XDA fix will cure that.

So, long story short, me trading in my SGS1 for a Snapdragon S3 ANYTHING is either a downgrade or a side-grade... but it is most definately NOT an upgrade.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 23:45

48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

before Gingerbread the Galaxy S really wasn't getting that great of performance out of the Hummingbird at all. the benchmarks even prove that. that's why before Gingerbread i thought the OMAP3 was the best thing you can get and that's why this damn Droid Charge needs to hurry up and get Gingerbread or ICS or Jellybean or whatever! >

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 07:01

49. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

correct, that was changing the file system from RFS to EXT4 which is what gingerbread uses.. that unlocked its horsepower. It was a bad design decision on samsung's part that made it on of the only phones available on that ancient RFS system.
Anyone who has ever done a rom on their sgs1 has done a "Voodoo lag fix"... all that is is the file system conversion.

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 11:14

50. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

yeah, i did Voodoo on the Charge myself but i had to exchange it and i couldn't be bothered to do any of it to the new one later. Samsungs take so much longer to hack than Motorolas. xD

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 11:43

51. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

samsungs on VZW do. non vzw samsungs have a 1 click root method.. lol. It took me less than 15 mins to root, convert, and custom rom my coworkers vibrant a month back.. at 10 minutes of that is letting the voodoo lagfix do its job.. lol.

love VZWs coverage.. hate what they do to their phones.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 13:48

27. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

the battery issues and signal strength issues had nothing to do with Verizon and had everything to do with the Manufacturers working with technology as new as LTE. AT&T probably won't have many issues with their devices because the Manufacturers have learned more about the technology from their experiences making them for Verizon.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:35

18. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

One beauty phone. and one weak LTE service only available in Texas which sucks.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:48 1

19. Nathan (Posts: 85; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

Now I am stuck, I was going to get the at&t Samsung Galaxy S2, but the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid are looking pretty tempting. D:

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 10:51 1

20. Nathan (Posts: 85; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

BTW: Everyone is hating on their LTE network, but they are expanding it Oct. 6 and by years end it will reach 70,000,000+ Americans.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 11:05

23. slaggyb (Posts: 214; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

At&t are very jealous set of people why did they not put this up @ first when launching their own galaxy s ii just cos of the fact that t-mobile own version is 4G, capable of reaching theoretical download speeds of 42mbps and has a 4.5inch screen as well runs andriod 2.3.5 the now want to knock them out by getting the exact product from samsung with their so called LTE.....smh! it is quite obvious that at&t must have paid apple not to release an AWS 3G compatible iphone 4s so t-mobile wouldnt compete with them at all....sorry at&t even if the merger or buy out is approved there are other options available for me.......shout out to METRO PCS...

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 11:40

24. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I will be getting this phone!! I have at&t right now an atrix which I hate and the speaker messed up on it. My wife has verizon a droid charge. I live in los angeles which hasn't gotten at&t LTE but I dont care I'm fine with hspa+its not that bad I never had problems with at&t service over here in LA. I noticed a lot of people don't like at&t service because they say they have a crappy network I never really had crappy service I noticed over here in LA service is just about the same as verizon because me and my wife are always against each other with our phones seeing who has better service and so far I always had service in all the places she had service and I never dropped any calls even she's been shocked cuz she tought at&t sucks. Heck its better than t-mobile we had t-mobile before and many of there latest phones and service was crappy inside buildings were at&t and verizon always have signal and cal quality was crappy on t-mobile and on at&t and verizon calls always sound loud and clear. So yea I'm sticking with at&t cuz like I said I have no problems with there service and i will be getting this phone. :P

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 12:46

25. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

If you like AT&T and VZW fairly equally, why don't you and your wife get on the same network on a family plan? You will save a lot more coin. Or is the reason you don't join together because one of your phones is for work?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:05

30. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

She's been thinking of switching but she's gonna wait till this phone comes out. Also another reason she's switching its because at&t is gsm. Her droid charge is an awesome phone but it doesn't even work in many places in mexico and we go to mexico alot . Only the big citys have cdma coverage but the small towns don't there gsm only. Yea her droid charge roams perfect on mexico city but to the small town we go it doesn't work at all while at&t does.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:31 1

32. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)

Fanboysm anybody?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:38 1

33. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

Not sure how my statement was fanboy related at all. Stating to have a family plan on AT&T or VZW is fanboy? Why? Because I didn't mention Sprint or T-Mobile? It just makes sense and cents.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 14:52 2

35. Forsaken77 (Posts: 553; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)

Where does it say it's not a Exynos? I'd rather take AT&T's or Sammies word on it rather than what's said here. Because a few months ago Samsung said they were working on a 1.5 Exynos. I was looking for a good dual core LTE phone from AT&T and this may be it. Even if it isn't a Exynos, a 1.5ghz dual-core will not disappoint at all. So I think you're all over reacting. And benchmarks are not equivalent to real-world performance.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 15:08

37. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

THANK YOU! That's really all I'm saying, Let's wait for real-world performance. Users don't really care if the benchmarks tell that one processor is faster than another, they care about opening apps and websurfing quickly. If those food groups are met, at the end of the day who really cares about benchmarks?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 15:14

38. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

there's a chance but it's a slim one.
i assure you the performance differences between the chipsets are no exaggeration. look at the Jetstream and T-Mobile Galaxy S II reviews. Phone Arena's judgement of real world performance isn't as kind as it is towards OMAP and Exynos powered phones.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 22:40

47. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

because samsung's word said that the current exynos 4210 chip WILL NEVER come in a 1.5ghz flavor. Also, the current Exynos 4210 chips can not be used at anything higher than HSPA+ 21mb/s, and are not LTE capable at this moment.
The exynos 4212 chips are now currently sampling and will not be ready till Q1 and the very very earliest.. which will go from 1.5ghz to 2.0ghz a long with a huge power increase.

This phone is just the samsung hercules, which is an S3 flavored SGS2 on Tmobile, with LTE instead of HSPA+ 42mb/s

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 16:48

40. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

I wont be getting this one. Ill wait till the NEXUS III next year with top of the line specs.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 17:30

43. IEatApples (Posts: 66; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)

I want to know what happens if you buy this phone but your area doesn't have lte yet. Verizon uses 2 separate radios in their phones for 3g and lte so if your not in an lte area you can turn it off to save battery. At&t uses one radio for hspa+ and lte so you can't just turn lte off, so my question is how this may affect battery life. Hopefully if the radio is running on hspa+ it won't use any more battery then it would on a normal hspa+ radio.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 19:33 1

44. alx33 (Posts: 32; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

This phone is a beast!!!!! Knowing it will get android 4.0 would make it better however and we still dont know how LTE would tax the battery. Other than those few quirks this phone is awesome!!!!!!

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