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Sony Xperia S or Samsung Galaxy S II - that is the question!

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Sony Xperia S or Samsung Galaxy S II - that is the question!
PhoneArena Knows Best is our advice column. You can send us your questions about anything mobile-related at the following email, and we'll do our best to answer the most interesting of them. We're waiting for your inquiries at: phonearenaknowsbest@gmail.com

It's once again PhoneArena Knows Best time, and the question that we're dealing with this time comes from our reader Dejan Gogic, who is in a desperate need of a new smartphone. He seems to be well aware that the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III are not too far away, but waiting is not an option. Because of this, he seems to be torn between these two smartphones - the Sony Xperia S and the Samsung Galaxy S II - and is looking for our help. Here's the full message:

Dejan Gogic: Hello phonearena!

Help!I am in a huge "trouble".I need a good phone fast and i can't wait for SGS3 or Iphone 5.So here are two hopefully good replacements,but what I need to know is which one is better?And if you can recommend any other phone please do so.Just help!

OK, here's what we think: Both of these are spectacular devices that won't disappoint you. The Xperia S has an edge in the specs department (here's a detailed specs comparison between the two). First of all, it has a significantly better screen, which is of higher resolution (720x1280), and displays more accurate colors, whereas the Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED panel might be impressive with its very saturated and contrasting colors, but in reality it's on the colder side.

In case the camera is of vital importance to you, we should note that the Xperia S can take a picture faster, and it also shoots in a higher resolution - 12MP, which allows it to capture some additional detail in the photos.

If we look at their casings, it's easily noticeable that the Galaxy S II is much thinner and lighter, whereas the Xperia S will be taking a bit more space in your pocket. So, you might want to consider this in case the dimensions of the device are important to you.

Software wise, the Galaxy S II is currently better-positioned, as it's already running Android 4, while the Xperia S is yet to be updated.

If you are into modding and installing custom ROMs, then we guess you'll find much more joy with the Galaxy S II, as it is more popular and has been longer on the market. The latter is also the reason why we believe that you'll be able to buy it at a more reasonable price, compared to the Xperia S.

These were the important differences between these two beasts. The final choice is yours, of course, but overall, what's good here is that you won't make a mistake with either of these.

The cool thing about PhoneArena is that we're a whole community here! :) So, let's hear what you guys thing about this clash, maybe you have a different opinion? Now's the perfect time to share it! Which one would you prefer?

PhoneArena Knows Best is our advice column. You can send us your questions about anything mobile-related at the following email, and we'll do our best to answer the most interesting of them. We're waiting for your inquiries at:

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posted on 20 Apr 2012, 09:02

1. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1033; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

You buy a friends old phone for $25 and use it until you can buy a phone you won't regret spending $200 on after a couple months.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 20:22

77. GENARAL.LEVY (banned) (Posts: 93; Member since: 17 Apr 2012)

I love both ov them!

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 10:41 7

15. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

anyone that thinks the s3 is better than the exynos 4210 is easily fooled by fluffed quadrant I/O scores that are meaningless.

the exynos is more powerful in real life, comes with a much stronger GPU for gaming.. and unlike EVERY S3 enabled phone.. runs android buttery smooth.

the experia has an edge in the camera department (screen is debatable depending on your tech preference) .. the s2 has an edge in just about everything else.. and the s2 should be a bit cheaper..with more mod options, case options, and if its the REAL EXYNOS sgs2 and not the crappy American Hercules / skyrocket sgs2 wannabe, it has official ICS.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 09:03 1

2. thelegend6657 (unregistered)

But snapdragon s3 on the XperiaS which according to REMIXFA is rubbish

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 09:11 3

4. E34V8 (Posts: 90; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)

Well, it is. Adreno 220 GPU also. I still do not understand why Sony used last year hardware in their new flagman device.
If you want a Qualcomm chipset - the 28nm S4 is the one and that is what they should have used.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 09:34

6. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

That's nice and peachy and all but the S4 was developed much later than when the Xperia S was designed.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 10:15 1

12. Mario1017 (Posts: 336; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)

not much later. thhe s4 benchmarks first appeard in late january-early february. sont could have made the change

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 10:33

14. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

that's why I would pick up S II. It's better when it comes to hardware (except display...and the camera is not better enough to be a dealbreaker). Sony tends to use old hardware in xperia line (let alone the old xperia or x10).

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 10:48

18. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

I'm wondering...if SE wants to jump so badly in the first league, why does it use old cpu and gpu? Did they splash out buying Ericsson shares?

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 11:02 2

19. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

The S4 SoC wasn't made public till late January while the Xperia made it's debut at CES. Even then, the Xperia was probably designed way back in 2011.

You know I used to be naive thinking to myself how easy it would be to just put a new chip into a phone and expect it work just like it was designed 3 months ago with an different SoC.

But sadly that's not how it works.....

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 11:25

20. r41nier (Posts: 70; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

Xperia S is better in hardware. Adreno 220 is on par with the mali gpu. GS2 will only perform better in benchmarks becauae of low res screen. The Xperia may be late for this year, but it is a lot better compared to last years phones.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 11:36

22. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

hehe...that's funny...adreno 220 is on par with mali 400..hmmm....

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 11:50 5

24. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Fluffed quadrant scores that are meaningless?
You're the one who is fooled.. by HTC's poor implementation of the S3, and Samsung's implementation of it's own Soc(of course that should be an advantage regarding the performance, by default).

Have you ever tried Exynos on anything else than Samsung?
Have you tried Xperia S in real life?
So stop talking BS.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 12:02 3

26. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

LMAO....that remix fool is funny - lives in his tiny little pathetic samsung world a.k.a. his 'real life'. SGS2 was a great phone in 2011 -but comparing it to XS is freaking ridiculous. XS craps on GS2 in pretty much every department.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 12:34 2

27. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

dude I work in the industry , unlike most here I have played with just about every chip configuration. as big of a qualcomm fanboy defender as you are... maybe its you that needs to broaden their horizons a bit.
I've also played extensively or owned every OS and manufacturer under the sun, save BADA. I even have your precious OneS in my hands right now.

the krait is a fine chip for everyday use. but think that its going to hold a candle to any other 2012 release chip.

the S3 on The other hand is a piece of undeperforming and battery draining junk. and yea HTC just made it worse with sense 3.0. but you know what? on the sgs2 .. which came in both crapdragon and exynos flavors .. was eequal in all respects other than chip. know what the reviews showed? unequivocally that the exynos was the superior chip in real world use in EVERY respect... battery, lag free performance, gpu, the whole nine.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 12:46

29. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

btw I also praise Omap chips. does that make me a moto fanboy? or is it just not liking crapdragon chips that drives u bonkers.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 12:59 4

30. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Dude, you play with phones and work in 'the industry'- and I'm a design engineer of chipsets for 'the industry' and buy 5-6 phones every year. I cook ROMs and know pretty well about the benchmarks and associated garbage. So let's leave that aside. You like Exynos - fine and dandy. Real life performance is the ultimate thing. I don't care how S3 performed in Samsung or HTC phones. I have used both GS2 & Xperia S and as I said GS2 feels so 2011 compared to XS. I wont even bother explaining that. Anyone who's used both knows it pretty well. On a side note, Qualcomm knows what they are doing - that's why they are currently the top player in wireless chip industry. While they are selling their s**t to all OEMs, Samsung found an Exynos customer in Meizu - lmao. Btw, I'm not a fanboy - I prefer OMAPs though.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 13:20 3

31. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Well working in the industry doesn't make you immune to childish BS thinking obviously.

And i meant the Xperia S, not the HTC One X.
Learn to read.
And i BET you haven't touched that phone.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:20

33. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

I do quite a bit more than just play with the phones, but i didnt realize this was a peeing competition. lets just leave that behind and get back to civil discourse.

being the biggest player doesnt make you the best. it makes you walmart, which is exactly what qualcomm is. Ive said this many times, qualcomm is less concerned with being the best performance chip and more concerned with being universally acceptable and cheaper than the rest... which is EXACTLY the reason they sell so well.

BTW, the exynos chip is also found in every i4s. Samsung's biggest chip partner is Apple. The A5 chip is a rebranded Exynos with a PowerVR GPU instead of a Mali... which actually makes it the stronger chip of the 2. The only reason it wasnt liscenced out more is because they didnt have the production last year to spread the love. They more than doubled their chip factories and production since then, so expect to see it spread a bit more.

Qualcomm goes for quantity then power. Samsung is going for power first, then quantity. And this time its going to bite Qualcomm square on the ass since their main chip foundry is having problems making S4s. That leaves a big opening for other players like Ti, Samsung, and Nvidia to take up the slack.

And no, unfortunately I have not had access to an experia.. like most people. Its hard to come by. I would like to, just to play with the camera and interface, but I have not had that opportunity. However, sony cant do any magical BS to make the chip work better than everyone else. And they havent done anything to that craptastic GPU on the S3, which is weaker than my old single core SGS1's GPU. That is sad.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:23

34. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

pot, meet kettle.

BTW I didnt mention the X-S or the OneX. I said OneS which is S4 equipped and pretty nice other than that aggravating button configuration.. again.. pot, meet kettle.

Which phone? The XS, OX, OS?

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:39 1

37. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

LMAO - misinformation - as usual. You said you work in the industry - seriously, dude? It's getting embarrassing for you now. Ax is designed by Apple (originally it was developed by a company called 'intrinsity that got acquired by Apple). Anyone claiming to be in 'the industry' should already know this. Anyways, moving on - they are manufactured by Samsung's fab. Samsung's fab is basically a 3rd tier fab - a common 'industry' knowledge. Now why does Apple use Samsung's fab? Because they are cheap, 3rd tier, and Apple can whoop their tiny ass at will -which might not be feasible with TSMC, UMC. It's just a viable business model. Before you start your BS again about A5 being re-branded Exynos, you should learn the difference between design and manufacturing. One simple example - Foxconn 'manufactures' iphones - they don't 'make' it. Similarly, Samsung 'manufactures' A5 - they DON'T make it.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:50 1

38. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

and how the hell do you knowI didn't try sony, boy?
in opposite to you I'm talking about my own experiences with those phones.
And Sony is behind like always. They put old hardware in their flagship in order to conquest the market. History repeats. The same happened to every single xperia model so far. Xperia, xperia x10 and so on and so forth.
I didn't have to try exynos on anything else because there is no need to do such a thing. We are talking about phones and I referred to xperia and S II. That's what I care about.
Have you tried ajkshdgughasd (put any components from sony right here)? No? So sh%^ up. That's your point of view. Sweet, isn't it?
I don't like sammy but people behind samsung logo try to do something new, more powerful and break the limits once again. What sony does? The same mistake. As always.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:57

39. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

samsung is tiny little ass? wow, dude...you've got to catch up some news.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 14:58

40. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

samsung and apple both got their original designs from intrinsic. anyone that works in the industry would know that. Apple bought intrinsic just so they could keep the superior design to themselves.. but Samsung and Apple both had rights to the A5/Exynos through prior contracts and will start to show a chip divide in the coming A15 generation. I'm assuming that since Apple kept PowerVR and Samsung moved to the lesser Mali GPU, that Apple had some sort of claim to that exact chip/gpu configuration. But that is nothing more than a hunch.

The A4 was wafer to wafer a Hummingbird with a slightly older PowerVR GPU. The ONLY real difference between the Exynos and the A5 is the GPU The chip itself is identical to Exynos. And its made by samsung. It is nothing more than a rebrand with a different GPU.

If you want to continue this "who is the bigger insider" pissing contest, you can continue it alone. I have no interest in it. My credentials have been proven time and time again, who are you exactly? If you want to have an actual civil discussion, then lets continue.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:01

42. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Why don't you read the post properly before you try to sound smart? As a 'FAB", their ass is pretty tiny!

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:06

44. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

because it is...sony used old chipset which was a garbage even when was quite new:]

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:16

45. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

no it's not.
You're bending reality
and why you have to refer to the back of human body? some anal fixation?

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:23

49. remixfa (Posts: 14596; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

that is as untrue as it gets. Samsung is one of the world's largest chip makers. It may not be the biggest, but they are far from tiny. They were also one of the few that can keep up with Apple's orders. You dont think that they would have renewed their contract with Samsung if they could have found a viable alternative, do you? If they were so tiny, then there would be dozens just waiting to take Apple's order.. which wasnt the case. Their new supplier is having trouble already just preproducing chips for the i5... much less keeping up with demand. Where do you think they will turn if they can? To samsung.

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:26 1

51. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Dude, for no reason you mentioned at the beginning that you work in the industry. Now you are calling it a pissing contest! Anyways, Didn't I say that Ax was designed by intrinsity? Sure they have contracts - does that make Ax a re-branded Exynos? Or does that make both of 'em re-branded 'initrinsity'?

posted on 20 Apr 2012, 15:31 1

52. dmn666 (Posts: 244; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Awww- poor jack - that IS the reality. Hey don't cry out loud. Samsung is indeed a 3rd tier fab - and it's a common industry knowledge. Why don't you go figure that out yourself? Or do I need to tell you who leads the fab business?

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