Mar 06 AT 4:37 PM Taylor Wimberly 52 Comments

New Samsung devices will offer best in class GPU performance, faster than iPad HD?


Several months ago it looked like Samsung would unveil their 2012 flagship products at Mobile World Congress, but then the Korean company decided to hold off. Now Samsung has said they will announce the successor to the Galaxy S II (and maybe the rumored Galaxy Tab 11.6) sometime in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the products.

For what it’s worth, I agree with Samsung’s new strategy. By avoiding the Mobile World Congress circus, consumers are still talking about the rumored Galaxy S III more than any other device that recently got announced. Using our buyer’s guides as evidence, Samsung still offers the best Android phone on every major US carrier and there is no need to rush out new devices.

When the time finally comes for the rumored Galaxy S III and Galaxy Tab 11.6, Samsung is poised to offer best in class processing and graphics performance. With their new Exynos 5250 system-on-a-chip, Samsung should be the first to utilize ARM’s new Cortex-A15 CPU core and Mali-T604 GPU. The chip goes into mass production next quarter and the CPU+GPU combination is expected to trounce anything else available at the time.

Samsung’s biggest competitor is Apple, so they are eagerly waiting on the big iPad 3 (or iPad HD?) announcement tomorrow to see how they will respond. Last year Samsung re-designed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the span of one month to be thinner than the iPad 2, and I assume they will be trying to top Apple again.

Apple’s latest tablet is expected to feature a 9.7 inch retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, but Samsung also has their own next-gen display with 2560 × 1600 resolution (WXQGA).

There are all kinds of rumors about Apple’s next processor, possibly called the A6 or A5x. Speculation suggest it will either be a quad-core Cortex-A9 part, or maybe even a dual-core Cortex-A15 part. Apple has always been a leader in graphics performance using technology from Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR series, and that is expected to continue.

However, Samsung seems pretty confident in sticking with ARM-designed GPUs. In an interview with ARM blogger Katie Morgan, Samsung boasted about their upcoming Exynos processors. Massimiliano Villani, Senior Manager Mobile Marketing for Samsung, said “We benchmarked several GPUs and we found that the overall architecture of the Mali family provided by ARM is nowadays the best in class for GPU performance.”

Villani didn’t specify which ARM GPU would be used in the Exynos 5250, but we already reported from CES that Samsung is going with the Mali-T604. This GPU delivers up to 5x performance improvement over previous Mali graphics processors and is scalable up to 4 cores.

Hopefully, we will learn more details about Samsung’s upcoming products soon. Samsung just revealed some kind of special announcement for March 9th, but we think that is too soon to talk about any new flagship products.

I know I’ll be following Apple’s big event tomorrow to see what gets announced. Do you think it’s important for Samsung to try and beat Apple in GPU performance, or should they focus their efforts in other areas?

Via: ARM Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • jaxidian

    Is it important that Samsung focuses on beating Apple’s GPU performance? Not really, especially if it would detract from something else.

    Would it be nice? HELL YES!!!

    • Jeff Pan

      I would say Yes – Samsung has to build a tablet that beats ipad on every count! – Graphics, DIsplay, Javascript performance,ecosystem and ofcourse price!

      Show Apple what you are capable of Samsung!

      • WlfHart

        And add an S-Pen to drive the point home! Galaxy Note 8.9 anyone?

        • kazahani

          Point… S-Pen… Teehee!

    • Jorge Branco

      If they use the superior performance as an excuse to price it out of the park like the rest of their tablet circus family so far it’ll all be for nothing. People still aren’t ready to pay more for an android tab than an iPad. I own the transformer prime but I can kinda understand where they’re coming from.

  • YellowDucati

    More power captain!

  • Yildirim Sertbas

    will introduce samsung galaxy s3..

  • spazby

    announcement on march 9th?

    • kazahani

      Pro tip: The green words are linky!

  • oddball

    I think Samsung still has a couple of tricks hidden up their sleeve and maybe they will surprise us. Announcing the next big thing from Samsung 2 days after apple makes a big announcement means that it really needs to be a big deal otherwise it doesn’t make sense. I can hope for the sg3 announcement but I expect it to be the 11″ tablet or something similar

    • jaxidian

      You know, if they announce something big 2 days after the iPad 3 announcement, that’s actually GREAT! That effectively means Apple is no longer just competing against “Android” but it has individual manufacturers who are stepping up to the plate to to take on Apple individually instead of as just part of the Android gang.

      If Samsung ends up not announcing anything big but is just “another tablet” (don’t we have enough of them already from Samsung???), then they are saying that they’re not yet willing to step up to the plate and take on Apple individually.

  • redraider133

    And these types of one upping other manufacturers benefits us as consumers with better phones. Can’t wait to see what they unveil

  • Stuart

    When it comes to phones, yeah Samsung can do the pissing contest and beat Apple but when it comes to tablets doing a pissing contest with Apple isn’t winning you anything… People are buying into it for the ecosystem of which android tablets have next to none. Andy Rubin needs to take his head out his ass and notice that devs are not making 1 app that works differently on phones and tablets. If they make something tablet specific it is a new app so they can charge again for it.

    Go the apple route and make a place for tablet specific apps please.

    • anamika

      Its not the apps. Its the price of the tablets.

      • Sturoid

        Yeah I meant to add that too, to have these specs to play the pissing contest means that the tablets will cos a whole lot more too. Apple can afford high quality components because they know they will sell huge amounts so they get discounts from their partners, this on top of the fact that once someone has an iDevice everything they buy from the appstore apple gets a 30% cut.

        Android OEMs don’t get these revenue streams nor do they sell in huge millions which would bring down production costs.

  • EZ

    i hope the new tablet will be announced. If it will, I will be the first in line to buy it.

    • Jon Garrett

      no, you’ll be second. Ive already set aside $200 and will be adding another $150 this payday. lol

  • hector manzanarez

    It doesn’t matter the carriers here in the US will just replace that beast processor with a snapdragon again :/

  • aburgthing

    Samsung has Apple in it’s crosshairs with every thing they do. Their whole marketing strategy is to one up Apple with every product they release and on paper they have achieved this goal. I think it is a bold and necessary move to make their products relevant and to change the focus from Apple’s “next big thing” to Samsung’s “but can you do this?”. In the cluttered field of Android products, they stand alone in creating buzz for the next in a series of phones (the Galaxy S series) whereas all other competitors are all over the board. HTC took notice and are now trying this proven strategy; but they shot too early and may suffer the consequences. So in answer to the question at hand, without a doubt, whatever Apple releases Samsung will not only equal but surpass because they have to. I think the new contemporary mortal enemies are these two referenced companies and it’s fun to watch. Besides it benefits us consumers in the greater picture which is great for us techno geeks!

  • Nathan D.

    I really don’t care what they do since everything they do is either very good or beast.

  • aranea

    Better CPU and GPU are both great but they need to couple it with useful devices and good marketing strategy. I think Samsung has been doing the latter well recently with all the new TV commercials.

  • jimtravis

    Enjoy Samsung devices. Current favorite phone is the international Note, and favorite tablet is the international version of the 7.7 which works fine on HSPA AT&T.

    As much as I enjoy their devices, I wish Samsung would dedicate some of that extra SoC power to making the UI smoother, and more fluid. I have found my other devices such as the Transformer, and even the Xoom at times, are smoother / more fluid than my newer Samsung tablets. Even the original Tab 7 was smoother overall than my newer Samsung tablets.

  • honourbound68

    Sammy’s build quality and mats match the iPad2 spec for spec except in gpu performance. And so yes, I’d love for exynos to blow the newest A-whatever chip out of the water.

  • jamal adam

    I can’t wait till this starts showing up on tablets and smartphones.

  • odie

    Maybe not faster than Ipad HD. If I recall Ipad 2 still was the fastest through the end of last year. Then again Tegra 3 is already faster than Iphone 4S, so anything is possible.

  • nportelli

    I think the display is more important than how many pixels it can push. Get a retina display on a tablet before Apple.

  • fulaman

    This has me really excited again, it well be great to see a phone with the Exynos 5250.

    I will probably get a thumbs down for this, but I wish smaller carriers like Metro PCS would carry the galaxy S 3. With the exact same internals and externals. I don’t care if they price the phone at $600.

  • Dags -

    I know you like writing these sorts of articles Taylor but this one is just speculation on speculation. Comparing some Samsung devices – for which you don’t know which CPU/GPU they’ll be using – with the iPad 3 – for which you don’t know which CPU/GPU it’ll be using – is getting a bit out there ;)

    Five days ago, Anthony was guessing that the SIII would have a 4412, now you’re saying that it’s the 5250. Based on what? Only the fact that Samsung haven’t announced it yet? If they don’t use the 4412 in the SIII, where will they use it? Maybe there’ll be a SIII with a 4412, a tablet with a 5250, and then a SIII+ (or Galaxy Nexus II) with a 5250/5450?

    Regardless, if the iPad 3 has a PowerVR G6200 or G6400, that will blow away the Mali-T604. I’d never buy an iPad but Apple do know that they have a big advantage in gaming and I’m sure they’ll want to protect that.

    • swazedahustla

      I think he ran out of actual newsworthy stuff, so he just put this crap out there.

    • goid

      And an mali t 658 would blow anything out!,it is more powerfull than gpu used in xbox 360 or ps3!

  • Eric Rossman

    @BetterWithRoot, My SGS2 (i777 on AT&T) can acquire GPS lock with better than 6 satellites from a cold start in under 7 seconds. My friend has an older Samsung Infuse that takes literally minutes to find one maybe two satellites from a cold start of GPS. I believe Samsung has already tackled the GPS problem as of the Galaxy S2 class of phones. Hopefully they don’t loose site in the next generation.

    • redraider133

      Plus the galaxy nexus gps locks on almost instantly. I think samsung has figured this out since the sgs line.

  • Max.Steel

    At this rate, we might see the Exynos 5450 quad core A15 by early 2013 (next gen tablets?). Not to mention the S4 Krait duo cores and quad cores from Qualcomm which I think are going to own anything less than an A15 core.

  • Hall Lo

    OMG things are getting exciting! Can’t wait to see what Sammy will bring us ;)

  • Avlon

    Samsungs biggest issues are consumer confidence with updates and build materials. For instance if Sammy released as quickly and consistently as Asus with updates they would really corner the market. Also their internals are top notch but surrounded by cheap plastic. Fix those 2 things and they’d easily conquer the android market.

    • pnwuser

      I agree. The whole Android market has to come to grips with the update problem. Too many devices are out there still running old versions of Android instead of, like Apple, running the latest OS. Until that issue is resolved Android will always play second fiddle to iOS(x).

  • Adryan maldonado

    While i do have my complaints about samsung i can say that there processors and even gpus are top notch. I think they need to match apple but i wish they would work on there camera sensors. Now what i meant by this is that yes i completely agree that samsung phones have top notch camera sensors despite a few minor and i mean minor flaws. But im hoping they can keep up with the likes of htc cause that camera spec list just made me drool. The samsung galaxy S 3with a comparable or similar camera and a edgeless design with the exynos processor( please keep that processor when it comes to the states i dont like qualcomms that much and they are slower and less efficient) and ICS and i i will buy 3 or 4.

    • dillybar

      I guess you haven’t heard of the S4 scos from qualcomm.

  • SteveM

    Mali? Best in class?? I love the Galaxy line (Sent from a GNex), but the PowerVRSGX543MP2 was the GPU of 2011 (it trounced the Mali 400), and I expect 2012 will see the Rogue GPU in Apple products trouncing all comers. Max needs to get his head out of the clouds and get real.

  • Bhushan

    whatever maybe inside the samsung’s new phone they should really change the looks n style….all samsung android phones look identical….

    • chuksy

      can the same not be said of all Apple products?

    • B2L

      I would be more likely to say that about HTC compared to Samsung. Just take a look at the Evo 4G and then look at the Sensation, Amaze, Thunderbolt, and pretty much every other phone they’ve released in the last year. With Samsung at least there was a major change in design from the Galaxy S to the Galaxy S II.

  • B2L

    There’s really no need to worry about Samsung devices having GPS problems these days. The Galaxy Note has one of the most accurate GPS out of any other devices. Samsung has been awesome, especially with newer devices.

    Here’s a video of GPS accuracy on the Note.

  • h0ruza

    Until last years dual core boost android was a bit clunky so yes give us more power especially as ICS has added slickness to the platform.

    Thing is the GSIII needs to have more to beat the iPhone 5 and to better what they did last year.

    My fingers are crossed

  • smeghead68

    Can;t wait to see what Samsung has to offer! With the Apply announcement coming today, Samsung needs to bring something big or it will just get lost in the Apply hype.

  • SydneyBlue120d

    Ok, put the Exynos 5250 + FullHD 1920×1080 display into the Google Phone 2012 and prove it :P

  • stash

    As long as Samsung and the other Android manufacturers are focusing on beating the iPad with better specs rather than coming up with true innovations, they will lose. Yes, for the techno-geeks that post in these blogs, maxed-out specs matter. But, for most users, performance isn’t really the limiting factor for any of the high-end tablets. It is the overall user experience that the Android manufacturers need to focus on to win major market share.

  • geekster

    samsung always suprises hope gs3 has fullhd and exyones 5250 or 5450 though 5450 looks merely impossible but who knows my best wishes with sammy .

    sent from my gs2

    • pnwuser

      It would be much better if Sammy did a decent job of upgrading their devices to ICS in a timely manner that trying to outapple apple.

  • Angela Hudors

    I whant Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6 with small bezell and runing windows 8 as OS. And i hope it will come very soon. If it will come untill the end of 2012 i will buy 90 – 100 of this tablet for my students, for working in class at our University… Hurry up Samsung we whant this Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6 with small bezell as soon as posible. Please hurry up.