How Samsung Is Duping Its Customers By Selling The I9100G Variant Of The Galaxy S2 In I9100 Boxes In India
By on December 26th, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy S2 was no doubt the hottest Android phone of this year. The 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus screen, the Exynos 4210 SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8MP camera in a sleek 8.49mm package was enough for more than 10 million people to buy it, and make it the fastest selling phone from Samsung ever.

When Samsung had originally announced the Galaxy S2, it had stated that in some regions of the world it would be selling the Galaxy S2 with a different internal configuration or with a S-LCD screen. While Samsung did produce quite a few different variants of the Galaxy S2, they all had the Exynos SoC and the beautiful Super-AMOLED Plus display. These different variants had NFC and/or different cellular radio compared to the European I9100 model.

However, since the last one-month or so, Samsung has started selling a new variant of SGS2 in India and other Asian countries. The new variant model number is I9100G compared to the I9100 model it used to sell earlier.

While many people may buy the I9100G since the only visible difference between these two handsets is a ‘G’.  However, the internal differences between these handsets are quite big.

Below is a chart that shows the main difference between the I9100 and I9100G -:

Model/Basis of Difference I9100 I9100G

SoC/Processor

1.2GHz Exynos SoC

1.2GHz OMAP4430 SoC.

The CPU is however capped at 1008MHz and rarely runs at 1.2GHz, even under heavy load

GPU

ARM Mali-400MP GPU

PowerVR SGX 540 running at 304MHz

Heating Issue

Can heat up quite a lot under heavy usage

No such issue

Performance

No lags, even under heavy load.

One of the best Android phones with the best 3D performance.

No lags under normal usage. Can struggle under heavy load.

Inferior 3D performance

Battery Life

Can last a day of heavy usage with the Android 2.3.5 update.

Slightly better battery life

 

Official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Will get the official Ice Cream Sandwich update from Samsung in Q1, 2012

Sometime in Q2 of 2012

Developer Support/Modding Potential

One of the most popular Android handsets among developers and in XDA forums

Hardly any developer support due to its limited market availability

CyanogenMod 7/9 Support

The CM team officially supports SGS2, and there is a experimental CM9 build out as well

No official support from CM team. Future chances look bleak as well.

Connectivity/Camera

No known differences

No known differences

So, as it is visible from the chart above, the internal difference between I9100 and I9100G is quite big. Since both the variants of SGS2 have different SoC, it also means that any game optimized or meant only for the I9100 will not work on I9100G.

The worst part is that Samsung is simultaneously selling the I9100 and I9100G models in some regions of the world, including India, and the outer packaging of both the phones are exactly the same. There is no way to distinguish between a I9100 and I9100G from their retail package.

Below are some pictures of the I9100G box -:

As you can see from the images above, the box suggests that the phone inside it is an Exynos powered SGS2 a.k.a I9100. However, it is actually the OMAP version of the Galaxy S2 – the I9100G variant. The only way to distinguish between an I9100 and I9100G is to actually take the phone out of the box, start it and then going to Settings-> About Phone and then checking the model number there.

Samsung has quietly phased out the I9100 variant of the SGS2 in India and other regions of the world, with the I9100G variant. While I have no issues with this, Samsung should explictly state on the box that they are selling the I9100G variant and not the I9100 in India.

If you want to buy a I9100 variant of the Galaxy S2, I’d recommend you to buy it online from Flipkart or Letsbuy, since these sites explictly mention the variant of the Galaxy S2 you will be buying. If you want to buy it from a retail store, the only suggestion I can give you is that try and buy it from the ‘old’ (>2 months old) stock which the dealer has. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will get the Exynos version of the Galaxy S2.

Author: Rajesh Pandey Google Profile for Rajesh Pandey
Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at rajesh@techie-buzz.com.

Rajesh Pandey has written and can be contacted at rajesh@techie-buzz.com.

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