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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    This is for those who just want a straight-up performance comparison, where LTE is not a factor.

    Okay so a few days ago I got the OGSGSII, but yesterday I exchanged it for the Skyrocket, and I'm so glad I did. I did several side-by-side comparisons with my OG and the Skyrocket in the store, and here's what I found:

    While I could notice that the SR was just a hair behind the OG when switching home screens (mainly when jumping from one far end to the other), it was still a perfectly acceptable speed and was still fast to me. Switching between screens in the app tray was very fast on both and were exactly the same speed, bar like 1/100th of a second behind on the SR, which was completely negligible. Interestingly, when pressing the Home key whilst in an app, the SR would consistently get me back to the home screen faster than the OG could.

    Next, I tested the Gallery of each phone. One thing I noticed from my OG was how insanely fast it showed all my picture folders when launching the Gallery app. When scrolling through my folders as fast as I could, I did have to wait a few fractions of a second for even the OG to display the thumbnails. When I tested this on the SR, it seemed to have the exact same performance, without even a hair of difference. It showed the folders and thumbnails at the same speed, and when going into the folders, it displayed the contents of the folder instantly (I didn't even notice a fraction of time where it loaded the frames and painted the pictures in; they were just instantly there). The OG performed the same. And by the way, these Gallery tests were done with pictures that were on the internal sdcard partition of each phone, so microsd read/write speed did not impact the comparison, meaning each phone should perform the same.

    I next tested gaming capabilities. I put N64oid and Zelda OOT Master Quest on my Dropbox, and put them on the SR. Both ran the game at an acceptable speed, and each had their advantages over the other. I launched the game at the exact same time on each, and they started out the same, displaying the logo and Press Start graphic at the same time. Initially, the SR was ahead, but after about 12 seconds into the emulation, the OG started to pull ahead and finished the title screen video about 3-4 seconds before the SR. I saw similar results with the opening video, although the SR managed to pick up near the end and finished only one second behind the OG. One thing I noticed is that the video on the SR *looked better* than the video on the OG. There were no graphical blemishes, while on the OG there would be frequent flickering and portions of the screen would have little streaks of black creep through, where there would normally be color (even so, it was perfectly playable). Even though the OG does technically render the video faster than the SR, I found my play experience to be better on the SR because the video simply looked nicer, and the framerate was still great and it still felt like you were playing the game for real. I could just play Zelda; there wasn't a moment that I felt I had to wait for the game to catch up. Although, one weird thing I noticed is that the SR failed to render the footpaths in Kokiri Forest; there was just grass everywhere, while the OG did render the footpaths. No big deal; my play experience didn't degrade because of it. Overall, I found gameplay experience to be acceptable and enjoyable on both, with each having their own advantages over the other.

    Lastly, I tested data speed. This was done at a corporate AT&T store in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah (where I don't expect we'll get LTE until around 2013). I ran several speedtests (using Ookla's app), with both my OG and the SR picking up an HSPA+ signal. One thing that I didn't quite understand is that they never were able to connect to the same server; one connected to a server in SLC, another in Houston, and one in I think Pennsylvania. They each took turns connecting to a server that was farther away than the other. Regardless, the SR had faster download speeds every time, and by a considerable margin. 1+ Mbps on the OG, while 3+ Mbps on the SR; 3+ Mbps on the OG while 6+ Mbps on the SR, etc. My download speeds never reached 7 Mbps on the SR (which anything 2 Mbps or higher is quite fast and rare to me). In the browser comparison, they were usually pretty close, but the SR finished loading pages faster than the OG more often than the other way around. Pings and upload speeds were more or less comparable and closer in results, unlike the download speeds which obviously the SR was superior.

    So, switching between home and app tray screens is comparable, read speed for pictures and other files is comparable, gaming performance is more or less comparable, and network speed goes to the SR. It comes down to what aspects of the phone you value the most, and if the differences are a big enough deal for you. In the end, even though I won't be getting LTE for some time, I chose to go with the SR, for these reasons:

    1- faster HSPA+ download speeds, and future-proofing for LTE whenever I get it. So, faster internet in both short-term and long-term.
    2- confirmed upgrade for ICS (and coming Q1 2012!). If I can get an official upgrade as an alternative to a custom rom, I like having that option. I did have a few issues with custom roms on my Dell Streak (even though I was grateful for having the option there, too).
    3- I wanted to lock in an unlimited LTE data plan for the long-term; this was a pretty heavy factor in my decision. AT&T may not actually refuse to transition grandfathered plans into LTE, but in the event that they do, I'll already have unlimited data locked in for another generation of wireless data.
    4- this is personal preference but... 4.5 inches! Yes it does make that much of a difference. 4.3 and 4.5 is night and day to me. I can type much easier on the portrait keyboard (and did so for entirety of this post), and it's just so much nicer to have that much more screen. The resolution doesn't bother me. IMO, WVGA vs qHD is pointless because the new standard will be 720p, so either way you're behind the curve. Also, I'm not constantly running out of room in the notification bar on my SR like I was on my OG. Coming from the Dell Streak, I was having a hard time coping with 4.3 inches, but 4.5 is perfect.

    This is something I noticed after buying the SR and taking it home, but to me, the SR is actually way more comfortable to hold than the OG. I can't get over how incredibly comfy it is to hold this thing. It's similar to the feeling I had when I first held an Atrix 2. I thought I liked the textured back on the OG, but after experiencing the smooth material on the SR, I can't go back. Plus I like curvy body of the SR more than the boxy OG, it just feels more natural in the hand. The phone itself even kinda looks curved; when it's off it looks like a tall Nexus S. :P Plus the larger body feels more natural to me, having been accustomed to wielding the behemoth Dell Streak with one hand for about a year and a quarter. Interestingly, the SR actually has less bezel on it than the OG, and looks sexier as a result.
    Last edited by Hevroth; 11-14-2011 at 11:25 PM.
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  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    I checked to see if my charger hisses like other people were experiencing, and while there is a very faint hiss (you have to get down on your knees and listen closely to hear it), it's nothing that all the electronics in my apartment weren't already doing. So, I'm not worried about it. I might just be noticing a normality rather than an unexaggerated problem. One weird thing that's just been happening today is that the touchscreen will act really weird and sometimes not react, or do something entirely different than what I was doing. I don't know if I just need to recalibrate the screen, but the issue would go away after a reboot, so I'm chalking it up to a software issue. No big deal, it doesn't happen very often and ICS will be out soon. Plus I can just factory reset it to correct the problem. If all else fails, there are custom roms. And since ICS source comes out in a few days, we'll start getting ICS custom roms too.

    So there's my long-winded take on the two. Hopefully there's some helpful information in there for those of you who are on the fence.
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  3. #3  

    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Thanks Hevroth!

    That is some serious testing! It is funny that others get the exact opposite in their impressions although you seem to have done some side to side comparisons on several parameters.

    Although I have a SR I feel pretty good about how it stacks up to any phone, this is my 4th Android, (5th if you count the OG SGSII which I returned) and all but the captivate have been dual core and really fast!

    I hope you get to use your SR in an LTE market soon because that is when you will go WOW! All the things this phone can do are a plus but downloading apps or streaming netflix or video calls at the speed of your home internet are just mind boggling!

    Thanks again for the legwork! Enjoy your SR!
  4. #4  
    jedah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Great comparison. I just exchanged my S2 for an SR, too. I live in LA, where they don't have LTE yet, and did a side by side speed test between the two, and indeed the SR was about twice as fast each time (granted.. I was getting a ty 0.7M to a 1.2M in the ATT store on the S2, so maybe the difference wasn't that bad)

    I also noticed the quicker home button response. I suspect that is because they removed Vlingo, so the phone is not waiting for that 2nd tap. Also, the screen seems to wake up faster (from locked or pulling the phone away from my face). This was probably the thing that annoyed me the most on my S2.

    If data didn't enter the argument, I still liked the S2 alittle better: the colors popped more (prob cuz of the smaller screen), felt better in my hand (I have small hands), and quicker transitions (btwn home screens and opening apps). But, the SR was still more than capable in the above areas, and I couldn't ignore the fact that every high-end phone from ATT going forward will probably have LTE. The faster speeds on HSPA+ side by side was the straw that broke the camera's back for me.

    As an added bonus, NO restocking fees at Best Buy! With the price match to my local ATT store, it was more or less an exact exchange between the SR and S2.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Oh okay yeah, and boy am I glad they removed Vlingo. Since I couldn't disable the Home button double-tap functionality (without root), it completely prevented me from using Perfect Task Switcher the way I like to. And yeah, the screen wake-up time annoyed me a lot too; on the SR it's much quicker.

    I did a Best Buy price match with AT&T's website and paid only $125 for my SR. If you search for the phone on logicbuy.com, it can link to a 50% off promotion on AT&T's site that lets you get half off their phones. In my region, the SR is $250, so I got it for $125. I could have just changed the zip code on the site and brought in a page that said $75, but Best Buy would've been incredibly suspicious, having to discount $175 off the phone. Once they'd look at that Texas zip code, they would've never gone for it. To me, it was more important that I get the SR at such a low price than risk losing a price match altogether by presenting such a questionable paper. I could have hidden the zip code when printing it, but I feel that having a local zip on there is part of what made it more convincing.
    Last edited by Hevroth; 11-13-2011 at 11:11 PM.
  6. #6  
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    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Quote Originally Posted by Hevroth View Post
    One thing that I didn't quite understand is that they never were able to connect to the same server; one connected to a server in SLC, another in Houston, and one in I think Pennsylvania. They each took turns connecting to a server that was farther away than the other.
    This is more a feature of the modem than the phone.
    For instance, with my previous Samsung Infuse I tried flashing several modems. Four, actually. I tested them back to back to back in several locations in my house. Three of the four consistently connected to the same server. The fourth always connected to a completely different server. And was the worst performing of the four as well.

    And data speeds... well if you are willing to root or modify your phone, then you could have gotten the OGSGII to download at the same or maybe even better download speeds. It's just a matter of flashing different modems or trying different APN settings.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Quote Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post
    And data speeds... well if you are willing to root or modify your phone, then you could have gotten the OGSGII to download at the same or maybe even better download speeds. It's just a matter of flashing different modems or trying different APN settings.
    Here are my data speeds in NYC over HSPA+ on a stock, unrooted Skyrocket, and amazing 36ms latency! Definitely superior radio by all means!

    Last edited by milan03; 11-14-2011 at 02:12 AM.
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  8. #8  
    jedah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    Quote Originally Posted by CZ Eddie View Post
    And data speeds... well if you are willing to root or modify your phone, then you could have gotten the OGSGII to download at the same or maybe even better download speeds. It's just a matter of flashing different modems or trying different APN settings.
    Is this confirmed? Would love to see someone's side by side comparison. So far, all side by side comparisons I've read has indicated that the SR has faster data speeds.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Skyrocket vs GSII in non-LTE area

    My skyrocket has much faster speeds than my s2 did. I was struggling with 3-4 down and barely 1 up. Now, I'm getting 8-9 down and 1-2 up.

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