Bill Detwiler cracks open the Sprint Epic 4G Touch (Samsung Galaxy S II). He finds a unique blend of Samsung and third-party components, but no NFC.
In September 2011, Sprint was the first US wireless carrier to begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S II (Model: SPH-D710, dubbed the Epic 4G Touch). This followup to Samsung's popular Galaxy S smartphone has a 1.2Ghz dual-core processors, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It also features an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, a 4.52" Super AMOLED Plus display (800x480 pixels), and a user-replaceable battery. The Galaxy S II can support up to a 32GB microSD card. It measures 5.1" (H) x 2.6" (W) x 0.38" (D) and weighs 4.6 ounces.
The Galaxy S II ships with Google's Android operating system (2.3.4 Gingerbread). In the US, Sprint sells the Galaxy S II for $199.99 (with a two-year contract). I bought our test device (sans contract) from a local Best Buy location for $699.99 (plus tax).
After dissecting the Epic 4G Touch, I discovered several facts. First, the device contains an interesting mix of Samsung and third-party hardware. Second, both the external design and internal hardware layout are dramatically different between the various Galaxy S II versions. And third, no near field communication (NFC) support.
Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy S II (Sprint Epic 4G Touch)
Cracking Open observations
- User-replaceable battery: Unlike the iPhone, the Galaxy S II has a user-replaceable 1,800 mAH Li-ion battery. This is a step above the vanilla, unlocked Galaxy S II's 1,650 mAh Li-ion battery.
- Standard Phillips screws: I was able to remove all the Galaxy S II's external and internal screws with a Phillips #00 screwdriver.
- LCD and front panel are fused: Unfortunately, the Galaxy S II's LCD and front panel are fused together, making replacing either component a costly, time-consuming process.
- Samsung Exynos C210 Processor: Sprint's version of the Galaxy S II has a different processor than the T-Mobile version. The Epic 4G Touch uses the 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos C210 processor, which appears to be a re-branded Exynos 4210. The Exynos 4210 system-on-a-chip (SoC) has a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU and ARM's Mali-400 MP GPU. Because the Exynos processor doesn't work with T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, their version of the Galaxy S II has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Despite the increased clock frequency, the T-Mobile phone may not offer better performance. The Exynos and Snapdragon SoCs have different cache sizes and different GPUs.
- Unique blend of third-party components: Along with its own processor, Samsung also used its own RAM and storage chips inside the Galaxy S II. Non-Samsung components include the Toshiba TC31501 WiMax chip, Broadcom BCM4330 wireless chip, Qualcomm QSC6085 CDMA processor, and Yamaha YMU823 audio codec.
- No near field communication (NFC): Unlike the AT&T and Verizon versions of the Galaxy S II, the Sprint Epic 4G Touch lacks NFC support. This may be a deal killer for buyers who want to use NFC services, such as Google Wallet.
Our Galaxy S II test unit had the following hardware components:
- 3.7V, 1800 mAH Li-ion battery
- 2MP front-facing camera
- 3.5mm headphone jack and vibration motor
- Atmel maXTouch mXT224E mutual capacitance touchscreen controller
- 236A 1125 5130
- Toshiba TC31501AAMBG WiMax chip
- Maxim MAX8997 power-management IC for Samsung's Exynos 4210
- 2128 C3H H6AAF
- Y126 D13A S
- AA 2230 119Y
- 0346 240A
- WIP4255H 026-00 1115
- Avago CFI115 160371
- Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and FM Transceiver
- Maxim 8893C power-management IC
- 8MP rear-facing camera
- KOREA MBG043 1128 SNA E1 (8MP camera chip)
- Samsung K3PE7E700B-XXC1 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
- Samsung KLMAG4FEJA-A003 16GB flash storage chip
- Samsung K521H12ACE
- Qualcomm QSC8085 CDMA processor
- Avago ACFM-7325 Band Class 14 PCS / Band Class 10 Cellular Band Quadplexer
- 6323R 9698AD 1124
- Yamaha YMU823-P 1128NBJB audio codec
- Silicon Image 9244 MHL transmitter for HD video and audio
- CYWB 0320AB 1125 6 6609
- microUSB connector
Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.