Samsung said last week that a Galaxy S4 model with LTE Advanced capabilities would soon to be brought to market, with the company delivering on that promise this morning. Engadget reports that Samsung will be launching the LTE-A model in South Korea on SK Telecom’s new LTE Advanced network, but even the phone itself has received a nice little speed bump.
In addition to the new LTE Advanced standard, the refreshed Galaxy S4 includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor. It’s a quad-core chip clocked at 2.3Ghz, and benchmarks peg it as the fastest mobile processor currently available. We can’t imagine that many Galaxy S4 owners will be too happy about the flagship receiving a refresh so soon after launch, but it was necessary in order to support LTE-A.
It’s also a matter of future proofing. LTE-A supports wider bandwidth channels, ultimately improving speeds as well as coverage in a world that’s rapidly running out of spectrum. When you look at it that way, you can start to see the appeal for carriers. Right now, though, this new Galaxy S4 model is capable of hitting speeds of up to 150Mbit/s, with SK Telecom planning to introduce additional LTE-A devices before the end of the year.
As for the UK, we won’t be seeing LTE-A for a long time. Vodafone, O2, and Three have yet to launch their standard LTE networks – all three are expected to before the end of the year – while EE has only expressed basic interest in the technology in the past. Don’t expect this version of the Galaxy S4 to make it over here just yet then, if at all. At least you can see how much faster LTE-A is in action thanks to a video demo from Samsung. Peep it below.