Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Korean GS3 to be the first LTE quad-core smartphone; sorry U.S. buyers

U.S. Samsung Galaxy S III buyers are getting shortchanged. While the rest of the world gets a device carrying a 1.4 Ghz Exynos quad-core processor, U.S. GS3s instead carry a 1.5Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor.

The reason for this change is a lack of compatibility between quad-core processors and LTE.  That said, there will soon be a Galaxy S III that supports LTE, while still carrying the Exynos processor. To do so, Samsung said that the Korean LTE Galaxy S III "includes a quad-Core Exynos application processor and an LTE modem chip separately."

That explains why that particular LTE version has increased in thickness by 0.4mm, to 9mm. It wasn't an increase in battery capacity. The battery is the same 2,100mAh version found everywhere else.

That LTE version isn't coming until July, Samsung said. Meanwhile, the 3G (or faux 4G) Galaxy S III started selling yesterday (Monday) in Korea. In addition to the quad-core processor + LTE support, Korean GS3 models also sport a DMB TV antenna, with a new video hub with about 500 titles available.

The Korean version of the GS3 also supports Voice over LTE, which all three major Korean carriers plan to roll out the service towards the end of 2012. Meanwhile, Verizon earlier said that its own Voice over LTE support would not arrive in a national roll-out until early 2013.

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