The Galaxy S4 hit the market to big fanfare just a while ago, but Samsung isn’t wasting any time – they have already begun working on the Galaxy S5, which will be a whole new beast, with an all new design and several special features under the hood. In the meantime, the company is churning out mini and maxi versions (i.e. the mini and Mega devices) of the S4 like there’s no tomorrow.
There really isn’t much to be said about the design that hasn’t already been said in our Galaxy S4 review. The LTE-A version looks and feels exactly like its slightly older counterpart, which is rather impressive given what’s hiding under the hood. Everything from the front to back remains pretty much the same, down to the sensor and camera location, and the phone will come in white, blue, red (too bad there isn’t a special mash up red/white/blue version for the US – in fact, there is no US version at all).
Hardware features and performance
The hardware part of the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced is also pretty much the same as the original S4. The new phone has the same 5.0 inch Super AMOLED display with a 1920×1080 pixel resolution, 13 Megapixel camera on the back and 2.0 Megapixel shooter on the front and 2600 mAh battery.
The difference between the original S4 and the S4 LTE-A, as I mentioned above, is in the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and 4G LTE-A support. The Snapdragon 800 is a beast when it comes to performance, and right now it’s the fastest ARM chip available for tablets and smartphones. On the S4 LTE-A, the four processor cores run at 2.3 GHz, and are aided by the new Adreno 330 GPU and 2048 MB of RAM. Needless to say, the phone breaks any benchmark records, including that of the more unique Octa-core Exynos from Samsung.
|Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-Advanced
|5.0 inches, 1920×1080 pixels, Super AMOLED, 441 PPI pixel density
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.3 GHz, quad core
|32 GB onboard storage space, micro SD card slot (up to 64 GB cards supported)
|Back – 13 Megapixels with LED flash and support for 1080p video recording; Front – 2 Megapixels camera with support for 1080p video recording
|Wifi AC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, micro USB and HDMI out, NFC, Miracast, HSPA+ 42/5.76 Mbps, 4G LTE-Advanced 150/75 Mbps download/upload, Wifi Direct, DLNA
|Light, proximity, magnetometer, barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer sensors
|Li-Ion, 2600 mAh, up to 12 hours of continuous use
|Dimensions and weight
|136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130 grams
|Operating System and Software
|Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, Touch Wiz UI
The updated Galaxy S4 LTE-A has the same software as the original – everything from Android 4.2.2 to the latest version of Touch Wiz and all of its unique widgets, apps and features are present and accounted for. There’s not much that can be said about the software part, except maybe that the ability to overclock the Snapdragon 800 is really attractive to modders and developers, most of whom are wondering how far it can be pushed.
Price and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A has launched in South Korea last week and it has already sold over 150,000 units – pretty interesting considering it’s only available on SK Telecom. SK Telecom and LG Uplus are the only networks to have LTE-A up and running, by the way. The S4 LTE-A costs $800 without a contract, which is more than the original S4, but it could be worth it if you value your Internet speed.