Samsung wireless users in South Korea have ready access to LTE-Advanced cellular networks, and a Galaxy S4 that can take advantage of it. That upgraded Galaxy S4 is also powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. The Galaxy S4 LTE-A was released in July in South Korea. U.S. wireless consumers may soon be able to get their hands on this smartphone, too. The Samsung GT-I9506 has been spotted going through Federal Communication Commission certification. The I9506 should be that Snapdragon 800-powered, LTE-A enabled Galaxy S4.
The Samsung GT-I9506 has a 20-30% boost in performance, thanks to its upgrade from the Snapdragon 600 chip in the Galaxy S4 currently available in the U.S. The Snapdragon 800 more than doubles GPU performance as well. If you already own a Galaxy S4 in the States, you may be a little jealous of your friends that waited to grab the new version.
The FCC documents show us that this is definitely a Galaxy S4 variant. The current U.S Galaxy S4 has a model number of GT-I9505, and this filing is for the I9506. The documents don't make it completely clear that LTE-Advanced is present in the device, though. The only LTE band that is listed is band 5, which operates on the 850 MHz band. That doesn't mean that the smartphone only supports LTE band 5, though. We are assuming that the FCC only lists band 5 because the rest of the LTE bands in the device aren't usable in the United States. Even LTE band 5 is only used in the States by US Cellular. The band is hardly used anywhere else in the world.
Samsung is expected to announce the new Galaxy S4 variant next month at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany. We've heard rumor of a Galaxy S4 with a designation of GT-I5907, too. Samsung is probably going to announce several new devices at IFA, including a smartwatch that we are very excited about. The Galaxy Note III announcement is happening on September 4th, as well. Samsung Android-powered devices will be front and center in the last half of the year.
What are you most excited about from Samsung this fall? The Note III? The smartwatch? Let us know in the comments.