Ever since the Galaxy S5 was nothing more than some rumors with some leaked info here and there, we’ve been hearing about a device from Samsung with a 2560 x 1440 QHD display. That device didn’t turn out to be the Galaxy S5, as what we saw Samsung announce back in February during Mobile World Congress was a 1080p device that some were more than a little disappointed with. Still, we reviewed the Galaxy S5 and as many others did we found a solid Android smartphone. For those in South Korea however, that solid smartphone has been given a shot in the arm, pumped with adrenaline and packed with more impressive specs. Samsung has finally announce the Galaxy S5 LTE-A in South Korea and it’s quite an upgrade over the original.
Keeping the Galaxy S5’s fit and finish, this device is the same physical size however, the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display here is of the 2560 x 1440 variety, the same as the G2’s, which actually gives slightly more pixels per inch at 577 ppi vs the G3’s 538 ppi – what a difference 0.1 of an inch makes. Under the hood here is a Snapdragon 805 and 3GB of RAM, the 805 is similar to the 801 but features a newer, more powerful Adreno 420 GPU which is better suited to handle better than Full HD content and displays than the 801’s GPU. We’re still looking at a device with a 2,800 mAh battery and the LTE-A version still comes in at 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm and weighs just 145g.
The reason for such an upgrade? LTE-Advanced is pretty big in South Korea and more advanced versions of Qualcomm’s processors, usually released in the second half of the year, often support faster LTE network speeds. We saw this last year with the LTE-A version of the Galaxy S4, eschewing the Snapdragon 600 for the more powerful Snapdragon 800. We have to question whether or not the big bump in display quality is a good move here for Samsung or not, after all a lot of consumer will already be locked into a contract with the Galaxy S5 and now something much better has come along. We’re pretty sure that there’s going to be a fair amount of disgruntled customers in South Korea over the next few days.
On the software side of things, we’re looking at Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz on top of things. The cameras here are the same with a 16-megapixel shooter round the back and a 2-megapixel shooter at the front. The Galaxy S5 LTE-A is to be available in South Korea shortly and will be available in Charcoal Black, Shimmering White, Electric Blue, Copper Gold, Sweet Pink, Glam Red colors. Chances of this guy heading to the US? Pretty slim if you were to ask me, after all there’s no real call for devices capable of LTE speeds up to 225mbps just yet and we can’t imagine carriers like AT&T and Verizon would want to confuse their customers with what’s essentially the same device at first glance, but upon closer inspection a massive upgrade.