T-Mobile’s Mystery Gigabit Phone Bears A Snapdragon 835

January 12, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

T-Mobile has all but confirmed that an unnamed, unreleased smartphone featured in an LTE testing video where speeds peaked very close to a gigabit is indeed packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, among other details. The revelation was made by Qualcomm, who also revealed that the phone in question was using Qualcomm’s new X16 Gigabit LTE modem. At CES, meanwhile, Nokia revealed that they were one of the partners involved in the record-breaking LTE testing. Additionally, T-Mobile revealed to Diana Goovaerts of WirelessWeek that Ericsson had also been involved. In short, this means that a phone that will be on the market soon was running LTE speeds of close to a gigabit on test equipment provided by companies that T-Mobile already works with on a commercial basis;;this all adds up to mean that T-Mobile customers could be seeing gigabit speeds much sooner than anybody initially thought.

The test video was part of a feature posted in T-Mobile’s online pressroom by chief technology officer, Neville Ray, back in December. It showed a real-time speed test running on a device hidden away inside of a black box. Ray took to Twitter to confirm the news, in answer to a Tweet from Qualcomm regarding the identity of the chipset powering the test. The fact that Nokia and Ericsson were a part of the testing says that the technology behind it likely won’t take too long to roll out once it’s been completed; a good portion of T-Mobile’s network already runs on network equipment from those two firms. Additionally, according to Nokia, the testing rig utilized Nokia’s new 4.5G Pro technology, and the three-channel carrier aggregation used spectrum in bands 2 and 66.

While no other details about what phone was in that black box are on offer at the ment, speculation points to either the LG G5, or the Samsung Galaxy S8. Both models are coming in the very near future, with the LG model due to launch in March, and Samsung’s next due out in April. More importantly, they both use Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors. HTC’s upcoming Snapdragon 835-powered Ocean Note is seemingly in much earlier stages of development, and HTC has a rocky relationship at best with carriers, making it a bit of a stretch to think that HTC’s handset was in the box.