Samsung Galaxy S3 might come with dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors in the US

by: Ankit BanerjeeApril 25, 2012

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor is its incompatibility with LTE radios. This issue was at the forefront with the release of the HTC One X, with the international version featuring the Tegra 3 processor, but the US version using a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor. Of course, some benchmark tests suggest that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it still means that the specs maniacs in the US are a while away from getting their hands on a quad-core device.

While HTC missed out on introducing the first quad-core phone in the US, it now seems that Samsung is heading in the same direction, according to The Korea Times. An unidentified Samsung executive mentioned that Samsung plans to release its next flagship device with different specifications for different markets. The source continues to state that the Galaxy S3 will feature Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos processors for European and Korean markets, but will use Qualcomm chips for the US.

This is very possible considering the problems quad-core processors face with LTE compatibility. Nvidia has an LTE supported chip in the works for release only in 2013, and while we have no information on Samsung’s Exynos lineup, this might also be true for Samsung’s quad-core processor. Of course, Samsung does make its own dual-core processors as well, so no definite call on this issue can be made just yet.

Further fueling the speculation is the statement by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, again to Korea Times, in which he said that Qualcomm is facing a shortage of 28-nanometer capacity (Snapdragon S4) and is finding it difficult to meet increasing demands. This won’t cause problems for Samsung, as the Korean company is a top-tier Qualcomm customer, but might adversely affect smaller OEMs, such as LG and Pantech.

As with all other Samsung Galaxy S3 rumors, there is no way to confirm or deny this new information. While likely, we will only know more with the official announcement of the device on May 3.

What are your thoughts? Will the use of a Qualcomm dual-core processor as opposed to Samsung’s quad-core Exynos affect the popularity of the device? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • AndroidBrian

    What will stop US customers from getting HTC one NOW? GS3 has to go above and beyond in some regard, if its has identical specs I think you will see HTC sells sore even higher than they are now.

    • Sv-nilse

      I angree , i have had htc one x one weak now and this phone will be one of the best sellers in 2012.

      • I may just buy the Htc One X if the Galaxy S3 does not come with a processor as good as the Exynos 4

    • NotAndroidBrian

      2GB of RAM, 12MP camera… I’d wait a little bit longer for that. I’d rather not wait and pay an extra ~$50 though.

      • AndroidBrian

        2gb ram? I said if the sg3 has SIMILAR specs as the htc one it won’t fair well for sells in the US, am I wrong? If the exynos doesn’t have lte that means the gs3 in the states will have the same processor as th me HTC one. Why wait for gs3 when you can get a equally good phone now?

        Cell phone cameras dont need more than 8mp. HTC one has one of the best (if not the best) camera for any phones.

        • NotAndroidBrian

          What’s wrong with 2GB RAM? I don’t want my phone bogging down with multiple apps and internet windows open. Yes, if they’re the same I’d just get the HTC EVO 4G LTE, even though I’d be somewhat disappointed. I just gave examples of what would make it worth waiting for, for me.

          It also makes no sense to say cell phones only need X or Y if Z is better and available. How is double the RAM a bad thing? How is 4 million more pixels for your photos a bad thing? I’d wait another month or 2 for that if I had to.

          • AndroidBrian

            2gb of ram is awesome but its not going to happen. When people mentioned 2gb ram for this phone it was also rumored screen would have 1080p screen. Now all reports suggest it will have 1gb ram.

          • NotAndroidBrian

            1080p was retarded though. It may have been nice, but 720p would supposedly already be around the max your eye could see at that size.

            2GB actually makes some sense and would put it above all other phones, since they’ve only had 1GB for 2 years already. It’s time someone makes the jump to 2GB.

          • AndroidBrian

            I totally agree I was really rooting for gs3 to have some specs that are groundbreaking (something that’s not in any other phone) for smartphones. 12mp camera is nice but 8mp is all u really need, I’d prefer more software in regards to there games than hardware. I was hoping for a quad core w/ LTE, or 2gb ram or a x800 rez like the galaxy Note (just anything that makes the phone stand out) but looks like we will get none of the above. But who knows Samsung might surprise us all. We will just have to wait till may 3rd to know for sure.

            With all that being said gs3 will still be the best phone on the market when its released.

  • Nsomniactor

    Samsung should release a quad core phone complete with all the goodies, just to give the hype all the realism, then, release an lte phone built how its needed to run properly. The Galaxy note set a bar in device diversity. Seems simple to me, I’d consider buying both.

  • BearPoop

    4 cores is a market gimmick. the bigger the number the better? S4 would be awesome. I would buy it.

    • Striderevil

      If its S4 would absolutely rock only with an adreno 300+ Gpu. I heard them saying 225 Gpu which means no one in the US with a brain would bother changing from the already existing HD models of samsung II and Samsung Korea is going to get a kick in their pants especially when the rumored iphone 5 debuts in September. Not that we would care but the chance that Samsung had to win the market will be gone once again due to them trying to sell crap to us. Who do they think we are iphone brainless lackeys lol

    • BearPee

      Agreed. Most that I’ve seen says the dual core S4 is more capable and more efficient than the quad cores with older architecture. Give me the better one, I don’t give a damn about number of cores if it’s going to be slower and consume more battery.

  • Jusrertiner

    They already showed the 1.4ghz quad core processor they are going to use with 20% less battery consumption.

  • gbgamer

    I would rather have Exynos. They may use A9, but they are also way more open. Which means much easier CM/ AOKP support.

  • GMPY

    After missing out on the quad-core HTC flagship, and months of virtually unthrottled enthusiastic rumors–gleefully encouraged by Samsung and their “Teaser” Web portrayals of their new product, I think that it would be a major letdown for a dual-core phone to be brandished in the US while the rest of the world enjoys quad-core goodness.

    Did the US Telcos lock us into an unrealistic standard that would take years for the world to be able to create compatible chipsets for flagship leading processors? Or did the overseas producers decide that we would be content to spend years being locked into second-tier products? Or does the world see us as a market that is no longer important, aggressive, or significant enough to develop and market devices that use anything but 6-18 month old technology? Has the US really fallen out of being among the world’s consumers of cutting-edge technology?

    • Jbinyard

      there is a possibility that you could be right maybe our technology is dated. we might need to upgrade our wireless infrastructure. the old soul of capitalism greed shows its empty head. So if it’s not paid for by the U.S. citizens you know cheap or free it will not get done. Sense all of samsucks software was clocked and tested using quad core I see no reason to purchase this phone..

  • nojas

    I think it should say ‘incompatible with American LTE standards’ instead of just LTE as it will work on all other LTE networks besides the US. Kind of the same problem as with the IPAD 4g which is only 4g in the US nowhere else

  • Ohjjg_gdhgfh

    no body realy needs LTE connection my samsung galaxy s 2 runs at 42 megabit per seconds why do i need LTE so i can oay the phone company more for my internat

    • Agree… After LTE is really covering a significant part of the country I don’t see why should I be concerned about it. I mean, I will love to have faster speed than 3G but we are not quite there yet.

  • masterwoo

    I think it will have Quad core processor.. Check more about Galaxy S3 @

  • Deteriaz

    I don’t really think LTE is necessary. You’d only hit your data cap faster because you are able to DL everything so fast, you’d have more time to browse / stream more content in a shorter period vs being at a limited speed as regular 3G. Plus, LTE is faster than some people’s internet at home, which is just ironic in another matter. Personally, I think having quad core is more beneficial in the long run when newer apps get released. And as far as LTE goes, at the rate ISPs keep capping monthly usage / jacking up prices on mobile data, I really see no point in offering faster mobile data.

    • Simon Cunningham

      Hear, hear. 99% of the time I couldn’t care less about super-fast wireless over my cell. 3G is plenty sufficient, and I browse a lot on my phone (more than on my computer). I would much prefer to have a Quad-core processor, as long as it didn’t have a significant, adverse affect on battery life. Besides, we don’t even have LTE in our neck of the woods, so it would be utterly useless for me anyway.

      • hawkeye2188

        I agree with you, most of the time I’m on wireless anyway. I’d much rather have a quad-core than 4G LTE.

      • sam_d

        What makes you think that Quad core Exynos is powerful than Qualcomm Dual core Snapdragon MSM8960 – oh I see you counted the cores!
        But you need to know that you are not informed about technology. Qualcomm uses a latest and greatest ARM A15 architecture while Samsung Exynos and Nvidia Tegra3 are still 4 year old A9 architecture processors. I work in these things, I can tell you Qualcomm snapdragon used in HTC One and Galaxy S3 US model, is the greatest processors among all. don’t count cores, go in details (like architecture, cache, instruction pipe depth, vector processing, process technology etc etc) and you will agree with me.
        MSM8960 is made on next generation architecture, next generation process technology(28 nm), supports and integrated LTE modem with support for 3G on the same chip for greater coverage area, it also does Voice-over-LTE and due to Qualcomm’s amazing modem design it consumes far less power than all other processors. Simplu putting Qualcomm dual core is superior than Nvidia and Samsung Quad cores in every sense, and this is the reason that US carriers have told these companies to launch there phones with Qualcomm processor.
        US is not getting inferior versions, it is getting better versions of HTC one and GS3.

        • US carriers did not tell Samsung or HTC to put a Snapdragon on their phones.Where did you get that from? The problem is plain and simple: North American LTE networks are not compatible with Quad Core Tegra-based CPUs.

          Your argument about S4 being better than the Exynos is wrong, no one can say anything yet. The Exynos Quad is based on a Tegra 3 A9, but remember that the International SGS2 had an Exynos and the performance was far, far better than the Tegra, Snapdragon S3, and pretty much every single dual core processor out there. Even at lower speeds (1.2 GHz), the SGS2 was far superior than the higher clocked Snapdragon.

          Also, it is true that the S4 is better that the Tegra 3, on applications that rely on processor. The GPU of the Tegra 3 is better than that of the S4. Not everything is CPU, the GPU also plays an important role on phone performance and you just left that out.

          The Exynos family has been superior to the Snapdragon family on the recent years, so I would expect the processor performance of the Exynos 4 and the Snapdragon S4 to be quite similar (even with the newer architecture of the S4). Now, on GPU performance I suspect the Exynos would wipe the S4 over, and over, and over again. After the release date we can talk again about this.

  • amadeus

    A dual core would be a huge fail for the us market… I would drop samsung for the better ui on the htc one, the only reason I got the s2 was for cutting edge tech, if its a copy if the htc one, I’ll opt for the better ui…

  • Drope010

    I think that they should release an LTE, and a 3G version of the phone, its got to be either internet speed or phone speed.

  • Jammaniaclord

    The htc one x may be a similar phone you can get now, but no replacable battery, and no sd card slot for expandable memory, unlike the galaxy s3. The one x is a nice phone though.

  • DeepEFX

    I’ll wait to get it, if it comes with the same processor as my S II. Not enough improvements for my taste otherwise. I was looking forward to the quad core.

  • LBEagle37

    Look the reality is those that know understand the Dual Core SnapDragon 4 is a over clocked processor it will burn out if over tasked. Where by the Quad 4 was made for over tasking. So yes,once a couple hundred people get pissed cause the phone burns up the carriers and Samsung will have their integrity questioned. Thus trouble for them./