Report: Samsung and LG to release upgraded flagships in South Korea soon

June 16, 2014
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Sources from South Korea indicate that both Samsung and LG are preparing to launch new flagship handsets in the coming months. The news comes as three local carriers, SK Telecome, LG Uplus, and KT, are on the verge of rolling out the next stage of their high speed LTE-A networks at the end of this month, which can reach theoretical peak download speeds of 225 Mbps.

A hardware update to support new mobile network technologies isn’t unheard of. Samsung launched its Galaxy S4 LTE-A handset with a Snapdragon 800 processor shortly after the release of the standard Galaxy S4. LG had also hinted that it would be launching a new device for the roll-out of this new network at a press conference in May.

We have been hearing, and seeing, bits and pieces about Samsung’s Galaxy F (or Galaxy S5 Prime), which seems like the most likely candidate for this new high-speed LTE-A smartphone. According to industry sources, the new Samsung handset will feature an “ultra-high definition display”, which I assume will be QHD (2560×1440) rather than 4K “UHD”, and a processor that supports the new broadband LTE-A network.

There’s less information about the LG handset’s specifics, although it is expected to be a LG G3 refresh which also supports the increased LTE-A network speeds.

Although hardware specifications are still being kept under wraps, the suspicion is that these handsets will be the first to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor. Whilst we usually talk about processor performance details, the Snapdragon 805 has another interesting feature which is very relevant in this case – built in modem support for LTE category 6 data speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The current Snapdragon 801, found in both the Galaxy S5 and LG G3, supports maximum speeds of 150 Mbps.

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Of course, a Snapdragon 805 powered smartphone would also come with some beefed up performance, thanks to the SoC’s Krait 450 CPU cores and new Adreno 420 GPU, which looks to be packing from serious graphics processing power. But we’ll leave the hardware pondering there, for now.

With LTE-A data speeds seemingly at the heart of this handset refresh, it’s unclear whether LG or Samsung plan to release their new smartphones in regions outside of South Korea, where data speeds are typically much slower. We will be sure to keep an eye on this story, as an official announcement can’t be too far away.

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