Remember the processor controversy that surrounded the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the eve of its unveiling? As it turns out, it’s not fully cleared up yet, even though we all thought it was behind us.
After Samsung announced the GS4 was to come in two slightly different variations, one with an Exynos 5 Octa processor inside and one powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, everyone assumed the splitting of the world would be done exactly like last year with the S3. Meaning North America would get the Snapdragon model and everyone else the Exynos.
Only, for some reason, it appears it won’t be that simple this time around. And at least a few European countries could in fact get the Snapdragon 600 model instead of the one with an octa-core CPU.
Sweden is one of these countries, based on the phone’s listing with carrier Tele2. The 5-incher is there available for pre-orders, with pricing starting at SEK 220 ($34) a month on contract and shipping estimated to be underway in six to eight weeks.
Tele2 is only one of four Swedish networks with 4G LTE infrastructure, which could be the simplest explanation for the choosing of the Snapdragon Galaxy S4 model. Then again, we thought the incompatibility issues between LTE and Exynos chips were over and done, so the whole thing is pretty confusing.
Sammy paired the quad-core Exynos 4412 CPU inside the Galaxy Note 2 with an LTE modem, so why not do the same thing with the new 8-core processor? That’s one question we’re yet to find the answer to, but here’s another plausible explanation for the passing of the Octa version in some markets – maybe Samsung fears a supply shortage.
According to an announcement from a few days ago, mass production of the new chip is scheduled for the “second quarter of 2013”. In which case the S4 demand, which everyone predicts to be massive, can’t possibly be satisfied by mid-May, at the earliest.
But how should you handle this news? Is it a good or bad thing that the Snapdragon-based GS4 version could hit a store near you instead of the Exynos model? We can’t be certain for now, but we’ll tell you this – the Snapdragon variant has been really zippy in our first benchmarks, so you could do a lot worse than that.
True, there are no speed tests performed on the Exynos version yet (unless you count those alleged benchmarks of the dual-SIM prototype), so who knows, maybe it can get even better scores than the Snapdragon Galaxy S4. We doubt it, but everything's possible, right?