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Quad-core Exynos-powered Galaxy S3 with LTE coming to Korea on July 9

July 5, 2012

Those of you living in the US who are excited by the prospect of finally being able to get a new Galaxy S3 super-phone from almost all of the nation’s major carriers might have a new reason to pout.

Samsung has just announced the release of a new Galaxy S3 model in Korea and this particular version will be everything the US phone is, but will hold an extra ace up its sleeve. Featuring 4G LTE speeds and 2 GB of RAM, the Korean-only Galaxy S3 will be powered by a quad-core Exynos processor, which, to be honest, most of us thought was impossible until now.

We’ve been hearing about compatibility issues between NVIDIA’s quad-core platform, Tegra 3, and LTE radios for a while. Sammy has released all LTE-enabled S3s until now with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip, so we assumed that this was the case here as well.

However, it now seems that Samsung has found a way to avoid those compatibility problems, announcing the coming of what will be the first ever quad-core phone with LTE on-board. And Koreans will not even have to wait long for this new S3 edition, as it’s supposed to be hitting SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+, the nation’s trio of major carriers. The date? July 9 (that’s right, only four days to go).

I know, your first impulse as an American tech enthusiast. You’ve been waiting to get what most have considered to be the world’s fastest Android smartphone. Now you ask yourselves, “why didn’t Samsung make this quad-core LTE-enabled beast available in the US too?”

However, you should know that, despite the extra couple of cores, that Exynos 4212 chip might simply not be as “competitive” as Qualcomm’s dual-core Krait. It’s true, in theory, quad should beat dual in terms of performance, but we know how S4 managed to be significantly faster than Tegra 3 in several benchmarks and tests, so it’s possible this is the case here.

All things considered, I’m still certain that there are a few tech-savvy people here who would have liked to at least be faced with the choice of going for either a dual-core LTE S3 or a quad-core.  But hey, don’t despair just yet, as there’s no way to know if this “Korean-exclusive” S3 model will not be exported to other regions soon enough.

Worst case scenario for Qualcomm, their dual-core processor will be slightly topped by NVIDIA’s quad-core platform in terms of raw power, but it will still have an advantage in terms of efficient power usage. Seeing as this Korean version of the S3 comes with the same 2,100 mAh battery like its US “sibling”, you should ask yourselves if you would be willing to sacrifice autonomy for the prospect of a small power boost. Would you?