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Quad HD variant of Galaxy S5 could launch in early summer (Updated)

According to reports from Korea and our own source, Samsung could sell the standard, Full HD Galaxy S5 starting in March, with a premium, Quad HD version, to be released in early summer.
February 20, 2014

There’s some confusion around the upcoming Galaxy S5’s display resolution. Many rumors in the past months suggested that Samsung would release two versions of the device at the same time, a premium model with a Quad HD (2560×1440) display and a standard model with a Full HD screen.

Yesterday, Korea’s ETNews reported that, due to technical problems, Samsung has postponed the release of the Quad HD model, and will only launch the standard model at first. The story is backed by a few other sources – the New York Times reported the Galaxy S5 would only have a Full HD display; several benchmark sightings suggest the same thing; and user agent profile files of presumed AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile versions all show Full HD displays.

A person with knowledge of the matter has confirmed to Android Authority that a T-Mobile Galaxy S5 version will become available in early to mid-June. Our source could not confirm the resolution of the device, but, in light of other reports, we believe that the device coming in June is the Quad HD-equipped premium version of the Galaxy S5.

Moreover, an English-language version of ETNews’ original report, that was published today, states Samsung would roll out QHD smartphones “in large quantities” in the middle of the year.

Because the high-resolution QHD display requires a powerful SoC, the premium version’s spec sheet will differ from the standard version that will go on sale next month. With the Snapdragon 805 expected in summer, we can speculate that the premium Galaxy S5 will be among the first phones to feature it. It’s also possible that Samsung will reserve its own Exynos 5430 processor for the premium version, at least in some markets.

To recap, we find the following scenario likely: Samsung will sell the standard, Full HD Galaxy S5 (probably running a Snapdragon 800 variant) starting in March. The premium, Quad HD version (Snapdragon 805/Exynos 5430), will be released in early summer.

We don’t know if Samsung will announce both versions at MWC on Monday, or just the standard version. We’ll be there to report on it, so stay tuned for more.

Update: citing a Samsung executive, GSM Arena says the Galaxy S5 (we presume the standard version) will be in stores in three weeks.