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Samsung's LTE-Advanced capable Galaxy S4 is coming to Europe, and we've gone hands on


The Samsung Galaxy S4 is something we're pretty familiar with by now, but the LTE-Advanced (GT-i9506) version isn't. The main difference to the regular Galaxy S4 is under the hood, where the CPU has been uprated from the Snapdragon 600 to the Snapdragon 800 to handle the LTE-A. 

The good news is that this version of the Galaxy S4 is coming to Europe, at the very least to Germany, and we've gone hands on with it at the German T-Mobile booth here in Berlin at IFA 2013. The short version; it's a Galaxy S4, with different internals and some blazing fast LTE here in Germany. Otherwise, it's pretty much the exact same phone we know and love. Check out a quick hands on after the break!


Reader comments

Hands on with the LTE-Advanced Samsung Galaxy S4


extremely unlikely, european LTE bands are completely different than US bands
europe uses 800/1800/2600 with plans for maybe 3500 in the future

US is mostly 700/1700/1900/2100 at this point.

Okay, I'm traveling over there 2 weeks, and I'm looking to upgrade soon, so thanks, this answered my question. Guess I'll just get the Note 3.

I currently have the S2 running JediMindTrick.

Yes, S4 users are completely screwed over, because Samsung release a new S4 in Europe with LTE bands that are incompatible with the US.

The point of upgrading to the Snapdragon 800 was to get LTE-A compatibility for T-mobile in germany, the spec jump was for that reason alone, as the 600 doesn't support LTE-A and their are no LTE-A networks in the US at this point.

My Snapdragon 600 S4 is still just as fast as it was yesterday before I read this news, and I bought the S4 knowing the Snapdragon 800 was in the pipeline, so I don't see how I am screwed over, I knew what I was buying. Not to mention the fact that the 800 had not entered mass production when the original S4 was released.

I'm not going to argue that spec's don't matter, they do. But you place your bets when you buy a smartphone, and if you choose Android it's pretty much guaranteed that within 6 months at the most their will be phones that have higher specs out. Stop obsessing about having the highest specs and the highest antutu benchmark scores, you'll never be happy that way and it's just sad.

No no no, when a new phone comes out, all earlier phones become obsolete. Don't you remember when all of the Galaxy S3s out there completely stopped functioning the second the S4 was released?

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Lol, yeah, that's why I sold mine. The damn phone detected the higher power level of the S4 and self-destructed.

Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

+9000 The force is strong with this one, lol.

Posted from my phone, using your girlfriend's Internet, while you're at work.

I'm a happy GS4 GPE owner and absolutely don't feel screwed over. An upgrade to the 800 chip is barely and upgrade or anything to cry about.

Not sure what you mean. Of course there was an update a year later - but who didn't know that when they got their S3.

Again this is a LTE Advanced phone - LTE Advance will not be in the States anytime soon.

Quit crying. No one is screwing you over. Your phones did not get less powerful because a new, more powerful version was released. This is how technology works. The latest and greatest gets bested within months. The S800 was not available when the S4 was initially released.

Even if you have to have the latest and the greatest, and think [insert tech company here] is to blame, you have decent enough recourse by selling your current device on eBay and buying the new one off-contract. God forbid you have to spend some money (the difference in the 2 transactions) in order to support your addiction.

Completely agreed, I'm tired of crybabies lamenting the fact that a phone with newer specs from the same manufacturer came out 6 month's later. That's pretty much the android release cycle. While flagship phones generally have a yearly release cycle, their is generally a new chipset out every 6 months and especially in this case they needed to upgrade to the new 800 chipset for LTE-A compatibility and your absolutely correct the 800 wasn't available when the S4 was released.

People need to grow up.


Sorry if the comment made you unhappy.

I typed it while I was extremely tired, and didn't know what I actually did.

Many apologies to users of the S4.

Everyone should know by now... When you buy a new smartphone 10 min later their will be a better, faster, etc that comes out. Just love ur smartphone for the reason u originally bought it.

can you confirm if it comes in 32gb version? Also any indication of if it will come to the UK and what date it may be available to consumers?

So, when will we get LTE-A in the States?

With the increasing number of SnapDragon 800 smartphones coming in, surely, carriers should update their networks to take advantage of the support for LTE-A.

The first benefit of LTE-A will be carrier aggregation. Carriers are just starting to prepare to deploy LTE on secondary bands like 1700 MHz for Verizon.

Most benefits of LTE-A come from additional spectrum so we'll have to wait until carrier's deploy to new bands.
Also carriers who deployed earlier like Verizon need significant hardware upgrades so it will take them awhile. Unlike later LTE roll outs such as T-Mobile which only need software updates.

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However, those who buy new phones very 2 years or more would like to buy a phone now that will be able to support the coming US LTE-A networks.

AT&T at least has stated that they plan to _begin_ building their LTE-A network before the end of 2013...

I'm looking forward to some vendor (Samsung?) - releasing phones capable of supporting the coming networks!

Isn't Sprint repurposing their Nextel Frequencies for LTE and coming out with a newer version of the GS4 this fall?