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Teaser: Samsung Galaxy S4 + 2 = 3?!

Posted by WiWavelength , in Author: Andrew J. Shepherd 21 October 2013 · 21,933 views

Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 FCC OET tri band
Teaser:  Samsung Galaxy S4 + 2 = 3?! by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, October 21, 2013 - 3:55 PM MDT

Clarification: Many readers seem to be confusing the previously authorized and officially announced tri band Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with this tri band Galaxy S4 reboot, which is full size. The two have quite different model numbers -- the Mini is SPH-L520, while as stated below, the tri band Galaxy S4 is SPH-L720T. Sprint has not yet formally acknowledged the latter, but it has passed FCC OET authorization. And S4GRU expects it to be another tri band handset available before the end of the year.

To alleviate the confusion, we are planning an overview article on Sprint Spark tri band handsets, probably to coincide with the November 8 street date next week for the first group of released handsets.

Six months ago, S4GRU published an article breaking down the FCC authorization documents for the Sprint variant Samsung Galaxy S4.

Many were disappointed that the Galaxy S4, like all other Sprint LTE devices for the past year, was limited to single band 25 LTE 1900. It was not a Sprint tri band LTE handset -- even though band 26 LTE 800 and band 41 TD-LTE 2600 seemed to be right on the horizon because of the impending shutdown of the Nextel iDEN network and the likely approval of the SoftBank-Sprint-Clearwire transaction. Indeed, with the arrival of several Sprint tri band mobile hotspots, TD-LTE 2600 started to become available in metros around the country late this past summer.

Today, we bring you another teaser article. The FCC OET database this afternoon uploaded the authorizations for this Samsung model number: SPH-L720T. Now, if you are familiar with the Galaxy S4, you know that its Sprint variant model number is SPH-L720. So, it does not take a genius to put 2 + 2 together. Or in this case, to put S4 + 2 together.

Yes, Samsung has just revealed a Sprint tri band Galaxy S4. It carries very similar specs to those of the original Galaxy S4, but it adds two additional Sprint bands: band 26 LTE 800 and band 41 TD-LTE 2600.

So, between the previous release of the single band Galaxy S4 and the almost inevitable upcoming release of the tri band Galaxy "S5," look for a tri band updated variant for the Sprint Galaxy S4 in the coming months, probably before the end of the year.

Rest assured, this handset will be of popular interest among the faithful -- and possibly despised among those who already used a subsidized upgrade on a single band Galaxy S4 -- so we will run a full FCC OET RF breakdown in the coming days. To head off the obvious questions in the meantime, no SVDO, no SVLTE, as expected.

Before we go, though, view the antenna diagram below to see the Sprint tri band LTE goodness.

As always, stay tuned...

Posted Image
Source: FCC




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themuffinman
Oct 21 2013 03:07 PM

Thank you AJ for the short write up.  I wonder if sprint will simply replace inventory with the new model or sell both models side by side?  Thoughts?

I wonder if they will do the same thing with the Note 3.

I wonder if they will do the same thing with the Note 3.

 

Same here.  Although I doubt it given that they just started selling the Note 3.  At least the original GS4 was sold 6 months ago.

Wow, depending on the RF breakdown I might not get the LG2 and get this instead.

Hoping the Note 3 does get this same treatment.  Otherwise, I will be grabbing an S5.  By the time the Triband S4 is available, might make more sense for avid users to just wait a few more months, assuming an S5 follows the standard release time frames we are getting used too.

 

This is great to see it coming to fruition though, its a sign of good times ahead for Sprint users.

Wow, depending on the RF breakdown I might not get the LG2 and get this instead.

 

We also have to look for the specs too.  If all it is doing is just replacing the original GS4 specs with triband LTE then I would pass on the GS4. No point of getting the Snapdragon 600 chip, 2600 maH battery, and 13 MP cam with Digital Image stabilization.  But then again you would be able to get a removable battery and SD card slot so that is the pros of this.  So it really depends on what you want.

 

Also nothing is official until Sprint puts a release date or confirmation of when they will start selling this revised GS4 version.  The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has been announced on Sprint for at least 1.5 months with no release date in sight.

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SpenceSouth
Oct 21 2013 04:58 PM

I know SVDO and SVLTE is on it's way out, but I can't help but be disappointed each time I see this.  I actually never use data and talk on the phone, but I have noticed from my previous non-SVDO phones that if I was streaming or browsing I would get my text messages delayed.  Or sometimes it would break my stream.  Just an annoyance I was happy to not have with my EVO LTE.

Back to the actual phone though... I am going to seriously considering getting this once AJ gives us the RF breakdown.  Pretty exciting for another tri-band device to hit the market. 

Just may be my new phone.

 "...the almost inevitable upcoming release of the tri band Galaxy "S5"...."

 

+1.

Depending on how it's RF capabilities there's a good chance this is my next phone.

 

Also, AJ I just want to thank you for all work you put in here at S4GRU and even though we may tease each other and disagree on some things, you have my utmost respect.

Depending on how it's RF capabilities there's a good chance this is my next phone.

 

Also, AJ I just want to thank you for all work you put in here at S4GRU and even though we may tease each other and disagree on some things, you have my utmost respect.

 

From looking at the FCC docs using just the Modulated Average (dBm) numbers between the LG G2 and GS4 triband, it looks like the RF capabilities between the two for LTE B25 and B26 are about the same.  However the new GS4 seems to do better in LTE B41 than the LG G2.  Overall looks like the new GS4 triband seems to be a good RF performer.  But AJ will have way more deeper analysis than I can provide.

 

This is from the "RF Exposure Info" FCC document

 

new GS4 (modulated average in dBm)

LTE B25: nominal 22.5 and maximum 23.0

LTE B26: nominal 24.0 and maximum 24.5

LTE B41: nominal 24.0 and maximum 24.5

 

LG G2 (modulated average in dBm)

LTE B25: nominal 23.2 and maximum 23.7

LTE B26: nominal 24.0 and maximum 24.5

LTE B41: nominal 21.2 and maximum 21.7

...questions from a still-learning (and long-suffering, out-of-contract, looking-to-upgrade) ten year Sprint customer--inclusion of the 800 band enables more reliable data and voice connections when indoors? And which bands do current phones offered by Verizon and ATT utilize? Thanks for this wonderful resource.

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anthony.spina97
Oct 22 2013 07:26 AM

Hearing about this kind of makes me think twice about upgrading to a 5s in November, the Tri-Band GS4 seems like it would be a great pick for my first Android...

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WiWavelength
Oct 22 2013 08:01 AM

We also have to look for the specs too.  If all it is doing is just replacing the original GS4 specs with triband LTE then I would pass on the GS4. No point of getting the Snapdragon 600 chip...

 

Doing some further digging through the FCC OET authorization docs, I came across a reference to a 1890 MHz CPU clock frequency.  That seemingly points to the same higher binned 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064T/APQ8064AB) found in the original Galaxy S4.

 

AJ

I do not know if they will do anything really big for launching a TDD-LTE Advanced version of the phone. Sprint did not want to wait until the GS5 to start getting tri-band units into the network.  This is to improve their image with coverage as soon as it is launched, and also because they have guaranteed the unlimited data... and to have more people locked onto the 5X5Mhz of LTE will not be a good situation in the long run.  

I do not think they will advertise the GS4 with the new bands, but rather starting next year they will start touting the speed of their network/unlimited use, and there will already be some people taking the pressure off the main PCS LTE network, keeping the performance better for all customers. 

I do not know if they will do anything really big for launching a TDD-LTE Advanced version of the phone. Sprint did not want to wait until the GS5 to start getting tri-band units into the network.  This is to improve their image with coverage as soon as it is launched, and also because they have guaranteed the unlimited data... and to have more people locked onto the 5X5Mhz of LTE will not be a good situation in the long run.  

I do not think they will advertise the GS4 with the new bands, but rather starting next year they will start touting the speed of their network/unlimited use, and there will already be some people taking the pressure off the main PCS LTE network, keeping the performance better for all customers. 

 

You are correct and on top of that it only benefits Sprint overall if they have more triband LTE devices out in their network so that they can start leveraging their resources and push folks out to the LTE 2600 band in markets that they can currently to alleviate the LTE 1900 band.  This is why having a triband LTE device is crucial for the future because it benefits both you as the consumer and Sprint to provide an overall better experience.

Why are more people not upset that all of these new tri-bands drop SVLTE? It is a feature I use a lot and I think it is more of an asset than Tri-band LTE when 25 LTE isn't even fully implemented. 

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WiWavelength
Oct 23 2013 08:23 AM

Why are more people not upset that all of these new tri-bands drop SVLTE? It is a feature I use a lot and I think it is more of an asset than Tri-band LTE when 25 LTE isn't even fully implemented. 

 

People just do not talk on the phone as much anymore.  I can go a month using no more than five minutes of voice airtime.

 

Regardless, we have been told that it is too expensive/complicated to include band 41 TD-LTE and SVLTE because of the multiple RF paths involved.  We disagree with that simplistic assessment, but so far, it has proven accurate.  If that changes in the long run, we will let you know.

 

In the meantime, if you must have SVLTE, then you have numerous strong options:  HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola X, etc.

 

AJ

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hescominsoon
Oct 24 2013 04:51 AM

i talk quote a bit.  frankly if you aren't using the voice why not carry an LTE tablet around instead of a phone?  Just my .02.

Son of a biscuit eater. Anyone want to trade for a regular S4? :) 

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WiWavelength
Oct 24 2013 08:37 AM

i talk quote a bit.  frankly if you aren't using the voice why not carry an LTE tablet around instead of a phone?  Just my .02.

 

Most people would not prefer to carry around something the size of an LTE tablet, as it would not be pocketable.  Plus, even people who rarely use voice capabilities still need to make/take a phone call every now and then, and they probably use SMS quite often.  A handset fits the bill; a tablet does not.

 

AJ

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Carrilloevo
Oct 24 2013 09:15 AM
An LTE tablet it's not unlimited like a phone ;)
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hescominsoon
Oct 28 2013 06:33 AM

you can use google voice for voice....and pinger for sms..phone's gone..:)  I still use quote a bit of minutes as i prefer to talk..actually talk...to folks...:)

But that still uses data and Tablet data is limited to 5 GB period with charges over that.

I know it's impractical, but it would be interesting to be able to choose, SVDO\SVLTE or Tri-Band. on future devices. Have it be a feature like push to talk where not every phone has it, but there are some new ones to choose from if it's that important to you.

 

For me, living in the DC market, it's a no brainer. How many more minutes a month will I have added LTE coverage versus the number of instances I'd need SVDO or SVLTE?

 

I use both ---- but would use greater LTE coverage exponentially more. In another market the calculus might be different.

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