Snapdragon 800-driven Galaxy S4 Going Global

A little earlier this week, Samsung's Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based Galaxy S4 (model: GT-I9506) earned its certificiation Bluetooth SIG for its Bluetooth 4.0-capable soft-modem. It's one of the many certifications the device has to pass, warranted by "a significant change in design" (being the SoC), which may lead up to a global launch of the handset.

Samsung rushed in Galaxy S4 GT-I9506 to help SK Telecom pilot the world's first commercial-scale LTE-Advanced cellular network in its home market of Korea. Last we checked, the phone was selling in the hundreds of thousands. The GT-I9506 leverages the computational power of the 2.30 GHz Krait quad-core CPU the Snapdragon 800 ships with, to handle the 150 Mbps LTE-A processing loads. Processing cellular data entails more CPU load than Wi-Fi at any given bandwidth, as the CPU is processing several more layers of encoded data.

While a global launch of the GT-I9506 is all but confirmed, what's not confirmed is whether its export variants will include LTE-A support, or revert back to a regular LTE-capable soft-modem that the Exynos 5410-powered GT-I9500 and Snapdragon 600-powered GT-I9505 ship with. It would also be interesting to see if Samsung works out a Galaxy S4 variant running its recently-launched Exynos 5420, which ships with faster graphics, and a marginally faster big.LITTLE contraption.