Today Samsung announced the Galaxy S III which features their own Exynos 4 Quad processor. According to some leaked benchmark scores, it should offer the fastest graphics performance, topping NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4.
However, most US consumers will likely not see this quad-core beast inside their carrier version of the Galaxy S III. Samsung stated in their press release that “specifications may differ on the LTE version” and we are expecting that means they will feature a different processor.
We expect that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will all offer the LTE version of the device, while T-Mobile will go with a HSPA+ version. That means that only T-Mobile is likely to get the quad-core version that will be similar to the international version.
The rest of the Galaxy S III models with LTE will likely feature the dual-core Snapdragon S4, if previous rumors turn out to be true. This chip might not have as fast of a GPU as the Exynos 4 Quad, but it should still be very competitive in normal usage and battery life.
One smaller possibility is that Samsung might surprise US customers and go with their newer Exynos 5 Dual processor, the first chip to use ARM’s Cortex-A15 CPU core and Mali-T604 GPU. This chip was said to go into mass production in Q2, and it should be ready for the summer release of the Galaxy S III in the US.
Based on what we saw with the HTC One X, it really shouldn’t matter for now. Their flagship device had different processors for different regions, but we found that you couldn’t tell a difference in normal usage. However, that could change in the future as more developers take advantage of quad-core processors and upgrade their apps to be multi-threaded.
Either way, the Galaxy S III on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will likely be “dual-core” and not “quad-core.”