May 03 AT 3:19 PM Taylor Wimberly 59 Comments

T-Mobile could be the only US carrier with quad-core Samsung Galaxy S III


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.”

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • jaxidian

    This is making that $30/mo 100min/unlimited data plan look nicer and nicer!

  • Bruce MF-ing Wayne

    The only problem might be with how strongly TMO wants to push the 42Mbps HSPA+ which was the issue with the SGSII. Does the new Exynos Support the 42Mbps chipsets? I noticed the International version was only rated at 21Mpbs.

    • jaxidian

      Is US-TMo the only carrier using 42Mbps HSPA+? I’m kinda surprised more people aren’t supporting it.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      The global version is HSPA+ 21 Mbps. I’m guessing T-Mobile could request HSPA+ 42 Mbps if they really wanted it. But I still think they would go with the HSPA+ 21 version just to differentiate their version from the others.

      • UMA Fan

        I think it’s more likely T-Mobile would push for 42mbps than it not being there.

        Imagine a non tech savvy customer upgrading from the Galaxy S II to the GSIII and getting SLOWER data speeds on the 21mbps modem. That would cause all sorts of problems.

        • thel0nerang3r

          How would a “non tech savvy consumer” know the difference?

          • yankeesusa

            Most non tech savvy consumers will never notice but once they start having slow uploads and slow websites they’ll say android sucks and switch to the iphone. Instead of doing a little research they just jump ship no questions asked. So I hope that most phones now on tmobile come with 42mbps already and hopefully in about a year lte.

    • Gabe

      Agreed. The Snapdragon processors are the only ones that can play well with the 42HSPA+ radio.. So I’m pretty sure everyone in the US will be NOT be using quadcore exynos.

    • nick.smith

      I work.for Corp t by the end of the year it’s supposed to b at like 98 mbits ps an I am.almost positive that the phone will actually go up.on its bandwidth allocation. So won’t demise if anything it will.enhance. Ao don’t worry it’ll be the best of the best by far!!

      • JSW25

        Really, corporate TMO? Hmmm, than shouldn’t you know that TMO was going to move to 84Mbps (not 98Mbps which makes zero sense)? Oh, and that TMO announced that they are putting that on hold and will instead move to LTE.

        • thel0nerang3r

          This is the internet, you can claim whatever you want without any proof.. as the post above you did. Specially with a guest account.

  • Charlesbrown79

    As long as a version DOES come to T-Mobile. If not, please hurry up with that Note.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Well Samsung release a statement saying Galaxy S III was coming to US in LTE and HSPA+ versions. I doubt AT&T would release a HSPA+ version when they are pushing LTE, so that only leaves T-Mobile.

      • jaxidian

        Or MVNO/Regional carriers.

  • LordHasan

    i have sprint if i dont get quad core to my carrier i wont buy the dual core version. US SUCKS sorry to say

    • sadsaasd

      i can tell you right now Sprint WILL NOT get a Quad-core S3 they will use LTE so i guess you won’t be getting the S3 after all !

      • rauelius

        Better to go with the HTC Evo 4G LTE….since the Galaxy SIII is going to be neutered to hell on Sprint, might as well get a phone with the same guts, but a better screen and likely cheaper to boot.

    • Don Dennard

      Bro, if we get the dual-core, we get 2GB of RAM. And Sprint will not get quad-core as it will likely be an LTE phone since Sprint is phasing out WiMax.

  • Anthony Myles

    Glad to hear. If true tmo will finally get a great phone instead of getting scraps. Nexus One owner, HTC one s


    I like the sound of that…ill get the note and the s3 to further my galaxy collection….ADDICTED…LOL

  • spazby

    that’s a very good point… I am on sprint, we’ll see what final specs are when announced but I will consider switching to t-mobile…

  • Joel

    BLASPHEMY! I’d hate for any version of this phone to be dual core. And I wish they’d stop mentioning snapdragon and galaxy anything in the same sentence …cant we just stick to Exynos please?

    • Brandon V. Fletcher

      tell samsung to get cracking on LTE radios

      • Taylor Wimberly

        Samsung makes their own LTE radios. They are already featured in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 7.7.

  • jamal adam

    This is exciting. It would be a great way to differentiate T-Mobile from the pack.

    • yankeesusa

      If i ever left sprint my first choice would be tmobile just because they got rated the most reliable constant speed for data and here in my town my friend hits between 6-10 mbps on a regular basis, something that you can only do with verizon lte right now. Tmobile has a really good chance of becoming bigger and better. I hope they succeed, means lower prices for all of us with more competition. Sprint better impress me with their network vision or bye bye and hello tmo.

  • Anthony Domanico

    With T-Mo moving to LTE in 2012/2013, I think they’ll offer the LTE variant a little later in the year.

    • BiGMERF

      I agree anthony… tmo may settle with the 21+ variant for the summer then get the LTE variant early next year in a typical refresh the galaxy series move , like the 4 different kinds of sgs2′s right now. It may be hella enticing to get it but truthfully, do i want a bloated tmobile sgs3? hmm i dont know, unless importing a bare boned touchwizzed version is an option. I may just wait for what will likely be a SGS3 spin off (Nexus) device in November. which would of course be pure android

      • Y314K

        I would like to wait for the next Samsung Nexus…. But no MicroSD support from google kills it for me… I prefer to use my date for calling or downloading… Not for accessing files that I can just carry with me on a MicroSD card… Hopefully google will surprise us & bring back the MicroSD card to Nexus device now that they have already launch their storage option… I know, I know… That’s a long shot..

  • Louis A

    My plan was to sell my Gnex if galaxy 3 was really good and if it was coming to big red. With this news, I’m definitely keeping my Gnex and hope Verizon hurry with ICS 4.0.4. Except Samsung pulls out a trick out of their hat and put the Exynos processor on the US version, I will be happy with my GNEX.

  • Jeff

    All of T-Mobile’s high-end smartphone’s support 42 Mb per second HSPA+ There is zero chance that it would use the Exynos 4 quad.

  • Skis03

    I hate when they do this kind of stuff. The phone should be the same across the board other than the network.

  • noes

    You’re getting as bad as bgr pushing the 1080p screen rumor. A15 is NOT happening for this phone. Please drop it. And tmobile will use the s4 for the same reason they used the s3 in the s2. 42mb hspa.

  • oforcryi

    Quad or dual, don’t think speed really matters there aren’t really many apps that use 4 cores yet anyway. As for Samsung’s self imposed June release date for the U.S., call them very optimistic. The U.S. date will slip badly depending on how badly each carrier wants to cannibalize this device with their own bloatware and crud.

    • Matt M.

      I was just talking to my friend who is an AT&T rep(and android fanatic) at our local store and when asked about the S III, he said it was already in carrier testing and due for release soon. He said that he couldn’t say much more than that.

      I hope he’s right!

  • kp

    I think the US carriers may be worried about a fast quad core phone showing how bad their networks really are.

  • Matt M.

    I’m not absolutely certain on that. AT&T has three different variants of the S II. The original with dual-core Exynos, Skyrocket with dual core S3(i think it’s the S3 version), and the Skyrocket HD.

    Who’s to say that something similar won’t happen?

    We all know Verizon has said that they will only accept 4G LTE smartphones going forward but we haven’t heard the same thing from Sprint, AT&T, or T-Mobile.

  • Mix

    Why would they split their phone line like that, obviously consumers are already talking about this horrible move.

    I guess this means Canada will get a single core version, lol.

  • salem
  • REVS

    get real this phone was just released today it wont be in the u.s or MONTHSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  • Dean Webb

    Deal Breaker…

  • biglou508

    oh yes please come to tmobile in quad core form im more than happy with hspa+ here where i live in central mass tmobiles speed on 3g is around 1.50 and there ”4g” is over 5 thats all i need i will glady go and buy one at around 250 bucks and give sprint my 350$ etf and a kiss my ass as im leaving

  • Vance

    I’m glad that the SGIII announcement hasn’t left me feeling uncertain about my decision to buy the One S last week. it’s not to say is not a great device, but I love my One S and the SGIII causes no buyer’s remorse for me!

    • sgb101

      Same here with the x, the wife will be going one s, she is a galaxy fan, but this is is far to big for her and imho the S is a much nicer looking device.

      I actually think it may be better looking than the X.

  • Nard

    I don’t think the Exynos supports AWS band which is the band Tmobile uses for 3G/4G. The international version of the SGS II had the dual core Exynos chip and from what I remember it did not support AWS band.

  • FrustratedMagenta

    Most articles I read say its Dec till we see the SG3 in the need to compare it to iphone5. my android experience (prepaid after 10 yrs of contracts) has been a nightmare. Problem phone & the most incompetent service Ive ever experienced with ANY company. An Lte iphone will tempt me as 90% of people I know & meet have and love them

    • are you serious

      they just announced the S3 would be in the United States by JUNE. IT WAS PART OF THE PRESS RELEASE.

  • Steve

    Well this was disappointing! After all that talk about a ceramic backing and Super Amoled Plus Samsung has went backwards with their screen technology and is offering Pentile crap and a cheap plastic case. This should never have been called an S3 – it is more like and S2 Plus….and not even that when it comes with the backwards step in screen tech. I was looking to upgrade soon….not going to happen now though. Hopefully Samsung will do poorly in sales and realize that they have to offer something special – not just another cheap plastic shell. THIS is supposed to compete with Liquid metal?! Yeah right!

    Also – what ever happened to the rumours of another tablet from Samsung – where the hell is that 11.6″ Exynos 5 tablet with dual 3D cameras that was shown at CES behind the scenes! WTF Samsung…..smarten up – you are just pissing people off who want to buy anything but Apple but aren’t being given the options that the available tech should provide. Today’s announcement disgusted me!

    • UMA Fan

      It really sucks for at&t customers. The difference between the GSII skyrocket HD and the S3 is just a bump in the GPU… which might not even be the case if it goes snapdragon

  • Nathan D.

    This year it might be a reverse of last years galaxy S2 where only T-Mobile gets the original one.

  • Leo

    Actually the tmobile version can have the quad core exynos 4412 because it is capable of running tmobiles 42 mbps network.

    • yankeesusa

      If tmobile gets the s3 with 42mbps capabilities and sprint bombs their current network upgrade I will be getting the special $50 tmobile plan for 2 lines. I don’t care if i get throttled after 2 gigs. I think right now a throttled tmobile data is faster than sprint 3g data which is sad. Tmobile looks better and better every day.
      I also like how they are focusing on keeping monthly plans really low if your willing to pay more for the phone which you can pay in installments anyway. its a win win for everyone.

  • redraider133

    I figured with lte we would get the s4. I am just looking to see how it performs and what verizon’s version looks like. Hopefully doesn’t have all the connectivity issues that plague the nexus.

  • Steve

    The only way Samsung can redeem itself for North American consumers is the release the Galaxy S3+ before the end of the year. Except this time utilize the available LTE Exynos 5 dual core A15 option for the CPU (along with accompanying increase in GPU power), use real ceramic/metal case backings and then increase the camera aperture size and up the megapixels to 12.0.

    I think that would be a winner…..and they could almost do this right now anyways because they only have the quad core non-LTE ready to ship. They might as well not even launch the currently planned dual core Snapdragon LTE S3 version when they could just as easily delay their launch another 6-8 weeks (since we already have to wait some time) and offer something truly attractive as I’ve just described.

    • Steve

      Oh yeah – just so you can’t screw it up Samsung….this also means an updated S3+ LTE (Exynos 5) that moves beyond the failed pentile experiment. SUPER AMOLED HD PLUS! I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Also, while I’m at it……Stereoscopic 3D HD output to 3D equipped large screen TV’s. Imagine the media and gaming possibilities a device like this would have?

  • Uncle Rico

    WHAT!!!!.. so dissapointing.. I don’t need another dual core.. that truly sucks!

  • yankeesusa

    As long as battery life is better or the same as the razr maxx i don’t care if its dual core or quad core. I don’t do much gaming on my phone so it wouldn’t matter to me. Right now battery life is the most important thing. Lets just say that battery life is so important that if another company doesn’t start making phones like the razr maxx I may go to the darkside for better battery life.

  • Dennis Petrospour

    I really really hope we get the Euro one on T Mobile!!!

  • Sprintuser

    Not sure why everyone is moaning and groaning that Sprint/Verizon/AT&T are not getting the Quad core cpu cuz they use LTE???

    Seems to me, Samsung can’t design a cpu that plays nice with others.