The ‘Galaxy S5 LTE-A’ may carry a more clunky name, but it upgrades every major facet of the two month old handset to create the most impressively specified smartphone on the market.
Cutting Edge QHD Display
The headline feature is a 5.1in QHD (2560 x 1440 pixel) display to match that of the LG G3. As the G3 spreads this over a larger 5.5in screen, the S5 LTE-A now has the highest pixel density on the market at 577ppi (pixels per inch).
By comparison the G3 has 534ppi and the iPhone 5S just 326ppi. Whether the human eye will be able to tell the difference is a matter for debate.
Next Generation Performance
The Galaxy S5 LTE-A also steps up to Qualcomm's brand new Snapdragon 805 chipset making it the first handset to do so. This is big news. Compared to the Snapdragon 801 in the original Galaxy S5, it means a notable jump from the 2.45GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor to the next generation 2.7GHz quad-core Krait 450.
The graphics chip is also 50% faster as it moves from the 578MHz Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 801 to the 718MHz Adreno 420 in the 805. Qualcomm claims this combination will deliver graphics on a par with the PlayStation 3.
Memory performance leaps as well. The Snapdragon 805 offers twice the bandwidth (14.9GB/s to 25.6-30GB/s) for RAM and Samsung has thrown in 3GB of it, something we have only seen from the OnePlus One and that runs on the Snapdragon 801 chip.
Even Faster 4G
And there’s more. The ‘LTE-A’ in the new S5′s name stands for ‘LTE Advanced’ and this is a next generation 4G standard which has the potential to hit 225 megabits per second. It is backwards compatible with existing 4G standards, but will require carriers to upgrade their networks to take full advantage.
So when can you get it? Here’s the bad news. At the moment Samsung has only announced availability in its native South Korea. That said, there have been plentiful leaks concerning a QHD ‘Galaxy S5 Prime’ and it wouldn’t surprise me if this will be the name for the S5 LTE-A when it launches in the rest of the world.
As for global availability, I can only hazard a guess… but ahead of Apple's iPhone 6 launch in August/September would seem like perfect timing to me. Furthermore with Samsung starting to ditch Android could we see a Tizen variant?
Finally, spare a thought for existing Galaxy S5 owners. Tech moves quickly, but major upgrades within two months borders on ridiculous.