For months before the Galaxy S4 was officially announced, Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa eight-core processor was expected to be at the heart of the new smartphone. While this is going to be true for some regions, it’s not going to be for the UK, which is quite a surprise.
Instead, the Galaxy S4 will have a quad-core processor with a 1.9GHz clock-speed, most likely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, as seen in phones such as the HTC One. The news comes in the form of a short statement from Samsung directly, which says: “In the UK the Galaxy S4 will be available as a 4G device with a 1.9GHz processor.”
Ultimately, this isn’t going to make a massive difference to the phone’s performance, as although the Exynos 5 Octa is called an eight-core processor, it only ever uses four at a time, with the other four kept in standby ready to take over on different tasks. It’s a bit like the companion core on NVIDIA’s Tegra 4, and is another way to conserve energy.
That doesn’t stop it potentially being a serious blow to the Galaxy S4′s desirability, as big numbers help sell phones. So why has Samsung not fitted the eight-core chip to the S4? It’s most likely to do with 4G compatibility, as the US will also get a quad-core Galaxy S4, as the chip supports more 4G bands than the Exynos processor. This means the S4 will be ready to support not only EE’s 4G, but other networks too. Don’t forget, by the end of the summer, Vodafone, O2 and Three are all expected to offer high speed data connections. So, every cloud has a silver lining.