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Samsung Galaxy SIV to Come with Qualcomm CPUs, No Exynos versions

There have been many conflicting rumors regarding Samsung’s next flagship smartphone Galaxy SIV.  Late last week, there were ‘confirmed’ rumors on the specs of the Galaxy SIV which indicated that the phone would come with a 4.99 inch Full HD 1080 Super AMOLED display with a display density of 441 dpi, an 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 octa-core processor with a Mali -T658 GPU, 2 GB RAM, a 13 megapixels rear camera and a choice of 16, 32 or 32 GB onboard memory.  Besides these, the phone is also rumored to feature the standard high end smartphone features and specs including NFC, GPS with A-GPS, 4G LTE, a 2,600 mAh battery and Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.  All these rumors certainly glorified the SIV and make it sound like a must-have smartphone, but are all these specs real?

Samsung Galaxy SIV

Of all the rumored specs and features, the processor is one of the greatest determinant of how well the smartphone is received in the market.  When Samsung launched the SIII sometime last year, the US version had a different processor compared to the international version.  It came with a dual core Snapdragon S4 processor while the international version had an Exynos 4412 Quad core processor.  Although the number of cores in a processor are not an express determinant of the power or capabilities of a smartphone, most buyers in the US felt that they got a raw deal from Samsung – and they were right to feel so.  If the most recent rumor is anything to go by, Samsung will be rectifying this and will be releasing a Galaxy SIV smartphone with a standard processor for phones for all markets.

Samsung announced during the 2013 CES that they had developed a mobile chip with 8 cores dubbed octa corer.  Most of us expected that the company would equip this processor on the next smartphone the SIII but it appears that all the SIVs will come with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor.  We cannot know now why Samsung would choose to buy a processor from China when they have a pretty impressive one they can produce themselves – the Exynos – especially for a flagship smartphone.  Samsung has had a history of equipping smartphones and tablets in the Galaxy family with their own Exynos processor with a few exceptions when they use processors from other companies such as US’s Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.

Samsung was forced to shelve plans to equip devices with Exynos 5 Octa chips in S4 apparently because of excessive heat generation by the processors – and the processors apparently are battery drainers.  According to a Korean site Digital Times, Samsung does not have any plans to release devices with Exynos processors in 2013.  This means that despite all the hype of an 8 core processor developed by the company, the best we will see from them will be quad-core chips equipped devices.  In simple terms, the powerful Octa-core processors will not make it to the market as soon as we expected.

Exynos 5 vs Snapdragon

Unlike with the SIII where Samsung released two versions of the phone – one for the US and Japan with a dual-core processor (because these are LTE markets) and another with an Exynos Quad-core processor for the international market, the company is rumored to develop just one version of the SIV for all markets for simpler logistics and marketing. This makes a lot of sense since there are more LTE markets than last year and it is only reasonable if all the SIVs come with LTE capability rather than none, especially now as the competition for high performance Android smartphones markets heats up.

Most consumers conversant with the developments in the smartphone industry will agree that the processor plays a crucial role in selecting a smartphone.  If Samsung cannot equip their next smartphones with the octa-core chip – or Exynos for that matter – then they should get the new processors from Qualcomm 800 rather than 600.  This is very unlikely though since the SIV has been in development since before Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 800.

For now, we have to treat this as a rumor, and hope that something more powerful will be announced by Samsung come March 14th.