Samsung overwatch website SamMobile presented us with a juicy leak which firmly suggests that a "premium" version of Samsung's Galaxy S5 flagship phone is in an advanced development stage. It is arguably the most detailed look at the unannounced, and previously denied device to date.
The leak begins by reinforcing the rumors that the Galaxy S5 shipped with a 1080p display due to production problems with the QHD-equipped version. Originally, the S5 was being prototyped with a 2K display, but this version was abandoned in its third revision, which is pretty early in the phone's development cycle. It took ten revisions until the S5 was given the "okay", and seven of these had the 1080p display. This serves to explain why the phone's last year leaks pointed towards a QHD screen, but as the announcement date neared, a 1080p display was to be found in all rumors.
We know that Samsung's strategy is to develop and release a multitude of smartphones and tablets each year in an effort to cover all available and emerging market niches in sight. Given that, pressure from LG's upcoming G3, and how close the company actually got to a 2K smartphone before it settled for less riskier technology, it is entirely predictable that Samsung will find the time and place to release the Galaxy S5 as it may have originally intended - with a QHD display. The latest leak hints towards that, and lots more.
For starters, the addition of a previously unfamiliar Exynos chip is suggested in some models. This is the Exynos 5430, which has four Cortex-A15 cores running on 2.1GHz and four Cortex-A7 cores running on 1.5GHz, an ARM Mali GPU clocked at 600MHz, and a display controller trained to handle the 2K display's many additional pixels. The Exynos 5430 also has a HEVC (high-efficiency video coding) controller that already supports up to 8K UHD video (8192x4320) playback. It also boasts a dedicated audio encoding, decoding and processing processor that Samsung named "Seiren".
Additionally, the international version of the smartphone will rely on an Intel XMM7620 LTE modem for connectivity. It will support speeds of up to 300Mbit/s downlink and 150Mbit/s uplink. This is a big win for Intel, as it marks the first time its technology is chosen over Qualcomm's in a high-profile smartphone. The Korean version, meanwhile, will operate with a proprietary Samsung LTE modem, codenamed Shannon 300 (SS300).
Now, you might be asking whether all of this goodness will reach markets outside Samsung's homeland. It's more likely that Sammy will offer the Exynos-equipped version exclusively to South Korea's telecoms and perhaps a handful of Asian markets, while the rest of the world will get a Snapdragon 805-based version. Fair enough, considering the capabilities of Qualcomm's silicon.
The leak also contains a clue about a high-end tablet based on the same platform as the "premium" Galaxy S5. It will be offered in Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE variants.
Now, we'll give you the usual advice about taking this information with a healthy dose of NaCl. Although there are pretty solid clues that the upcoming smartphone is indeed a premium Galaxy S5 - such as the fact that the prototype carries the designation "Project KQ", and the Galaxy S5 we all know was referred to as "Project K", it could end up being a wholly different Galaxy smartphone. What we have zero doubt with is that Samsung is preparing to greet the LG G3's announcement by introducing a more powerful device soon after. The LG G3 is confirmed to feature a QHD display and top-shelf components which will make the Galaxy S5 seem so "yesterday" barely a quarter after its release. And so will the so-called “premium” Galaxy S5 phone, by the way, but this doesn't matter as long as it's making Samsung money.