Note: An earlier version of this article stated that this version of the Galaxy Note 4 used Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810. This is not the case, and the article had been amended to reflect the device's actual specifications.

Today Samsung has announced a new version of the Galaxy Note 4 which will be launching in the South Korean market in January 2015. There are currently two major models of the Note 4, with the main point of differentiation being the processor inside. Most markets received a model with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 which is a 2.7GHz quad core Krait 450 part. In certain markets, it ships with Samsung's Exynos 5433 which has four Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A57 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration.

The new Galaxy Note 4 adds a third model to this mix. It comes with the same Exynos 5433, but includes Samsung's SS333 modem. Samsung's main advertising point is the cellular speeds that this new Galaxy Note 4 model is capable of. Exynos Modem 333 allows for 3x20MHz carrier aggregation, which will enable LTE speeds of up to 450Mbps on future LTE networks that support Category 9 UE. It can also reach peak speeds of 300Mbps on current LTE networks that support Category 6 UE.

In all other respects, this is the same Galaxy Note 4 that was launched not long ago. Unfortunately, there's no indication that this new model will reach markets outside of Korea. However, like the Galaxy S5 LTE-A, there's always the possibility of importing it elsewhere.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    Theoretical vs real sustained bandwidth...
  • name99 - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    "Theoretical vs real sustained bandwidth "
    This is not the issue. There are two points here:

    (a) The capacity of a cell is shared between lots of people. We don't improve the encoding so that a single person can now download 200Mb/s rather than 100Mb/s; we do this so that fifty people in the cell can now share 200Mb/s rather than 100Mb/s.

    (b) Carrier aggregation superficially does not change bits/MHz efficiency, so doesn't seem to match my claim in (a). [That is, if I run the cell at two frequencies, each 10MHz wide, each serving 25 users; or I aggregate so each user is using 2x10 MHz and we have 50 users, there isn't any improvement in the average bandwidth available per user.]
    The problem is that the existing FDMA specs (ie as the cell system is used pretty much everywhere except China) require equal frequency bandwidths to be made available for uplink and downlink. This, even though in a data (rather than a voice) world, most capacity is used on the downlink and the uplink is usually idle.
    Carrier aggregation is a (clumsy, but better than nothing) way of dealing with this.
    Rather than providing 20MHz of bandwidth to be shared (which means 20MHz up AND a DIFFERENT 20MHz down), the carrier provides 10 MHz of bandwidth (10 up, 10 down) AND a separate (DOWNLINK ONLY) 10MHz that can be aggregated. Now we have 20 down, 10 up for a total use of 30 rather than 40 MHz, and we have a better match to the usage statistics (10MHz up, 20MHz down).

    THAT is the value of carrier aggregation. Not that it gives a single individual a ridiculously high data rate, but that it provides a larger data rate to be shared amongst many individuals, in a way that starts to better match the uplink vs downlink data rates we see for modern usage patterns.
  • Conficio - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - link

    Interesting thought. Question: What do the carriers do with the left over uplink capacity? Is there any economical use they can derive from it?

    I have not seen any tech that allows the download only frequency to have any better throughput or latency or else. Is there a protocol that does tell a phone to use particular channel only for download? Otherwise any of the phones that receives in a channel, could also start sending, which would allocate the channel anyway for sending.
  • name99 - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - link

    The uplink spectrum is not defined.
    Read what I said. Your phone connects to the "base" spectrum which it uses for uplink and downlink. IF your phone supports aggregation, the cell tower will then send ADDITIONAL downlink data over the aggregated (secondary) frequency.
    I'm not sure what your mental model is here. You seem to think that the cellular system (outside China) uses the SAME frequency for uplink and downlink. WiFi and BT do this, cellular does not --- cellular uses dedicated SEPARATE frequency bands for uplink and downlink.
  • Penti - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    Original Note 4 could write seq at 37MB/s or at more than 300Mbit/s. Other nand can certainly write at full speed. Ram can handle the speed with ease.
  • Klaster2014 - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    I think AnandTech confirm about Snapdragon LTE Cat.6 now. Huawei, EE and QTI just finish testing for cat.9 23 december. But, maybe I 'm wrong???
  • Vegator - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    I don't think it is very likely that this new Note 4 LTE-A model, which seems to be already commercially available according to the Samsung release ( uses a Snapdragon 810. More likely, it uses the Snapdragon 805 with an upgraded separate modem chip, or an Exynos 7 Octa in conjunction with an upgraded modem.

    I find it very unlikely that Samsung would announce immediate commercial shipment of a device with supposedly a Snapdragon 810 before any earlier announcement of the future availability of such a device or any official announcements of a Snapdragon 810-based device.

    The Snapdragon 805 Soc as already used in many Note 4 models does not have an integrated modem. Phones using this SoC use a seperate modem chip, which I believe can be more easily upgraded to higher specifications. Cutting-edge network speeds are usually implemented earlier and more easily in a stand-alone modem chip implementation. At the same time, the Exynos 7 Octa-based Note 4 probably also uses a separate modem chip that can be upgraded.

    According the the Snapdragon 810 processor specifications page from Qualcomm, the SoC does integrate a CAT6 World Mode LTE modem with CAT6 speeds of up to 300 Mbps with support for up to 3x20 MHz carrier aggregation, but with no mention yet of CAT9 or 450 Mbps, however Qualcomm has announced that CAT9 will be supported later in 2015. However, I think it is too early for this SoC to be already used in a commercially shipping device. Qualcomm also lists H.265 (HEVC) among the supported video formats for the SoC, which it is missing from Samsung's specification sheet for the new LTE-A Galaxy Note 4 model, which I believe points to the fact that Samsung is not (yet) using Snapdragon 810.

    Qualcomm, as well as other stand-alone modem chip suppliers for Samsung such as Intel and perhaps Samsung's internal chip division probably all at an advanced stage of supporting LTE CAT9 (and certainly CAT6 with carrier aggregation) in their modem chips, so a stand-alone modem chips implementation seems most likely.

    Finally, although I cannot find confirmation that the new model would initially be confined to Korea, Samsung has a history of releasing rare Exynos-based models of flagship smartphones in Korea (e.g. Galaxy S4), while using Snapdragon for all the rest of the world. This is partly because Korea has a unique network infrastructure that has a very restricted number of different freqency bands for 3G and 4G (carrier aggregation would use several smaller bands within a single band such as 1800 GHz). This makes the chip and RF implementation much more straightforward than it would for a world-mode device that needs to support all the different bands that are supported in most countries as well as variations between countries, and for that reason Samsung has been able to test the ground for prior-generation Exynos chips as well as advanced LTE connectivity in Korean models.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    It's a Snapdragon 810 unit, there's no discussion about this.
  • Vegator - Monday, December 29, 2014 - link

    Maybe, but if so it doesn't seem to represent a massive ramp if it is just a Korean model, maybe its an early revision/production batch. If the benchmarks posted on Geekbench this month for a model called Samsung SM-N916S ( actually present this new model, then the performance would be disappointing for a high-end device. Multi-core scaling performance and Geekbench subtests such as Dijkstra seem to be significantly lower than Exynos 5433, which could correspond with the rumours about heat issues requiring thermal throttling. These are however AArch64 results, compared to AArch32 for Exynos 5433.
  • danielfranklin - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - link

    Eek, those are terrible numbers.
    SD805 can beat them easy. Doesnt seem right. Clocks are low, lets hope they are early silicon and dont mean anything. Still, not a good sign. Its possible the reports of issues with the 810 are correct and they are down clocking it...

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