Samsung has introduced a veritable glut of variants of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone this summer, and that’s continued today with the announcement of dual-mode LTE versions of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini.
The updated devices will not be as eye-catching to consumers as the camera-tastic Galaxy S4 Zoom, or the ruggedized Galaxy S4 Active, but they are notable. Samsung says they are the world’s first commercial devices to support both the TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE standards — ZTE, which launched the dual-mode LTE Grand Era in Hong Kong last year, has cause to dispute that.
Dual-mode support essentially means the phones will work with different types of 4G networks, allowing owners to access mobile broadband across different parts of the world. FDD-LTE is seen as the standard bearer for LTE, but there are network deployments planned using the TDD-LTE standard, with Chinese carriers the standout examples. Dual-mode LTE networks also exist, such as in Hong Kong.
Samsung launched an LTE-Advanced version of the Galaxy S4 in Korea last month, and JK Shin, co-CEO and president of the IT and mobile division at Samsung Electronics, says today’s development is further proof of Samsung’s commitment to LTE:
With today’s TDD/FDD LTEseamless handover devices announcement, Samsung again demonstrates the company’s commitment to driving better, more convenient customer experiences. The first commercially available TDD/FDD seamless handover devices will allow customers to fully enjoy the benefits of fast mobile data communications no matter where they are.
The TL;DR is that Samsung wants to cover your LTE needs wherever you are in the world, as well it should. There’s no due date for the launch of the dual-mode phones, and the company will “continue to launch TDD-LTE devices in other markets throughout third quarter.”