A phone which we're assuming is the Samsung Galaxy S8 just hit the FCC's authorization page, and the most interesting thing in the report is a sign of which network bands the Galaxy S8 will run on in North America.
The Galaxy S8 appears to include all the latest LTE bands supported by US and Canadian carriers. Yes, that includes the new Band 66 used by T-Mobile and Freedom Mobile, potentially making this Freedom Mobile's second or third LTE device after the LG V20, depending on when the LG G6 actually goes on sale.
We're assuming this is the Galaxy S8 because it's Samsung model G950U, which is considered to be the Galaxy S8's model number; the Galaxy S7 was the G930. "U" typically means factory unlocked. So, what've we got here?
- AT&T: LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12/17, 29, and 30
- Sprint: LTE bands 25, 26, and 41
- T-Mobile: LTE bands 2, 4, 12, and 66
- Verizon: LTE bands 2, 4, and 13
These are all in the same unlocked phone, which looks like it will work with all major carriers. (This was the case with the unlocked Galaxy S7, too.)
The FCC didn't test Band 7, because it's used by major Canadian operators but not those in the US. But we can assume the phone has Bands 4 and 7 for those big Canadian carriers. The more interesting news here is the confirmed Band 66, Freedom compatibility.
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The FCC also confirms the phone has CDMA and GSM as well as 802.11ac, Bluetooth, NFC, and ANT+. There is another model, the G950W, which doesn't have CDMA. That may be verification of the global model, for when people from other countries want to roam in the US.
Will the Galaxy S8 be able to hit carriers' fastest speeds, including with the "gigabit" networks T-Mobile and Sprint are turning on this year? We can't figure that out from the FCC filing.
The Galaxy S8 is anticipated to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor, with its X16 gigabit modem. The S8 will presumably support 3x carrier aggregation and 256QAM, two legs of the gigabit stool, but it's an open question as to whether it will have the 4×4 MIMO antennas needed to really speed along. It might for T-Mobile, but not for Sprint, as T-Mobile's Galaxy S7 had the appropriate antennas, but when Sprint needed to demonstrate a 4×4 MIMO phone yesterday, it used a Motorola phone.
More will be revealed at the Galaxy S8's March 29 launch, that's for sure.
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