A QHD version of the Galaxy S5 is still on the cards, and may launch later this year.
Samsung was heavily rumoured to launch a QHD version of the Galaxy S5 along with the standard full-HD variant. But during the official unveil of the Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress, Samsung just unveiled the full-HD variant of the device. While there were still lingering rumors after the launch of the Galaxy S5 that a QHD device would be announced sometime later, there hasn’t been any concrete evidence. Until now.
Recent documents unearthed by SamMobile reveal that Samsung was using a 2K variant as a prototype for the Galaxy S5, and that the only reason for the manufacturer in not offering a 2K variant was that there were issues relating to availability of QHD displays.
The documents show that the initial version of the Galaxy S5 with the Exynos SoC, which was codenamed “k3g” featured a QHD screen. The same version of the device with the Snapdragon CPU, codenamed “klte”, was also running a QHD screen. While Samsung abandoned the QHD screen device citing lack of availability, it looks like the South Korean manufacturer is working on launching such a device later this year.
The Galaxy S5 variant with the QHD screen is called “Project KQ.” The document also reveals a new Exynos SoC, the Exynos 5430. This will be the first SoC which will be manufactured using a 20 nm process. The SoC will include eight cores in the same configuration as the Exynos 5422: Four Cortex A15 cores and four Cortex A7 cores. However, the A15 cores will be clocked at 2.1 GHz, while the Cortex A7 cores will be clocked at 1.5 GHz. Exynos 5430 will feature a Mali T6XX GPU with a clock of 600 MHz. It will also feature a HEVC hardware decoder, which is a first.
Another new addition is a dedicated Cortex A5 core that will be utilised for audio encoding, decoding and audio equalization. In addition, it is likely that this core will enable features like always-on listening mode. Also revealed in the document is the inclusion of an Intel XMM7260 Category 6 (300mbit/s) LTE modem, which is a first for a device in the high-end segment.
Most manufacturers stick with Qualcomm’s Gobi 9X35 series modems in this segment, but Samsung has decided to use Intel’s offering in this version of the Galaxy S5. The Intel modem is available on the international variants of the device. The South Korean version features Samsung’s own LTE modem, which is called Shannon300 (SS300). Additionally, a US version of the Galaxy S5 QHD version will likely come with the Snapdragon 805.
It is not known as to when Samsung decides to launch this device, but it should not be too far after the launch of the LG G3. The G3 will feature a QHD screen, so it is understandable that Samsung intends to have a device out in the market with a similar feature-set. Just one week after its launch, Samsung has had to cut down on the Galaxy S5 price in India by more than $150 to reflect the price of HTC’s One (M8) in the country. So it is feasible that the South Korean giant will launch the Galaxy S5 QHD version, or the Galaxy S5 Prime as it is called, soon after the launch of the LG G3.