Samsung has set the stage for what’s likely a Galaxy S III product launch on May 3, but its possible that a T-Mobile Galaxy Note could soon appear as well. Enthusiast site, T-Mo News has two key bits of evidence suggesting that T-Mobile will have it’s own version of the 5.3-inch handset that’s currently an AT&T (s t)exclusive in the U.S. market. Such a device won’t likely support LTE, but instead would use HSPA+ at either 21 or 42 Mbps for mobile broadband.
Exhibit A is the Wi-Fi certification for a product designated SGH-T879 with an 800 x 1280 resolution display. With the smaller resolution number first, the product is more likely a device held in portrait mode as opposed to landscape, i.e.: a handset vs a tablet. Another clue is the product designation. I have a 1280 x 800 Samsung tablet — the Galaxy Tab 7.7 — but the product number is P-6810. Samsung’s product number for the AT&T Galaxy Note LTE is are more similar SGH-i717.
The second hint is trio of alleged screenshots from an SGH-T879 handset. They show an 800 x 1280 screen with Android 4.0(s goog); in fact, it’s the same build number as AT&T’s Galaxy Note. Unless AT&T plans to offer a second Galaxy Note model — highly doubtful — this would indicate another carrier will get the device. The real kicker to me is in the second and third screenshots on T-Mobile news. I noticed an icon in the status bar that appears to be for T-Mobile’s Name ID service.
Samsung already has an international edition of the Galaxy Note that uses HSPA+, so a Galaxy Note for T-Mobile would only require Samsung to include support for the carrier’s 1700/2100 MHz HSPA+ band. In some sense, the AT&T version actually supports that frequency but only for LTE. The Android community has already found a way to tweak the modem software on AT&T’s Gaalxy Note so that the 1700 MHz radio instead uses T-Mobile’s mobile broadband network.
With the Galaxy Note garnering good reviews and having passed the 5 million units sold milestone last month, T-Mobile customers would likely add to the sales figure, even though many are wondering what to call a 5.3-inch smartphone. Asking if the Galaxy Note is a smartphone or a tablet is the wrong question in my opinion. Instead, I’d be more apt to ask if you’re a one-hand or two-handed smartphone user. If you’re in the latter camp, a 5.3-inch device isn’t too big for you on any network.