Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t support T-Mobile’s new 600 MHz spectrum, but it does support a wide variety of other bands as well as some cutting-edge technologies.
The world’s top smartphone vendor trotted out its fall flagship device yesterday, unveiling an impressive 6.3-inch smartphone with a price tag in the range of $950. But as BGR was the first to report, the gadget won’t be able to access the 600 MHz T-Mobile won at auction earlier this year—not that any other phone can either, yet.
T-Mobile lit up its first 600 MHz sites earlier this month in Wyoming just months after the auction closed, and the carrier said it will continue to deploy service on its new airwaves in the coming months in smaller markets across the country. No phone on the market can support the spectrum yet, but T-Mobile said “both Samsung and LG plan to launch phones that tap into this new spectrum in the fourth quarter of this year.”
The Note 8 will support T-Mobile’s Band 12, though, as well as 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM and three-carrier aggregation. And the high-end phone can take advantage of some other technologies, depending on the carrier:
- Sprint’s version of the Galaxy Note 8 will support High Performance User Equipment (HPUE), which the carrier is pursuing to expand its 2.5 GHz spectrum by as much as 30% to nearly match its mid-band spectrum at 1.9 GHz.
- The Note 8 will be the fifth phone to support AT&T’s 5G Evolution, which features technologies such as C-RAN, 256 QAM, 44 MIMO and three-way carrier aggregation. The phone also supports Band 66, an AWS band that helps support 5G Evolution, a carrier spokesperson said.
- Verizon’s Note 8 will also support Band 66, as well as a variety of LTE flavors including Cat 4, Cat 6, Cat 9 and Cat 11. A Verizon spokesperson said more details about the phone’s specs will likely be available closer to the phone’s launch date.
The Note 8 is a high-risk, high-reward handset that underscores Samsung’s confidence it can fully recover from last year’s disastrous Note 7, which saw two worldwide recalls after battery problems caused devices to catch fire. The device is positioned to compete against high-profile handsets such as Apple’s next iPhone and Google’s Pixel 2, both of which are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.