The Galaxy S8 is going to officially be one of the first smartphones on the market that’s theoretically capable of hitting gigabit LTE speeds, per a new video from T-Mobile showing off Samsung’s newest smartphone hitting some seriously fast speeds in a test (albeit in a lab).
It’s news that makes a lot of sense, given that we’ve known for a while that Qualcommn’s latest Snapdragon 835 chip (which is exclusive to Samsung until April) would feature its new X16 LTE modem and is the company’s first chipset to be theoretically capable of gigabit speeds (what’s known as LTE Category 16). Additionally, Samsung just announced last month at Mobile World Congress that its own Exynos 9 Series 8895 chip — which will be used in the Galaxy S8 in some markets — was also capable of gigabit speeds.
Obviously, that magic gigabit number is a best case scenario — T-Mobile’s own test that actually reached it was performed in under controlled laboratory conditions — and you’re unlikely to see those kinds of speeds in real world use just yet. At the end of the day, you’re probably going to be capped by what cellular networks can provide, rather then what the hardware is capable of (for reference, last year’s Galaxy S7 supported the LTE Category 9 standard with a theoretical maximum speed of 450 megabits-per-second, which was likely not seen in the real world.) it’s nice to know that the S8 can reach those speeds should networks be able to one day support them.
Additionally, the Galaxy S8 will be the first smartphone capable of taking advantage of the recent LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) bands of spectrum, which T-Mobile will soon be supporting later this year. Which, along with the new chips, adds up to the S8 likely offering some of the faster mobile internet on the market.