Sprint S4

New version fully supports Sprint Spark

As part of their national Sprint Spark rollout, Sprint will be releasing a new version of the Galaxy S4 in the coming weeks. Support for LTE bands 25, 26 and 41 will be included, and the new version will be compatible with the new LTE network in the locations that currently have it available, as well as any and all expansion sites.

Today, Sprint Spark is limited to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Tampa, but Sprint says it will expand to 100 markets over the next year.

The new version of the Galaxy S4 will cost $199 with a new agreement and a $50 mail-in rebate, or just $25 monthly with Sprint's One Up financing.

Existing Galaxy S4 phones will not be compatible with Sprint Spark. See the full press release after the break.

Sprint Debuts Samsung Galaxy S 4 with the Benefit of Sprint Spark

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint (NYSE:S) expects to begin delivery of Samsung Galaxy S® 4 (16GB) with the addition of Sprint Spark™ (enhanced LTE) to its sales channels in the next few weeks. This enhances the current version of Galaxy S 4 with a design change to take advantage of unprecedented speeds by combining all three Sprint bands (800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz) of 4G LTE wireless spectrum.

Sprint Spark allows tri-band devices, like Galaxy S 4, to support active hand-off mode between 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz and provide data session continuity as the devices move between spectrum bands.

Sprint Spark provides the capacity to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications while opening the way for futuristic applications. Sprint Spark is designed to support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring very high bandwidth.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America’s largest cities during the next three years, with initial availability in five markets now. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Sprint 4G LTE service is expected to be available by mid-2014 to approximately 250 million Americans, and Sprint expects 100 million Americans will have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage by the end of 2014.

This super-high-speed capability demonstrates 50-60 Megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint’s spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.1

Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Sprint Spark will be available for $199.99 (excluding taxes) with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card2 or $25 per month with Sprint One UpSM.

Customers can take advantage of Sprint One Up3, a new program that offers customers an affordable option to upgrade their device more frequently. With Sprint One Up, participating smartphone customers get unlimited talk, text and data for an introductory rate of $65 per month4 – a $15 per month savings off their Unlimited, My Way standard rate plan and Sprint’s guarantee of unlimited talk, text and data for the life of the line of service.5 Sprint One Up is also available for smartphones on the My All-in plan.

Sprint offers unlimited 4G LTE data, text and calling to any mobile device with no metering or overages, all while on the Sprint network, making it the ideal carrier for customers who want to use every feature of their Galaxy S 4 every day of the month without worry. Sprint 4G LTE is available in select markets.

Manufactured by Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), Galaxy S 4 is powered by Android™ 4.3, Jelly Bean, boasts a brilliant 5-inch full-HD Super AMOLED™ touchscreen, 1.9GHz quad-core processor and access to the Sprint 4G LTE network. It also offers Multi Window, which allows the use of two apps side-by-side.

 

Reader comments

Sprint to sell new tri-band Galaxy S4 in the coming weeks

83 Comments

So they should never improve a product because some people bought an earlier version? Boy, it's so unfair that this year's Toyota has some features that last year's doesn't.

The prior version of the phone does everything it did when [you] bought it, which is all anyone has the right to expect. Sprint isn't taking anything away from people who bought the ptior version.

Yes... Sprint is on a roll.
Sprint may very well offer the most optimal US carrier service at a great price in many locals in 2014.

LTE as LTE should be, combined with awesome voice coverage and clarity.

I'm getting 14.8 down in San Diego on 1900 and LTE isn't yet officially lit up. Plus I'm getting significantly better voice signal.

Not a fan of Amoled. Looking forward to CES and HTC's 2014 flagship with complete spectrum array. Thank you Qualcomm!

I live in central Maryland and get Lte from sprint pretty much everywhere I go except for the place that counts the most,... Home.

Sent from my Motorola side view pager 4-5683-968

Central PA here and I had that problem for a while too, but it didn't take too long to build it all out...

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

I'm in south central PA and since I work from home it does more harm than good to let it try to stick to LTE. I'm better off forcing it into CDMA only.

Where at in Maryland? I live in Frederick, MD and have no LTE until mid Montgomery County.

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I quite twice the 14.8 you get on Sprint, on T-Mobile. 14.8mbps is nothing to be excited about.

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

Tmo here might get 2 and 14.8 is nothing to sneeze at. We are not talking dial up here

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My phone can beat up your phone. It's bigger, badder and has more moves. If worse comes to worse, it also comes with a sword.

I understand. But that depends where you live. Here in my town I have Sprint LTE but it rarely works and when it does I got 4 or 5mbps at the most. I finally bit the bullet, got an lte phone with T-Mobile, on hspa I get 8-12mbps. And on lte I get 22-29mbps all day and indoors at work. Couldn't be happier that I left Sprint. Maybe in a year Sprint will be worth it again for me. That's just my situation here where I live.

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I agree. Sprint just turned on the LTE in Middle Georgia and it's getting better every day. I was originally getting between 4-7 down, now I probably average between 7-15Mbs down. The great part about it is that we have not even had all of the hardware upgrades to our towers yet. I don't know about elsewhere, but I see Sprint doing big things in our area. Now if we can just get some better 3g speeds for when we are in non-LTE areas...

Hope HTC follows suit with the ONE. Otherwise I may be looking at a new phone.

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It is in such a select few places that I am pretty sure that 75% of Sprint users will be good for the next year or so.

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

That could be true. But I needed a phone that worked now, not in 6 months to a year. Luckily I have 4 lines with Sprint still that I manage and if somehow Sprint gets better than my tmobile line I can switch back. For now I'm loving my fast 20mbps plus lte T-Mobile service.

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I hear you and situations vary.

I was speaking specifically about spark, not really LTE overall.

The good news is that if you already have it (I assume unannounced), it only will get better in a relatively short period of time.

I lucked out, I got the signal one day, and 3-4 months later it rivaled Verizon in everything but price...

Sprint is so awful. I feel bad for anyone that buys one of these thinking that they'll actually get to use the tri-band feature in the phone's lifetime. I've been tricked by Sprint twice thinking that I'd get to use my phone's WiMax and then LTE capabilities. Sprint is far too slow on their 4G (either of them) rollout. They really need to focus on getting plain ol' vanilla LTE (or even decent 3G) to the entire country before they go and put effort into this.

That's not exactly a fair comparison. Spark is still lte, just on different frequencies. There's nothing to suggest that they won't have 2 or more frequencies in the same are so that older devices can still use lte and newer ones can take advantage of spark. It's much easier to do that then have wimax and lte on the same tower.

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Granted, Sprint was awful while upgrading during 2012-2013. Kicking ass now in coastal Southern California and many other regions.

Your complaint is NOW anachronistic - a thing of the past . Sprint is currently SIGNIFICANTLY leaping over all other US carriers with their spectrum /signal technology.

Worth the wait - skipping wasteful intermediate "old" technology costs.

Little do the uninformed know. This signal technology involves more than just 3 frequencies and is backwards compatible with legacy LTE handsets. Also easy investment leap to 5G. Sprint rocks!

Depends where you are. That is easy to say if you are in an area now getting Spark or whatever. In a lot of areas people never got Wimax and they are still waiting on LTE while Sprint keeps making claims in the press.

I'm in Chicago where they keep saying all this stuff is happening but I'm yet to see any progress. 4g is all over the place. Ive gotten anywhere from .8 to 5 on 4g and 3g is just worthless. It would be really nice if they could finish their 3g and 4g upgrades before they run off on another project.

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+1111. Sprint has really stepped up their game since the Softbank aquisition. This is not the "Sprint of old". They now have the resources to be more strategic in their LTE rollout. Had they began the LTE rollout a year earlier with their current resources, I believe that they would have America's best LTE network.

My experience has been that Sprint still, as of today, lags way behind T-Mobile in San Francisco and the Peninsula. Compared to my wife's T-Mobile line, she consistently gets faster speeds on 3G than I do on Sprint's LTE. And, since LTE is VERY sparse, Sprint's 3G is pretty much unusable.

I'm definitely getting rid of Sprint as soon as my ETF goes down enough. I can't stand the slow speeds anymore.

To be fair, they only really shifted strategies once, when they bailed on Wimax... Biggest issue there was the partnership with a second party (Clearwire) that fell flat on it's face... And IMO they pulled out of that situation relatively quickly and effectively in the grand scheme of things.

Spark's just a continuation of their original LTE strategy and network vision, there hasn't been any course correction there and they've been hitting a lot of their rollout targets while shifting things around to take full advantage of all their spectrum holdings.

They're working on 3G improvements at the same time as LTE and at the same time as the shut down the old Nextel PTT network to repurpose it for LTE (Spark). Most people only ever had a chance to buy one Wimax phone since they ended the yearly upgrades right after the first EVO (tho I had both it and the EVO 3D which was also Wimax).

As far as their network deployment strategy goes, you really can't fault them at this point IMO... It's just a matter of executing and hitting all their targets now.

There's plenty of other things I'd call them out on before their network plan, like stagnant plans (though unlimited lives), not advertising their no contract plans, hit or miss CS, uneven network rollouts across the country (like the Spark markets up north/west being upgraded by Samsung, ironically), etc.

You don't really want one of these if you are in certain markets. In markets where sprint have unofficially rolled out LTE but havn't actually completed the 3G Vision upgrades you will lose LTE altogether. Areas like Minneapolis for instance. I had LTE on my Galaxy S3 right downtown, near the Metrodome, but now on my Nexus 5 I only have 3G because these triband devices require the 3G network vision upgrades to be complete.

Yep, that's what I'm dealing with here in Cleveland. We have a good amount of LTE available but the triband phones like my G2, can't stay connected to LTE. My fiance's s4 gets all kinds of LTE. It'll get fixed soon enough though.

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This phone is too old to reboot and start selling again for $199.00 on contract. They should have at least added the Snapdragon 800.

Sprint does this all the time. they released wimax phones and then didn't make them compatible with LTE. Then they sold 1900mhz LTE phone's only, then they switched to spark. No wonder their network blows. And spark won't even be available till 2016.... in only 100 cities....

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Spark is an addition to the lte, No a separate technology

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

I know. but only the most recent phones are capable of spark and the other LTE phone's will be left to deal with their shitty unreliable 1900mhz LTE bands

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Um... Most phones have two of the bands, unless you have a 2 year old phone

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My phone can beat up your phone. It's bigger, badder and has more moves. If worse comes to worse, it also comes with a sword.

I believe, the misconception is that all three bands are required for access to Spark service and data. Hence, the outrage at the "new" S4. I certainly thought so. I'd love for you to be right and for me to be wrong.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

It is a misconception. 2 will work just fine

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My phone can beat up your phone. It's bigger, badder and has more moves. If worse comes to worse, it also comes with a sword.

Sorry I sorta misread. I think for it to be spark, yes it is all three but if you have a two band phone in a three band area or vice versa you are fine.

And as I said, it will be a year before the penetration is something wortgwhile

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My phone can beat up your phone. It's bigger, badder and has more moves. If worse comes to worse, it also comes with a sword.

The only sprint phone with 2 LTE bands in the iPhone 5s/c. Other phones have 2 bands for voice and 1x. But not LTE.

Every other sprint phones have either 1 or 3 LTE bands.

So yes all sprint phones with 1 LTE band will be fine. But they won't be access the faster Spark "turbo" network.
But once all bands are active at the cell sites, even the single LTE band phones will be better off because the other phones with 3 or 2 bands won't hog up as much of the single 1900 mhz LTE band.

It'll be like an HOV lane. The new triband sprint phones will be able to use it and leave the other lanes to the single band phones. Less congestion everywhere.

Edit: but instead of a single HOV lane and 3 regular lanes, it'll be more like 12 HOV lanes (20x20) to the 3 regular lanes(5x5). and double the speed limit. too bad not everyone has a HOV eligible handset.

It's funny that you use the HOV lanes as an example since they don't help congestion at all.

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Don't think of it as an hov Lane replacing an existing Lane. Think of it as brand new lanes that never existed before built on top. In that case it does/can alleviate congestion.

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I just need Sprint to implement the 800Mhz spectrum so that penetration is strong and consistent. I could really care less about Spark since my town is small and will never get it anyway.

2 will work fine but the advantage of spark is indoor penetration which is something Sprint seriously needs. Reason I moved 2 of my lines to T-Mobile. Can't wait a year to be able to get good coverage. Have been with them for over 13 years and the past 2 years have been horrible. My awesome Note 2 is like dead weight. On 3g it's useless.

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Yes you will need a new device to access the faster "turbo" speeds that spark offers(2500mhz).
Older devices will only be able to access 1900mhz LTE/voice and only 800mhz voice not 800mhz LTE.

New devices can access 1900, 2500 and 800mhz LTE when available.

For some reason I thought I had looked up before that two bands of lte were supported but it appears you are right.

The bands are supported on the SoC so I wonder if a software fix could get this to spark

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My phone can beat up your phone. It's bigger, badder and has more moves. If worse comes to worse, it also comes with a sword.

Could've swore the EVO LTE had 800MHz LTE support too, I clearly remember reading about it on S4GRU... Might've been the only two band phone though.

The point is Sprint doesn't "do this all the time". Only time they had a major course correction and shafted some people was with Wimax... Not that doing it once is excusable, but they've been much smarter since then.

If you're gonna say adding phones with EXTRA bands as LTE is expanded is some sorta reprehensible behavior then Tmo's been doing it continually for a year too... In truth they both did what makes sense.

You do know wimax and lte are completely different technologies right? You don't complain that your dvd player doesn't play blu rays do you?

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Those time estimates are because of the 2.5 freq. The 800 is active in many areas with the vision upgrades. And that is the important one.
Sprint is taking longer than the others but they are changing out every bit of there equipment on almost 40,000 towers. Not just quick upgrades. So in a few years when other carriers equipment is aging sprint will be good. Tower spread for 1900 but running on 800.
Outside of indy i used to get 1 to 2 bars with sprint and ok 3g at home. Now its full signal all the time anywhere in the house and good 3g plus 4g. Verison sucks here. There overloaded 3g is unusable with a good signal unless its 4am.
Sprint isnt great for everyone but they are upgrading the right way and just because they suck for you dosent mean that they arent great for others.
Get educated on what is happening with the carrier upgrades and avoid making broad uninformed comments
Yes

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This.

Everything is getting an upgrade. Old tech will be gone and they will have newest network around.

When the next Gen lte is ready to be adopted, sprint will be ready and the others will be where they are now. With the possible exception of Tmo, but they could care less if you don't live in a city of 1m people

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

That is a good point. But T-Mobile is doing same thing. T-Mobile is also adding new technology and even if they weren't their hspa is still great. The problem with Sprint is that too many people still have issues now and a year is too long for many which is hurting them.

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tmo is only upgrading where they already are, not moving forward. I like in a major city and service has not improved in at least 5 years. Not even a little...

They actually are upgrading and putting up new towers. Plus it just started this year so the last 5 years mean nothing. All i know is that my T-Mobile service where i live is great, better than sprint for sure and faster than att also. I'm one of the lucky ones i guess.

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Don't understand why people are upset because they just bought an S4. This phone has been heavily rumored to be just around the corner ever since Sprint started with triband phones. Research before you buy and you won't be upset.

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Agreed. And it's not like someone's phone is going to suddenly have crappy service or stop working.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

While I sympathize with people who don't have LTE yet on Sprint, having had LTE for a while now. IMO their biggest problem is the lack of building penetration. Don't know how many times I've gone from having perfectly good reception to none, just because I'm inside a building.

It's also the biggest reason why myself and I'm sure a lot of others have considered switching carriers.

If they can re-purpose the iDen network at the same time they are deploying LTE, then it's all good IMO.

The biggest fault I will say about this though is that that every phone Sprint is selling at this point should have Spark support, regardless of how far the deployment is. This shouldn't be a touted feature like LTE as far as I'm concerned, it's creating parity with the other networks, something Sprint desperately needs.

Starting next year all phones are supposed to be spark and hd voice compatible. And yes building penetration is really bad. There is a supermarket in my neighborhood with a sprint upgraded tower 50 yards away from it, yet lte is spotty in the market. Really odd.

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" If they can re-purpose the iDen network at the same time they are deploying LTE, then it's all good IMO. "

That's exactly what Spark is, repurposing of the iDen network and old Clear bands to bolster LTE coverage, penetration, and capacity.

They also started selling Spark phones as soon as it was technically possible, last gen LTE phones wouldn't have been able to support all three bands at a hardware level.

Some would even argue they actually jumped the gun a bit on Spark phones since they won't get LTE in certain north/west markets where LTE has been rolled out (because the 3G tech wasn't updated at the same time like most other markets and there's some switching tech missing that lets the phone know to hop on LTE).

The ship on what should or shouldn't be advertised as far as network tech goes has sailed quite a while ago... They probably could've done a better job of touting what Spark is rather than confusing people and making them think it's a new development or change in LTE deployment strategy.

Too little too late. I just switched my lines over to T-Mobile and couldn't be happier. Now on lte my phone actually has lte speeds. I can even use my phone indoors! Amazing. It's amazing what a phone can do with good signal and fast data speed.

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Sprint makes a living off of promises of the next new thing. Their 3G network was horrible so they said wait until 4G, which was horrible so they said wait to LTE which is bad so now it's wait until Sparks. Can't wait for the next new thing...

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Yes, Spark is technically LTE but in cases for comparison, I think it's fair to differentiate between Sprint's Spark and LTE. For example, even though LTE is deployed in numerous cities, Spark is only available in about 5. So, having LTE in your area and an LTE-capable phone does not mean you have Spark; thus, LTE does not necessarily equal Spark.

To take advantage of Sprint's Spark, you need a Spark capable phone and the service must be turned on in your area to use it (which may be as simple as activating a certain frequency of LTE, but it's still something that is not available to all Sprint users who have LTE-capable phones). Bottom line is: Just because your city has LTE, does not mean you have Spark. So, I think it is fair to differentiate between the two when comparing your Sprint service.

No matter that I already have my S4, by the time I'm eligable for a new upgrade my area still won't have Spark......I'm lucky to have LTE

I'm sure the Galaxy note 3 spark version will be next! Irritates me so much, they should allow you to swap to the spark ready phone...heck I l would probably shell out 100 bucks to swap to a spark version of my phone...tricky s.o.b.'s!

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