Now that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is available from the 4 big US wireless carriers, we started looking around for the documentation for this great phone. But what we found created some confusion for us and may for others as well. There are two different versions of the Galaxy S4 out there and available. This is not too much different than what we saw when the Galaxy S3 was released last year about this time frame. Though this time around, the differences between the 2 models is something to pay attention to as it may impact you if you are looking to purchase one from a source other than a wireless carrier. On those situations, you will need to make sure you understand what you are getting and doing your own research. Otherwise, you could end up with a model which will not give you what you expect.
The two models are the GT 19500 and the GT 19505 and at first glance the actual phone looks exactly the same, which was the same situation last year. For a side by side comparison of the specs, PhoneBunch has put together want you need to see. The big difference is in the processor. The 19505 has a Quad Core processor and is double what the Galaxy S3 model for North America has. But, the 19500 has an 8 Core processor and is a huge difference in speeds. Or at least on the surface. Beyond that, the differences are minor between the two models with everything else being exactly the same.
If you are not going to purchase one from a wireless carrier or a phone for a specific wireless carrier, you have to be very careful. The 19505 is designed to work with the ever expanding 4G LTE networks here in North America. The 19500 is not designed to work with them. So, if you go out to eBay to purchase one or you get one from an overseas company, you may not be able to leverage the phone to take advantage of the growing 4G LTE networks. And for the price you might get which seems like a bargain for an unlocked phone, you probably are not going to get what you are expecting with the 19500.
Given the performance improvements with the 4G LTE networks using the Samsung Galaxy S4 (or even the now older S3), you want to make sure that you have the right model to do that with.