NEW YORK (
) - There's no doubt that
new Galaxy Note II Android superphone/tablet is an amazing device. (You can watch our reviews
But now we're learning that the version from
has an unadvertised, special surprise circuit - with an eye toward the near future.
It turns out that T-Mobile's Galaxy Note II has extra two-way radio circuitry inside which will allow the phone to operate on the LTE/4G network they'll begin rolling out next year. And that's in addition to the circuitry which allows the phone to operates on the telecom firm's current 4G network using HSPA+ technology. The dormant circuit is essentially the same as what's inside
Galaxy Note II model.
As the thinking goes, T-Mobile could automatically switch on the new circuits by means of a software update that it will "push" to the phones when it formally introduces its LTE data services.
Citing information from T-Mobile,
technology Web site reports that the Galaxy Note II features a
9215M chipset which provides the hardware capability to support both HSPA+42 and LTE.
T-Mobile plans to reach more than 200 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2013, according to the statement sent to
, which added that the Galaxy Note II will not automatically access T-Mobile's LTE network.
"We will share more information on how and when the Galaxy Note II will support T-Mobile's upcoming LTE network when the network is available," added T-Mobile.
In the past, T-Mobile's denied similar hidden LTE support rumors concerning the Note II's little brother - Samsung's Galaxy S III.
Roll-out of a new LTE network may also be dependent on obtaining additional spectrum from T-Mobile's proposed merger with
- currently awaiting government approval.
T-Mobile's offering Samsung's Galaxy Note II at a whopping $369.99 with a two-year contract.
--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.