T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note II Has “Hidden” LTE Support, Same Hardware As AT&T Model

When T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note II passed through the halls of the FCC with LTE support, it gave us hope that the Note II would be future proofed for the company’s eventual LTE rollout. Now, thanks to some sleuthing by the boys from AnandTech, T-Mobile’s hardware is discovered to essentially be the same as AT&T’s own model.

One of the most interesting things about the Galaxy Note 2 on T-Mobile is that it literally is the same hardware as the AT&T Note 2 with LTE. Sure, the model number is different, but the T-Mobile Note 2 includes support for LTE bands 17 (which AT&T uses) and 4 (AWS, which AT&T has specced devices out for and T-Mobile has confirmed it will deploy LTE on). This is to my knowledge the first T-Mobile handset with overt LTE support, and thus a solid future-proof purchase if you’re determined to have a T-Mobile handset that will work with the carrier’s upcoming LTE on AWS plans.

With “confirmation” from the incredibly reputable gents over at AnandTech, The Verge took it step further and contacted T-Mobile directly and received exactly the answer we wanted to hear:

The Galaxy Note II features a Qualcomm 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. 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.

The good news is that the extra $70 you’re paying for the Galaxy Note II with a direct from T-Mobile purchase will pay off when you find that you don’t need to upgrade your device to take advantage of T-Mobile’s LTE network. Whether or not that’s worth the extra $70 to you is up for debate, but it should offer some measure of comfort that you won’t find yourself desperate to upgrade next year. However, as T-Mobile’s statement shows, the LTE bands are not readily available and will require a software update to activate— but we imagine some XDA folks will take care of that long before T-Mobile does.

Good news all around.

AnandTech, The Verge

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  • AWESOME VALUE! Well worth the extra $70 bucks!

  • Lupin

    Pole! Yay!

  • secano
  • ccnet005

    Good news, and once again Tmo is the first in the states to have a great device on their shelves.

    • ceegii63

      it has been years since Tmo had a great value device

      • this is the best phone since the HD2!

        • b3ltazar

          Hd2 is still the best runs every os besides ios. It was the first 4+ inch 1ghz phone out and set the bar. Loving the note 2 though

        • Bklynman

          Never had Hd2,was on Ebay the other day,someone had installed Windows 8 on it. For what it is worth TM,should still be selling it.

        • Patrick Sutfin

          I have an hd2 as a backup, was my favorite device when i got it, everyone commented on the size of it (thats what she said) wait till they get a load of the GN2

  • paulied1

    Happy to see TMo thought this out and gave us a phone that can carry us through a few years,I can’t imagine upgrading from this phone for a while. The things better then my laptop. Now the question is can XDA access AT&T’s LTE and get it to work on this device..$650was a lot to lay out but the phone is incredible, so smooth and fast.

  • Deon Davis

    Hopefully this is a trend with all of T-mo’s high end phones from here out.

  • Clark

    Another reason to love this phone!

  • Nice, I’m enjoying mine right now, woohoo!

  • guest

    Im glad i purchased this SGN 2! Now should i go with Skinpea or PhanthomSkinz? Which is better?

    • loueradun

      on first read of your comment, I thought I had missed out on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 announcement. Lol

  • flashy4bb

    This is a very good news. Now it’s trwime to run to T Mobile store and grab mine.

  • if the 8X doesn’t support LTE then it’s an easy decision not to get .. as close at LTE is to being deployed why would anyone invest in a phone without it at this point?

    • Ask Sprint customers who invested in lte phones when sprint didn’t have a lte network :-P

  • kev2684

    can this week get any better?

    • thepanttherlady

      I can still win the lottery…just sayin’. :)

    • Paul

      T889 has root.
      BOOM! Mind blown. Already removed the bloat.

      • ccnet005

        Have you lost any functionality?

        • Paul

          No so far as I can tell. There’s an XDA forum for it.
          Go check it out.

  • Very nice to hear. So now we have the Note 2 and AT&T model iPhone 5 future proofed for T-Mobile LTE. Decisions, decisions.

  • notme96

    Funny thing about this is that I just went and checked out the T-Mo version of the Note 2 and talked to the guy about being “future proof” and he said that it will only ever work on the HSPA+ network. I should load this up on my phone and go show him.

    This also has me considering going back to T-Mo to get the Note 2 considering that Sprint doesn’t have any plans to bring LTE to my area anytime soon.

  • AM3RIG

    YAY! Whoooooo!

  • galaxymaniac

    yo bitches I was right, its Qualcomm junk in the trunk in the galaxy note 2

    • Walwal_ka

      qualcomm is the radio chip. exynos is the processor. bitch.

      • nycplayboy78

        Oh snap…..HADOUKEN!!!!!!


        • Sonic Boom!

        • nycplayboy78

          HAHAHAHA :)

          Spinning Star Kick *Chun-Li*

      • galaxymaniac

        yehh, qualcomm junk in the trunk, puny exynos can’t do 42… just like galaxy 2 and 3.. this aint the international note.. have fun with the battery life with two chips, one that does radio, and the other that can do radio and processing…

        • Richard Yarrell

          Shut yourpie de budd.

        • squiddy20

          I’m curious what a “pie de budd” is. Such an intelligent response.

      • galaxymaniac

        all the hoes who said it was the same as the International Note 2 , can suck it

    • datz

      How you know

      • archerian

        its the Qualcomm 9215M for radio but the same Exynos 4412 as any other Note 2, I always thought they’d have to add another radio chip to do DC-HSPA+ as Exynos doesn’t natively support 42. It’s a mix of the best of both worlds – fast speeds and great processor!

  • skywalkerjedi7210

    i dont get the extra $70 thingie. can someone explain why? :D

    • zacamandapio

      In 3 months of savings you’ll forget about the $70.
      But that’s the way I look at it.

  • skywalkerjedi7210

    i saw a blue Note 2 in the commercial. how come it’s not offered yet?

  • nycplayboy78

    WooHoo :)

  • angeldevil75

    Well by the time lte is here, how many better model will come…..? Mmmm no thanks

  • This is old news I read a review earlier and its said the tmo gsnote has lte its just disabled. Im still THRILLED :-) about the news though.

  • Jonathan

    already order a white one…doesnt care that extra 70 bucks.

  • BahamasGeek242

    Thank you Samsung for doing it RIGHT. Come on HTC and LG get it together

  • Queue

    Not sure I understand the “worth the $70” comments. If you get the phone from Wirefly or Wally world (or maybe Costco). Wouldn’t it have the same LTE functionality to essentially “future proof” the phone?


    found news on otterbox for galaxy note 2 defender case in 3 colors. here’s the link http://smartphonepedia.com/galaxy-note-2-otterbox-defender-case.html

    • Chris

      omfg ty ty ty


        whats omfg ty ty ty mean ? im not computer freindly with these

        • He’s insulting your computer literacy, you should say something mean back.

        • thepanttherlady

          I know I shouldn’t have, but this made me laugh. :)

        • Haha I just couldn’t resist.

        • conservative_motorcyclist

          omfg = “Oh my effing God”
          “ty” = “Thank You”

          He is basically quite excited and THRILLED you provided him that link to the case! He thinks you’re the Bee’s Knees!


        • Chris

          lmao (=laugh my ass off) just saw this, it’s hilarious. I’m having trouble finding cases for the GN2 so yes I was very excited!!!

        • Secret Shopper #42

          TLDR.. Smh.

  • get off of me

    Since galaxy note 2 have lte and hspa+42 is there a way to switch Off lte or hspa+42 it would it just depend on where u at. If a certain area have lte. U have lte and if the are a have hspa +42 u got that? I’m planning to upgrade to the note 2 in April

  • Unlocked my TMO GNII today, runs well on deathstar’s HSPA+, wish I was in an LTE market to try it out. Threw my TMO sim in my freshly unlocked iP 4s to have opposite day! Sure wish the 1900 refarm would come quicker, but it’s nice to have both phones!

    • Flipmyx

      How did u unlock the gn2?

      • guest

        Call your carrier to get the unlock code.

  • This is GREAT I love this device I won’t need a new phone for awhile. Great internet speeds now, even better later and i don’t think 4.2 will be much different even if i love my phone the way it is truly a amazing!!!!!!!! Best phone out

  • JustSaying

    ONLY 200 Million covered with LTE by the END of 2013??? The competition will have the entire country covered by then :(

    • Mirad77

      there is 300+ million in USA. I think that is a very good number for a year.

  • Chris

    Anyone else surprised/angry when they walked in to buy the Note 2 off contract yesterday and were told no?

    • jon

      Is it poor customer service? I would say it is. But remember tmo employees are only following policy. Everyone knows the carrier makes nothing on the device. That’s why they want you locked into that contract.
      I view it like a buffet. We all know that “big fella” that pays 20 bucks for a buffet but eats 50 bucks worth of food. Thankfully most people eat 10 bucks worth to make a buffet still worth a profit. IMO, tmo should go ahead a sell the device to the “big” guy because there will be plenty of contract customers to make up the difference. Poor decision on the customer service aspect…but I’m sure once this first wave is over, you’ll be able to buy it at retail without the contract.

      • archerian

        If it were a buffet and the goal is to make money, I’d make sure I try to get more $10 people inside the buffet before any $50 folks, especially if the food is limited initially and there are plenty of $10 type customers :)

        • jon

          Which is what tmob is doing. But its not gonna win them any JD Power awards for customer service either. Its a balancing act..I get they are maximizing profit on the most popular device since I can’t remember when. But I am a firm believer in taking care of customers first. If you do that the rest will take care of itself..

      • Chris

        It just kind of shocked me. I realize they make their money off the contract, but I’ve never walked into a store to buy something and was told “No, you can’t give us the amount of money listed on the price tag to have this item.” It was kind of crazy. I ended up just extending my contract and getting a little off the phone. Rip off? Yeah. Was I gonna be with tmobile two years from now anyway? Most likely.

    • JR

      I don’t know if you can buy straight out of contract, or like if you’re not a T-Mo customer, but for me, I’m on Value plan and I could either buy the phone without changing my contract, or pay an upfront price, and $20 a month for 20 months, getting the contract extended.

      I’ve barely been with T-Mo for just a few months, so I chose the second option. Now my wife is thinking she wants one too…the Note 2 is sexy!

    • Herb

      While not ideal, it’s smart business to reserve limited inventory for customers signing a contract.

    • 21stNow

      I bought it off contract on Wednesday morning. The only delay that I had was the system being down. But the first store I went to had three phones set aside, two of which were out-of-contract purchases. The second store I went to sold it to me with no problem.

      • Chris

        Strange. The store I went to said they could not sell it off contract and the one across the street (in a mall) also wouldn’t (they had a guy come from that store to theirs to ask)

  • Adrian Torres-Vega

    Hmm… I wonder if an unlocked AT&T branded One X+ would ply nicely with T Mo’s LTE?

  • jelliottz

    So does this mean that my unlocked AT&T Note I is future-proofed for TMO’s LTE network? Once they ref arm happens I’ll have hspa+ on the 1900 band ans LTE on the 1700 band? This could be good news.

    Now if only someone could port the Note II ROM to the Note I. I would feel much more confident not jumping to the Note II (even though i do want one).


    Anybody know where else to pre-order the galaxy note 2 otterbox defender case in 3 different colors other that http://www.smartphonepedia.com ?

  • droidboy23

    All the folks who think T-mobile finally got the best device – this device was customized with a baseband for ATT’s LTE, and T-mobile can mooch off it as the same MDM9x15 baseband support Tmo’s bands too… so, don’t think your network negotiated a great device for you… you just got lucky.. its the same reason the Note 2 is launched on Tmo at the same time… no need for a newer device for Tmo… its a great device nevertheless…

  • Richard Yarrell

    November 1st can’t come fast enough bros..

  • nahoou

    So what happens if you roam on AT&T’s network with a T-Mobile branded Note II… Will it run on LTE?

    • sidekicker89

      Not until there are roaming agreements for LTE… you’ll be stuck on 2G probably. I thought T-Mobile had a 3G roaming agreement with AT&T as part of the break up deal though.. not sure when that is happening.

  • yozo

    Anyone find the hidden FM radio? I thought I saw it listed in specs on tmobiles site, or maybe it was the tmobileUK site…


    loved the first galaxy note (when t-mo had it for like 5 mins), and the note II is looking even more sexy, hidden LTE bands? Metro customers just hop in our bed where its nice and warm ;)

  • thepanttherlady

    Reminder: No selling/trading on the blogs.

  • skywalkerjedi7210

    i’m about to get the note 2, but i’m confused if I’d get the one from T-Mobile or I can get from 3rd party retailers. Based on this article, only those sold from T-Mobile are future proofed for LTE but 3rd party phone wont get it. Can someone shed light on this? TIA.

  • I didn’t realize how massive this device was until this morning. My neighbor got one and I was messing around with it. Nice device but a little huge. I have really big hands and its still huge.

    How many times can I say huge before I start sounding like Trump ;)

  • I just got my SGN2 a couple days ago on T-Mobiles value plan with 500 minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data. I know I will hate the monthly payments but wow do I love the SGN2 in Titanium Grey. It is so thin and light and I haven’t had a chance yet to really give the battery a full day test but the battery life seems a lot better than my first two android phones which were MyTouch 3G/4G. I will never go back to a small screen phone now.

    • Tony Kwok

      Do you know what kind of chipset that samsung galaxy note 2 N7105 LTE version use? Exynos or Qualcomm?

      • Sorry I don’t.

        • Tony Kwok

          Ok. Thanks. I just browsing at qualcomm official site. Note 2 only use their modem chipset. The cpu still exynos 4412 quad. :)

        • Sure, no problem at all. I am not very technically inclined when it comes to hardware but I do know in the time I have owned the galaxy note 2 I haven’t experienced any lag with the device at all….. other than normal hiccups with some apps probably due to low data connection over the network or wifi or something related. Never had a problem with any games I’ve played on it, or productivity apps, the camera, or anything. It just pretty much always does what it is supposed to do and very rarely ever causes dissapointment. I love it.

        • Tony Kwok

          Nice sharing. :)

  • zack

    does that mean that the mobilicity version will have hidden lte too?

  • bvira.com

    Hi all…..really this galaxy has a awesome features….Woohoooooo!!!!!!!!!

  • james

    Can verizon note 2 use tmoble 4g lte or +hspa..?