Yesterday we shared with you some depressingly lame news about the US release of Samsung’s Galaxy S5, learning that the handset as being sold for operation on AT&T had one of its more interesting features disabled, the “download booster” that enabled the phone to retrieve a large file over WiFi and LTE connections simultaneously, pushing speeds higher than any one connectivity option could hope to provide alone. It’s not the sort of thing we’d see ourselves using every day, but it would be a nice option to have when running up against a massive download, and if Samsung already went to the trouble of coding-up the feature, why not take advantage of it? We reached out to AT&T for comment on why it might have taken this unattractive route, but heard back bupkis.
As it turns out, AT&T isn’t alone in this seemingly anti-user move, and reports have now arrived that both the Verizon and Sprint versions of the GS5 are similarly crippled.
While the download booster is indeed missing for three out of the four big US carriers, none of them have yet to publicly comment on the rationale behind their decisions. We’re not saying that it’s not possible there’s a very good explanation behind this move, but if there were we think someone would have spoken up by now.
We’re putting out feelers to Verizon and Sprint to see if either one of them cares to shed some light on this situation.
Update: We’ve finally got a comment from Verizon, and while it’s not much, it does leave the door open for the future. Regarding the download booster, Verizon says, “this feature is not available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 at launch, but we are evaluating.”