Among the many, many features of the new Galaxy S5 is something called “Download Booster.” When it’s enabled, the phone downloads large files using both your Wi-Fi connection and cellular network at the same time, combining their bandwidth for zippier downloads. But if you’re a U.S. customer running out to buy the phone when it goes on sale tomorrow, there’s only one carrier that seems intent on letting you use it: T-Mobile.
Now that the first shipments of AT&T’s Galaxy S5 are beginning to arrive at people’s doors, we are receiving reports from disgruntled customers that the “download booster” feature, which Samsung touted at the launch event in Barcelona, is completely missing from Big Blue’s variant. For those unaware, this functionality allows you to combine your Wi-Fi and LTE connections during downloads of files larger than 30 MB. The idea is that part of the file downloads over each connection interface, resulting in vastly improved download speeds over what would be achievable by each one individually. We began to suspect something was up when demo models began appearing in AT&T stores and lacked the download booster. Knowing that demo models do have features disabled sometimes, we decided to delay this story until it could be verified on an actual device that was sold to a customer.