Samsung is the largest smartphone maker in the world, but it faces more pressure than ever from ascendant Chinese OEMs like Huawei and Oppo. After nine years of Galaxy smartphones, Samsung is reportedly planning to pull out all the stops with the upcoming Galaxy S10. While nothing is confirmed at this point, we’ve heard plenty of leaked information. Let’s round it all up and see if we can figure out what Samsung’s next flagship phone will offer.
Multiple Models and Specs
Current reports point to at least three models of the Galaxy S10, split up by screen size and possibly the number of cameras. These phones will range from 5.8 to 6.4-inches. The larger models will probably be the more “premium” versions of the phone, which could include as many as three camera sensors on the back. A Leak from SamMobile claims the main camera will be 12MP along with a 16MP wide-angle and 13MP telephoto sensor.
The phones will most likely run on the Snapdragon 855 SoC in the US and the Samsung Exynos 9820 internationally. We have yet to see either of these chips in the wild, and the 855 is technically still unannounced.
There’s also chatter about a fourth phone that may or may not count as a Galaxy S10 depending on your perspective. The “Beyond X” could be a new ultra-premium part of Samsung’s lineup with features you can’t get in the standard GS10 devices. We’re expecting a display as large as 6.7-inches and 5G support. Samsung has said several times the Galaxy S10 don’t be a 5G phone, but that leaves the company room to say the Beyond X isn’t technically the Galaxy S10.
Even though Samsung was among the first Android device makers to offer biometric features in phones, it has struggled to keep up. After moving the fingerprint sensor around a few times and pushing its buggy iris scanning tech, Samsung could be set for something different.
Few preliminary Galaxy S10 details:
– “Punch hole” style selfie cam cutout (sounds like Infinity-O display).
– Ultrasonic, in-display FPS
– Three rear cameras (standard/wide/tele)
– One UI over Android Pie
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) November 13, 2018
There is strong evidence that the Galaxy S10 will have a fingerprint reader in the display, but it won’t use optical technology like the OnePlus 6T. Instead, Samsung will use ultrasonic fingerprint tech. That’s a more expensive way to get it done, but the “active area” that reads fingers can be larger.
The iris scanner may even be getting the boot in the Galaxy S10. After working for years to make the scanner more reliable, face unlock technology has completely superseded it. Samsung might equip the Galaxy S10 with a 3D sensor to make its face unlock faster and more secure. Currently, Samsung face unlock just uses the front-facing camera.
Notch or Hole Punch?
We know Samsung is going to keep pushing the envelope with narrow bezels, and that means it’s going to have to go the notch route. The company showed off several screen notch concepts at its recent developer conference, and the Infinity-O seems to be the one popping up most often in reports.
It may be the world’s first hole in the screen smartphone: Galaxy A8s pic.twitter.com/dBQfgUXed2
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 24, 2018
The Infinity-O display has a small hole toward the upper left corner. That allows the front-facing camera to peek through the display. Other sensors could be embedded under the screen, allowing Samsung to push the OLED panel all the way to the edge of the device. There are also V and U-shaped notch designs under testing at Samsung, so it’s possible it could go one of those routes for at least one Galaxy S10 model.
Pricing, Release Date, and More
Samsung is currently expected to reveal the Galaxy S10 family at Mobile World Congress in February. The specific launch plans for carriers around the globe will be available in the following days, but it’ll most likely be a month before the phone goes on sale.
Samsung’s recent phones have been more expensive than ever — the Galaxy Note 9 was $1,000 at launch. However, phone sales are slowing down a bit. Samsung will probably keep at least one S10 model around $800 at launch (like the GS9). The larger models will probably go past $1,000, and the Beyond X could be significantly more expensive.
You can expect the Galaxy S10 to have Android Pie out of the box with the new Samsung One UI. That interface is currently in testing on The Galaxy S9 and Note 9. It aims to make apps and system dialogs easier to use on large phones and make the overall style more cohesive.
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