Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything we expect

Samsung's latest crop of flagship smartphones are fast approaching.

There's a lot riding on Samsung's Galaxy S10 launch. The smartphone industry as a whole is slowing down, and now all eyes are on Samsung to deliver an innovative product to provide a spark.

Also: Samsung Galaxy S10: Six cameras, and bigger than the Note 9

As is usually the case, the closer we get to a product launch, the louder rumors become and we begin to see more frequent leaks. Instead of having to scour the web for bits and pieces of information, here's everything we currently know about the impending launch of Samsung's latest Galaxy phone.

Release date 

  • Feb. 20 Unpacked event
  • Reservations will arrive by March 8

This much we know to be true: Samsung sent out invites to an Unpacked event on Feb. 20 in San Francisco. The event will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a venue previously used by Apple to announce new products.

Samsung is accepting reservations for the yet-to-be-announced S10, with a delivery date of March 8. 

Design

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Image: AllAboutSamsung

AllAboutSamsung has posted a series of photos showing every inch and detail of the upcoming Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. There's a headphone jack, USB-C charging port, a hole punch cutout, three rear-facing cameras, and Samsung's One UI interface. The two devices are prototypes according to the report, so the final design could change -- but these photos line up with more leaked photos below. Check out the rest of the photos here

If those photos weren't enough for you, 91 Mobiles and WinFuture both have high-res photos of the S10 and S10 Plus for you.

WinFuture has also posted some photos of the S10e, a phone that's shaping up to be the iPhone XR equivalent of the S10 launch. Here are a couple photos: 

s10e-render-winfuture.jpg

Image: Winfuture

Three's company

  • All rumors and leaks agree, there will be three S10 models. 
  • The names will be Galaxy S10e, S10, S10 Plus 

In the past, Samsung has released two variants of the latest Galaxy S model. Last year it was the S9 and S9 Plus, as was the case with the S8 launch. However, with the S10, Samsung's own website indicates three distinct models: The Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10 Plus.

Here's what the lineup looks like in a case, thanks to a leak from Evan Blass:

Hole Punch

  • Instead of a large notch, Samsung has a new approach to maximizing screen size
  • The Galaxy A8s has the same design

In Nov. 2018 Samsung announced three new displays for smartphones. Each display offers a different approach to the now-standard notch found along the top of most 2018 smartphone displays.

One of those displays, the Infinity-O, looks to be used on two of the three upcoming S10s. Some are referring to the small circular cutout as a "hole punch." That hole is where the front-facing camera will reside, and as you can see from its use in the Galaxy A8s, it's not all that intrusive.

Another leak showed the front of what's reportedly the Galaxy S10 with a hole punch in the top-right corner.

The Galaxy S0 Plus, however, will use the hole punch design but it will be twice as wide -- possibly to house two front-facing cameras.

Specs 

  • All three S10's will run Android 9.0 One UI
  • Screen size ranges from 5.8-inches to 6.3-inches
  • The fingerprint sensor is no longer on the back of the phone 

One thing missing in the photos and renders we've seen of the S10 is a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. However, it appears that there's a fingerprint reader on the side of the smaller S10e. The S10 and S10 Plus are both expected to have an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the display.

Also: Phones to expect at MWC and beyond: Galaxy S10, Honor View 11, Nokia 9, and more 

From those same photos, we can see there is indeed a USB-C port on the bottom next to a cutout that appears to be for a headphone jack. Yes, it appears Samsung is keeping the headphone jack for at least one more generation of its flagship smartphone.

The reported finalized specification sheets were leaked a few days ago, detailing the screen size of the S10e, S10, and S10 Plus to be 5.8-inches, 6.1-inches, and 6.3-inches, respectively. Internally, all three variants are expected to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 processor in the US, with Samsung's Exynos 9820 powering the device in other markets.

According to Twitter user Ice universe, who has correctly leaked details in the past, the S10 Plus could come with a ceramic back.

Cameras 

  • A Google Pixel-like Night Sight mode is expected 
  • Three rear-facing cameras are possible

Looking closer at the leaked render of the S10 trio in Speck cases, you'll notice the S10e has two rear-facing cameras, while the standard S10 and S10 Plus each have three rear-facing cameras. The S10 Plus, on the far right in the photo, also has two front-facing cameras in the top-right corner of the display.

XDA Developers dug into the Camera app from the Samsung One UI beta and found hints of an unreleased feature called Bright Night. The feature will take multiple photos in a low-lit environment and combine them into one image, similar to what competing smartphone makers currently do. No word on whether or not the feature will use AI to further enhance the shot similar to Google's Night Sight feature.

A 5G Galaxy 

  • Don't expect a 5G phone next month 
  • A 5G model is expected in the first half of 2019 
  • Current rumors suggest it will be called the Galaxy S10 X

Samsung, Qualcomm, and multiple wireless carriers all confirmed a 5G Samsung phone will be available in early 2019 but have stopped short of announcing when exactly that will happen.

After all, a 5G phone without a 5G network to use it on isn't all that appealing.

Also: Five ways professionals will experience 5G, and when 

The latest report from SamMobile states that Samsung is working on the firmware for the Galaxy S10 X, which is expected to be a 5G addition to the S10 line, for South Korean carriers.

According to the report, it's unclear if Samsung has started on the necessary firmware for compatibility with US networks, which puts the previously reported March 29 launched date into question.

Working on firmware for a device that's only a few months away shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but it's further confirmation that we are getting closer to a 5G smartphone being a reality.


Must read


Does it fold?

  • Samsung first teased a foldable phone in Nov. 2018 
  • Event invites, advertisements have hinted we could see it at Unpacked
  • A new video all but confirms we will see more of the foldable phone

Samsung first showed off its foldable display back in Nov. 2018 but didn't give us much to go on. The prototype device was, well, ugly, and and the lights were turned off in the venue in an attempt to further hide the foldable phone's overall look.

We do know that Samsung has a foldable display that works, but we don't know exactly when Samsung will release it. The Unpacked event invite has what can be interpreted as a fold going across it, and an advert in Paris strongly hints at a foldable phone is imminent. A video posted by Samsung just a few days before the Unpacked event teases that the "Future Unfolds" on Feb. 20, strongly implying the foldable device will be part of the event. Here's the video:

A previous report dubbed the foldable phone the Galaxy F, and put its price tag at a staggering $1,800. Ouch.

Blockchain

SamMobile recently posted a photo of a Galaxy S10 that appears to show a Samsung Blockchain Keystore app. There's not a lot to go off of, but according to the screens, the Keystore would be a place for users to store their cryptocurrency on the S10 and S10 Plus. 

Galaxy Buds

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WinFuture.de

Last month, 91mobiles found an FCC filing which revealed that Samsung is preparing to release a pair of wireless headphones called Galaxy Buds. At the time, the only thing we really knew about the Galaxy Buds was that the headphones had a charging case with a USB-C charging port. 

Now, thanks to another render posted by WinFuture, we have a better idea of what the Galaxy Buds will look like. 

Also: Apple won't release a 5G smartphone til 2020, giving Samsung the edge TechRepublic 

The render shows a small charging case resting on the back of a Galaxy S10 Plus, and according to WinFuture, the phone is acting as a wireless charger to charge the case and the Galaxy Buds at the same time. 

The practicality of such a feature is debatable, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. 

The ability for the S10 to act as a wireless charging pad to charge another phone or accessories -- also referred to as reverse wireless charging -- has been rumored for some time. Recently, XDA Developers found another FCC filing that seems to confirm the S10 lineup will offer "Wireless Power Transfer," or reverse wireless charging.

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