The Samsung Galaxy S10 is still a little way off - early 2019 - but the rumour mill is now in full force. Following the launch of the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung's next big launch will be a new flagship S device - and a 10-year anniversary device at that.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were evolutions of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, so we're expecting big things from a reinvented Galaxy S handset or handsets. Here's everything that's circulating on the new Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+.
Samsung Galaxy S10 release date and price
- 20 February launch reported
- In stores 8 March
- Prices from £669
Each year, rumours suggest that there will be an "earlier" launch of flagship devices. Rarely does this prove to be true, except in the case of the Note 7 in 2016, which moved the launch to early August. CES - January - often gets suggested as a launch venue, but with the world's biggest and most significant mobile phone conference at the end of February, it's the most likely venue for the Galaxy S10 and S10+ to be announced.
Typically, Samsung holds a Galaxy Unpacked event in Barcelona on a grand scale on the eve of Mobile World Congress, which would be 24 February this year. There has been a report from Gizmodo UK claiming the Unpacked event will take place on 20 February however, with preorders said to kick off straight away, followed by a release date of 8 March.
There are claimed to be three S10 devices incoming, which are being dubbed the S10 Lite, S10 and S10+. The Gizmodo report claims the S10 Lite will start at £669, the S10 will start at £799 and the S10+ will start at £899. There's also said to be a special edition 1TB model for £1399.
Samsung Galaxy S10 design
- Codenamed Beyond
- Likely to be a metal and glass design
- Likely to stick to two sizes
Korean website The Bell claims that Samsung's 2019 flagship handsets are going by the name "Beyond" throughout the development process. Samsung's theme tune is Over the Horizon so this nickname very much fits the company's ambitious thinking ideaology.
Samsung's Mobile Division CEO, DJ Koh, apparently told Chinese media that big changes are coming, though he did not specify what these would be. The current design is slim, high quality and distinctive with that Infinity Display but as it is the 10th anniversary of the Galaxy device in 2019, a radical change does make sense, as Apple did with the iPhone X in 2017.
We suspect the bezels will reduce - perhaps with a small chamfered edge like the Note 9 - and we're expecting new colours, possibly gradient options, though at the moment it's too early to tell what other design changes Samsung might introduce.
Ben Geskin, a concept designer who uses leaks and rumours to create renders, has mocked up some images of the Galaxy S10 showing what he thinks the device might look like. Bloomberg has claimed the S10 could have an in-display front camera, negating the need for a notch, and Geskin's renders show how this might look.
Supporting this idea, prolific leaker Evan Blass, tweeted the Galaxy S10 will feature a "punch hole style selfie cam cutout", presumably like what Geskin presents in his renders.
Blass also tweeted an image of "a case manufacturer's expectations for the Galaxy S10 lineup". The line up shows images similar to Geskin's renders with punch hole front cameras. There are three devices in the image, called S10 Lite, S10 and S10+, which fits in with the Gizmodo UK report, as well as a tweet from another reliable leaker, Ice Universe.
An image has also appeared on Chinese social media site Weibo and another image was sent to Slashgear. Both images show three camera lenses on the rear, though they show a slightly different setup to the renders from Geskin. Both leaked images present three camera lenses in a horizontal array with the flash next to them rather than below like Geskin predicted.
It is not yet clear whether the S10 will have three camera lenses, or whether this setup will be reserved for the S10+ model. Ice Universe claims the S10 Lite will have one front camera and a dual rear camera, the S10 will have one front camera and three rear cameras and the S10+ will have two front cameras and three rear cameras, which fits in with the tweet from Evan Blass.
Samsung Galaxy S10 display, with fingerprint scanning
- In-display fingerprint scanner confirmed
- 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch and 6.4-inch sizes reported
- S10 Lite will be flat
Rumour has it that Samsung has been working on under-display fingerprint scanners for some time. We've heard that this will be coming from Qualcomm, with ETNews claiming that Samsung themselves have confirmed this. Evan Blass also claims an "ultrasonic, in-display fingerprint sensor" will be on board the S10 and the Gizmodo UK report believes this too. It's not the first: Huawei put an under-display scanner in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the OnePlus 6T has one too.
Elsewhere on the display, Ice Universe claims a boost in resolution.
Rumored that the screen resolution of the Galaxy S10 will exceed 600PPI— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) 14 May 2018
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ already offer incredibly sharp displays, with 570 and 530ppi respectively, but 600ppi would a quite a big step forward. The 600ppi will likely be for the standard S10, whereas the Galaxy S10+ will take a slight dip in density. For Samsung to achieve 600ppi in a similar 5.8-inch screen as the Galaxy S9, the resolution of the display will need to be increased to near 4K quality.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the S10 will come in three different sizes, according to Business Insider. Those three sizes will be 5.8 inches, 6.1 inches, and 6.4 inches, which is the same as an image Evan Blass tweeted in December, as well as what the Gizmodo UK report claims. According to Kuo, the larger two S10 models will likely be high-end versions, as they will feature in-display fingerprint sensors, while the smaller model, which will presumably be the entry-level version, will pack a fingerprint sensor on the back.
The Gizmodo report doesn't mention whether the S10 Lite will have a fingerprint sensor on the back or not but it does say it is being marketed as the more affordable option and will offer a flat display rather than curved like the S10 and S10+.
The Wall Street Journal meanwhile, claims the S10 will come in four models and SamMobile hints at this too. These are claimed to range from 5.8-inches to 6.4-inches, with an extra 6.7-inch model codenamed "Beyond X" also said to be in the works. The Beyond X model is claimed to be the 5G model and it is thought this model might offer 1TB of storage.
What are the Samsung Galaxy S10 specs?
- 5G and 4G versions
- Likely to have latest Exynos and Snapdragon SoC
- 3.5mm headphone socket likely to stay
- 128GB to 1TB storage options reported
In August 2018 Samsung put the dampener on the report of the S10 being a 5G phone. Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh told Korean journalists that the company is working with South Korean carriers to launch a 5G phone - but it won't be the upcoming Galaxy S10. That might not matter to most of the world, as 5G networks haven't yet rolled out.
That first 5G handset might be its foldable phone, but recent code suggests there may also be a 5G variant of the Galaxy S10. The Wall Street Journal also claims there will be a 5G model of the S10. We saw a prototype device at the Qualcomm Tech Summit but the handset was pretty concealed so it wasn't clear which line of devices it represented.
Ice Universe reckons that the phone will be a 5G handset and feature a dedicated neural processing chip. Here's his full, estimated spec list, for what it's worth:
- AI-specific chipset, with CPU, GPU and separate neural processor
- 5G modem
- UFS 3.0 storage
- LPDDR5 RAM
- 93 per cent or more screen-to-body ratio
- 9th-generation mobile Super AMOLED display
- 3D AI processing with camera
- L-shaped battery
Elsewhere, Samsung has a habit of offering the latest Exynos hardware and the latest Qualcomm hardware. Samsung recently announced the Exynos 9820 which moves to an 8nm FinFET process, said to reduce power consumption by 10 per cent compared to the previous generation Exynos 10nm chip. Qualcomm meanwhile, announced the Snapdragon 855 at its Tech Summit at the beginning of December. Samsung hasn't confirmed whether either chip will be used in the respective S10 variants, but we'd say it's pretty likely.
There are other little details we don't yet know - like whether Samsung is going to continue to offer a 3.5mm headphone socket. There's a rumour that the company is going to have an under-display ear speaker. There seems to be a lot happening under the display if it gets the fingerprint scanner and an in-display camera too.
Yes, the S10 cancels the iris sensor and the ultrasonic fingerprint is enough to replace it.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 2, 2018
In terms of storage options, the Gizmodo UK report claims the S10 Lite will come in a 128GB option only, while the S10 will be available in 128GB and 512GB options and the S10+ will come in a 128GB, 512GB and 1TB option. It has been said the 1TB option might be reserved for a special edition 6.7-inch model though.
Samsung Galaxy S10 software
- Samsung User Experience
- Android Pie with Google Assistant
The new handsets will run Samsung's interface on top of Android Pie. It's also likely the next-generation Bixby will be involved as well, but we don't think it will be hugely different to the Galaxy Note 9.
Samsung has incrementally moved its software along through recent devices. It's the most feature-packed and impressive reworking of Android and we don't think it needs changing. Certainly there are areas where Samsung is going to continue to expand, like SmartThings and Bixby, as it looks to expand connections to devices around the phone.
There have been some leaked screenshots of the Android Pie update for the S9 and Note 9 suggesting an overhaul to the Samsung Experience user interface. The shots come from Experience 10 and are taken from a beta build. Assuming they are legitimate, we'd expect to see this interface on the S10 too.
Galaxy S10 camera: Three or four lenses?
- Three or four rear cameras
- Two front cameras for some models
It's been claimed by Sammobile and Evan Blass the 2019 flagship may come with a triple-lens camera, something Huawei introduced on the P20 Pro earlier in 2018. Blass claims the triple lens camera will be made up of a standard lens, wide angle lens and telephoto lens but he also says these are "preliminary details". Ice Universe also claims the S10 and S10+ will have three cameras on the rear, while the S10 Lite will have two.
All About Samsung also believes the rear could have three lenses and the front could have two meaning the device - or, at least, the S10+ - could have five cameras, something Ice Universe also suggests. There has also been rumours of four cameras on the rear of the S10 however, though it is claimed this might only appear on a fourth model of the S10, referred to as "Beyond X" with the 6.7-inch screen and 1TB of storage that we mentioned above.
Samsung's first triple-camera phone was the Galaxy A7 which has a main camera, depth sensor and a wide-angle lens. The Galaxy A9 meanwhile has four lenses on the back, so increasing the cameras on the Galaxy S10 is certainly a possibility.
It has also been claimed the S10 could have a front-facing camera hidden behind the display, while Blass claims it will be a "punch hole" as we briefly mentioned previously. In reality, there's little we can really deduce from Samsung's camera plans right now - there are just too many conflicting reports.