It's official: the Galaxy S10 will be unveiled on 20 February 2019. Four versions are expected, with the 5.8in Galaxy S10 E (previously thought to be S10 Lite), 6.1in Galaxy S10, and 6.4in Galaxy S10 Plus. A 5G version will come later in the spring.
Headline new features include larger screens that get closer to an edge-to-edge experience than ever before, thanks to new Infinity-O displays that have a single punch-hole-style cutout for the selfie camera, leaving nothing but glass in their wake.
There will also be an in-display fingerprint sensor, and up to six cameras, with two at the front and three or four lenses at the rear. Also expect a performance bump thanks to fast UFS 3.0 storage and a move to the Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 depending where in the world you buy, and an Android 9.0 Pie operating system topped with Samsung's own OneUI.
When is the Galaxy S10 release date?
Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy S10 will be unveiled on 20 February 2019 at a 7pm GMT event. This places the launch several days ahead of the MWC tradeshow, which should enable it to hit the headlines before its competitors (see all the new flagship phones expected this year). Expect it to go up for preorder immediately, and on sale in mid-March 2019.
The event will be live streamed, and we'll bring you full details on how you can tune in nearer the time.
The 5G version will come later in the spring, followed by a Galaxy Note 10 in August 2019.
How much will the Galaxy S10 cost?
Though we were expecting a price hike from the S9’s £739 (US$719)/£869 ($839) RRP for the standard and Plus models to as much as £799 and £899 respectively, it now sounds as though the Galaxy S10 could actually be cheaper.
Fresh rumours from the UK suggest the Lite model will come in at £670, with the standard S10 priced at £800 and the S10 Plus at £900.
Are there any design changes in the Galaxy S10?
Until now we've seen only concept images and renders for the Galaxy S10, but @evleaks has published our first look at what's said to be the real deal. It reveals the new punch-hole-style selfie camera cutout (the Infinity-O display), and an even larger screen area with incredibly slim bezels.
Other rumoured design changes include an in-display fingerprint sensor, and multiple-lens cameras at the rear.
We spied this Samsung 5G prototype at Qualcomm's Tech Summit in December 2018. It's unlikely to be an early Galaxy S10, but it does feature an interesting notch out of the top-right corner of the screen which could hint at what Samsung might adopt in the upcoming phone (but please, please no):
Reliable leaker OnLeaks claims the below render is what the S10 Plus will look like, with three horizontal rear cameras:
There's also info from case maker Olixar via Mobile Fun of supposedly three Galaxy S10 models, adding a Lite into the mix, which it now says is actually the S10 E. It'd be interesting if Samsung were to launch three S10s at once, and would echo Huawei's P and Mate lines with their respective Lite editions. It would also mean the screens of the phones would increase over the S9, but this is down largely to the lack of bezel - the devices will likely stay very similar sizes.
Mobile Fun claims the S10 and S10 Lite will have three rear cameras with the S10 Plus boasting four, like on the mid-range Galaxy A9.
What are the key new features in the Galaxy S10?
There's a new interface heading our way, and we've already had a look during the Samsung Developer Conference, in which it also gave more details about the upcoming foldable phone which will also run the OneUI software.
One of the features of the new interface is that it can match the colour of the hardware, and the imagery shown during the keynote suggests we could be looking at silver, green, black, blue and red colour options for the Galaxy S10.
The software can also aid one-handed use with large-screen devices by adding larger thumbnails and icons and putting all the controls in the bottom half and leaving the top as a viewing area. There's also a system-wide night mode.
The S10 is rumoured to feature the ability to produce a holographic display via a patented design that was published at the end of November.
True innovations in smartphone technology have been rather scarce over the past few years, so the inclusion of some true Star Trek technology could be the ace up Samsung’s sleeve used to distance itself from its competition.
The design will use a relay lens, consisting of several microlenses, along with a spatial light modulator to display the hologram correctly when it is projected from the display as a beam of light.
This technology has a firm design around it too, it’s not just a nebulous idea so we’re very excited to see what comes of this. We're not sure if this feature will make it onto the S10 or not, but we have our fingers crossed.
Bezel-less Infinity Display - with Infinity-O notchless panel
Well known leakster Ice Universe published an image that allegedly shows the Galaxy S10’s bezel-less display. It’s something we’ve been getting increasingly closer to over the past couple of years, and in Samsung’s new flagship we could finally see a truly bezel-less design.
A later leak (also from Ice Universe) of a Galaxy S10 screen protector shows slimmer bezels than we've ever seen on a Galaxy S-series phone before:
Galaxy S10 Screen Protector！ pic.twitter.com/LPn6OSOBAd— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 22, 2018
The only question that remains is where Samsung intends to put the selfie camera, earpiece and sensors. There’s a chance we could see a pop-up unit that houses all these things, as on the Vivo Apex, and Samsung has also been working on ‘Sound on Display’ tech that allows the screen glass to emit audio.
However, @evleaks suggests we will see an Infinity-O display, which rather than a notch that is connected to the top screen bezel has a floating selfie camera toward the top left corner of the screen. The image below is a concept from Ben Geskin that shows how this might look.
This is almost certainly a Super AMOLED panel, with the standard S10 expected to measure 5.8in and the Plus model 6.2in. A third model is rumoured at 6.44in. For the 5.8in version at least, we could also see a shorter body thanks to the removal of the top and bottom bezels.
A case manufacturer's expectations for the Galaxy S10 lineup: pic.twitter.com/lrExjvalcb— Evan Blass (@evleaks) December 8, 2018
The new Galaxy phone is expected to have a screen-to-body ratio of 93%, which is significantly higher that the S9’s 83.6%.
Ice Universe has suggested it will have a greater than 600ppi pixel density. Given that the Quad-HD+ Galaxy S9 is 570ppi, we may see a move to Ultra-HD/4K.
In-display fingerprint sensor
It’ll be in the Galaxy S10 Plus that we see for the first time the highly-anticipated ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, a third-gen model made by Qualcomm. Taiwanese companies General Interface Solutions (GIS) and O-Film, which have previously collaborated with Qualcomm or Vivo on ultrasonic fingerprint-scanning tech, have been brought in to help produce the modules at the mass scale required by Samsung.
Originally thought to be a feature reserved for the two premium models, news from Korea suggests the standard Galaxy S10 will also get the feature but it will be a cheaper optical version to keep down costs (still fancy, but not as accurate when your fingers are wet or dirty).
Chosun Biz reports that technical difficulties have meant Samsung has tried and failed to implement FOD (fingerprint on display) tech for the past two years, and has decided not to add it to the Note 9 in favour of the S10 and S10 Plus.
However, TF Securities’ Ming Chi Kuo says that going forward the Note 10 and most of the A series will get the feature. Indeed, Chosun Biz reports that 2019 will be the year the FOD becomes commonplace, with 100 million units shipped, and a further 210 million in 2020.
A patent has been unearthed by Patently Mobile that reveals exactly how this in-display fingerprint scanning tech might work, showing a biometric area in the bottom half of the display. One might assume this will work better than existing designs that require you to place your finger in a specific spot.
Triple or even quadruple rear cameras
Following the success of the triple rear camera arrangement on the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung is expected to follow a similar format with its S10 - a theory backed by KBI Securities analyst Kim Dong-won, who says the company hopes it will help it to “reinvigorate” its business. Extra depth-sensing abilities, optical zoom and increased light sensitivity are expected to headline.
Triple rear cameras are expected to feature in the two larger Galaxy S10 models, with a 16Mp (standard) + 13Mp (telephoto) + 12Mp (wide-angle) setup (source).
However, there's now talk that the 5G model, a super-sized 6.7in Galaxy S10, will actually have four lenses at the back.
Less likely is the theory that Samsung will fly the megapixel flag high as a highlight of its latest phone with news that it recently announced the 48Mp Isocell Bright GM1 and 32Mp Isocell Bright GD1, both small enough to be used in smartphones with multiple cameras.
The largest of the three Galaxy S10 models is expected to arrive with two selfie cameras. The spec of these cameras is not known, though we suspect they may be 8Mp and 16Mp in line with the Galaxy A8.
Face ID-style 3D sensing camera
Rumours hailing from Korea suggest Samsung will ditch the iris scanner in favour of a 3D sensing camera in the Galaxy S10. It says with the in-display fingerprint sensor at the front there’s really no need for this kind of tech.
Expect a processor bump in the S10, so we’ll see either Samsung’s 8nm Exynos 9820 chip or the Snapdragon 855 (the upgrade to the 845, which was unveiled by Qualcomm on 4 December), depending where in the world you buy your handset.
Based on the specs of Samsung's recently announced Exynos chip, the S10 will not only be faster and more energy efficient, with smoother framerates thanks to the integrated Mali G76, but able to support 8K video at 30fps and 4K at 150fps. The ISP can support five lenses, adding weight to the theory there will be a triple-lens rear camera. There's also an integrated NPU for AI.
In line with this will be faster UFS 3.0 storage, which is twice as fast as UFS 2.0.
Faster Wireless Charging
A tweet from Ice Universe, a renowned technology tipster, has mentioned that "Samsung smartphone 15w charging will become history". This is one of the areas that Samsung has been slower to improve, but thanks to manufacturers such as Huawei pushing its wireless charging to 40 watts, Samsung could be looking to adopt Qualcomm's wireless charging technology of up to 27w for its users.
In terms of battery capacity, an image shared by Ice Universe suggests the 5.8in version will have a 3,100mAh cell, the 6.1in S10 a 3,500mAh battery, and the largest 6.4in phone the highest capacity of all at 4000mAh.
Arriving before the launch of 5G the standard Galaxy S10 will not get 5G support, but a version of the phone with 5G is expected to arrive later in the year, according to The Bell.
Samsung has previously been said to have been working on a dedicated 5G phone.
Ice Universe claims: "Samsung will launch 5G in March next year, but only 5G will be opened in few regions of the world. It is reasonable for Samsung not to carry 5G on S10. 5G baseband may bring instability and heat. Samsung will release a 5G dedicated mobile phone."
We know that the Exynos 9820 does not support 5G, maxing out at LTE-A Cat 20, though the Snapdragon 855 variant could add 5G connectivity.
What is the difference between Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus?
Primarily size, with the Galaxy S10 tipped to retain its 5.8in screen and the S10 Plus a 6.2in. Now there may also be a third model at 6.44in, and a 6.7in 5G version that comes later. This also translates to battery capacity, and in the past we’ve seen a 500mAh difference between the two.
Samsung often provides better camera tech on the Plus model too, so it is probable that the rumoured triple rear camera is reserved for the Plus models while the Galaxy S9 keeps its dual-camera. The dual-selfie camera is also expected to feature on only the 6.44in-screen S10. All three should get ISOCELL Plus tech, which we’ll see first in the Note 9. It allows for increased light sensitivity.
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