The dust has barely settled on the Samsung Galaxy S9’s launch, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Work on the newest model of Samsung’s world-beating smartphone is already underway, and we’re already inundated with rumors and whispers about the Samsung Galaxy S10.
So whether we’re hearing about an even more advanced camera, jaw-dropping good looks, or — in Samsung’s potentially most radical move — an increased battery capacity, we’ve gathered all the rumors, leaks, and news into one place so you can quickly find out everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Last year for the Plus model
Let’s be honest: There’s not a huge difference between Samsung Galaxy Plus handsets and their Note siblings. And in a overly saturated smartphone market, it becomes difficult to justify releasing two similar handsets each year.
According to the South Korean business site The Bell, Samsung is planning to retire its Plus line of Galaxy handsets after the release of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus in 2019. The company plans to merge the Plus model handsets with its Note line to increase profitability. The rumor comes on the heels of news that sales of the Galaxy S9 smartphones have been sluggish, with second quarter shipments falling behind the pace for the first quarter.
Samsung’s Galaxy S range of smartphones are known for their trend-setting looks, so how will the Galaxy S10 move things along? Rumors already state the Galaxy S10’s design has apparently been finalized, and that it will be similar to the S9. It’s possible there may be three versions of the Galaxy S10, according to multiple inside sources speaking to The Bell. Referred to under the code name Beyond; the Beyond 1 and Beyond 2 are likely the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus. Both models will reportedly feature fingerprint-on-display (FOD) technology as well as AMOLED screens. This news was further corroborated by well-known TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that there will be one model with a 5.8-inch display, one with a 6.1-inch display, and one with a 6.4-inch display, and that the two higher-end models will have Samsung’s FOD.
The sources also refer to the Beyond 0, which is possibly a Galaxy S10 Mini — a budget version of the flagship apparently with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Samsung often releases a tough version of its latest Galaxy S phone, so the Beyond 0 may also refer to a Galaxy S10 Active.
How about the screen size? Reports vary. According to ET News, the Galaxy S10 will feature a 6.2-inch screen, while The Bell has echoed an earlier report suggesting the S10 will have a 5.8-inch screen and the S10 Plus a 6.3-inch screen. The panels are expected to be AMOLED, like previous Galaxy S phones.
The bezels around it may shrink due to the introduction of a sound-emitting OLED display, says ET News. Instead of using a traditional speaker, bone conduction and vibration will transmit sound directly through the display. Such technology will mean even smaller bezels on the Galaxy S10 since a top-firing speaker cutout will no longer be necessary.
Previous news of a patent approved in March 2018 shows a phone with a screen-to-body ratio of 99 percent, and no visible speakers, front-facing camera, or fingerprint sensor. While creating this phone isn’t outside the realm of possibility — the front-facing camera could be under the display, as could the fingerprint sensor — it now seems more likely that such a radical redesign is not intended for the Galaxy S10.
Another earlier patent granted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation reveals that Samsung is working on phone designs that are as close to bezel-free as possible, with fingerprint scanners placed beneath the display tech — this could also be linked to the long-rumored foldable Galaxy smartphone.
Samsung greatly improved the camera on the Galaxy S9 over the Galaxy S8; but what about its plans for the Galaxy S10? For the Galaxy S10 Plus, Samsung may look to Huawei for inspiration, and include a triple-lens camera on the rear, just like the P20 Pro. Then, for good measure, it will add another lens to the selfie camera array, giving the Galaxy S10 five camera lenses in total according to sources speaking to The Bell.
The same dual-lens camera on the S9 Plus will return on the S10 Plus, but this time it may come with an additional 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with a 120-degree angle. The dual selfie camera may replicate the system used on the Samsung Galaxy A8, presumably with key improvements representative of the Galaxy S range. While a dual-lens front camera will almost certainly be used to generate bokeh-style shots, it’s not clear yet what benefits an additional, even wider angle lens will bring to the rear camera.
How will you unlock and secure the Galaxy S10? While the S9 has the Intelligent Scan tech that scans a hybrid of your face as well as iris data, it’s not secure enough for purchase verification and a far cry from the highly advanced and secure Face ID that Apple introduced on the iPhone X. Samsung may change this for the S10, and introduce a new fingerprint sensor too.
These alterations may push Samsung to drop iris scanning from the Galaxy S10, but likely only if it can master the in-display fingerprint sensor to accompany a new secure face-recognition system. Prototype samples of the S10, according to South Korean publication The Bell, have not been ordered with iris scanners, a decision that may also help offset costs if the two new security systems are being included.
Out with the iris, and in with the face. Earlier rumors said Samsung had teamed up with 3D-camera startup Mantis Vision to provide 3D-sensing camera tech for Samsung’s upcoming smartphones, and those rumors have seemingly been confirmed by a report that the Galaxy S10 will include a full 3D camera, potentially equaling the iPhone X experience. This could also help Samsung’s underpowered AR Emoji, which aren’t anywhere near as accurate as Apple’s Animoji. Tests from across the Digital Trends office led to some — er — fairly disturbing uncanny valley creations.
The discontinuation of iris scanning may only happen if Samsung can include an in-display fingerprint sensor on the S10. Reportedly dropped from the Galaxy Note 9 because of technical issues, it may be ready for the S10. The Bell states Samsung is working hard to create a fingerprint-on-display (FOD) scanner, with some seeming success.
Release date and name
Are we fools for expecting Samsung to stick to its previous release schedule? Perhaps, but we’d still take that wager. However, not everyone agrees, and The Bell says Samsung is aiming for a January 2019 release for the Galaxy S10 at the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas.
It’s possible, but unlikely. While Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018, the Galaxy S8 was launched at its own “Unpacked” event in 2017 — and while the Galaxy S10 isn’t likely to be as big a redesign as the S8 was, it’s possible that Samsung will again choose to reveal its newest phone at its own special event and not jostle for headlines during CES. However, the reasoning behind a CES launch is that at MWC 2019, Samsung will introduce the foldable Galaxy X.
The Galaxy S10’s code name is apparently “Beyond,” likely signifying that Samsung sees the S10 as the next big thing, with the sort of features that make you want to buy it. In terms of the actual phone’s name, while we’ve tentatively named this article the Galaxy S10, there’s no guarantee that’s what Samsung’s next generation of the S-range phone will be named. Some early rumors point that Samsung will be looking to ditch some of its long-standing branding in favor of a fresher name.
The Galaxy S phones are performance flagships, so what will Samsung do to ensure the new phones are among the best available. It’s a fair bet that the Galaxy S10 will feature a new iteration of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, most likely the Snapdragon 855. Samsung has sunk $5.6 billion into a foundry for rumored 7mn chipsets for the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones. Risk trials for those chips will begin later this year, with Samsung expecting that mass production would be possible in early 2019 — just in time for a likely S10 release date.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Samsung in the coming months, so watch for our updates on the latest Galaxy S10 news.
Updated on July 20, 2018: Added rumors about Samsung retiring the Plus line.