The Galaxy S10 is due to be officially announced on February 20th, but I’ve got the inside scoop ahead of time thanks to a series of leaks and rumours. In this article, I’ll round up the most convincing examples so you can sort the fact from the fiction. Here are ten things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S10!
1. There will be three phones, just like Apple
According to several sources, Samsung is planning to debut at least three smartphones at their Samsung Unpacked event: the vanilla 6.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S10, the larger 6.4-inch Galaxy S10 Plus and the cheaper and flatter 5.8-inch Galaxy S10e. If this sort of a line-up looks familiar, it’s extremely similar to what Apple did last year with the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr. It’s also possible that we’ll see a folding Galaxy X smartphone, but this has remained under much tighter wraps than the other three if it’s truly coming.
2. Each phone will come with a hole punch design
Remember last year (and the year before) when notched displays became a thing? While Samsung and a few others stuck to traditional designs with bezels above and below, many other companies followed Essential, Xiaomi and Apple in adopting designs that included an edge-to-edge screen with front-facing cameras and other sensors housed in a small notch in the centre. 2019 will certainly still include notched phones, but the new trend will be for so-called hole punch displays. Here, the front-facing camera and sensors are set in holes, often in the top corner of a screen, thereby maximising the screen-to-body ratio. This new style will be included on all three Galaxy S10 models and I’m sure we’ll see it on a range of other Android smartphones released later this year as well.
3. The Galaxy S10 will use a sub-screen fingerprint sensor
Another trend we saw become widespread last year was sub-screen fingerprint sensors. These allow you to rest your finger on a certain part of the screen to unlock it. This allows for a good level of security without sacrificing the all-screen design that pushed fingerprint sensors to the back of the phone or to be removed entirely. While the first versions of this technology only worked in a small area, more modern implementations seem to work almost anywhere in the lower half of the screen, making them considerably more convenient than their physical predecessors. The Samsung S10 models are all expected to include this tech, as leaked images show that the phones won’t continue to employ physical fingerprint readers on the back.
4. Expect more cameras on your smartphone
The Galaxy S10 will come with a trio of rear-facing cameras (regular, zoom and wide-angle) and a front-facing camera, while the S10 Plus includes two front-facing cameras. The S10e will have to make do with just two rear cameras and one front-facer, making it similar to last year’s Galaxy S9 Plus. Samsung is also expected to include new software features, including a mode called ‘Artistic Live Focus’ which creates a blurred (‘bokeh’) effect that differentiates the subject and the background of a photograph.
5. The Galaxy S10 will be able to wirelessly charge other devices
According to leaked images posted by WinFuture and a trademark application, Samsung will release a set of wireless in-ear headphones alongside the Galaxy S10. These will be called the Galaxy Buds, and they’ll be able to make use of an interesting new feature on the S10 handsets called PowerShare: the ability to send power wirelessly. That means your S10 will be able to charge your Galaxy Buds while they’re in your charging case, so if you keep your S10 charged up then you can give your Galaxy Buds a boost whenever they need it without needing a cable or power outlet. Nice!
6. The Galaxy S10 will be 5G-capable… eventually
5G is a term that is often bandied about when discussing the future of smartphones, and in 2019 it might actually arrive for the first time - at least in some places. You’ll need both a 5G-capable network and a 5G-capable smartphone to be able to access the higher speeds and lower latency that 5G offers, and Samsung are expected to be one of the first manufacturers to bring a 5G phone to market. The three initial Samsung Galaxy S10 models aren’t expected to include this functionality, but Samsung is rumoured to be showing off a 5G prototype at their event and will bring a 5G version of the S10 to market later. If you can wait for a few months - and if you have deep pockets to afford the expected £1K+ asking price - then you could pick up a 5G-capable Galaxy S10 with 1TB of flash storage before the year is out.
7. The Galaxy S10 will come in Snapdragon and Exynos variants
While the S10 does include several new innovations befitting of the 10th major Galaxy S release, some things aren’t expected to change. This includes Samsung making two different varieties for different regions, with the most notable difference being a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor for the US and Chinese markets, with a Samsung Exynos 9820 processor used in other territories including the UK. The two processors are generally quite similar in terms of capabilities, but past phones have sometimes offered a slightly different balance between longevity and performance.
8. The S10 will be well-equipped elsewhere, too
As well as having one of two bleeding-edge processors, the S10 is also expected to be impressive in terms of other hardware specifications. The [most high-end model will max-out][(https://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-galaxy-s10-plus-leaked-pics-show-off-flashy-new-color-options)] with 12GB of RAM, a new high for a smartphone and more than you’ll find in most computers - including many gaming PCs. In terms of storage, the most expensive models will come with 1TB of flash storage, bigger than that offered by even high-end laptops. It’s impressive stuff!
9. The S10 will be released on March 8th
There’s traditionally a gap between a phone being announced and being offered for sale… and we’re expecting the same for the Galaxy S10. With Samsung’s event on the 20th of February, we can expect pre-orders to open around March 1st and the phone itself to start shipping by March 8th. That gives you enough time to look at some initial reviews before deciding whether you want to buy the phone or not, although no doubt Samsung will incentivise pre-orders heavily as they have with past flagships.
10. There will be competition
Of course, Samsung isn’t operating in a vacuum here - the company’s rivals are also hard at work developing phones with hole punch screens, folding designs and 5G capabilities. LG is apparently due to unveil a 5G smartphone of their own this month, called the V50, alongside the expected LG G8 ThinQ. The former will include a six-inch display, a 7nm Snapdragon 855 processor and a hefty 4,000mAh battery. LG’s V phones normally come in the second half of the year, alongside new iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy Note, but LG might have had to speed up their timeline to offer a rival to Samsung’s 5G phones. OnePlus has also confirmed that it will show off a 5G phone at Mobile World Congress near the end of this month, and I’m sure we will see similar efforts from a wide range of other major smartphone manufacturers.
So there we have it - ten things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S10. Thanks for checking out the article, and remember you can leave your feedback with me on twitter, where I’m @wsjudd. We’ll see you on the next article!