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Samsung Galaxy S10 to launch February 20: Here’s everything we know

While the Samsung Galaxy S9 will go down as one of 2018’s most popular Android smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is due to ring in 2019 and kickstart Samsung’s year. What can we expect from Samsung’s next flagship? Whether it’s an even more advanced camera or jaw-dropping good looks, we’ve gathered all the rumors, leaks, and news into one place so you can find everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Design and display

After taking something of a design break with the Galaxy S9, it looks as if Samsung will be making some serious changes to the Galaxy S10. So far, the leaks are pointing toward three models, all with edge-to-edge displays far surpassing the previous Galaxy S models, with hole-punch cutouts for the front-facing cameras.

With less than a week to go before the S10 is revealed at Samsung Unpacked, the leaks are coming in thick and fast. The latest, from mobile accessory retailer Mobile Fun is a jaw-dropping video that claims to show the Galaxy S10 Plus in all its majesty.

Mobile Fun claims to have received the video from its extensive contacts in China. The device shown strongly resembles other leaked images of the Galaxy S10 Plus, with slim bezels and a hole-punch display with two selfie cameras at the top-right of the phone’s screen. Oddly, there seems to be a hole in the screen protector, presumably for the rumored in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s not known why the hole is required — we haven’t heard of any existing in-display fingerprint scanners being affected by screen protectors. The video also shows the phone with the screen turned on, and you can see the symbols for the phone and camera functions in the bottom corners when it does.

Samsung usually releases a bunch of new colors for its flagship phones, but the latest leak from MySmartPrice shows off the Canary Yellow Galaxy S10 E.

Credit: MySmartPrice

“Canary Yellow” is certainly accurate, and it’s a bright and garish color we’ve rarely seen from one of Samsung’s flagship phones. Another tweet from Ishan Agarwal showcases the entire color range (minus the Ceramic options) for the Galaxy S10 E, S10, and S10 Plus — and it seems the Canary Yellow option is only available on the lower-priced S10 E. It’s possible Samsung is aiming for a similar audience to that of the iPhone XR, which launched with brighter color options than we would normally expect from an iPhone.

As expected for a while now, the Galaxy S10 Plus looks set to go a step further and use the camera cutout — set in the top right of the screen — to hold two camera lenses. The latest leaks from 91Mobiles are supposedly one of the press renders Samsung will use for its announcement on February 20, and it shows the Galaxy S10 Plus in detail, including the two front-facing camera lenses, and horizontally placed camera suite with three lenses and a single flash.

Another leaked photo — supposedly of the phone itself — shows how this will look, with the lenses acting like an off-center notch, as the top line of information runs alongside it rather than above it. The device pictured also has very thin top and bottom bezels. This follows another leak showing what’s likely to be the Galaxy S10 Plus with a dual front-facing camera in the top right of the phone’s front. The image isn’t great, but there are a few details that can be made out.

An earlier leak apparently showed some renders of the Galaxy S10 range inside clear Speck cases.

These renders show off what are now expected to be called the Galaxy S10 E, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus. There are three lenses on the back of the S10 and S10 Plus, and two on the back of the S10 E. The two front-facing lenses are also noticeable on the S10 Plus, like the more recent leaks of this device.

Take a look at the left-hand side of the S10 E and compare it to the other two and you’ll likely notice a much larger cut-out on the S10 E’s side. This may be a space cut for a fingerprint scanner, which matches earlier rumors about such a feature, and is similar to some Sony Xperia smartphones.

Three models in the S10 range are expected, rather than the usual two. This leak apparently shows design expectations from case manufacturers The first model, then nicknamed the S10 Lite and now assumed to be the S10 E, sports a 5.8-inch screen. The middle model, the S10, has a 6.1-inch display. The largest model, the S10 Plus, sports a 6.4-inch display. All three are said to use Samsung’s beautiful AMOLED displays. However, subsequent leaks indicate the front camera cutouts will be placed differently.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also claims the two higher-end models will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. Other sources claim the smaller Galaxy S10 E may sport a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. According to news from noted Samsung leaker IceUniverse, the entire S10 range will still include the headphone jack.

In September, Samsung CEO DJ Koh reported the upcoming Galaxy S10 lineup will come in an “amazing” array of color options. In addition to bright yellow and green options — with Huawei P20 Pro-style gradient finishes — Samsung may use ceramic for the rear panel on a black and white Galaxy S10. Ceramic is very strong, so the phone should better resist scratches and marks.

Ice Universe also published a render of the back of the phone which claimed the S10 would have dual camera lenses on the back. The renders do not show a fingerprint sensor, backing up speculation at least some of the models may come with in-display fingerprint scanners.

91 Mobiles

There’s also the off-chance different versions of the Galaxy S10 will have different camera configurations. A render from 91 Mobiles shows a triple camera array on the Galaxy S10, and the Wall Street Journal reports at least one version of the upcoming flagship will ship with four camera sensors.

Wi-Fi 6

According to regulatory filings spotted by Droid Life, the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be one of the first devices to offer the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, meaning that you could get much faster speeds while using the device on Wi-Fi. Of course, that will largely depend on other factors like distance from the router and obstacles. On top of that, almost no one has a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router. Still, it is worth having and helps ensure that the device will be a little more future-proof.

Many smartphones this year will likely support Wi-Fi 6, considering the fact that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor supports the new standard. The new chip will be used by most flagship Android phones in 2019.

5G Galaxy S10 X

It’s possible Samsung will release a dedicated 5G version of the Galaxy S10, called the Galaxy S10 X. We’ve gathered together everything you need to know about it into a separate story here. Expect it to be larger with a 6.7-inch screen, and potentially more expensive than the 4G Galaxy S10 phones.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9’s camera was a great leap ahead from the Galaxy S8, but what plans are laid for the Galaxy S10? A leak from Ice Universe says the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will have three rear-mounted camera lenses, while the S10 E will have two. The S10 Plus will be the only model to have two front-facing cameras, as the S10 and S10 E will make do with just one selfie lens.

Sammobile claims the 12-megapixel variable aperture lens we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S9 will return, and it’ll be joined by a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with a 123-degree field of view, an f/1.9 aperture, but no optical image stabilization or auto-focus. The third lens seems to be the same one we saw on the S9 Plus — a 13-megapixel lens with a much smaller f/2.4 aperture, likely equipped with a 2x telephoto zoom.

New software features hinted at through a trademark include “Artistic Live Focus” which is speculated to offer increased control over the level of background blur in a photo, along with more creative uses of motion or short video.

Specifications

Being a flagship phone, you can be sure the S10 range will come with the best possible hardware for the day. The new Snapdragon 855 seems likely (or the Samsung built Exynos 9820 in other markets), but what else can we expect?

In November 2018, Samsung tipster extraordinaire Ice Universe provided details on the Galaxy S10 Plus’s specs. An AnTuTu benchmark shows at least one version of the phone (not the U.S. model, judging by the Exynos chip) will have 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. We believe this may be a lower-end model of the S10 Plus since the Samsung Note 9, released in August 2018, shipped in 128GB and 512GB variants.

Ice Universe / @UniverseIce

The new Exynos 9820 chipset also has a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to support artificial intelligence (A.I.) tasks, and support 8K video at 30 frames per second.

On the software side, we expect Samsung’s 2019 flagships to ship with Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung’s new One UI interface.

Security

How will you unlock and secure the Galaxy S10? In September 2018, Korean tech site ETNews reported Samsung would use Qualcomm’s third-generation ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensors in the Galaxy S10 handsets. Qualcomm’s technology can capture 3D fingerprint data, allowing for higher accuracy and better security. This was similar to other leaks shared earlier in the year, including a patent by Patently Mobile showed Samsung was actively working on an in-display fingerprint sensor.

These alterations may push Samsung to drop iris scanning from the Galaxy S10, but only if it can master the in-display sensor to accompany a new secure face-recognition system. According to South Korean publication The Bell, prototype samples of the S10 have not been ordered with iris scanners, a decision that may also help offset costs if the two new security systems are being included.

Release date, name, and price

It’s official: Samsung will be taking the wraps off the Galaxy S10 range on February 20, in an 11 a.m. Unpacked event in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Digital Trends has been invited to the event, and you can be sure that we will offer you the latest breaking news from the event. The invite received shows a sideways-placed “10” — likely referencing the S10, but also celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Galaxy series. Also interesting is the line breaking the image in two — is this a teaser of the phone’s extremely thin bezels, or a foldable screen?

Like previous years, you can actually reserve the phone before it has even been announced — and if you do, you’ll get a pretty sizable discount. Samsung has put up a web page on which you can reserve the “next Galaxy” phone, and through the page, you can save up to $ 550 if you trade in an eligible device — plus, you’ll get $ 50 credit for accessories. If you pre-order, Samsung says you should get the phone by March 8 — though you’ll have to go back and complete your purchase within 72 hours of the phones going on sale. Samsung also notes that not all versions of the phone are eligible, but it doesn’t offer any details on specific models that are or are not. You can specify the carrier you plan on using the phone with, though.

The phones may then be available for pre-order immediately after the announcement and released on March 8, according to Gizmodo UK, which correctly leaked the Galaxy S10 event date, giving this extra information credibility.

As for pricing, Gizmodo UK claims it received a credible leak from a retail source, stating the Samsung Galaxy S10 E will sell for 669 British pounds (around $ 850). The 128GB version of the S10 will come in at 799 pounds (around $ 1,000), while the 512GB variant will sell for 999 pounds (around $ 1,250). The converted price to U.S. dollars will likely be different.

The Galaxy S10 Plus will reportedly come in three different storage configurations. The 128GB S10 Plus will sell for 899 pounds (around $ 1,150), and the 512GB version will go for 1,099 pounds (around $ 1,400). If you need a terabyte of onboard storage, be prepared to pay a jaw-dropping 1,399 pounds (around $ 1,750). A subsequent leak from a source speaking to ETNews claims the Galaxy S10 range will vary in price between the local equivalent of $ 710 and $ 1,425. These top prices would make it the most expensive Galaxy phone to be released so far.

Updated on February 17, 2019: Streamlined copy.

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