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Samsung Galaxy S20: Everything we know ahead of Galaxy Unpacked

With the success of the Galaxy S10 and S9, Samsung is on something of a roll. It’s a streak the company will want to keep going with its next flagship smartphone range. We’ve been gathering the choicest and ripest of rumors for the last year, and with February finally here, it’s almost time to celebrate the launch of a new Galaxy S flagship at Galaxy Unpacked.

But while a lot of our assumptions are likely to bear fruit, Samsung has thrown a few curve balls. Foremost on that list is the name of the range. Rather than following the Galaxy S10 with the Galaxy S11, Samsung has elected to skip ahead by ten. Here’s absolutely everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus ahead of the expected reveal on Tuesday, February 11.

Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S20+ leak
XDA Developers

The Galaxy S range tends to see a major design change only once every two years or so, so we didn’t expect to see the next Galaxy S divert massively from the formula laid down by the Galaxy S10. The rumors and leaks up to this point have confirmed that assumption, and based on the renders that have leaked, the Galaxy S20 will be a sleek phone made from glass and metal, with curved edges, and a bezel-less display with a hole-punch for the selfie lens.

Samsung released three models under the S10 umbrella last year, so it didn’t come as a surprise to hear it had the same planned for 2020. What did come as a surprise were rumors Samsung was planning on changing the three models dramatically. First, Samsung is changing the naming scheme still further. The “e” model debuted last year with the Galaxy S10e is being dropped. Instead, leakers say we should expect to see the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and a new super-sized model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Those three phones will have enormous displays, with leaks claiming we’ll see either a 6.2 or 6.4-inch display on the Galaxy S20, a 6.7-inch Galaxy S20 Plus display, and a massive 6.9-inch display on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

There have also been rumors we might see a new type of screen tech on those three phones, with Samsung trademarking “SAMOLED” in November of last year. However, with Samsung introducing the new Dynamic AMOLED last year, it would seem odd for it to be included on the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S21 may be more likely. What’s more likely to be a big change is the introduction of a 120Hz mode. Introduced to the smartphone world through gaming phones, phones with 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates have been becoming more popular — and despite earlier disagreements on the subject, the evidence is strong we’ll be seeing a super-smooth 120Hz display on all three S20 models.

Finally, though the design is likely to be much the same as the Galaxy S10, rumors and leaks say there’ll be a few minor changes. The Bixby key is apparently gone, mirroring the Galaxy Note 10 range. We may also have to bid a fond farewell to the headphone jack, which has been missing in most renders. The aforementioned hole-punch selfie lens is now centrally placed, again like the Note 10, and each phone’s curved edges are expected to be slightly flatter and less curved than previous S-range flagships.

Specs and battery

No one is awarding any prizes for guessing the Galaxy S20’s specs will be higher than the Galaxy S10’s. But even with that in mind, it’s still exciting to see exactly which new numbers will replace the old numbers.

First on most people’s specs list is the processor, and leaks have been pretty solid in claiming the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra will be equipped with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Qualcomm’s new processor is expected to be a decent jump up in performance from the Snapdragon 855. RAM numbers have been harder to pin down, and you can expect RAM on each model to vary, with multiple variants for each. However, some rumors are claiming the largest model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, will have the option for an incredible 16GB of RAM. That may not be mirrored on the smaller models, but expect them to start from 8GB of RAM upward.

In terms of storage, expect the storage options to start from 128GB. The S20 Ultra is expected to peak at 512GB, and may also come with a Micro SD card slot, giving a theoretical max storage of 1.5TB. That’s a lot of cat pictures. Numbers for the smaller models hasn’t been as comprehensively leaked, but 128GB and 256GB models seem the most likely.

Of course, all that power need a capable battery to handle it. According to a number of leaks, battery shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The Galaxy S20 is expected to come with a 4,000mAh cell, the Galaxy S20 Plus a larger 4,300mAh battery, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra a gargantuan 5,000mAh battery. We’ll be sure to give you the lowdown on the battery life for each phone in our reviews, but based on these numbers, we’re hopeful the Galaxy S20 range will provide solid battery life. The S20 Ultra is expected to come with 45W fast charging, while the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus will come with a 25W charger. It’s currently unknown if the two smaller models will support 45W fast charging.

Camera

The Galaxy S10 was no slouch where the camera was concerned, but it fell behind the competition, with phones from Apple, Huawei, and Google taking positions above Samsung’s flagship S range. But if leaks are right, then Samsung is looking to take a serious shot at taking the camera photography crown with the Galaxy S20. Samsung is seriously upping its game with its new phones, with the Galaxy S20 Ultra looking like a seriously impressive stills shooter from the specs alone.

Samsung’s largest new phone has been heavily leaked, and the camera module specs have been one of the most highlighted elements. It’s expected to be a monster, with four impressive and versatile lenses. The main lens is expected to be a 108-megapixel monster that uses pixel-binning to combine 9 pixels into 1, boosting light available to the camera’s sensor. That main sensor is joined by a 12-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens, and a 48-megapixel telephoto zoom lens. But it’s not just any telephoto lens — it’s a periscope lens, running lengthways along the phone’s body. That lengthways orientation allows Samsung to fit a 10x optical zoom into the slim phone. This zoom is enhanced with software to create a 100x hybrid zoom — a feature Samsung has dubbed “Space Zoom.”

There’s still some confusion about the status of the last lens. Earlier rumors claimed the fourth lens was a macro lens for close-up photography — but these have more recently shifted to it being a Time-of-Flight sensor that captures accurate 3D depth data. With many flagship smartphones packing a ToF sensor for better portrait mode shots, this seems the more likely addition.

Leaks and rumors aren’t as robust where the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are concerned. It’s thought the Galaxy S20 Plus will come with a similar quad-lens setup to the S20 Ultra, but with lower specs — for instance, with a 12-megapixel main lens instead of the 108-megapixel lens on the S20 Ultra, and a 2x telephoto zoom instead. The Galaxy S20 could lose the Time-of-Flight sensor along with lower specs.

However, that’s not to say the smaller phones will lose out in photo power — each rumored setup is powerful in its own right. It’s also expected Samsung will launch a number of new software tricks to complement the new camera systems — including a mode called “Super ISO,” which could dramatically boost night mode photography.

What about around the front? The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are rumored to be getting the same 10-megapixel selfie lens as the Note 10, while the S20 Ultra may well get a huge 40-megapixel selfie lens — though it’s not unthinkable for that to use pixel-binning to create a 10-megapixel image.

Software

samsung working on airdrop like app for galaxy phones quick share feature
Credit: XDA Developers

We haven’t heard a huge amount where software is concerned — and that’s probably because there isn’t a huge amount to tell. It’s a given the Galaxy S20 range will ship with Google’s latest Android 10, nestled comfortably underneath Samsung’s manufacturer UI, OneUI 2.0. Expect there to be a few additions to what we’re already familiar with — like the introduction of Quick Share. Essentially Apple’s AirDrop, but for Galaxy devices, Quick Share would allow nearby Galaxy devices to share files without using mobile data. It’s expected to show up on the Galaxy S20 before being added to other Galaxy phones.

5G?

Verizon 5G Super Bowl
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Samsung has released 5G variants of its previous flagship phones, but at some point it’s expected the company will simply include 5G in all its devices. Will that start with the Samsung Galaxy S20? Well, it’s entirely possible. A leak from Max Weinberg indicates that all three models of the Samsung Galaxy S20 will come with 5G connectivity — meaning that no matter what model you get, you’ll still be able to connect to next-gen networks.

That said, other leaks have suggested otherwise. Some leaks suggest that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will come with 5G connectivity, but that the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ will come in 4G and 5G variants — bringing the total number of devices to five. One thing we can more or less count on is that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will have 5G connectivity.

Price and Availability

So when will we finally see the Samsung Galaxy S20 in person? Well, we pretty much know for sure when it will be announced — at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked on February 11. The date it’s announced, and the date it’s released to the public, however, will likely be very different. A relatively old leak from Ice Universe tipped February 11 or 18 as the launch date as the next Galaxy phone — so it’s possible that perhaps the device will be announced on February 11, and released on February 18.

Some leaks have indicated what colors the phones will be, too. According to a leak from 91Mobiles, the devices will be available in Cosmic Black, Cosmic Gray, and Cloud Blue. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that other colors will be available for different variants of the phone. Notably, the Galaxy S20 Ultra may be available in a Stainless Steel color.

Pricing for the phones is a little more unclear. According to Max Weinberg, the Galaxy S20 will come at 900-1,000 euros, with the Galaxy S20+ sitting in at 1,050-1,100 euros, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra costing 1,300 euros. That said, we can’t necessarily directly convert the price from euros to U.S. dollars — so we can’t tell for sure how much the phones will cost in the U.S.

That’s all we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S20 series so far — and we probably won’t have to wait long for official details.

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