Update: A Samsung patent may have given us a look at the design of the Galaxy S10. Plus, a benchmark for the Snapdragon 8150 suggests it could be more powerful than any current phone.
New Samsung Galaxy S10 rumors point to what may be the most exciting phone of 2019, which makes sense given the incremental upgrade that was the Samsung Galaxy S9. The South Korean company is poised for a major overhaul.
Current Samsung Galaxy S10 rumors suggest a phone with a larger screen, maybe one that does away with the iris scanner in an attempt to make the screen-to-body ratio larger than the Galaxy S9 Plus. Every fraction of an inch of space counts.
Samsung did just announce its Samsung Infinity Flex Display, though we suspect that will be on a different foldable model, as the idea we saw in person on November 7 seemed like a concept. In other words, Samsung could launch a Galaxy S10 variant to test the waters with early adopters.
Speaking of timing, the Galaxy S10 release date may not be far off. In fact, we could see official hints about the smartphone drop in the next few weeks, namely at CES 2018 in January (sometimes Samsung teases its phone there) or right ahead of MWC 2019 (we expect the phone to launch at this Barcelona-located conference).
Here are all of the Galaxy S10 leaks regarding its in-screen fingerprint scanner and a fresh design.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung's next main flagship
- What will it cost? It's sure to be very expensive
- When is it out? Probably early 2019
Samsung Galaxy S10 release date and price
- The S10 launch event could be February 24, 2019 (one day before MWC 2019)
- Expect leaks or at least hints at either CES or in the lead up to MWC 2019
- Also, expect the S10 price to remain expensive at $719 / £739 / AU$1,199
The Samsung Galaxy S10 launch date is is likely to be in early 2019. More specifically we'll probably see it at MWC 2019, which takes place from February 25-28.
Samsung doesn’t always announce its Galaxy S flagships there, but recent models have all been announced in the first few months of the year, so we’d be surprised if we don’t see the Samsung Galaxy S10 by the end of March 2019.
Though it could arrive earlier, as we might see it in January at CES 2019 if one rumor is to be believed. That takes place from January 8-11, but that feels too early for such as major announcement, so we'd take this particular Galaxy S10 leak with a fair pinch of salt.
Of course, whenever it is announced you might not be able to buy it straight away.
When it does go on sale it’s sure to cost a lot, at least for the higher-end models, the most basic version might be fairly reasonable (if still expensive) though.
One price rumor puts the budget model at $650-$750 (roughly £500-£585 / AU$900-AU$1,040), but this time Samsung might launch three models, so expect prices to climb significantly as you move up the range.
The Galaxy S9 launched at $719.99 / £739 / AU$1,199, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus went on sale for $840 / £869 / AU$1,349. We’d expect the pricier entries in the Galaxy S10 range will cost at least that much.
Samsung Galaxy S10 design and display
- Three different screen sizes
- A bezel-free and notch-free design
- A 19:9 aspect ratio and 1440 x 3040 resolution
According to Samsung's mobile business chief, DJ Koh, the Samsung Galaxy S10 will have some "very significant" design changes and come in some "amazing" colors.
One leak from OnLeaks suggests those colors may be Black, Grey, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow, while in announcing some software Samsung may have hinted that the phone will come in silver, green, black, blue and pink shades and will have a 3.5mm headphone port.
Meanwhile, a benchmark for a mystery Samsung phone which could be the S10 points to a 19:9 aspect ratio, which would make it taller than the 18.5:9 Galaxy S9.
Along with that the benchmark suggests a resolution of 1440 x 3040, which would be a slight boost, and there's every chance that to achieve those things Samsung would slim the bezels, fitting a larger, sharper screen into the same size body.
One thing the Galaxy S10 might not have though, is a notch, because, as noted by T3, Samsung has taken to Twitter to criticize the notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL, so presumably it won't be going down that route for its next flagship. Having said that, the company has now revealed several new screens, some of which do have notches.
And a source claims that the most basic S10 model will have a flat 'Infinity-O' display, which is one of these new screens and has a circular cut-out towards the left edge of the display, rather than a conventional notch.
We've heard similar from another reliable source, saying that at least one model (though in this case it sounds like a higher-end one) will have a "punch hole" style selfie camera cut-out.
The image below gives an idea of how that might look. This is from a patent filed by Samsung, though it doesn't have the Galaxy S10 name attached.
At least one S10 model could ditch bezels completely though, as Samsung has teased another phone (the Galaxy A8S) in the image below, showing a handset that seemingly has no notch or bezels. This might be achieved by drilling a hole into the screen for the camera, according to one source, possibly like the Infinity-O display mentioned above.
Of course, this isn't the Samsung Galaxy S10, but the S10 could well sport a similar design.
We've also seen a photo, possibly showing a prototype of the Samsung Galaxy S10 (though notably the source didn't refer to it by name but did say "this may be a design beyond", and 'Beyond' is believed to be the codename of the Galaxy S10).
The image, which you can see below, shows a handset with a curved screen and almost no bezel on any edge. There seems to be less bezel in fact than we've seen on any other phone, suggesting the front-facing camera may either pop up or be built into the screen.
You can't see much else, but in addition to the power and volume buttons it looks like the Bixby button is making a return – if this photo really is showing the S10 and if nothing changes in the design before launch, which are two big ifs, especially as reputable leaker @OnLeaks has poured cold water on the image, claiming it's fake.
When it comes to the screen though it’s worth noting that there’s sure to be more than one size. In fact, this time around there might be three.
One of these, apparently codenamed 'Beyond 0', is said to have a 5.8-inch screen which might be flat. That would be the most basic model, but there's also said to be 'Beyond 1', which apparently has a 5.8-inch curved screen, and 'Beyond 2', with a 6.2-inch curved screen.
There’s also said to be differences in the three models’ fingerprint scanners and cameras, which we’ll get to in the relevant sections below.
All of that has been given more credence thanks to people familiar with the matter speaking to Bloomberg. Those sources also confirmed the company is experimenting with a prototype that loses the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Will Samsung Galaxy S10 be a foldable phone?
One thing you shouldn't expect is a foldable phone. Not from its flagship Galaxy S10, at least. The Infinity Flex Display concept Samsung showed off on November 7 made it clear: the company's foldable phone design is very much that: a concept.
Samsung could launch a foldable variant to the Galaxy S10, however. It did this with the original Galaxy Note Edge alongside the flat Samsung Galaxy Note 4. While the new look didn't go mainstream in 2014, the concept did become the backbone of future Samsung flagship phones down the line, including on the recent Note 9.
A foldable display is clearly the next big idea for Samsung, but it's starting from scratch with thick bezels, according to the steeped-in-shadow prototype we saw at the Samsung Developers Conference.
Samsung Galaxy S10 biometric security
- An in-screen fingerprint scanner
- An improved 3D face scanner
The picture above is our only real possible sighting of the Galaxy S10 yet (and we use the term 'real' very loosely), but we have heard a number of things about it, and one rumor we have seen pop up numerous times is the presence of an in-screen fingerprint scanner.
A report claims that it will use an ultrasonic Qualcomm scanner, and that Samsung has felt pressured to include it due to Vivo and Huawei both having phones with in-screen scanners.
Reliable leaker Evan Blass has also spoken of an ultrasonic scanner, and multiple separate sources who spoke to The Bell have said as much too, adding that Samsung will also look to ditch the iris scanning tech in the Galaxy S10 in favor of an improved 3D face scanner – much like the one found on the iPhone X.
We've heard a similar thing from South Korean media, but it suggests that we'll only see an in-display fingerprint scanner as the main way of unlocking the phone. Either way, it's likely the iris scanner will be dropped.
An earlier rumor also talks about an in-screen scanner, stating that while an in-screen scanner wouldn’t be ready in time for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it would be ready by sometime next year, making the Samsung Galaxy S10 a candidate for one.
And we now have an idea of why it took so long to be ready – because reportedly Samsung is using an ultrasonic scanner, rather than an optical one, as while the latter could apparently have been implemented years ago it's said to not be as good.
More specifically, Samsung has been rumored to use a third-generation ultrasonic scanner from Qualcomm. This generation hasn't even been announced let alone used in a phone yet, but it could mean Samsung's in-screen scanner is the best found on any phone.
Another recent report has added that while the two top-end Samsung Galaxy S10 models will apparently get an ultrasonic scanner, the most basic model will get an optical one. The difference essentially being that the ultrasonic one can map a 3D picture of your print, making it more accurate than the 2D optical option.
The other two models (apparently codenamed ‘Beyond 1’ and ‘Beyond 2’) supposedly have in-screen scanners though.
But Samsung might go even further and also put the speakers in the screen, as just such a display has been shown off by Samsung Display, according to OLED Info.
And the earpiece could go in the screen too, as Samsung is said to be planning a 'sound-emitting display' for use in a phone early next year, having already shown off the tech at an industry expo.
All that combined could mean a truly bezel-free look, like the one shown in the image above, though the front-facing camera will still need to be put somewhere.
Samsung Galaxy S10 camera
- A triple-lens rear camera on the top-end model
- 12MP, 13MP and 16MP lenses
- A dual-lens front-facing camera
An analyst reckons Samsung is considering a triple-lens camera for the Samsung Galaxy S10, along with a 3D sensor for augmented reality content.
It's also a rumor that we've now heard again, with a source claiming that while the most basic model of the Galaxy S10 might have just a single-lens camera and the middle model might have a dual-lens one, the biggest (and most expensive) version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 would have a triple-lens camera.
More recently we've heard more details on the possible specs of the triple-lens camera, with it apparently consisting of a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 16MP super wide-angle lens and a 13MP telephoto lens.
An even newer report echoes those camera specs, but adds that the 12MP one will be an f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture lens , just like the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S9, while the 16MP lens will have an f/1.9 aperture and a 123-degree field of view, and the 13MP lens will have an f/2.4 aperture.
Elsewhere, leaker Evan Blass has said to expect a triple-lens camera with one wide-angle lens, one telephoto and one standard lens.
Some or all of the S10 models might also have a dual-lens front-facing camera according to one report, which would give the top model five lenses overall. It's not known what the extra front lens would be used for, but it's likely to improve the face unlock feature if nothing else.
Samsung Galaxy S10 power
- An Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 8150 chipset
- 8GB of RAM
- A minimum of 128GB of fast storage
We also have an idea of what might be powering the Samsung Galaxy S10, as Samsung has announced the Exynos 9820, which is likely to power the phone in most regions outside the US.
This is an octa-core chipset built on an 8nm process. That makes it smaller than the 10nm Exynos 9810 found in the Galaxy S9 and with that size reduction comes a 10% reduction in power consumption.
The Exynos 9820 also offers up to 20% better single core performance, up to 40% better power efficiency, and up to 15% better multi-core performance than the Exynos 9810.
Gamers meanwhile should see an even bigger benefit, with the GPU offering up to 40% better performance or up to 35% more power efficiency.
The Exynos 9820 also has an integrated NPU (neural processing unit), which allows AI-related tasks to happen up to seven times faster than on the 9810.
It also supports video recording at up to 8K at 30fps, displays of up to 3840 x 2400 or 4096 x 2160, single lens cameras of up to 22MP, or dual-lens ones of up to 16MP. Though don't take that as meaning the S10 will necessarily have those specs.
As for mobile data download speeds, those can apparently reach up to 2Gbps, despite this chip seemingly not supporting 5G. Having said that, there is rumored to be a version of the Galaxy S10 that will support 5G, so that will presumably have to use a different chipset.
In the US? Then you'll likely get the unannounced Snapdragon 855 (or Snapdragon 8150 as it might be called). This is said to be a 7nm chipset, which is smaller and likely both more powerful and more efficient than the Snapdragon 845 found in many of 2018’s flagships. It's also smaller than the Exynos 9820.
The 855 is also said to be capable of supporting theoretical download speeds of up to 2Gbps, up from 1.2Gbps on the Galaxy S9 – though don’t expect to get speeds anywhere near this in the real world. Still, it could be a big upgrade.
The RAM could also be a big upgrade, as Samsung has announced that it has developed an 8GB RAM chip built on a 10nm process. This, while not confirmed for the Galaxy S10, apparently has a data rate that's 1.5 times as fast as current flagship RAM chips and can also reduce power consumption by up to 30%.
One odd report has suggested the phone may sport 12GB of RAM too, but we're inclined to believe the above about an 8GB of RAM mode.
Onboard storage could also be faster for the S10, as Samsung is set to start using UFS 3.0 storage in early 2019. This is supposedly two times faster than current phone storage modules and takes up less space, so there's more room for other components.
Plus, the minimum size it comes in is 128GB, so if the S10 uses it then all models will have to have at least 128GB of storage.
However, the most basic S10 model might have more basic specs, with one source saying it will come with either a Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 8150 chipset and a choice of 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage.
Samsung Galaxy S10 name
We’ve also heard talk that Samsung might rename the range, launching the next model as the Samsung Galaxy X rather than the Galaxy S10. That might sound unlikely, but Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s mobile division, has been quoted as saying that “we have been thinking about whether we need to maintain the S moniker or the numbering system” so it’s possible.
What we want to see
As good as the Samsung Galaxy S9 is, it’s also rather too similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8, so we hope Samsung changes things up for the S10. Here’s what we want to see.
1. A new design
The Samsung Galaxy S9 looks almost identical to the Galaxy S8, so it’s high time we got a new design from the South Korean company.
Whether that means a notch, a new material or even a foldable phone we’ll leave to Samsung, but we want to see something new.
2. Dual or triple-lens cameras on both models
While the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has a dual-lens camera, the standard Galaxy S9 only has a single-lens one. For the Galaxy S10 we want both models to have two lenses, or better yet, three. After all, the Huawei P20 Pro has landed with exactly that to stunning effect.
Samsung’s been delivering top smartphone cameras for a while now, but this year it has some real competition from Huawei, so for the Galaxy S10 we want to see it take steps to get ahead.
The good news is that a triple-lens camera has already been rumored, though it sounds like only the priciest model will get it.
3. An in-screen fingerprint scanner
In-screen fingerprint scanners have been rumored for various Samsung phones and the Galaxy S10 is no exception, but now that other companies have launched commercially available handsets with them we might finally see Samsung roll one out.
Having a scanner in the screen means it doesn’t need to take up space on the front or be awkwardly placed on the back, plus it looks high-tech enough to make owners of other phones jealous.
This too has been rumored for the Galaxy S10, so there's a very real chance it will happen.
4. More vibrant photos
While the overall quality of photos taken by the Samsung Galaxy S9 is very high, some lack vibrancy and a few are also more washed out than we’d have expected or liked. This is especially true when there’s background light, so we’d like the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be able to cope with this better.
5. Improved AR Emoji
AR Emoji were one of the more hyped features of the Galaxy S9 range, but they were also one of the least impressive aspects of these phones.
There are a few reasons for this. Beyond their inherently gimmicky nature it can also be hard to create one that looks like you, and when recording a video of yourself using the emoji, the camera’s facial recognition isn’t powerful enough to do it justice.
While AR Emoji will probably never be an essential feature, if Samsung’s going to keep using them we’d like to see them at least rival Apple’s Animoji next time around.
6. Better battery life
Battery life is one thing that doesn’t improve with each new phone generation. In fact, sometimes it gets worse. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus you’re only really looking at a day of life.
And while that might generally be okay for anyone who doesn’t mind plugging their phone in every night, it’s worth remembering that the battery will start to wear out over time, so a day of life when you buy the phone means less than a day a year or two on.
As such we really want to see improvements to the battery in the Galaxy S10, whether that’s through a larger unit than the frankly small 3,000mAh one in the Galaxy S9, or just through more efficient hardware and software.
7. A totally bezel-free look
We’ve said already that we want a new design from the Galaxy S10, but what we’d really like is a complete absence of bezels. As in no notch either, just an all-screen front.
We’re not expecting this, not least because it would presumably mean building the camera and sensors into the screen, but it’s possible and would surely be less ambitious than a foldable phone, which we might also get from Samsung in 2019.
- The foldable Samsung Galaxy X could land in 2019