Update Feb 20: The Samsung Galaxy S10 is officially here! Check out our hands-on impressions of every new member of Samsung's official new flagship lineup straight from Galaxy Unpacked 2019 in San Francisco:
- Galaxy S10 Hands-On Review: No Notch and Three Cameras Set Samsung Apart
- Galaxy S10e Hands-On Review: Samsung's Answer to iPhone XR Is Here
- The Galaxy S10 5G Is Real and It's a 6.7-inch Monster
A render of the Galaxy S10 based on all the information we have to date. (Credit: OnLeaks and 91Mobiles)
Four Galaxy S10 Phones Coming?
There will seemingly be four variants of the Galaxy S10 at a multitude of sizes. Based on leaks, expect a 5.8-inch Galaxy S10e (the most affordable of the bunch), a 6.1-inch Galaxy S10, a 6.4-inch Galaxy S10+ and a 5G Galaxy S10 with a huge 6.7-inch display (though that will likely launch later). The cheapest S10e could have a flat display, while the largest and most expensive and carry a total of six cameras across the front and rear.
There should be an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor in most of these models and a nearly bezel-free display with a hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera.
Latest Galaxy S10 Rumors and Leaks (Feb. 20)
- A Norwegian TV station accidentally aired an S10 commercial before the official release, revealing the phone's headlining features
- Leaker Evan Blass has tweeted about how the highest spec S10+ will cost around $1,500, based on the Chinese prices
- A new set of official-looking renders may have given us our first look at the "Luxurious" Ceramic White edition of the Galaxy S10.
- A Samsung program that lets you reserve your S10 order — and dangles a trade-in offer if you're upgrading from your current phone — essentially confirms that the Galaxy S10 will ship on March 8.
Galaxy S10 Release Date
It's pretty easy predict the release date for the Galaxy S10, as the company has scheduled a launch event for its flagship phones on Feb. 20. That means we'll see the Galaxy S10 in a week's time.
We can make a pretty good guess as to when the phone will arrive in stores, too. Samsung has launched a program that lets you reserve your Galaxy S10 order, with trade-in rebates available on some models. That program promises to deliver your phone by March 8 if you complete your order once pre-orders begin, suggesting that's when the Galaxy S10 finally arrives.
The S10 and its larger sibling, the Galaxy Note 10, likely won't be the only premium phones Samsung introduces this year. At its developer conference last November, Samsung finally unveiled the foldable phone it's been working on for so long, nicknamed by insiders as the Galaxy F. While the Galaxy F was shown briefly, in a boxy case and under very protective lighting, many expect the final product to debut sometime in 2019. In fact, a teaser video from Samsung suggests the foldable phone could appear with the Galaxy S10 on Feb. 20, though it may ship later in the year.
Galaxy S10 Price
We haven't yet received official word on the pricing of the Galaxy S10 range, but there are ballpark estimates floating around that could give us an indication as to what the phones will ultimately cost.
On one side of spectrum, you have prices floated by Gizmodo UK based on info it says it received from a "source at a major tech retailer." The entry-level 5.8-inch S10 Lite will reportedly start at £669, followed by the 6.1-inch S10 at £799 and the range-topping S10 Plus at £899 (which could measure either 6.4 or 6.7 inches, depending on who you ask). All three models will come with at least 128GB of storage, the article reads, though the highest capacity S10 Plus will offer 1TB of storage for a whopping £1399.
Credit: Samsung Korea via SlashGearWe received further clues about that 1TB "Limited Edition" model courtesy of SlashGear on Feb. 11. Samsung Korea actually leaked the handset on its own website with a new graphic depicting silhouettes of each of the upcoming models, labeled as Options A through D. Option A is marked as the "Limited Edition" with a March 15 release date. No specs are associated with it, but it's believed this is the handset that will retail for $1,500 and come equipped with 1TB of storage and as much as 12GB of RAM.
New speculation from MySmartPrice based on a document reportedly showing final pricing puts pricing in the same range as Gizmodo UK's findings: €749 for the S10 Lite, €899 for the S10 and €999 for the S10+.
Converting these prices to U.S. dollars might cause some sticker shock — MySmartPrice's rumored pricing would put the S10 and S10+ at $1,031 and $1,146, respectively. But straight currency conversions can be misleading, as Samsung adjusts pricing for its phones based on region. Still, $899 and $999 would be a step up from what the S9 and S9+ cost, should Samsung go in that direction.
Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus Specs
Samsung employs both its own Exynos and Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors in its phones, and uses one or the other depending on the requirements of each region's carriers.
Snapdragon-powered Galaxy devices typically only launch in North America — so it should come as little surprise that the Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm's new flagship chipset that will reach most premium Android devices this year, will be featured in at least U.S.-bound versions of the S10. Meanwhile, the Exynos 9820 will be featured in the international variants. RAM will likely vary between the models, starting in the neighborhood of 6GB for the S10 Lite and potentially ranging as high as 12GB for the top-of-the-line, oft-rumored 5G model.
The Snapdragon 855. (Credit: Qualcomm)Unveiled at Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui in December, the Snapdragon 855 brings ultrasonic fingerprint recognition (for under display applications) and multi-gigabit 5G to Android's premier chipset. The new Spectra 380 image signal processor delivers hardware-accelerated computational photography, taking what many phones already do in software and baking it into the silicon for faster image recognition and algorithmic processing. And the new AI engine will reportedly make local machine learning three times faster than on the Snapdragon 845.
We had the opportunity to benchmark Qualcomm's new chip inside a reference smartphone prototype, and came away impressed with its performance. The Snapdragon 855 looks like it may actually close the advantage Apple has enjoyed with its A12 Bionic, if its Geekbench 4 scores are any indication. The 855 finished about 300 points behind the chipset in the iPhone XS and XR: 11,196 to 11,420. That bodes very well for the Galaxy S10, which is likely to be the first device powered by the new Qualcomm silicon when Samsung's flagship launches in the spring.
Benchmarks for the Exynos 9820-powered variant of the S10 have also leaked, courtesy of Ice Universe. According to a screenshot of Geekbench running on the device, the phone achieved a multi-core score of 10,384 — nearly 1,000 points less than Qualcomm's 855 reference device, yet still much faster than both versions of the S9.
Outside of the requisite improvements to the phone's processor, the S10 has been rumored to support faster RAM and storage modules than what is available in most handsets today.
The story once again comes from Ice Universe, who says Samsung will begin producing LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0 chips this year. In the same breath, Ice Universe says they're "looking forward" to the Galaxy S10, suggesting that the company's next flagship will feature these components.
Such additions would make for a snappier and more efficient phone. UFS 3.0 in particular helps storage consume less power, accommodate a wider bandwidth and work at hotter temperatures. As for the LPDDR5 RAM, faster read and write speeds will enable new content, like the recording of 8K and even slower-motion videos.
Fingerprint Scanner in Display (and 3D Face Sensing)
According to ETNews, the Galaxy S10's in-display fingerprint sensor will be provided by Qualcomm, and represents the third generation of the company's ultrasonic technology. That last detail is critical, because D.J. Koh reportedly has expressed that optical sensors offer a "bad user experience" compared to their ultrasonic counterparts.
The OnePlus 6T has an in-screen fingerprint sensor — something the Galaxy S10 is expected to get. (Credit: Tom's Guide)However, the entry-level Galaxy S10E probably won't see that new fingerprint-sensing tech. SamMobile suggests that model will instead sport a conventional sensor located on the side of the phone.
There could be one notable downside with the new ultrasonic sensor, based on comments by case maker Armadillotek. The company announced on Twitter that it has canceled plans to build a case for the S10 with a screen protector built in because it would limit the fingerprint scanner's functionality. It's a surprising development, considering optical sensors in devices like the OnePlus 6T actually work better with screen protectors. However, Armadillotek's implementation is part of a case, rather than a film or layer of glass bonded firmly to the display, which may complicate things. A leaked video reportedly of the Galaxy S10+ seemingly confirms that issue, as there's a noticeable cutout in the screen protector on the phone.
Those hoping the Galaxy S10 would implement some form of 3D facial recognition along the lines of Apple's Face ID best not get their hopes up. Samsung has been criticized for not developing it's own attempt at the feature for the Galaxy S9, instead opting to stick with a combination of 2D recognition and iris scanning in a system called Intelligent Scan, which is not as secure and could still theoretically be fooled with just a photograph.
Early on in the S10 rumor cycle, The Investor reported that Samsung had partnered with 3D camera firm Mantis Vision to finally get a 3D scanner into the Galaxy S10. However, the lack of any additional news on the subject since the spring of last year has cast serious doubt on the prospect of the technology making it to the final product.
The Galaxy S9 mostly repeated the S8's design, but fans should expect "very significant" changes to the S10's exterior. That quote comes courtesy of none other than Samsung mobile chief D.J. Koh, who related that information to Chinese media, before it was picked up by SamMobile.
Credit: Phone ArenaThe most significant change will likely concern the front facing camera, as rumors suggest the Galaxy S10 will get an Infinity-O display — Samsung speak for a screen with a pill-shaped hole for either one or two lenses. Well-known Samsung leaker Ice Universe seems to think at least some of the S10 models will launch with this design; he tweeted a render of what is believed to be the S10+ on Dec. 4.
You won't find a notch in the latest mockups, at least conventionally speaking. The earpiece also appears to have noticeably shrunken in size, too. A recent report from SamMobile has shed light on this detail, saying that the new full-screen Infinity-O display in the Galaxy S10 has necessitated a relocation of the earpiece to the top edge, because these phones supposedly won't have much of a top bezel. It's unclear what affect this might have on sound quality in calls.
Ice Universe was also apparently able to get his hands on a screen protector for the upcoming flagship, which carries the infamous hole-punch cutout for the front facing camera in the top left. The image was posted in a tweet, and compared to the front of the Galaxy A8s. The leaker says the hole for the lens is smaller than the one in Samsung's new midrange model, and that the 19:9 aspect ratio of the 6.1-inch S10 means its comparable in size to the 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 and S8.
Credit: All About Samsung
With less than a month to go before the S10's unveiling, the pace of leaked images has picked up. 91Mobiles posted what it called a leaked press render of the Galaxy S10+ that adheres to everything we've heard so far about that phones design. That was followed up by photos from WinFuture.de showing off the S10 and S10+ from multiple angles and in a variety of colors. WinFuture also published photos of the relatively lower-end S10E, or "Lite," model.
Credit: WinFuture.deWhile Koh was careful not to offer more details in his interview, he has stated on the record that the Galaxy S10 will offer "amazing" colors. This is according to Forbes, which noted a report from OnLeaks' Steve Hemmerstoffer that details the S10's possible design. Hemmerstoffer claims that Samsung will deliver "no less than nine" new gradient color schemes for its Galaxy S10 — one of which could be a very bright yellow, per a recent leak from MySmartPrice. Additionally, some may deviate from the standard glass back construction, opting instead for ceramic, based on a leaked image from WinFuture's Roland Quandt. Leaks from Evan Blass show off the S10 in black, green and white colors.
A multitude of cameras
Huawei's P20 Pro introduced us to the concept of three rear cameras in 2018, with the extra lens helping produce better shots in low-light. Samsung reportedly is eyeing a triple-lens setup for its next Galaxy phone, with KB Securities analyst Kim Dong-Won publishing a research note that says the S10 will have three cameras on the rear.
A report last October seems to confirm that Samsung will be offering triple rear cameras on the Galaxy S10. A leak from SamMobile says the primary camera will implement a 12-megapixel sensor, f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture, and a 78-degree field-of-view. The second will be a 16-megapixel shooter with an f/1.9 aperture and a 123-degree field-of-view. And the last camera will reportedly come with a 13-megapixel sensor and an f/2.4 aperture — potentially a telephoto, for shallow depth-of-field portraits.
Samsung could go even bigger, though, based on a rumor from Ice Universe that claims one of the sensors will collect 48 megapixels of data. Huawei famously introduced a 40-megapixel main camera in its P20 Pro, though in auto mode it never actually captured images at full resolution. Rather, it used computational photography to optimize lower-resolution shots with the excess data gathered from that high-res sensor.
Credit: Tom's GuideSpeaking of computational photography, references to a new shooting mode, called Bright Night, have been discovered in the code of the camera app inside the One UI build of Android Pie that will presumably launch on the S10. The code was found by WCCFTech, which theorizes that this new feature will brighten low-light photography, similar to the Pixel 3's Night Sight or Huawei's Night Mode. It's also possible this feature could arrive on the Galaxy S9 as well, unless it relies on specific hardware inside the new model. We should have more answers when the final One UI builds launch for Samsung's current flagships in January.
Additionally, The Bell states Samsung is eyeing a second front lens to the Galaxy S10, all the better for supporting Portrait Mode effects on selfies. The latest renders of the S10+ model in particular seem to bear this out.
Although it may not factor into the S10 specifically, Samsung is on the verge of a major acquisition that could greatly improve the quality of the cameras in its flagship phones in the future. The phone maker is reportedly snapping up Corephotonics, an Israeli imaging lab that has developed a prototype zoomable lens for compact applications, like mobile devices.
The lens is mounted horizontally within the phone at a 45-degree angle to whatever is being shot, and uses a prism to move light into its chamber. Corephotonics previously tested the technology with Oppo's backing, though it seems it could be a very real factor in Galaxy S handsets going forward.
Battery Life and Charging
Despite the larger batteries, it appears that the S10 line will be thinner, on average, than its predecessor, based on photos published by German blog All About Samsung.
Not only that, but some models might even be capable of reverse wireless charging. In fact, an FCC regulatory filing unearthed by XDA-Developers suggests that, in addition to WiFi 6 support, the S10 will bring industry-leading 9-watt reverse wireless charging. That'd be a good deal faster than the 2-watt system in Huawei's Mate 20 Pro, and would allow you to recharge other devices at ordinary speeds.
The Galaxy S series used to lead the way in terms of fast charging, but Samsung's fallen behind in that race in recent years. The S10 could turn things around, however, with the help of a new 25-watt system. It wouldn't be quite at the level of OnePlus' new Warp Charge 30 protocol, but it could almost halve charging times for most of the S10 family, and greatly improve speeds for the 5G model, which is expected to pack a whopping 5,000-mAh power pack to offset the radio's demands on energy.
Because a 5G Galaxy S10 appears to be in the cards, power consumption and efficiency has likely been an area of focus for Samsung. According to Dutch blog GalaxyClub.nl, that range-topping model will be the only one to get the 5,000-mAh unit. Likewise, the Galaxy F foldable phone has been rumored to receive two 3,100-mAh packs, combining into a total capacity of 6,200 mAh. The website was able to connect battery sizes to part numbers linked to certain models, which explains how it came up with these estimates.
The Galaxy S10, S10 Lite and S10 Plus seem relatively ordinary by comparison, with GalaxyClub.nl saying that these phones will carry 3,500-mAh, 3,100-mAh and 4,000-mAh batteries, respectively. Interestingly, the 3,100-mAh pack expected to be featured in the S10 Lite is simply one of the two batteries that may be found in the Galaxy F.
5G Galaxy S10
It is seeming increasingly likely that the most expensive variant of the Galaxy S10 will have 5G capability built in, according to code identified by XDA Developers and, more recently, a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Insiders say Samsung is pulling out all the stops for the Galaxy S series' 10th anniversary with a range-topping model that will feature 5G connectivity, a total of six cameras (two on the front and four on the back), up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, as well as a 6.7-inch display — purportedly the largest of all the S10 models in development. It's currently going by the code name "Beyond X."
In mid-December, a series of new model numbers leaked and were discovered by Dutch blog Galaxy Club, appearing to reference 5G versions of the S10. The codes in question are SM-G977N and SM-G977U, relating to the Korean and U.S. regional variants, respectively. These are different from the numbers linked to the S10 Lite, S10 and S10 Plus. Galaxy Club's report does not mention where they originated from though, so this information should be taken with a grain of salt — as is typically the case with phone rumors.
If the 5G edition of the S10 does become available, it will likely be after the initial launch. Samsung has previously said that the Galaxy S10 would not be the company's first 5G phone. Meanwhile, Verizon has announced its first 5G phone will come from Samsung, while AT&T has confirmed it will offer two separate Samsung 5G handsets — one in the first half of 2019, and the other in the second half. It is currently unclear if one of these devices is the 10th anniversary Galaxy S10, or another product entirely.
Samsung is introducing a new user interface called OneUI that replaces the existing Samsung Experience Android skin. While it's currently in beta for the Galaxy S9, OneUI is also expected to be a big part of the Galaxy S10, because Samsung is pitching OneUI as a solution for devices with larger screens.
Credit: SamsungCertain versions of the S10 will likely carry some of the biggest smartphone displays we've ever seen. Current rumors point to 6.4- and 6.7-inch models, so it follows that Samsung would tweak its Android skin to make those handsets less cumbersome to use. OneUI moves many of the main controls within system apps to the bottom of the display, where they're within reach of the user's thumbs. It also frequently puts large text and rich graphics up top, to capitalize on the extra space that these panels provide.
MORE: Hands-On With OneUI
OneUI is now rolling out to existing Galaxy S8, S9, Note 8 and Note 9 devices — right before Samsung formally introduces the Galaxy S10.