Samsung Galaxy S10: All the rumors in one place (Updated January 10)
Update, January 10, 2019 (10:38 EST): The article has been updated to indicate that Samsung has confirmed it will announce the Galaxy S10 on February 20 at a press event in San Francisco.
In 2019, Samsung will launch its follow up to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S10. Even this far ahead of its release, there are already lots of rumors about what the S10 will be like — including how many models will be launched — and what kinds of new hardware and software features will be included
The manufacturer has yet to comment officially about the specs, price, and release date for the Samsung Galaxy S10, but there are enough credible rumors to give us an idea of what to expect.
Release date: Samsung Unpacked reveal on February 20
Samsung has confirmed it will reveal the Galaxy S10 on February 20
This could mean the phones could go on sale in late February or early March of 2019.
In the past, Samsung used the Mobile World Congress trade show, held in Barcelona in late February, to introduce the newest members of the Galaxy S series. However, the company has now confirmed it will hold a Samsung Unpacked press event on Wednesday, February 20 in San Francisco, several days before MWC 2019 will be held. Samsung will also live stream the event for anyone to watch on the Internet. A Feb. 20 date for the press event may mean the phone itself will go on sale in late February or early March 2019.
Samsung slightly moved up the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to compensate for weaker-than-expected sales of the Galaxy S9, so that might also be a factor with the rumored change in release strategy for the Galaxy S10 as well.
Specs: Three (possibly four) different Galaxy S10 models in the works
- Leaked model numbers seemingly confirm that Samsung will release three different Galaxy S10 models at once.
- The Plus model could have three rear cameras.
- Other rumors claim the higher-end phones could have an in-display fingerprint sensor and a 3D sensor.
We are still several months away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is rumored to have the internal codename “Beyond.” Some rumors concerning the phones’ hardware specs have already hit the internet. One of them claims Samsung will launch three different S10 models at once.
The three devices have apparently been given the codenames Beyond 0, Beyond 1, and Beyond 2. Of the three devices, Beyond 1 will reportedly be the successor to the Galaxy S9, Beyond 2 will be the successor to the Galaxy S9 Plus, and Beyond 0 will be a new entry-level device.
In September 2018, three model numbers leaked online which seemingly confirm that there will be three different variants of the Galaxy S10. The model numbers are SM-G970, SM-G975, and SM-G973. The first two model numbers match up with previous ones for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, but the third model number is brand new and could be a reference to the “Beyond 0” entry level device.
According to this rumor, two of the devices will have 5.8-inch displays, while the third would have a 6.2-inch screen. SamMobile later suggested the Galaxy S10 would have a 5.8-inch display, the Galaxy S10 Plus would have a 6.2-inch display, and the entry-level variant would have a 5.8-inch display, so this seems to line up.
Bloomberg corroborated the previous reports and said Samsung will launch three S10 models. Even though the normal S10 and S10 Plus might have curved OLED displays with in-display fingerprint sensors, the third S10 model might not have a curved display or in-display fingerprint sensor. SamMobile also suggested the entry-level model would not have an in-display fingerprint sensor.
An anonymous Gizmodo tipster corroborated the claim that there will be three Galaxy S10 models. Here is how the three variants break down:
- Samsung Galaxy S10
- 6.1-inch display, curved
- 128GB or 512GB of internal storage
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
- 6.4-inch display, curved
- 128GB, 512GB, or 1TB of internal storage
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
- 5.8-inch display, flat
- 128GB of internal storage
Bloomberg also reported that Samsung is testing S10 prototypes without headphone jacks, though this does not mean a final decision was made. However, Samsung’s quirky W2019 smartphone does not have a headphone jack, which could support the idea that the company will leave the headphone jack out of the S10.
Weirdly enough, the Galaxy S10 might feature reverse wireless charging. Called “Powershare,” the feature lets you use the Galaxy S10 to wirelessly charge other devices. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro includes the same feature, but we found the phone to charge devices at a lethargic pace
We did hear a rumor that the Galaxy S10 line will NOT be 5G-capable. According to rumors, there will be a 5G phone from Samsung that releases next year, but it will be its own standalone model and not an S10 or Note 10 device.
However, the “Beyond” codenames mentioned earlier did include a Beyond 2 5G model. This could mean that there will be a Samsung Galaxy S10 “Ultra” model that will also have 5G connection capabilities.
Rumors suggest this 5G variant will launch sometime after the launch of the initial three devices. It’s possible the 5G S10 could launch along with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy F — the company’s long-awaited foldable phone.
According to Bloomberg, Samsung is in talks with Verizon to introduce a 5G version of the Galaxy S10. The big question is whether Verizon’s 5G network for smartphones will be ready by the time this rumored Galaxy S10 model launches.
If this 5G model of the S10 does launch, it will be an absolute beast.
This highest-end model reportedly will have six cameras (two on the front, four on the rear), an enormous 6.7-inch display, and support 5G connections. It could also have a ceramic back and support reverse wireless charging.
There are also reports suggesting this highest-end model could have 3D sensors on both the front and the back, making it an augmented reality powerhouse. Read the next section for more on these alleged 3D sensors.
Keep in mind, however, that this rumored variant could be something entirely different from the Galaxy S10 line.
3D mapping camera sensor like you’ve never seen before
The same story also claims one of the 5.8-inch Galaxy S10 models would have a single rear camera, while the second would have two rear camera sensors. The 6.2-inch Galaxy S10 Plus could have as many as three rear cameras, according to some rumors — similar to the Huawei P20 Pro.
A recent report (in Korean) has added more information about the cameras that will potentially be found on the upcoming devices. It says that the Galaxy S10 Plus will get a dual-lens camera setup on the front of the device, and a triple-lens camera on the rear. The rear setup will be the same as the Galaxy S9 Plus but with the addition of a 16MP, 120-degree ultra-wide angle lens, according to the rumors.
The same report says that the Galaxy S10 will sport a single camera on the front and a triple camera on the rear. Meanwhile, the entry-level device will get a single camera on the front and a dual camera on the rear.
However, another report (in German) suggests otherwise. It says that only the Galaxy S10 Plus will get the rear triple camera and that the Galaxy S10 and the entry-level device will both only get dual-lens rear cameras. It also claims that the Galaxy S10 Plus will get a 12MP main lens with f/1.5 to f/2.4 variable aperture, a 16MP 123-degree super-wide-angle lens with f/1.9 aperture, as well as a 13MP zoom lens with f/2.4 aperture.
The same report suggests that the rear camera found on the other two devices will be the same as the Galaxy S10 Plus but without the 13MP zoom lens.
Another rumor claims the Galaxy S10 could be the first Samsung phone to have a 3D sensor. This could allow the phone to map the outside world in 3D and assist its augmented reality features, like improved versions of the S9’s AR Emoji.
A leaked spec table from Twitter user bang_gogo_ supposedly backed up the camera specs we have learned up until now. According to the leaked spec table, the 12MP primary camera features an f/1.5 to f/2.4 variable aperture. A 16MP sensor acts as the wide-angle lens with a 123-degree view and f/1.9 aperture, while the third 13MP sensor acts as the telephoto lens and features an f/2.4 aperture with a 45-degree field of view.
Based on the table, only the 16MP sensor lacks OIS and auto-focus
Interestingly, Samsung is reportedly working on its version of Google’s Night Sight. Called “Bright Night,” the feature was mentioned in a breakdown of the One UI beta’s Samsung Camera APK. Bright Night could debut in the Galaxy S10, though it could also be available for the Galaxy S9 and Note 9.
Another Samsung first for the Galaxy S10 could be the addition of an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Futuristic in-display fingerprint scanner
Another Samsung first for the S10 could be the addition of an in-display fingerprint scanner. A new report suggests that Samsung will eschew using the current in-display fingerprint sensor tech used by Vivo and Oppo to instead use its own ultrasonic tech. Theoretically, ultrasonic fingerprint scans could be faster and more efficient than the current optical sensors that companies put underneath displays.
While one would expect something like in-display fingerprint sensors to only land on the higher-end versions of the Galaxy S10 line, a report from Korean site The Investor suggests that all three variants will have the in-display scanner tech. However, the lower-end model will feature the more-common optical sensor and the two higher-end models will get the ultrasonic versions.
Also, the Samsung Galaxy S10 might not have an iris scanner like what’s included in the Galaxy S9 models. Apparently, the rumors claim the in-display fingerprint sensor will take the place of the iris scanner for opening and locking the smartphone.
Some rumors claim the Galaxy S10 could use its screen as a replacement for its built-in speaker. Apparently, Samsung Display has created a sound-emitting screen that could be used on the Galaxy S10. It’s similar technology to the Vivo Nex phone.
If history is a guide, we can expect the Galaxy S10 to be the first smartphone to have Qualcomm’s next-generation version of its highest-end Snapdragon mobile phone processor, beyond the current Snapdragon 845, for the U.S. market. It will likely release in the rest of the world sporting the next generation version of Samsung’s in-house Exynos chip, ahead of the current Exynos 9810 model.
Framework files that XDA Developers unearthed from the unreleased Android 9 Pie firmware for the Galaxy S9 referenced the unreleased Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 chipset. The Snapdragon 8150 might be the first Qualcomm chipset to feature a neural processing unit (NPU). It might also be featured in the 5G version of the Galaxy S10 Plus, though details are still slim.
Samsung tipster Ice Universe has also reported that the Korean company is working on an NPU. The information was obtained via a former employee’s LinkedIn account. The tipster believes this AI silicon is meant for the Exynos 9820, or whatever the next flagship Exynos chip is called.
Dedicated AI hardware would allow Samsung to accelerate a variety of tasks, such as image processing, machine vision, natural language processing, and biometric authentication. This could lead to better photos, faster Google Lens and Bixby Vision performance, and more virtual assistant commands without an internet connection.
Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 camera review
It’s possible Samsung could launch the lowest end Galaxy S10 with just 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, like the 5.8-inch Galaxy S9. If the rumors of two more models are accurate, they could have 6GB or even 8GB of RAM, and as much as 512GB of storage space.
It’s also likely the Samsung Galaxy S10 will launch running Android 9.0 Pie with the new One UI skin and an updated version of its Bixby digital assistant. Other hardware specs for the phone, such as the size of its battery and its water and dust resistance rating are unknown at this time.