Samsung S10 is first to launch – will we see the foldable very soon?

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Samsung will release the Galaxy S10 series and perhaps a foldable Galaxy F (or X) at the Samsung Unpacked event scheduled for Wednesday 20 February in San Francisco.

As usual, the smartphone world anxiously awaits the Mobile World Congress (MWC), 25-28 February for most things except Apple and Samsung. GadgetGuy will be reporting live from MWC.

Samsung is going early to ensure the S10 gets the ‘oxygen’ that MWC sucks from the media!

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A teaser outdoor sign in Paris may relate to the foldable phone!

What do we know about the Galaxy S10 series?

Everything so far is pure speculation, even information from noted ‘leakers’ is speculative.

We present what is most likely to happen. Its code name is Beyond, and there have been three variants seen on CPU/speed test sites – Beyond 0, 1 and 2 or as we understand M-G9700, SM-G9730 and SM-G9750.

There will be three versions of the Samsung Galaxy S10

  • Lite 5.8” version with a flat display panel
  • Standard 6.1” version with the Edge
  • Plus 6.4” version with the Edge

Samsung has gone 19:9, 3040 x 1440, full screen (no notch and no top/side bezels) using a ‘hole’ to house the front-facing cameras. All other sensors are under the glass including an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that is far more accurate than optical in reading fingerprint ridges (no more gel copies!!!)


5G – later

Even though Telstra/Samsung are crowing about 5G, this version is not likely to show at Samsung Unpacked. We hear that antenna issues and a lack of 5G standard between countries are delaying the 5G product. The prototype shown at CES 2019 was far thicker and had an ungainly corner notch.

In any case, rumours are that it will need to be 6.66” to accommodate the initial hardware and RAM requirements!

Processor and Ram

International versions get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, and we get the Exynos 9820 (which is a Qualcomm equivalent in all but name). Expect massive performance increases and longer battery life. Samsung says single-core performance is up 20% and power efficiency by 40%.

The all-new system-on-a-chip from Samsung has an improved Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that handles on-device Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes. The most important thing is that security chip that stores and manages personal and biometric data, including facial maps and fingerprint scans, is separate from the rest of the system. This should reduce the risk of attacks from cybercriminals.

This is like Huawei’s Kirin 980 and Apple’s A12 Bionic.

Standard RAM may be 4/6GB on the Lite, 6/8GB on the standard and 8/12GB on the Plus. Likewise, 128GB will be standard for the Lite and 512GB and 1TB options for the other two.


Camera

There are rumours of three rear cameras on the S10 and (16/13/12MP) and dual cameras on the front.

The 12MP has an f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture lens, a 16MP f/1.9 aperture lens with a 123° FOV, and a 13MP f/2.4 aperture lens for depth (bokeh).

We may see 8K video at 30fps too.

Battery

Lite will have 31000mAh, standard 3500mAh and Plus 4,000. But, these will support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 (or the Samsung variant) so expect a 50% charge in only 15 minutes. This is safe – it actually uses two batteries, so heat is not an issue.

Quick Charge 4.0 is also more intelligent and only gives you phone what it needs. With QC 3.0 this was in 200mA increments – now it’s a mere 20mA.

As usual, it will support Wireless charging at 15W (all other brands are 5, 7.5 or 10W) and a new power bank and passthrough feature to charge accessories. It won’t have reverse charging as per the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Will it be exciting, new and innovative?

Last year OPPO had the pop-up camera on its flagship Find X, Motorola continued to develop the Moto Mods, and Huawei put three cameras on the back of the Mate 20 Pro. These are innovations.


Where Samsung is innovating is in the new One UI and Bixby where AI will be oozing out of every Samsung app.

Of course, it will support Wi-Fi 6 (AX) and Wi-Fi 5 (AC 60MHz band) at up to 10Gbps and the X24 LTE modem will support a 1Gbps or more. There is no word yet on Dual sim or single sim and eSim – we suspect the latter.

The 3.5” audio jack and microSD slot are still there.

Price

Samsung is the worlds largest smartphone maker. Apple was second until Huawei fixed that.

Huawei is an aggressive and worthy competitor whereas the choice before was premium Android or iOS – now its premium Android or premium Android in 1 and 2 positions.

The Lite may be everything you want in a premium phone without the compromises Apple users had to bear with the severely cut down XR. Rumour is that the   Lite may be A$999 which would give it a huge price edge.

The Standard and Plus will remain similar prices to the S9/+ 64GB ($1199/1349), but if history is a good teacher, Samsung may offer a memory upgrade for pre-orders that could see you getting the Plus and 512GB for under $1,500. That is compelling for the premium buyer.


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Whatever the pricing rest assured that Samsung knows Huawei is nipping at its heels and it is desperate to get to number one!

Pre-orders will start on 20 February and fulfilment by mid-March.

Foldable phones – who really needs them?

On 1 December we reported that Samsung’s foldable phone is a step closer, so we won’t repeat the details.

Suffice to say that it’s for those who want a single device as the onramp to the internet. There is an old saying – never buy version 1.0 of anything and with all new tech that is wise advice.

The Unpacked invitation is here – worth a quick look.