Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 19 with the latest rumors.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is coming.
There are a lot of rumors out there. I’m collecting them but also adding some of my own confidential sources here. That said, I can’t say I’m right; I’m as right as I feel I can be at the moment. The one thing we absolutely know is that Samsung is announcing some Galaxy phones in San Francisco on Feb. 20, and you’ll be able to livestream the launch on Samsung.com.
Wondering what the phone looks like? On Feb. 18, Norwegian TV broadcaster TV 2 aired a Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+ commercial, apparently by accident. A viewer recorded it and submitted the video to The Verge, which uploaded the footage to YouTube. Here’s a look.
How Many Galaxy S10 Models Will There Be?
My sources tell me there are three main models, with region-specific versions of each. The US, Canada, and China will get versions with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor; the rest of the world will get Exynos 9820-powered models.
Evan Blass goes further to say the three models will have 5.8-, 6.1-, and 6.4-inch screens. The renders he shows have front-facing cameras towards the top-center of the phone, though, when I’m pretty sure they’ll be at the top-right.
The three models are currently being referred to as the Samsung Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S10, and the Galaxy S10+. GSMArena confirmed the S10e name for the phone previously called the “S10 Lite.” Slashleaks, via BGR, has more recent photos of the S10 and S10+ compared than the one I’m linking here.
Samsung Galaxy S10E, S10, and S10+ (L to R), encased pic.twitter.com/Pk2gpXkXxn
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 19, 2019
Samsung will likely also show off its foldable phone, the Galaxy F or Galaxy Fold, at the event on the 20th, according to billboards in Paris spotted by TechRadar. However that model, which will be expensive and only have limited availability, is not considered to be part of the Galaxy S10 range.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Design
We got hands-on time with a prototype of what we believe to be the 5G Galaxy S10 model at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit. It was big, but at least it wasn’t very thick. Leakers on Twitter have been churning out projections of what the phone will look like, so I’ll just give you their perspectives rather than paraphrasing.
Samsung Galaxy S10 (top) and S10E (bottom), unwatermarked. pic.twitter.com/oZcLV8Rw4x
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 9, 2019
EXCLUSIVE! First look at Samsung Galaxy S10e Canary Yellow colour and S10 Series dimensions!
Galaxy S10e: 5.8 inch- 142.5×70.5×8.1mm
Galaxy S10: 6.1 inch- 149.9×71.6×8.1mm
Galaxy S10+: 6.4 inch- 157.0×75.3×8.1mm
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) February 8, 2019
This feed claims that “the S10 is as small as an S8,” and that it has a 19:9 screen ratio.
Galaxy S10 protective film, this Hole is smaller than the Galaxy A8s,S10 only a 6.1-inch 19:9 ratio, it seems that the S10 is as small as the S8, one-handed operation is not difficult. pic.twitter.com/fETKtTyvoF
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 16, 2018
About the Display:
The latest display material of the “M9” series (S8, Note8,S9,Note9 are M8 series)
S10 Lite 5.8 inches 18.5:9 2K+ Super AMOLED
S10 6.1 inches 19:9 2K+ Super AMOLED
S10+ 6.4 inches 19:9 2K+ Super AMOLED
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 11, 2018
About the Camera:
1 front camera + 2 rear camera
1 front camera + 3 rear camera
2 front camera + 3 rear camera
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 12, 2018
Galaxy S10 Lite,Flat Screen,Side fingerprint recognition,Dual camera. pic.twitter.com/Um8m4uFFz4
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 8, 2018
Galaxy S10 back design, double camera. pic.twitter.com/Oq37OZkMIU
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 6, 2018
Samsung Galaxy S10 Specs
The phone will be one of the first with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and we expect it to use many of the 855’s flagship features. It will probably have an under-display, ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, various advanced camera features and use the Snapdragon X24 modem, which promises speeds of up to 2Gbps on 4G (although only Telstra in Australia has a network fast enough to handle that.) As you can see in the above tweets, the “Lite” model may not have all the features the others do, such as the fingerprint scanner. This official video teases the under display fingerprint sensor.
We benchmarked the Snapdragon 855 recently and found that the chip is about 40 percent faster on CPU performance and 20 percent faster in GPU performance than the Snapdragon 845 in the Samsung Galaxy S9.
A recent FCC filing showed that the phone will have Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax support, for the fastest possible Wi-Fi. That will make it the first US phone we’ve heard of with Wi-Fi 6 on board. GSMArena says the S10 and S10+ will have under-display fingerprint readers, while the S10e will have its fingerprint reader embedded in its power button on the side.
TechRadar claims that “the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite will come with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and the standard Galaxy S10 will have 6GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus meanwhile will apparently come in configurations with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.”
On Twitter, IceUniverse says that there will be a ridiculous 12GB/1TB S10+ version with a ceramic back cover, possibly so Samsung can have something that isn’t 5G, but matches the price of Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone XS Max model. BGR claims, via an Italian blog, that that model will cost $1,819.
New battery and fast charging technology is also coming. BGR reports that the phones will have battery sizes ranging from 3,100 to 4,100mAh. They will come with a model TA300, 25.2 watt fast charger and “Powershare,” an ability to charge other devices wirelessly.
9to5Google says the phone will feature a new cryptocurrency wallet, the Samsung Blockchain KeyStore. The software 9to5 saw only supports Ethereum by default, but the site speculates it will “presumably” support Bitcoin as well.
TmoNews says new photos confirm the phones will have standard 3.5mm headphone jacks. Blass also says the phone will have the ability to wirelessly charge other devices.
— /LEAKS (@Slashleaks) February 12, 2019
Will the Galaxy S10 Have 5G?
The 5G unit appears to be a fourth model, which may be available slightly later than the others. It will likely only be available in the US and Korea, and will come out on Verizon first, followed by AT&T and then Sprint and T-Mobile.
An article from Korea’s ETNews claims the phone will be called the “Galaxy S10 X” and will be released in late March in Korea. It says the phone will have a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, four rear cameras, and two front cameras. It will supposedly have a 5000mAh battery, 10GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
The 5G model will likely support Sprint’s 2.5GHz, Verizon and T-Mobile’s 28GHz and AT&T’s 39GHz 5G systems, but not T-Mobile’s 600MHz or AT&T’s 850/1900MHz. That means it will support high-speed 5G, but not long-range systems. You’ll have to wait for the second half of the year for phones that support long-range 5G.
How Much Will the Galaxy S10 Cost?
The Galaxy S9 started at $720, and we expect the main model of the S10—the 6.1-inch model—to hold that line. The 6.4-inch model would come at a “plus” price, perhaps $899, and the 5.8-inch “S10e” model will be in the $600-$700 range.
The 5G model will cost a lot. On stage at the Snapdragon Technology Summit, Samsung exec Justin Denison wouldn’t commit to a price, but seemed to confirm that it will be very expensive. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said at the same event that 5G phones would cost $200-$300 more than 4G phones. Netgear’s new 5G hotspot for AT&T costs $200 more than its 4G hotspot. So I’m targeting $1,200 for the 5G model, which lets Samsung say that it’s at least no more expensive than variants of the iPhone XS Max. For what it’s worth, ETNews says the 5G model will cost up to $1,600 in Korea.
US carriers will by and large offer the new phones with 3-year installment payment plans, so they won’t look more expensive per month than previous models of the phones.
When Will the S10 Be Announced?
The Galaxy S10 will be announced at a press event in San Francisco on Feb. 20. It will most likely go on sale on Friday, March 8. At the Unpacked event, we’re most likely to see the three Galaxy S10 models and Samsung’s folding phone, but we may not see the 5G version of the phone. That may be held back for a wireless carrier press conference at Mobile World Congress, the big mobile industry trade show the following week. Samsung has confirmed that they aren’t holding their own press conference at MWC, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appear at someone else’s.