We’re merely days away from the ‘official’ unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and all its brethren at Unpacked 2019. We’re expecting more than just a few phones to be announced, so here is everything we’ve seen leaked, learned, and expect to happen come February 20th.
Thanks to some in-depth leaks and even some short hands-on videos, we think we have a very, very solid idea of what to expect from the South Korean tech giant come the actual event.
That doesn’t mean there is no mystery, as some software features obviously are under wraps and even the Samsung Galaxy F — Samsung’s folding smartphone — is pretty much shrouded in mystery at this point.
In terms of devices, we are expecting to see at least three be unveiled. There is potential for a fourth in the form of the Samsung Galaxy F. We say ‘potential’ as there are major hints but it could simply be a showcase of the tech with a release date far off into the future. It’s easily the most interesting piece of tech simply as so little is known about it.
You might remember that we did a full rundown of everything we knew at the turn of 2019 but, as is always the case, we’ve learnt and seen a heck of a lot more since then.
Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e
Let’s start with the core reason that most people will tune in to the event or even care about the event at all. As has been the case for at least four years, the two core smartphones in the Samsung device lineup will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+. They are far and away two of Samsung’s biggest selling handsets every single year — referring to the S and S+ variant here.
A newcomer is the iPhone XR competitor in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S10e — which is arguably one of the most interesting of the new S lineup. The Galaxy S10e is set to be the most ‘affordable’ of the new phones announced and unveiled. It’s essentially a slightly lower-specced version of the top-tier S10 and S10+.
This slightly cheaper variant will come in a wider array of colors too. The Canary Yellow is one of the most striking of the entire lineup. There will be color variants of the S10 and S10+ but these are conservative at best when compared to the bright options of the S10e.
Initially, most of the specifications were made on pretty solid assumptions, with some leaks giving us a glimpse of what we are likely to see come release day. But thanks to fully filled out spec sheets courtesy of GSMArena, we have the confirmed specifications for each and every new S10 model. We have no reason to believe that these specifications are false by any stretch either.
The slightly grainy spec sheets layout the hardware specifications of each device plus what you can expect in the box when you pick up any of the three S10 models.
Each will pack in the Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chipset — depending on your region. Storage will range from the 128GB base on all devices, right up to 1TB for the top-tier S10+ models. Here’s the full range:
- Galaxy S10e: 128GB/6GB RAM / 256GB/8GB RAM
- Galaxy S10: 128GB/6GB RAM / 512GB/8GB RAM
- Galaxy S10+: 128GB/6GB RAM / 512GB/8GB RAM / 1TB/12GB RAM
These leaked specs sheets confirm that the S10, S10+ and S10e will pack 6.1-inch, 6.3-inch and 5.8-inch QHD+ screens respectively. Every single S10 will adopt a ‘punch-hole’ cutout but there are some differences in the dimensions and PPI of each display.
- Galaxy S10e: 5.8-inch / 2280 x 1080 pixels / 19:9 / 438 PPI
- Galaxy S10: 6.1-inch/ 3040 x 1440 pixel / 19:9 / 550 PPI
- Galaxy S10+: 6.3-inch / 3040 x 1440 pixels / 19:9 / 522 PPI
As we expect, this leak also reveals that the S10 and S10+ will feature in-display fingerprint scanners. The S10e won’t go down the in-display route, instead it will feature a side-mounted sensor on the sleep-wake button.
The leaked spec sheet lists the display as being able to reach 800 nits, which we can only assume is when displaying an all-white image. The Note 9 was capable of 710 nits in the same settings, so this is a substantial upgrade if to be believed. We are in no doubt that Samsung will crush the competition in the display game yet again with the S10.
Each device has a different battery size too, some of that owing to the fact that each has a slightly different footprint. Naturally, the Galaxy S10+ being the biggest has the biggest battery, while the S10e has the smallest:
- Galaxy S10e: 3,100mAh
- Galaxy S10: 3,400mAh
- Galaxy S10+: 4,100mAh
With a footprint and battery size that is very close to that found on the Galaxy Note 9, we’re hoping that the S10+ is a true battery beast. That said, with a slightly lower resolution display if the S10e can match that of the iPhone XR it could be a really awesome all day smartphone.
Notice how no version listed 5G connectivity on the spec sheets? We are unsure if the 12GB, 1TB storage option might include 5G connectivity but this may come as part of ‘refreshed’ device later in the year.
As always, we’re dealing with rumors and so there are murmurs that we could see a 5G dongle coming out shortly after release.
Each device has slightly different overall camera capabilities, so it’s actually worth knowing ahead of time if you are planning on picking one up — especially if photography or video recording are a priority to you.
The Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10 will have triple rear cameras. These consist of:
- 12-megapixel, f/2.4 45-degree, telephoto lens
- 12-megapixel, f/1.5 77-degree, standard lens
- 16-megapixel, f/2.2 fixed-focus, 123-degree ultra-wide angle lens
As for the Galaxy S10e, it is listed as having a regular and an ultra-wide angle lens camera. There are also rumors that it will stick with the regular plus telephoto configuration found on the Samsung Galaxy S9+.
The selfie cameras on all handest handsets will include dual-pixel autofocus with the ability to record in 4K too. Ideal for anyone who considers themselves a serious selfie taker. There are also rumors that the S10+ will include stabilization on the front-facing camera.
Software and Features
All three variants will come with Samsung’s One UI on top of Android Pie as standard and that brings with it the new gesture control method as well as some other little tweaks and changes. We already know all about One UI as it is available on the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9.
It’s a big departure from the old Samsung Experience UI and it’s all the better for it.
Super Night Shot
We are expecting Samsung to introduce a new Night mode for the camera software too. This will be called “Super Night Shot” and if rumors are to be believed it could rival the Pixel Night Sight and Huawei Night Mode long exposure photography modes.
We have seen it referred to as “Bright Night” but we have it on good authority that this mode will be called “Super Night Shot” and like all the other long exposure takes a few shots between 2-3 seconds to compose a low-light image.
What is interesting is that it isn’t a camera mode. Super Night Shot works via the inbuilt Scene Optimizer in auto mode to expose shots based upon the lighting conditions that you take an image within. Super Night Shot also works on a tripod, taking 17 individual images between 30-40 seconds in these low light conditions.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a superb phone and it introduced us to reverse wireless charging. Samsung clearly saw this and thought that the S10 lineup would benefit from the addition of this incredibly neat feature as the entire S10 lineup are set to include the ability to wireless share power.
This feature is great if you only have access to one charger for instance and need to charge two devices at once. I have personally used it a couple of times for that exact reason. Charging two handsets at once is pretty darn net. It also serves a dual purpose with the introduction of brand new Galaxy Buds. These can be wirelessly charged on the back of the S10.
It needs to be said that Samsung is still one of the few manufacturers that are continuing (but for how long?) to put the headphone port on their handsets. Many manufacturers have made the excuse that it takes up space for other important hardware but Samsung proves this wrong with every release.
For those that don’t care, good for you. For the rest of us that do, this is excellent news yet again. The simple fact is that Bluetooth audio < wired audio.
You also get some AKG headphones in the box too, which is become an even less common occurance with smartphone OEMs.
Unfortunately, there are a few absentees from the S10 line. Here’s a rundown of a couple of features that we will see disappear at Unpacked 2019:
- Notification LED
- Iris Scanner
Now, this is one area where we are getting a lot more options than in previous years. As Samsung is chasing the iPhone XR, the Galaxy S10e offers a vast number of color variants that we haven’t seen before on a Samsung phone.
The S10e is available in Canary Yellow, Prism Black, Green, White and Blue. There is no red model, even despite some poor renders online trying to claim otherwise. Maybe we’ll see a red option a little further down the line but for now, there will be a decent number of options to sink your teeth into.
You get fewer options of the more standard S10 and S10+. These are available in black and white options. The variation comes in the form of the Ceramic White/Black versions that are only on offer from the 12GB RAM/1TB Galaxy S10+.
Pricing & Release Date
The pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S10 line is interesting at one end and literally eye-watering at the other.
Gizmodo suggests that base S10 model pricing starts at £799 (~$1021) with 128GB of storage, with a 512GB model bumped up to £999 (~$1277). The larger 6.3-inch Galaxy S10+ is expected to sell for £899 (~$1149) for the 128GB model, with the 512GB version shipping for £1099 (~$1405) and that insane 1TB edition for the wallet-cleansing £1399 (~$1788).
The cheaper option, the S10e, is expected to sell for £669 (~$855). Of course, these prices are UK-centric but will adjust more favorably towards the dollar once the keynote confirms the pricing.
Smartphone prices have rocketed in the past three years and these prices are no different. For context, the base model $719.99. That’s a massive step up for the equivalent S10 model. The is some respite though from these prices if you have an older Samsung model. You can save up to $550 by trading in an eligible Samsung device though.
As for the release date, the pre-order page is actually live in the US. It includes that trade-in offer and it states that delivery of any pre-orders will be by the 8th March. So Samsung letting slip ahaed of time that the official release date will be March 8th 2019.
Samsung Galaxy F
This might be the most interesting of the devices to be potentially shown. We say potentially as although Samsung is dropping major hints there is still no concrete evidence that Unpacked 2019 will be the launchpad for the first commercially available folding Samsung smartphone.
We did get a glimpse of what the tech would look like with at the Samsung Developer Conference. That was a prototype that didn’t exactly look very good all things considered.
Our only information is courtesy of Samsung themselves. They have a folding device. They keep dropping hints. That is all we have.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) February 11, 2019
Although one tidbit of information that I personally have been able to glean is that this device codenamed Da Vinci was originally slated for a Q2 release schedule. This may have been brought forward to beat Xiaomi to the punch.
Especially as Xiaomi dropped a teaser video for a bi-folding smartphone on social media not too long ago and it looked like the device to beat in terms of hardware and folding mechanism at the very least.
Samsung Galaxy Wearables
Galaxy Watch Active
Samsung shows no signs of ever adopting or helping develop the Wear OS platform. Instead, they are intent on sticking with their Tizen-powered smartwatch platform and the Galaxy Watch Active will be yet another solid iteration we are sure of it.
The sleek watches have leaked a few times already prior to the Unpacked 2019 event. Whilst the design isn’t exactly a massive overhaul there is one notable omission: the rotating bezel.
We’ve also expected that the watch would deliver a major UI redesign but that doesn’t seem to be the case based upon the leaked images of the Galaxy Watch Active UI. It will introduce some new watchfaces and a redesigned Samsung Health app though.
Galaxy Fit / Galaxy Fit E
Samsung Galaxy Buds
How do you beat Apple? Well, if you’re Samsung you simply make either a copycat or very close homage. The Galaxy Buds are essentially the Samsung version of AirPods and although they don’t share a great deal aesthetically, work very much the same way.
Bluetooth headphones or earbuds that come in a pouch and work best with Samsung hardware. That’s the best way to describe them. Arguably the neatest feature is that with an S10 model you’ll be able to charge the earbuds without needing a cable. Truly wireless earbuds. I like the sound of that.
So that is all the information that we have — currently — ahead of the big Samsung Unpacked 2019 event. We’d love to know what you’re looking forward to the most. Let us know in the comments section below and lets get a discussion going.