Samsung Galaxy S10 news, leaks and rumours: Samsung confirms "very significant" design changes ahead

Everything we know about the Galaxy S10: release date, specs and likely price

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The Samsung Galaxy S10, which has been given a really cool codename, is on course to see the light of day in February 2019. DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, promises that the S10 will feature "very significant" design changes and “amazing” colours, so it looks as though we're looking at something special for Samsung's 10th anniversary Galaxy flagship.

So apart from that bold claim from Samsung, what else do we know so far about the next phone in Samsung's S range (with the S10, S10 Plus and another, entry-level S10 model) of Galaxy smartphones? Read on to find out.

Samsung Galaxy S10 release date

We're expecting Samsung to follow tradition and announce the Galaxy S10 during the first quarter of 2019: most likely around the end of February or the start of March, at the annual Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

We know that MWC 2019 kicks off on 25 February, and with the press day usually a day earlier than that, it's a sensible bet that the Galaxy S10 is going to get its grand unveiling on Sunday 24 February.

That date would be in line with the release dates of previous Galaxy S phones, though Samsung doesn't always use MWC as the platform.

The Galaxy S9 was released at an event on February 25 (2018), the Galaxy S8 was released on April 21 (2017), and if we look back even further back, the Galaxy S7 was released on March 12 (2016).

A recent report claimed that the S10 would launch in January 2019, at CES in Las Vegas, but we're taking that particular rumour with a big pinch of salt. Here's why.

Samsung Galaxy S10 name

Ever since the Samsung Galaxy S saw the light of day in 2010, Samsung has stuck to an easy-to-understand naming system, continuing up through Samsung Galaxy S2 to the S9, where we are now.

So the natural step for the 2019 Galaxy S would be to call it the Galaxy S10 – but that may not be what happens. 

In a press conference given on 26 February 2018, reported by The Investor, Koh Dong-jin, President of Samsung Mobile, said: "Although Samsung will stick to Galaxy, we have been thinking about whether we need to maintain the S moniker or the numbering system."

Best bets on the name if it’s not the Galaxy S10? Some people are claiming an iPhone-alike Galaxy X name might be on the cards, although that’s also the rumoured name for Samsung’s upcoming foldable phone.

One idea is that future phones will all be named the Galaxy X with the year of release afterwards, but that would get very confusing very fast. Samsung will probably wait until the last possible moment to let us know the new name, but if it's the end of the line for the Galaxy S moniker, it certainly had a good run.

Samsung Galaxy S10 range

Everything we've heard so far has indicated that the Samsung Galaxy S10 range will feature three different models, which right now have the codenames "Beyond 0", "Beyond 1", and "Beyond 2".

These models consist of a standard sized Galaxy S10 with a 5.8-inch display, which is the "Beyond 1" device, a super-sized "Beyond 2" S10+ (or Plus) with a larger display, and a "Beyond 0" budget S10 that will feature a flat display rather than a curved Infinity one.

As well as screen size and type, how the different S10 phones are specced internally also varies, with some S10 features (see below for details) exclusive to the top tiers.

Interestingly, the latest rumours suggest the S10+ (or Plus) will feature a 6.44-inch screen, which is actually bigger than that on the Note 9 phablet. The idea is that super-thin bezels and a minimal notch make such a large screen possible without causing pocket distress.

At 6.44 inches, that screen would be smaller than Apple's new iPhone XS Max, which features a 6.5-inch screen, showing just how smartphones seem to be expanding in size at the moment.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G connectivity

According to a reliable tipster, the Samsung Galaxy S10 will let you tear across the web and through your apps faster than ever, because it's set to be one if not the first super-fast 5G smartphones.

Weibo user 'Ice Universe', who has a good track record when it comes to leaking sensitive Samsung tidbits, has revealed that the Galaxy S10 will come with the next-gen 5G technology on board.

This makes complete sense, as Qualcomm and Samsung have recently announced a 'strategic relationship' agreement, which specifically mentions the "transition to 5G". Galaxy S10 users should, then, be able to benefit from the faster internet speeds that 5G will provide.

We wouldn't expect all of the S10 range to be 5G-enabled; rather that there will be a 5G handset within the range.

Whether 5G technology will be up and running in your part of the world by next year is another matter: a select number of UK, US and Chinese cities are scheduled to have it by the start of 2019, but it won't be ubiquitous for a while.

Samsung Galaxy S10 specs

Samsung Exynos

Samsung Exynos chip

Ice Universe has also revealed the Samsung Galaxy S10 could have an all-new Infinity Display with an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 93 percent (the figure for this year's S9 is 83.6 percent). Those bezels keep on shrinking.

Ice Universe later tweeted on 14 May that the S10 screen is rumoured to "exceed 600 ppi". That would be an improvement on the screen in the S9, which has a resolution of 570 ppi.

Powering everything could be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, if leaker Roland Quandt is to be believed. This will bring the expected improved performance and better efficiency over Qualcomm's current chipset, the same sort of upgrade we get every year from Qualcomm's latest chip.

Samsung usually develops its own Exynos chip for its Galaxy S phones in certain markets, as it did for the S9 in Europe with the Exynos 9810, and that's likely to be the case again in 2019.

Whether in regards to the Snapdragon 855 or the next Exynos chipset, you can expect even more nods towards AI processing next time around. All the indications are that a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) will be included, similar to that found on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, ready to handle all of the complex AI and 3D processing.

Samsung Galaxy S10 features

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro

While we didn't see an in-screen fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S9, there were rumours that the technology was being tested for inclusion on the Note 9, although those whispers turned out to be false.

Where things got interesting was that the in-screen fingerprint reader tech, despite being close to completion, was reportedly being held back for the Galaxy S10, meaning that the numerous revealing hints we had been hearing about like how the in-screen fingerprint sensor will work and where it will be positioned, were actually of merit.

As such, right now it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S10 could be the first Samsung phone to feature the innovative technology, which in turn looks like it is making room for additional cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S10 cameras

Samsung always likes to focus on cameras, and with Huawei upping the ante with a triple-lens camera on the back on the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung will want to respond. More lenses? More aperture settings? Better low light performance? It all looks like it could be on the cards for 2019.

That's because there have been reports of, first, the S10+ packing five cameras, and then, second, the Galaxy S10 also, with front and rear dual-lens arrays being joined by a dedicated rear-mounted ultra-wide angle lens.

These rumours of extra cameras are also seemingly backed up by phone industry analysts, with KBI Securities is claiming. Kim Dong-won says that Samsung plans to "reinvigorate" its business by adding a triple lens camera to the Galaxy S10.

Or how about FOUR rear cameras? That's also on the cards.

As for other features, it's tricky to know what else Samsung could add to the existing S9 formula. We know that a foldable Samsung phone is in the works, but this is likely to be separate to the main Galaxy S line, with the foldable securely lodged in the top 5 foldable phones to expect in 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S10 price

At this stage it's far too early to make any kind of accurate prediction on the Samsung Galaxy S10 price. What, you want us to try, anyway? We couldn’t possibly. Oh, go on, then.

In the US, the Samsung Galaxy S8 launch price was $725 while the Samsung Galaxy S9 launch price was a slightly cheaper $720.

In the UK, however, there was a price increase of £100 between the two models: the S8 launched at £639 while the S9 launched at £739.

So, our current (very early!) guess at the Samsung Galaxy S10 launch price is that – barring a massive economic downturn or sudden consumer demand for ridiculously expensive tech – the US price will remain stable, at $725 or thereabouts. 

And we can’t imagine the UK launch price of the S10 dropping back down to S8 levels, so we’re going to bet a British pound coin on the S10 launching at £749, a tenner more than the S9.

A lot can change between now and then in terms of supply costs and global markets. We'll see whether we were right next year.

Samsung Galaxy S10 concepts

A Galaxy S10 concept by designer Jonas Daehnert

(Image: © Jonas Daehnert)

While we wait to see what the final Galaxy S10 design looks like, graphic designers have been creating their own renders based on the various S10 leaks.

Recently, this rather tasty depiction of the Samsung Galaxy S10 was released by DBSDesinging, which shows a luxe all-screen smartphone with a triple rear camera.

The above render by freelance designer Jonas Daehnert shows the S10 with a transparent backplate, triple lens camera and in-screen fingerprint reader.

And this video by  Concept Creator shows the Galaxy S10 with a series of next-generation hardware and features, including a 2K SuperAMOLED screen, DeX 3.0 wireless sharing and a frosted glass casing. Check it out below.

We'll bring you more S10 leaks and rumours as we get them. Until then, why not check out our rundown of the best 5G phones to expect next year?