Samsung has taken the wraps off its first 5G-enabled smartphone, known as Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. The all-new handset was announced alongside the Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 Plus during the latest Galaxy Unpacked events, held simultaneously in San Francisco and London.
Despite what the name might suggest, the new handset is not merely a Samsung Galaxy S10 with revamped internals to support next-generation 5G mobile network speeds. In fact, this is an entirely-new handset with a number of brand-new features that can’t be found anywhere else in the Galaxy S10 range.
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Samsung has fitted its new S10 5G model with the largest display of any of its new smartphones – yes, that includes the Galaxy S10 Plus. The Galaxy S10 5G has a humongous 6.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display with the same dual-curved design as the S10 and S10 Plus. The Galaxy S10 5G also adopts the new Infinity-O design which allows the display to bleed to the very edge of the chassis – with a hole for the Dual-Pixel 10-megapixel selfie camera to peek through out.
Like the Galaxy S10 Plus, the S10 5G has a dual-camera set-up – but that’s where the similarities end. While the Galaxy S10 Plus has an 8-megapixel depth sensor, the Galaxy S10 5G has a hQVGA 3D-depth sensing camera which will offer improved Live Focus photographs and bring the effect to video footage for the first time. Samsung has fitted same 3D-depth sensing camera to the rear-mounted camera too, bringing the total number of sensors to six.
Like the front-facing variation, the hQVGA quality sensor, which equates to 0.038-megapixels, will enable adjustable artificial bokeh-style blur behind the subject in real-time when shooting video. While a number of flagship handsets already offer Portrait Mode-esque photos, this is the first time we’ve seen the same effect applied to video. The new depth-sensing camera will also enable new Augmented Reality (AR) modes and effects in the future, Samsung has promised.
Powering the Galaxy S10 5G is an octo-core 8-nanometre processor. It’s currently unclear whether this will be the same variant that fuels the S10e, S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus, or whether it will be a mid-cycle update to support 5G networks.
However, as with previous entries in the Galaxy S series, we expect all S10 5G models sold in the United States and China use a flagship Qualcomm SnapDragon chipset, while those on shelves in the UK, Europe, and South Korea will likely to powered by a Samsung-designed Exynos silicon.
The Galaxy S10 5G will sport 8GB of RAM – slightly less than the 12GB inside the Ultimate Performance Edition of the Galaxy S10 Plus – coupled with 256GB of built-in storage. Unlike every other model in the S10 range, Samsung has not confirmed whether the Galaxy S10 5G will support expandable storage via the MicroSD card slot.
The new 5G-touting flagship will boast a colossal 4,500mAh battery, which is more than any other smartphone in the Galaxy S10 line-up. However, given what a battery-drain 5G is expected to be, it might not result in the two-day battery life of your dreams. If you do have some battery left over, you’ll be able to share it with your friends thanks to the new Wireless PowerShare feature. This not only lets you top-up the new Galaxy Buds – the new AirPod rivals announced at Galaxy Unpacked alongside the new handsets – by placing their bundled charge case on your new phone, but it can also be used to top-up rival smartphone batteries.
Like the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus, the new 5G variant supports fast wireless charging. Unlike the other S10 handsets, it includes a new Super Fast Wired Charging feature developed by Samsung which supports 25W charging over USB-C. This sounds like a challenge to the Warp Charge 30 fast-charging system unveiled by OnePlus alongside its limited edition OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, which can reach a maximum of 30W when refilling the phone.
Galaxy S10 5G is missing the heart-rate sensor included on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus, but we’re not entirely convinced you’ll miss it.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing for the Galaxy S10 5G yet. However, given that the maxed-out Ultimate Performance Edition of the Galaxy S10 Plus can reach £1,399 – and the 5G model has a bigger display, additional rear-mounted camera sensor, and 5G capabilities, we expect this to be a very costly device.
Samsung says it will launch the Galaxy S10 5G in “early summer”. So stay tuned for more news in the coming months, likely on its stand at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow next week.
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