The Samsung Galaxy S10 is coming and, thanks to an endless stream of revealing leaks, we know a lot about the new device already.
It looks like Samsung's S10 is going to be a bigger leap forward for the smartphone industry than Samsung's last phone. When it arrives next year it'll be packing a suite of advanced technology, with features that the likes of Apple, OnePlus, LG and HTC will be racing to match.
Here we run through the 7 slices of advanced tech that have been strongly rumoured and/or leaked up to this point. If they all end up in the finished Galaxy S10, it'll truly be a flagship phone that will shake up the phone industry…
1. Much faster storage and memory
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is set to be twice as fast as the Galaxy S9 in two key hardware areas, storage and memory. That's because the new flagship is being prepped to use UFS3.0 storage and LPDDR5 memory.
UFS stands for Universal Flash Storage and this new 3.0 iteration is the successor to the UFS2.1 storage chips found inside the Samsung Galaxy S9. It clocks in at twice the theoretical top speed, with 2,666MB/s maximum throughput bandwidth compared to 1,333MB/s. The result for users? Even though they won't see that maximum speed in real life, they will get very fast app installation, silky smooth running, and more rapid media access and editing.
LPDDR5 memory is the super fast successor to the LPDDR4 memory currently holding today's flagship phones back. Used in large quantities, it would make the S10 a RAM powerhouse.
2. Notch-free screen
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is also reportedly coming with a display that also acts as a voice-call speaker, removing the need for the traditional earpiece at the top of the device. This could allow space for something else, like a second or third camera, or pave the way to a super-clean, notch-free design. Or, at least, a smaller notch.
This screen speaker has already been demonstrated by Samsung, with the "Sound on Display", which uses bone conduction to beam sound to your inner ear, shown off on a 6.22-inch, 1,440 x 2,296 panel at this year's annual Society for Information Display expo. Then, it was tipped for an early 2019 debut.
This timing tallies perfectly for inclusion in the S10, with the line tending to be teased at CES before getting a reveal in February each year.
3. Under-screen fingerprint reader
There's been so many rumours now about the S10's new under-screen fingerprint reader, backed up by patent filings, too, that we're confident this is going to be a game changer. Rear-mounted readers can be annoying to locate, and front-mounted ones take up space that could be devoted to fitting a bigger screen. An under-screen reader solves both problems at a stroke.
The new technology works hand-in-hand with the S10's new Infinity Display (see below), which allows at least two-thirds of the fingerprint reader to be positioned under the phone's screen, thereby allowing an even greater screen-to-body ratio.
The under-display fingerprint reader is tipped to use ultrasonic technology, which is technically more accurate than the optical units currently installed on smartphones.
A faster, more accurate reader that now doesn't get in the way of the phone's screen when positioned on the front? Sounds good to us.
4. 5G connectivity
The S10 is also slated to be the first phone in the world that support super-fast 5G and, while nothing has been officially confirmed by Samsung, this makes perfect sense as Qualcomm and the South Korean maker have recently announced a 'strategic relationship' agreement, which specifically mentions the "transition to 5G".
A 5G connection would allow users simply incredible download and upload, speeds, while also opening the gateway to play AAA games via streaming services like PS Now while out and about, as well as stream high-fidelity 4K movies, too.
Of course, while the Galaxy S10 may support 5G connections, whether or not you'll have a 5G network up and running in your part of the world to make use of it is another matter.
5. Stunning new Infinity Display
The idea of the Samsung S10 featuring a special display has been around for many months now thanks to a series of revealing tit-bit reports from renowned leaksters, as well as detailed reports by industry analysts.
According to the information, the S10 will feature a new edge-to-edge Infinity Display with a PPI in excess of 600 which, thanks to the aforementioned under-screen fingerprint reader, as well as shrinking bezels, will deliver a screen-to-body ratio of 93 per cent.
Samsung has been at the forefront of the recent trend in smartphones to reduce bezels, with its latest S9 series of phones (specifically the drop-dead gorgeous Samsung S9 Plus) featuring absolutely stunning and spacious SuperAMOLED displays that leave other phone displays trailing behind, so it would make perfect sense for the maker to push that innovation even further with the S10.
6. The world's most advanced 3D-sensing camera
At one point this technology was rumoured to be so advanced in production that it was heading into the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, however, recent reports from respected Korean news outlets point to the tech debuting in the S10.
According to the reports, Israeli startup Mantis Vision is currently working with camera module firm Namuga on 3D-sensing camera solutions for Samsung, with the latter company not only being one of Samsung's key camera module suppliers, but also a direct supplier of 3D-sensing modules for Intel's RealSense AR cameras, too.
Neither the S9 or S9 Plus came with these sort of 3D-scanning capabilities, so it makes perfect sense for Samsung to fire back at Apple with its own super-powered 3D-sensing system in the Galaxy S10.
7. Sexy new transparent backplate
Finally, Samsung is also rumoured to be working on a very special new material finish for the S10 that will deliver a see-through, skeleton aesthetic.
We recently saw HTC introduce a lush new "Translucent Blue" colourway in its HTC U12+ range of phones, which delivered a partial skeleton backplate, and that went down a storm with critics and high-end phone enthusiasts.
As such, it makes perfect sense to us here at T3 that Samsung, who haven't followed other makers in bringing a notch to its handsets, would look to a transparent backplate as a design queue it could bring to the S10 that would help further separate it from rival phones.