Smartphone enthusiasts waiting patiently for the 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 to be officially unveiled at the South Korean maker's Unpacked event on February 20 now look increasingly likely to be left disappointed.
The reason? According to a brand new report from one the most reliable smartphone tipsters going, Evan Blass, it now looks like the 5G hotness is not coming to the Galaxy S10 range at all, with only three 4G LTE models available.
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The base of the report stems from a Tweet (opens in new tab) Blass recently posted that showed three Samsung Galaxy S10 phones in see-through phone cases, with the text reading "Samsung Galaxy S10E, S10, and S10+ (L to R), encased".
Samsung Galaxy S10E, S10, and S10+ (L to R), encased pic.twitter.com/Pk2gpXkXxn19 January 2019
And that three-phone showing quickly set alarm bells ringing, as while the Galaxy S10E, S10 and S10+ tallied perfectly with all the latest range information reports, there was no fourth phone shown, the device referred to as the "Samsung Galaxy S10 X", which was supposed to be the range-topping 5G powerhouse.
In the past Blass' range reports have rarely been wrong, so this reveal immediately raised the question as to why Samsung would decide to remove the 5G S10 that everyone wanted from the range? The answer could very well be tied to the development of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 handset, which is set for a August 2019 release.
That's because, as regular readers of T3 will have seen last week, according to new reports Samsung is currently working on a brand new super-powered 7nm Exynos processor for launch "in the second half of this year", the Exynos 9825, which will be a step-up from the 8nm Exynos 9820 slated for inclusion in the Galaxy S10 range.
Now, typically Samsung has installed the exact same processor in its Galaxy and then Note offerings each year, with the Note 9 and S9 sharing the same processor and the Note 8 and S8, too, for example.
This year, though, that pattern seems to be being broken and one theory right now circulating among commentators (opens in new tab) is that this is because that new 7nm chip will have integrated 5G, which is something that the Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 855 (which will power the Galaxy S10 in certain territories) do not have, with these processors supporting 5G by connecting with a separate 5G modem (opens in new tab) that is auxiliary to the main processor.
As such, Samsung may now have decided (for reasons of design, market readiness or financial validity) to keep its 5G powder dry until it can release a fully 5G integrated chipset later in the year, in the form of the Exynos 9825, rather than offer users a half-way house solution with the Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 855.
Of course, Samsung may be simply holding back a super awesome one final thing unveiling for its Unpacked event, with a dramatic 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 reveal guaranteed to light-up Mobile World Congress 2019, which takes place a week later. Hopefully some official light can be shed onto Samsung's 5G plans for 2019 soon.
Naturally, T3 will be in attendance both at Samsung Unpacked and MWC 2019, so be sure to check back in then to see if it will be the Galaxy S10 or Note 10 that will be Samsung's first 5G flagship.