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What new Samsung products can we expect?

This evening sees Samsung launch the latest additions to its Galaxy range at glitzy parallel events in London and San Francisco. What would you like to see?

While most of us aren’t about to rush out and buy a brand new flagship phone, these product launches always worth keeping an eye on because they signpost the directions the tech industry is heading in and what you might see in the phones coming down the track in the next year or so.

Samsung’s Galaxy phones have often led the way on innovations both large and small: it was Samsung phones back in 2003 that first ditched the external antenna, for example, while more recently Samsung debuted the curved edge-to-edge screens that are just making their way through into other devices, notably Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro.

Foldable phones

More recently we’ve seen speculation about a foldable phone from Samsung, which the Korean company itself has been fuelling since its teaser back in November.

If Samsung does launch a foldable device this evening, it will be the first of a slew of foldable devices set to be launched in the next few weeks.  

MWC, the annual mobile industry in Barcelona, kicks off on Monday, and we can expect to see a foldable device from Huawei (which the Chinese company trailed in a tweet earlier this month), and possibly one from Xiaomi: the respected industry leak-merchant Evan Blass posted a video on Twitter allegedly of a Xiaomi folding phone in January.

What a pretty comprehensive series of leaks tells us it’s safe to expect is three new phones from Samsung, all branded the S10.

Samsung Galaxy S10 specs

As far as we can gather, the S10e will be the entry-level model, possibly with a 5.8inch screen and offering 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. The S10 is rumoured to be a 6.1inch device, with up to 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, while the S10+ is likely to have a 6.3inch screen with up to 1TB of internal storage and 12GB of RAM.

What’s more interesting than the raw specs, however, is what Samsung might be adding to make their devices stand out.

Some of the rumoured features have already been seen in other devices: the S10 and the S10+ are likely to have triple cameras, a feature debuted by Huawei with the Mate 20 Pro at the end of last year.

Similarly the rumour mill says the new devices will have a fingerprint reader under the display, which we first saw last year with the OnePlus 6T and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Having used both phones, this feature might not be the brilliant thing the marketing materials say it is: we discovered that this doesn’t always work reliably when we tested them year.

The leaks also suggest that instead of the selfie camera notch we’ve seen on Apple’s iPhones over the past couple of years and more recently in a range of Android devices, Samsung will instead go for the pinhole camera seen in the Honor View 20.

Samsung One UI

Most interesting of all to my mind is the likely launch of Samsung’s new user interface, called One UI.  The Korean giant took a fair bit of flak in the early days for its TouchWiz interface layered on top of stock Android, and it has pared that back since then. 

The new One UI looks to be a thoughtful move to integrate form and function more intuitively: it’s been in beta for some early adopters for a while and I’d be astonished if it isn’t officially launched today.

Assuming I can get a 4G or wi-fi signal (never a given at a big tech launch, surprisingly) I’ll be updating this Convo and also tweeting from the event later today.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me there, or come back later to join in the chat here.  Meanwhile, are you a Samsung fan? What new features are you hoping to see? Tell us in the comments below.

Comments
Admin

My Samsung has been going strong for nearly three years but I do have camera envy of other people’s phones.

Tell me – what is the benefit of three cameras?

Admin
DerekP says:
20 February 2019

What – only three cameras?

Some of the best fun apps need four 😉

youtube.com/watch?v=xoxhDk-hwuo

Admin

Have a look at the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, mentioned in Kate’s introduction. This uses multiple cameras to take a smartphone nearer to the capabilities of a compact camera.

Admin

Now in fairness – that is 4 different phones. However that is pure genius! They will be finding bits of glitter for years if not decades!

Admin

Oh – that does look like a good phone. A Which? Best Buy no less.

Admin

It’s a really nice phone – it’s the one I use most. Three cameras gives you wide, normal and super-macro.

Admin

Right, I’ve made it over to darkest Wapping, where the event will be held, which is basically the opposite end of London from where I live, so I hope you all appreciate my dedication to duty

Admin

These events are always weird: there’s a mix of Samsung staffers and partners, plus some cynical grizzled old hacks like me, and then all kinds of randoms. Lots of dudes with beards who wear backpacks and seem totally oblivious to the fact that short women’s faces are at *precisely* the level of their backpacks *sigh*

Admin

And they’re kicking off with the foldable which does look pretty cool – it opens out pretty much seamlessly into a tablet https://twitter.com/katebevan/status/1098297777069715462

Admin

OK, here’s a pic

Admin

It looks as if the multitasking is going to be very nifty indeed. It looks bulky when it’s closed, but if the shift from phone to tablet mode is as seamless as the demo makes it appear, I think I might want one

Admin

US price is nearly $2k, though, so yeah, out of my price range.

Admin
DerekP says:
20 February 2019

As foretold a while ago:

cultofmac.com/472055/samsung-may-unveil-westworld-style-folding-phone-year/

and I believe the Nintendo DS was there first, albeit not with such contiguous screens (or a cell phone function).

Admin

I would say we would have a whip around the office for you but that would be a lot of people putting into the pot! 😀

Admin

I think having whips and pot in the office is something to keep to a Members only forum Abby 🙂

Admin

I’m amused that our over night moderators put @malcolm-r‘s comment into moderation. They really are being very strict with you at the moment!

Admin

Maybe I am too critical of Which? ?? 🙁

Admin

It’s not that at all – your feedback is really valuable to us! We have an out of hours service for monitoring comments and it seems they are erring on the side of caution a lot this week. I’m going to drop them a line about it.

Admin

A post of mine is being moderated at the moment. It contains the text of a Which? press release and a link to a relevant government document. 🙂

Admin

Sorry about that – I just approved it and in the middle of investigating why so many posts are going into moderation at the moment!

Admin

A comment of yours being moderated, Wavechange? That’s surely a first!

Admin

🙂 There have been a few, John, usually for going off-topic.  I presume that moderation must be a new Samsung product to be discussing it here.

Admin

Here come the S10 phones

Admin

It is really hard to make phones sound exciting, despite the whooping and glitz and despite their best efforts, a nice new phone, the S10 isn’t sounding amazing.

Admin

Triple rear camera, as expected. It’s pretty good on my Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and I’m looking forward to seeing how good it is on the S10: the cameras on Samsungs are good.

Admin

“Neural processing unit” which can be a bit … flaky. This is what my Huawei made of my cat recently

Admin

Three models, as we said: the S10, the S10+ and the S10e.

Admin

here come the Galaxy Buds, which tbh I’m a bit underwhelmed by. They’ve got Bixby, Samsung’s smart assistant and whathaveyou but … they’re earbuds. Quite big ones, at that. And I’d lose them

Admin

149 Euros, gang. Or free if you order a new S10.

Admin

I really struggle with buds. My ears are just built wrong!

Admin

Mine too, and I’m not too keen on poking anything in my ears after a traumatic visit to hospital when I was very young.

Admin

Interesting. When I was very young I inserted a milk bottle top into my ear. Similarly traumatic, I suspect.

Admin

OK, I’ve had a go with the buds and they’re actually pretty good and they didn’t fall out of my ears, rather to my surprise!

Admin

There’s the old rule that says “never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear” …

Admin

The first time I heard that I spent a good 15 minutes trying to get my elbow in my ear!

Admin

Here come the wearables. The guy on stage has just said he can’t wait to get one for his wife. I wonder why she can’t buy one herself, innit

Admin

Loving the updates, Kate! Hope you're enjoying yourself. I've got an S9+… How appealing should the S10+ be to me?

Admin

cheers, George! If you like the S9+ you will want the S10 … whether you need/can justify it is another matter, of course …

Admin

Think it could be a no on both counts!

Looking forward to seeing the Fold in real life, nice to see something different, but a long way from becoming the norm.

Thanks for keeping us all updated here, it’s much appreciated.

Admin

I will borrow one to review when press samples are available, so you can come and stroke it when I’ve got one. I’m really looking forward to seeing it too.

Admin

I trust you’ll have fun stroking it, George…

Admin

Haha, I’m sure it’ll be an experience.

Thanks Kate! Looking forward to seeing it.

Admin

aaaand that’s a wrap. Some interesting devices – especially the Fold. What do you think?

Admin

Been there, done that…

Funny how things go round in circles. The Samsung might just be a huge improvement on the Motorola. I really disliked the V300 that is sitting nearly pristine in the box somewhere with a hands-free thingy for the car that was never used.

Admin

ha ha, you’re not the first person to point that out. There were quite a lot of jokes about Nokia Communicator last night, too.

Admin
DerekP says:
21 February 2019

I nearly mentioned Psion 3’s too 😉

Admin

I had a Psion 5 20 years ago and LOVED it. Many years ago I wrote a feature for the FT about the radio/telly presenter John Suchet, who is/was a Psion obsessive: he loved them and had loads of them, including a couple he’d bought as backups for when his current one died. He was absolutely lovely, too. I had a quick look and I don’t think the piece is online, sadly. It was such a nice piece to do.

Admin

Thanks for all the updates, Kate! I have to say I’m tempted. The fold looks cool and I’m looking forward to seeing one in real life but I can’t help but think I’m my hands it would only last a week before I broke it! There’s a reason I don’t have an edge screen!

Admin

I think if you’re a Samsung fan and your existing phone is a couple of years old the S10 will be a really nice upgrade. There’s not much that’s super-new in the phones as other OEMs have got there first, but Samsung does execute tech very well. Come and stroke the Fold when I get a press sample to review!

Admin

Kate, what does the S10 have that would persuade me to ditch my 2½ year old, over £600 S7 Edge?

Admin

The camera, I’d say. I’m looking forward to seeing it in action. That said, your S7 will do you very nicely for a good year yet, so I wouldn’t say you need to upgrade. Though bear in mind the one really annoying thing about Android devices: after three years it’s unlikely to get any more security updates, so you do need to think about replacing it then. Unpatched Android is a liability.

Admin

Has Samsung produced a screen that folds or are there two screens very close together?

Admin

They didn’t have any devices in the flesh for us to see last night, but it looks as though it’s a screen that fold, which is quite an achievement. It does look rather amazing in the videos, though if I were going to drop nearly two grand on a device (not a cat in hell’s chance), I’d probably wait for the second iteration so that any initial issues can be addressed.

Admin

Ah, but if you borrow one for evaluation then you will have the opportunity to have a look. It’s fun to play with new toys even if you don’t own them. It does look like a screen that folds. That’s very clever, but it makes me wonder how many times it can be folded and still work properly.

Admin

Being to play with shiny new kit is absolutely the best thing about my job. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Fold.

Admin

Samsung has come a very long way since their products first appeared in this country and their products are regularly featured on the Which? website. Here is an interesting snippet from an article about the latest Samsung TVs:

“iTunes is the other big addition to Samsung TVs. You’ll be able to access the iTunes library of videos and music, as well as any content you’ve bought before, on Samsung’s TVs.
Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/02/samsungs-2019-tv-lineup-affordable-high-end-tech-and-a-43-inch-qled/ – Which?”

That’s impressive, but we have discussed the problem that smart TVs can lose their smart features, sometimes within a couple of years of purchase.

We have Which? reviews of a wide range of products, so rather than having other articles about how good the latest and greatest products are, I would like to see Which? alerting us to the fact that TVs are likely to lose their smart features and, more importantly, working with other consumers associations to put an end to this commercial practice that results in products being scrapped prematurely despite not having any fault other than obsolete software or firmware. I am not aware that any TV manufacturer sells TVs that won’t go out of date but if some do better than others it would help to know.

Admin

Wavechange, take a look at page five of the most recent Which? Magazine – we do just that 🙂

We also know that this Convo is extremely popular via Google:

https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/missing-smart-tv-apps-catch-up-on-demand/

We’ll be updating it very soon to reflect the magazine’s article and provide our latest advice.

Admin

Hi George – It’s good to hear that Which? is looking into this issue and it will be interesting to see how the issue evolves. We really need to know who is at fault for apps not working before pointing fingers.

I will try to remember to look at the current magazine before whinging in future. I am accustomed to watching iPlayer, YouTube etc on a laptop and had not paid much attention to the article.