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.
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.
Can't speak to the authenticity of this video or device, but it's allegedly made by Xiaomi, I'm told. Hot new phone, or gadget porn deepfake? pic.twitter.com/qwFogWiE2F
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 3, 2019
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.