In Depth

Samsung Galaxy S11 news: design, five-lens camera and more

The iPhone 11 rival is being touted as the Korean firm’s ‘nuclear weapon’ for 2020

Rumours are flying about Samsung’s next flagship smartphones as the clock ticks down until the hi-tech handsets hit the market. 

The S11 series will go head-to-head with the new iPhone 11 Pro and Google’s Pixel 4 range and is expected to be significantly more advanced than the current S10 line-up [pictured top]. Indeed, Samsung’s latest creations are being teased as the South Korean firm’s “nuclear weapon” for the coming year, 9to5Google reports.  

Here are all the unconfirmed reports about what may be on offer.

What will the S11 handsets look like?

A series of digital renderings created by “renowned leakster” OnLeaks allegedly offers fans a glimpse of the larger S11+ model, reports India-based tech news site CashKaro.

Judging by the images, the new device will swap the horizontal camera system seen on the S10+ for a vertically mounted rectangular lens cluster that dominates the back of the smartphone and is far larger than the shooters on rival handsets. 

OnLeaks’ rendering also suggests that like the newer Galaxy Note 10, the S11+ will drop the twin-camera on the front panel in favour of a single-lens set-up. But the new handset is expected to retain Samsung’s Infinity Display design - where the screen wraps around the front lens, as opposed to the notch-style lenses that first appeared on the iPhone X in 2017.

Three different versions of the new handsets are expected to be produced: the S11, the larger S11+ and a cheaper S11e. The Korean tech giant rarely creates different designs for each variant, so expect the S11 to look identical to the S11+ in all but size. 

This year’s Galaxy S10 line-up also included a 5G model, but Pocket-lint claims that all standard models in the upcoming series will be compatible with the ultra-fast network. 

So is the camera getting an upgrade?

The image shared by OnLeaks indicates that the S11+ will come with “a whopping five camera lenses on the back”, says 9to5Google. 

The sit reports that the camera set-up is tipped to include a 5x optical zoom, along with a telephoto, ultrawide and “perhaps a time-of-flight sensor” - used to boost depth of field effects. 

The system may also feature a 108-megapixel sensor, which relies on several lenses to “squeeze as much detail as possible into the image”, says T3

The same Samsung-developed sensor features on the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, but the company is expected to offer an improved version in its S11 range.

What about the display?

Serial leaker Evan Blass points to a 6.4in display for the entry-level S11e, expanding to 6.7in and 6.9in on the S11 and S11+ respectively, Tom’s Guide reports. That would make all three new models larger than their predecessors, which measure in at 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.4in. 

It remains unclear whether the new devices will be physically larger than the outgoing models, but the tech site says that the S11 phones’ bezels are expected to be smaller than those on the S10 series. 

Some tipsters are pointing to a 120Hz screen for the new range, while others suggest that the handsets will get 90Hz displays. Either way, the panels should have slicker animation and menu transitions than those on previous models, courtesy of the higher refresh rates. 

And the launch schedule?

Samsung typically unveils its new Galaxy S line-up before the Mobile World Congress tech expo in Barcelona, which runs from 24 to 27 February next year.

If the company continues that trend in 2020, expect the S11 range to appear in February before orders open from early March. 

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