In Depth

Samsung Galaxy S10 release date: Galaxy Unpacked livestream, plus specs and pre-orders

The next-generation phone, which will be unveiled on February 20, will have up to 1TB worth of storage

The wait for the new Galaxy S10 smartphone range is finally at an end as Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event official kicks off. 

The Korean tech giant is expected to launch three new handsets - the Galaxy S10, the slightly larger S10 Plus and a cheaper alternative dubbed the S10e - during today’s event, which gets under way at 7pm UK time. 

Samsung has struggled to keep the lid on its S10 and S10 Plus in recent months, with fans getting sneak previews through leaked images and documents ahead of their official unveiling.

The most recent leak occurred this morning, when Norwegian television channel TV 2 accidentally broadcast an advert for the phones, The Verge reports. 

The ad revealed that both the S10 and S10 Plus have radical new bezel-free displays, along with a new feature that allows users to wirelessly charge other phones using their mobiles. 

Today’s slip-up follows another major leak at the end of January, when processor specs and storage options for the S10 and S10 Plus were posted online.

However, information about the cheaper S10e is harder to find.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the S10e will be a less high-powered version of the S10 and S10 Plus. It’s also expected to come with a smaller display and to have dispensed with the curved edges that will feature on the rest of the S10 range. 

All will be revealed at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked event tonight. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the Galaxy S10 line-up:

Where to stream the event

Fans can stream the event at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked website, which can be found here.

Users need to submit their name, email address and date of birth in order to access the stream.

When do pre-orders open?

According to the tech news site T3, pre-orders for the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and rumoured S10e will kick off on Thursday.

Buyers who place their orders early should get their new smartphones on 8 March, the same day the devices are expected to hit shop shelves, the website says.

What specs will it have?

At the end of January, serial leaker Roland Quandt revealed everything from the Galaxy S10’s storage capacities to its colours, which seemingly confirmed rumours that buyers will be able to choose a 1TB version of the new Galaxy. 

Entry-level Galaxy S10 models will be equipped with 128GB worth of storage and 6GB of Ram, while range-topping phones will be kitted out with 512GB of storage space and 8GB of Ram, says the tech news site T3.

Larger Galaxy S10+ models will match the specs of the standard S10, the website says. But the “super large” 1TB storage drive option with 12GB of Ram will only be available on the S10+ version.

Quandt said that both the S10 and S10+ models will be available in four colours: white, ‘prism black’, blue and green.

Buyers who opt for the range-topping S10+ with 1TB of storage will be able to choose between two exclusive tones: ceramic white and ceramic black.  

The London Evening Standard says that the devices will be powered by Samsung’s new Exynos 8920 chip, which is capable of processing apps using artificial intelligence (AI) up to seven times faster than the company’s previous phone – the Galaxy S9.

The new processor is rumoured to be less battery intensive than older versions. This means buyers can expect more power from the S10’s 3,300mAH battery and the 4,000mAH unit on the S10+, says the newspaper.

Will it have an in-display fingerprint scanner? 

Almost certainly. 

It has long been rumoured that the S10 would incorporate an in-display fingerprint scanner similar to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but a line of code discovered by tech blog XDA Developers  hints that the feature will appear on the new handset. 

The blog says it has discovered “two very explicit references” to an in-display fingerprint scanner in the Samsung Pay app’s code. The discovery suggests users might be able to make payments by scanning their finger with the term “in-display FP scanner” found in one of the lines of the app’s code.

If this is true, fans will no doubt welcome the return of the beloved security feature, which many still prefer over the newer face-scanning tech found on the current Galaxy S9.  

However, The Independent says that Armadillotek, a US-based accessory firm specialising in “military-grade” cases, has found that its screen protectors are not compatible with the device’s in-display fingerprint scanner. 

In a tweet, the company said it had been forced to remove the screen protectors from the ultra-tough cases that it is currently developing for the S10.

Will it come with a notch?

Not necessarily. 

Samsung bucked the trend of employing a notch - a small indent at the top of a phone’s screen housing its front-facing cameras - on its Galaxy S9 last year, though that could slightly change on the new S10. 

Judging by leaked images posted by Evan Blass on Twitter, the 5.8in version of the Galaxy S10 will come with an improved edge-to-edge screen and a small “hole punch” camera in the top right-hand corner. 

The hole punch design is less intrusive than a notch, as it frees up more space for the display.   

Samsung hasn’t completely removed the bezels on the S10, though, as one is needed for the phone’s speaker, says Engadget

A 6.4in S10 Plus will join the 5.8in model, but it’s not yet known if the design of the two phones will differ, the tech site says.

Will the headphone port return?

Yes, if the leaks are anything to go by. 

Smartphones have been removing the 3.5mm headphone port in favour of Bluetooth-connected audio devices since Apple controversially scrapped the port on the iPhone 7 in 2016. 

However, a video by YouTuber Ice Universe hints that the beloved port may be returning on the Galaxy S10. 

In the video, a smartphone case supposedly for the Galaxy S10 Plus has two large cut-away sections at the bottom. These are believed to be for the charging connector and for a 3.5mm headphone port, says Trusted Reviews

Will it support 5G?

Probably. 

The UK’s major network providers are gearing up to switch on their 5G signals next year, which should provide smartphone users with similar download speeds to a broadband connection, says Wired

Only devices supporting 5G networks can tap into the faster download speeds, so smartphone makers are expected to equip their new-for-2019 mobiles with 5G compatibility. 

Samsung hasn’t announced yet that its S10 will support the network. 

However, Cristiano Amon, head of chipmaker Qualcomm, told CNet at the Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii last November that “every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem” will support 5G on their new devices in 2019.

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