Samsung Galaxy S20: What We Know So Far

A change in name, a lot of powerful tech, and some leaks to tide us until February 11 2020

After the launch of Samsung Galaxy S10, we're all looking as to what Samsung has planned next for the Galaxy S line, and this time it's going to take a new name to match with the new decade. Initially we were anticipating the Galaxy S11 - but no, Samsung fans, we will greet the year 2020 with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S20 that's bound to come with plenty of upgrades to look out for, especially in terms of screen and camera.

Even with the name confirmed, there's plenty of rumours abound for the S20, so here's a look at what we've heard so far.

WHEN WILL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 BE OUT?

Samsung has officially announced its next Unpacked event for 11 February (12 February 3AM for us Malaysians), and given the company's usual release timing, it's almost certainly where we will (officially) see the Galaxy S20 for the very first time. There were even some teasers from those attending CES 2020 of what's to come.

The teaser video above doesn't really have any outright clues, aside from some amorphous rectangles in the mix, while Samsung's invite promises "new, innovative devices that will shape the next decade of mobile experiences."

The phone is said to be called "Picasso" internally, and leaks point to at least three models – so perhaps a repeat of the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy S10e approach should be a given for the S20 series.

HOW MUCH WILL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 COST?

The prices of the Samsung Galaxy S line, particularly the flagship line, has been gradually growing and we doubt it would go down anytime soon based on the potential tech the S20 may have. 

Just to recap, the Galaxy S10 is currently priced at MYR3299 and the Galaxy S10+ at MYR3699, and the slightly trimmed-down Galaxy S10e sold for MYR2699. Based on this we can expect the price to be higher, possibly around MYR4000, though this is not confirmed and is merely an assumption.

WHAT WILL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 LOOK LIKE?

We're not expecting much in terms of looks. Samsung's usual M.O. is to do the bold visual reinvention one year, and then barely touch it at all the following year. That could well be the case with the Galaxy S20.

Leaker Ice Universe suggests that the Galaxy S20 will trim down the bezel a bit more. Meanwhile, SamMobile suggests that the phone will come in blue, black, pink, and white colours, and that the same "Aura" branding from the Galaxy Note 10 may be in play. If so, these could be pretty flashy backing styles.

WHAT ABOUT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20'S SCREEN?

Based on what we've gathered so far, you can expect great things. Samsung keeps improving on greatness with its flagship screens, and the company always leads the pack. A Korean Intellectual Property Office has revealed that Samsung has trademarked the SAMOLED moniker (not to be confused with Super AMOLED) in the Smartphone Displays category, which means the panel of the S flagship will once again change its name. Based on this, we can expect to see more improvements of the Infinity-O screen, which may or may not include a higher refresh rate.

Other rumours include Leaker Ice Universe who says expect a smaller punch-hole cutout for the front-facing camera than on the Galaxy Note 10, so that's a start at least. We don't know whether it'll be in the upper-right corner like the Galaxy S10, however, or top-center like the Note 10.

Evan Blass suggests that we'll see a size bump across the line for the GS11, pointing to 6.4in, 6.7in, and 6.9in models. That's a sizable increase from the current 5.8in, 6.1in, and 6.4in Galaxy S10 versions. He suggests that all three will have curved screens, too, axing the flat option that the Galaxy S10e provided this time around.

They'll be curved, but apparently not "waterfall" screens like the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. According to Ice Universe, Samsung passed on that idea. In fact, OnLeaks and CashKaro suggest that the curve will be less significant than before, and they also back up the 6.9in mark on the S20+ model.

However, there's a much better one in the mix: he also says that the Galaxy S20 will "100%" have a 90Hz screen like the OnePlus 7T and Google Pixel 4 - and potentially even a 120Hz screen, as has also been rumoured for the Apple iPhone 12. SamMobile reported in January that it will indeed be a 120Hz display.

HOW MUCH POWER WILL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 PACK?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 will likely use the company's own Exynos 990 chip in Europe and some other territories, and Qualcomm's newly-announced Snapdragon 865 chip in North America.

Both 7nm processors promise performance enhancements over their respective predecessors, and both are sure to be insanely fast. There was a slight difference in results between the 2019 chips (Qualcomm's was faster in benchmarks), but not enough to be noticeable in everyday use. We expect much the same this time around.

Storage-wise, SamMobile suggests that the Galaxy S20 will offer a range from 128GB to a whopping 1TB. If that's the case, expect a hefty price tag on the S20 that's bound to make us cry at our pitiful wallets.

WHAT KIND OF CAMERAS WILL THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 HAVE?

We're also expecting great things on the camera and that's saying a lot. The Galaxy S10 has an excellent triple-camera setup, but we expect this to be a key part of the Galaxy S11 upgrade. Leaker Ice Universe has been hyping some kind of big shift for Samsung cameras starting with the S11, calling it a "new beginning" and a "substantial upgrade." That's all very vague for now, of course, but it's promising all the same.

The latest report comes from Korean publication The Elec (via SamMobile), which claims that Samsung will outfit the Galaxy S11 with a 5x optical zoom camera, akin to what Huawei has on its excellent P30 Pro. You can catch a glimpse of Samsung's take on the technology in the video above.

That report also suggests that the Galaxy S11 will have a quad-camera array, and in addition to the 5x telephoto lens and a 3D time-of-flight (ToF) camera, the main sensor could weigh in at a whopping 108 megapixels. If true, we assume the fourth camera woud be an ultra-wide sensor like the ones seen on Samsung's flagships (including the S10) this year.

The 108MP rumour is picking up steam, too. XDA Developers has found code in Samsung's camera app that suggests a 108MP sensor is incoming, which is assumed to arrive with the Galaxy S11. Samsung has already produced such a sensor for Xiaomi Mi Note 10, but leaker Ice Universe suggests that this will be a new one.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO KNOW ABOUT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S11?

The 5G version didn't come to Malaysia, but it looks possible that we may be getting a 5G smartphone likely thought the S11. MySmartPrice points to all three variants of the Galaxy S11 featuring 5G support, which either means it'll be a standard feature, or maybe there will be separate 4G and 5G editions. Evan Blass points to the bottom two models having 4G LTE and 5G options, while the largest version will only be available in 5G.

We also expect the Galaxy S11 to run Android 10 (formerly Android Q) with One UI 2.1, as reported by SamMobile. The site expects One UI 2.0 to introduce Digital Wellbeing features and other improvements, but it's not yet known what the 2.1 edition will add.

Leaker Evan Blass (via Softpedia) suggests that Samsung may merge the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines in the future, rather than treat them as separate products. This makes sense, given how similar the phones have become since the introduction of the larger Plus models in the Galaxy S line, with the S Pen stylus being the only significant differentiator. Perhaps we'll see a rebranding in 2020? Leaker IceUniverse shared that the upcoming device may actually be called the Samsung Galaxy S20 instead as it will fit in well with the new 2020 decade, and S10 was the mark of their 10th anniversary already.

Here's a very interesting rumour. LetsGoDigital has uncovered a Samsung patent application that describes a spectrometer on a smartphone. What's a spectrometer? Well, it's a sensor that can measure the hydration level of your skin, or the sugar level of fruit to tell whether it's still fresh or not.

That's a rather specialised sensor, but it could be an interesting way for Samsung to differentiate the Galaxy S11 as a health-focused device. The above concept render takes a guess at what the Galaxy S11's main camera module could look like with all of the current rumours bundled in and with all that tech equipped, there's plenty to look out for with the Samsung Galaxy S11.