After the bold reinvention of the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 didn't have quite the same impact. It's still one of the best phones you can buy today, but it's tougher to get excited about a super-expensive smartphone that feels... samey.
But the Galaxy S10 will apparently go big again. Not only does it mark the "tick" part of the Apple-esque tick-tock release cycle that Samsung's followed the last few years, but it's also the big #10 for the brand. And we saw what Apple did with the iPhone X to mark its own legacy.
It's early still, but the rumours are already flying about what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S10 - and they suggest a super-appealing set of handsets. If you're an eager Samsung fan, here's what you need to know so far.
What will the Samsung Galaxy S10 look like?
Samsung's recent pattern suggests a design reinvention for the Galaxy S10. It happened with the Galaxy S6 and S8, and the Android market has shifted quite a bit over the last year.
Will the Galaxy S10 start fresh? Will it pack an iPhone X-esque notch, like many of its Android competitors? In September 2018, mobile boss DJ Koh told Chinese media that the Galaxy S10's design shifts will be "very significant," according to SamMobile. He went on to suggest that the handset will be offered in "amazing" colours, hopefully bringing in a wider array of options than the company's recent flagships.
Reliable leaker Evan Blass tweeted in November 2018 that the Galaxy S10 will use a "punch-hole" style cutout, which means a little black hole in the display rather than a larger notch that's connected to the top bezel. Samsung showed a "Galaxy O" display concept at its Developers Conference earlier in the month, which has just a small hole in the upper left corner.
Bloomberg claims that there will be three core models of the Galaxy S10, with the cheapest model likely to have a flat screen rather than a curved one. The site also suggests that the Galaxy S10 will be about the same size as the Galaxy S9, with very little bezel at the top and bottom as well as a front-facing camera that is "visible and tucked under the display."
Gizmodo's aforementioned report pegs the standard Galaxy S10 screen size at 6.1in, while the S10+ goes larger at 6.4in and the smaller, flatter S10 Lite comes in at 5.8in (same as the current Galaxy S9). PhoneArena has some fresh speculative renders (above) of the Galaxy S10 models based on the leaks and rumours it has seen, and they provide a bit more potential detail on the dimensions and design finesse of the handsets.
The image above is purportedly the first real leaked photo of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, albeit heavily blurred presumably to protect the identity of the source. It comes from noted leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks), who has leaked several past Samsung handsets and many others over the years.
The S10 Lite is supposed to be the "flat-screened" one of the bunch, but if this image is legitimate, then it may just be less curvy than the others rather than fully flat. In any case, even with the awkward blurring, this is a very interesting look at what might be one of Samsung's next big flagships in 2019.
IceUniverse claims that the Galaxy S10+ will come in at just 7.8mm thick, down from 8.5mm on the Galaxy S9+.
How much power will the Samsung Galaxy S10 pack?
Samsung's in-house Exynos chips, used in the UK and elsewhere, have consistently led the Android pack in recent years, with the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon chips (used in the U.S.) have been pretty close.
We'll see a new Exynos chip for 2019, of course, packing even more power than before. It's called the Exynos 8920, and it can handle AI processing needs up to seven times faster than the Exynos 8910.
Qualcomm's new chip, meanwhile, is called the Snapdragon 855. Like the Exynos 8920, it's built for 5G connectivity, and it claims to provide 3x the AI speed than the Snapdragon 845. These are just specs on paper for now; we'll have to see how they compare in real-world usage, but we're sure both will be super speedy.