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.
The rumours and extensive leaks 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.
(Leaked renders courtesy of Evan Blass)
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."
Reports peg the standard Galaxy S10 screen size at 6.1in, while the S10+ goes larger at 6.4in and the smaller, flatter S10E comes in at 5.8in (same as the current Galaxy S9). TuttoAndroid suggests black, yellow, white, and green editions of the Galaxy S10 Lite, with yellow, white, and green for the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+. The S10+ may also have two special editions, although there are no details on those just yet.
The above image came from AllAboutSamsung, which posted a cache of real Galaxy S10 and S10+ photos in late January. They have more shots from all angles, so hit the site link for even more.
The image above is purportedly a leaked render of the Samsung Galaxy S10E or S10 Lite, via Evan Blass. It's the smallest and only flat-screened phone of the bunch.
Retailer Mobile Fun revealed in early January that it believes the entry-level model will be called the Galaxy S10E instead of the S10 Lite. That's according to a Chinese supplier that the site claims a long-standing relationship with.
Interestingly, GSM Arena's source suggests that the smallest Galaxy S10 won't have that additional branding element - it'll just be a smaller "Galaxy S10." That seems potentially confusing to consumers, but we'll see how it shakes out.
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, but leaked benchmark tests show very promising results. A Geekbench score for the Exynos 8920 shows a single-core score of 4472 and multi-core of 10,387, while the Snapdragon 855 has been measured at a single-core score of 3,413 and multi-core of 10,256. That suggests that, as we've seen in the past, the Snapdragon available in America and some other territories won't be as proficient with single-core tasks, but will be very close when it comes to demanding multi-core needs.
On the other hand, Apple's A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS Max hits a single-core score of 4,797 and a multi-core tally of 11,213. So while these new chips come ever closer, they're still not beating last year's top iPhone chip. Apple continues to lead in benchmark testing, but we'll see how these phones feel in real-world usage. We're sure all of the Galaxy S10 handsets will feel incredibly swift and powerful indeed.