Samsung’s Galaxy S phones are usually announced in the first quarter of the year, so we’re still a few months out from the unveiling. We already have an idea of what the device will look like, though, thanks to renders from OnLeaks at 91mobiles.
91mobiles identifies this devices as the “Galaxy S10 Plus,” and it lines up well with previous rumors about the S10. There are a whopping four cameras on the back (rumored to be a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, a main camera, and a depth camera for bokeh effects) and two cameras on the front. The front design gets dramatically slimmer bezels compared to the Galaxy S9, and for the front camera Samsung is going with a new “hole punch” design. A camera hole shouldn’t have much functional difference compared to a camera notch. It will be a dead area of the screen, and while you could just have the area above the camera be dead space, Samsung is flexing its display technology and surrounding the camera with pixels. Again there’s a lot of corroboration here: Samsung previously announced this “Infinity-O” display technology.
Having a hole in the screen will be a new thing for an Android device, but in the software it will most likely work the same way as a camera notch. Android will extend the status bar around the display hole, giving apps a normal, uninterrupted rectangular area to play in, while only the system deals with the awkward display shape at the top. In the case of these Galaxy S10 renders, it looks like the status bar will need to be twice as tall as normal to surround the display hole.
It also looks like there’s still a heart rate sensor at the end of the rear camera bar, but you won’t see fingerprint reader hardware anywhere. The S10 is still expected to have an in-screen fingerprint reader: an invisible, in-screen sensor from Qualcomm. Sure enough, this week Qualcomm announced the “3D sonic sensor,” its ultrasonic fingerprint component. We’ve already seen the OnePlus 6T with an in-screen optical fingerprint reader, but that only took a 2D picture of your fingerprint. Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor will be able to map the ridges and valleys of your finger in 3D, so it should be more secure. With the move to an in-screen reader, Samsung is dumping the iris scanning technology the company debuted in the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016.
One other thing that was indicated in these renders: Samsung is keeping the headphone jack! The universally compatible 3.5mm jack is still there on the bottom of the phone, along with a USB-C port and speaker. This will make it one of the only flagships (along with LG, possibly) to keep the headphone jack around. It looks like there is also still a Bixby button.
Between having a rumored three different S10 sizes, plus a 5G version, plus a move into foldable devices, Samsung is rumored to release five flagship smartphone models for early 2019.