Samsung will launch its Galaxy S11 at an Unpacked launch event next month
If you’re hoping to get your hands on the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung, you’d better start saving. That’s because the launch date is approaching fast – at least that’s according to a leaked promotional video published by reliable tipster Max Winebach. The promotional clip appears to be in a very similar style to previous official announcement videos published by Samsung, which also lends to its credibility. According to the video, Samsung will announce the follow-up to its Galaxy S10, purportedly branded Galaxy S11 or Galaxy S20, on February 11, 2019. That’s a little earlier than some of the previous leaks, which pegged the launch on February 18.
In previous years, Samsung has used the MWC tradeshow to unveil its latest Galaxy S handset. However, given that MWC 2020 doesn’t kickstart in Barcelona until February 24, 2020 it appears the South Korean technology company will be holding its own standalone event for the announcement. Samsung will brand the event “Samsung Unpacked” as it has done with previous Galaxy device launches.
Unfortunately, aside from the date of the announcement, there’s not much else to learn from the leaked clip.
Samsung doesn’t offer any clues about whether the next-generation Galaxy will use the long-rumoured Galaxy S11 branding, or the Galaxy S20 name that was suggested by a number of reliable leaksters earlier this month. It’s also staying tight-lipped about whether we can expect to see any other hardware at the showcase, like a new Galaxy Active smartwatch, or Galaxy tablet.
Previous whispers had hinted that we’d see a new foldable flagship smartphone under the Galaxy Fold branding. Unlike the ill-fated first attempt, Samsung will purportedly now use a flip-phone style design – like the upcoming Motorola Razr redesign – to make an elongated touchscreen small enough to pocket. It will also use a pliable glass display, not soft plastic, to improve durability.
As for the main event, the so-called Galaxy S11, there have been no shortage of leaks around that handset.
The successor to the Galaxy S10 series, which boasted a triple-camera with ultra-wide angle and telephoto options, is believed to double-down on mobile photograph to catch-up with the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro and Google Pixel 4 ranges. Building on the design of the Galaxy S10, Samsung looks set to curve the top and bottom of the AMOLED as well as the left and right sides. This will help the South Korean manufacturer squeeze more screen real estate into a smaller physical body. It will also help to remove any distraction caused by the bezels, which can make watching movies and playing games less immersive.
Samsung relocated the selfie camera from the border around the touchscreen to a cut-out in the display itself with its Galaxy S10 series. With the Galaxy S11, reliable tipster @IceUniverse – who has an almost infallible track record when it comes to intel on as-yet unreleased Samsung gadgets – predicts that Samsung will move the hole-punch for the camera to a centralised position like it was on the Galaxy Note 10.
The Galaxy S11 will keep the same industrial design language as its predecessor
But offer a number of tweaks, including more rear-cameras and a centred selfie cut-out
This means the camera cut-out, which is also rumoured to be a little smaller this time around, won’t get in the way of the information usually displayed in the banner along the top of the screen, like the time, signal strength, whether NFC is on, as well indicators to show whether there are any unread notifications to check-out.
Powering the new flagship will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 system-on-a-chip or Samsung’s own Exxon 990 – depending on the market. In the UK, Samsung typically uses its own chipset, while handsets shipped to the United States will be running on the Qualcomm processor, which will also power a number of other Android rivals, like the OnePlus 8 and LG G9.
As well as keeping the Android 10-based One UI 2.0 operating system ticking along nicely, juggling multiple tabs in your web browser and quickly switching between apps a cinch – the new silicon should also provide some added efficiencies to boost battery life. That and the serious battery capacity purportedly coming to the Galaxy S11. At least, that’s based on an alleged photo of the battery itself which was posted by certification company SafetyKorea.
The image shows a cell with the capacity marked as 4,500mAh. That would put the Samsung Galaxy S11 on par with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which has the same size power pack. However, with its larger screen, it’s likely the Galaxy S11 will manage to eke a few more hours from the same capacity than its productivity-focused Galaxy Note counterpart.
As reported by technology blog Techspot, Samsung looks set to ramp-up its rear-facing camera with the Galaxy S11. In a bid to keep pace with the likes of Apple, Samsung will reportedly fit a five-sensor set-up to the back of its Galaxy S11 series, which is touted to ship in at least two variants, including a regular Galaxy S11 and larger-screen Galaxy S11 Plus.
Samsung will also use the latest processors for better battery life and supercharged performance on Android 10
Sensors for improved depth sensing will also be included as well as ultra-wide, telephoto and a main camera with a variable aperture to boost performance in tough, low-light conditions. A periscope zoom system, like the one pioneered by Huawei in its best-selling P20 Pro and P30 Pro handsets, is tipped to make the cut too.
That should enable Galaxy S11 owners to zoom in 5x or 10x while still getting lossless shots. That’s likely to transform landscape shots, as well as gig photography compared to the previous entry in the Galaxy S series.
Samsung used similar technology on its costly Galaxy S10 5G to enable users to add a bokeh-style blur to the background of video in real-time – something none of its competitors have yet managed to match.
Following the recent trends from Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung looks set to include this plethora of sensors into a square camera module on the back of its handset. It’s unclear how much of a protrusion this will be – and whether it will cause the smartphone to wobble when used flat on a table. In the past, Samsung has worked hard to reduce any camera bumps on its flagship handsets.
It’s unclear whether Samsung will launch a separate 5G-compatible version of the handset, or whether all Galaxy S11 variants will support the next-generation network system.