Samsung's usual tick-tock release cycle with the Galaxy S line suggests that 2020's Galaxy S11 ought to look pretty familiar. Given how great the Galaxy S10 is, who can blame them?
Even if that's true, we're sure to see some significant upgrades in the mix as Samsung attempts to one-up its best phone to date. The rumour mill is already firing, naturally, and leaks point to some of the potential changes afoot.
Here's a look at what we've heard so far about the Samsung Galaxy S11.
(Samsung Galaxy S10+ shown above and below)
When will the Samsung Galaxy S11 be out?
If history holds true, we should see the Samsung Galaxy S11 debut in late February 2020 and likely roll out in early March. That's been the case the last two years.
A SamMobile source points to a potential 18 February reveal event, although it seems extremely early to be pegging dates at this point. In any case, that window seems spot-on.
Unless something drastically changes, we expect another early spring rollout.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy S11 cost?
Well, it probably won't be cheap. Samsung has been gradually growing the price point for its main flagship, and we doubt there will be a retreat anytime soon.
Just to recap, the Galaxy S10 rolled out at £799, the Galaxy S10+ shipped for £899, and the slightly trimmed-down Galaxy S10e sold for £669. We don't have a great sense of what kinds of configurations to expect from the Galaxy S11 line, but consider those prices a starting point.
Pricier than the Galaxy S10? Yeah, that seems realistic to us.
What will the Samsung Galaxy S11 look like?
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 S11.
There haven't been any solid design leaks just yet, although it shouldn't be long before we have a better sense of whether that repeated approach is true or not. 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.
We're not expecting a huge shake-up here, and the colours could hew closely to what the Note 10 has on offer.
What about the Samsung Galaxy S11's screen?
If we had to take a guess, we'd say to expect the Galaxy S11's screen to be gorgeous. Samsung keeps improving on greatness with its flagship screens, and the company always leads the pack. That probably won't change for next year.
Leaker Ice Universe says to 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. Go big or go home, right Samsung? He suggests that all three will have curved screens, too, axing the flat option that the Galaxy S10e provided this time around.
Big, bold, and beautiful is our expectation for the S11's screen.
How much power will the Samsung Galaxy S11 pack?
Samsung will likely use a 7nm Exynos chip for the Galaxy S11 in Europe, and a new Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in North America.
The Galaxy Note 10 debuted the new Exynos 9825, which is made with the 7nm process and is slightly faster than the Exynos 9820 from the S10, but we'd expect to see another step up by the time the Galaxy S11 comes out.
Storage-wise, SamMobile suggests that the Galaxy S11 will offer a range from 128GB to a whopping 1TB. Frankly, we don't want to see the price tag on the latter option... but some super-power-users might.
We don't have model numbers yet, but Samsung always puts the latest and greatest Android chips into the Galaxy S line.
What kind of cameras will the Samsung Galaxy S11 have?
What kind? Well, better ones than the Galaxy S10, that's for sure.
That's not a knock: 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.
Galaxy S11 fans are sure to get snap happy come springtime.
Is there anything else I should know about the Samsung Galaxy S11?
Going 5G on the Galaxy S10 required buying the special, super-expensive model of the phone. That may not be the case with the Galaxy S11, however.
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. In either case, you won't have to buy the largest, most expensive version to tap into next-gen cell service. That's a relief.
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?
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 yeah, it's busy.
It's still early in the rumour cycle, but there are sure to be loads of leaks in the months to come. Stay tuned: we'll be updating this preview regularly with every new bit of info.