The Samsung Galaxy S20 launch is set for February 11, and we’re likely to learn about at least three new phones at the company’s Unpacked event on that date.
Those three devices are likely to be called the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
We initially expected this to be the Samsung Galaxy S11 series of devices, but consistent leaks and rumors have suggested the devices will now be called the Galaxy S20 series.
It’s also likely we’ll be seeing the introduction of a new foldable phone too with leaks of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 and Samsung Galaxy Flip Z coming thick and fast.
Below we’ve put together everything convincing that we’ve heard about the Samsung Galaxy S20 series so far, with the most important leaks and rumors alongside all of the confirmed information.
If you skip on over to page two of this article, you’ll find our list of improvements we want the phone series to make, with some inspiration from aspects of the Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy A80 and Galaxy Fold.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Galaxy S smartphone series from Samsung
- When is it out? Announced February 11, likely out soon after
- What will it cost? Likely more than $899 / £799 / AU$1,349
Samsung Galaxy S20 release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S20 launch date is locked in for Tuesday, February 11 in San Francisco. That’s almost a whole year after Samsung unveiled its 2019 trio of flagship Galaxy phones.
When will the S20 actually be available to buy? If you pre-register your interest on the Samsung website for its next flagship phone you’ll be told the phone will be delivered on March 6. That seems likely to be the worldwide release date.
Originally we expected the Samsung Galaxy S11 price to be similar to the $899 / £799 / AU$1,349 launch price for the Galaxy S10. That was for its lowest storage size, and the price went all the way up to $1,149 / £999 / AU$1,699 for the highest.
We’ve seen one leak that suggests there will be 5G versions of the phones as well as 4G variants, and that the handsets with next-gen internet are set to cost quite a bit more.
Another leak listed prices for all three models with 5G support, and we’ve put the figures from the leak (along with our estimates for prices in the US, UK and Australia) in an easy to read chart below.
|Which phone?||Euros (the leaked price)||US estimate||UK estimate||Australia estimate|
|Samsung Galaxy S20||€900 – €1,000||$900-$1,100||£690-£850||AU$1,350-AU$1,650|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus||€1,100||$1,200||£925||AU$1,775|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra||€1,349||$1,500||£1,150||AU$2,200|
Don’t take these prices as gospel as there’s no certainty that this leak is accurate, plus the conversions are only estimated pricing as well so could be a lot different when the phone is on shop shelves.
Accompanying the launch of the Galaxy S11 series there also might be new premium wireless earbuds to rival the Apple AirPods Pro called the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Given that the original Galaxy Buds were introduced alongside the Galaxy S10, it makes sense that the new ones would come out with the next Samsung flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S20 design
Other phones we expect to see in 2020:
We’ve now seen plenty of leaked renders of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, and while there are variations between lots of them, they all clearly show the same general idea.
November 2019 was when we first started seeing images of the Samsung Galaxy S11 appearing, and below you’ll find a selection of the best ones we have seen so far that we believe to be accurate.
Starting with the standard Samsung Galaxy S20, we’ve seen the below image courtesy of leaker Ishan Agarwal and 91Mobiles.
(1/3) Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra Official Renders are here! Starting with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, it will start at €1349 for 128GB variant. S20 Ultra 5G 512GB will cost €1549. Colours: Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.LINK: https://t.co/Ldbj2LH0A0 pic.twitter.com/ZX3W74WxWqJanuary 23, 2020
Nearly all renders point to the rear cameras being housed in a large bump in the top left of the back of the phone. The exact layout of them is unclear though, with some renders showing them in an organized row and others pointing to a more messy splattering.
Hands-on images of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus meanwhile, as it’s called in the leak, make us think that the lenses and flash will be arranged in two rows in the camera bump, as that’s what the pictures show. The chin under the display looks worryingly thick though.
We’ve also seen renders of cases and images of a screen protector that back up these ideas, and renowned tipster Evan Blass has recently posted a picture showing the back of the Galaxy S20 Plus and the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
As you can see from the image above, the camera arrays are arranged in rectangular blocks rather than a strip – and it looks as though if you pre-order the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra you’ll also get a pair of Galaxy Buds Plus wireless earphones thrown in as well.
A later leak of another screen cover suggests the device will have thin bezels, though the leaker noted that the ‘S11’s “forehead” and “chin” are very optimistic’, suggesting they could be thicker than the images show.
We’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy S11 could move the punch-hole camera to the top center of the screen, similar to the Galaxy Note 10 range, as we’ve since seen in leaked images.
The source adds that the camera would be smaller than on the Note 10 range though. You can see how this might look in the images above and the one below.
In terms of materials, we’d expect the front and back to be Corning Gorilla Glass as most phones use. While premium devices typically have an aluminum frame, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra could have a top-end stainless steel frame instead if one leak is to be believed.
Currently only top-end iPhones and certain other handsets use this pricey and heavy material in their builds, so if true this shows the S20 Ultra is set to sport a truly ‘premium’ design.
A later leak points to the colors: the S20 will apparently come in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink; the S20 Plus in Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, and Cloud Blue; and the S20 Ultra in Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.
Interestingly, this leak also suggests the curved 3D edges typical of the S-line will be toned down to more subtle 2.5D angles, meaning the screen might only have minimal curves.
Multiple leaks have now also suggested there won’t be a 3.5mm headphone jack on any of these devices.
Samsung Galaxy S20 display
A big upgrade for the Galaxy S20 series is likely to be a 120Hz refresh rate technology on the screens that should offer smoother interactions than the 60Hz found on the S10 range.
We’ve seen this technology leak multiple times, but perhaps the best evidence yet has been a hands-on of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus from XDA Developers that has video evidence of the phone’s higher refresh rate.
There’s no guarantee this will be included on all devices, but it’s looking very likely for the Galaxy S20 Plus at least.
It also looks like the 120Hz setting will only be available when the phone is on Full HD+ resolution. That’s the default setting on modern Samsung smartphones, but it’s thought you’d be able to increase the resolution to WQHD+ while getting a 60Hz refresh rate.
The most enduring size rumor suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S20 will have a 6.2-inch screen, the S20 Plus will have a 6.7-inch one, and the S20 Ultra will have a 6.9-inch display. That’s a pretty sizeable increase on the previous generation.
One huge leak backed up the Galaxy S20 refresh rate and screen size rumors, adding the resolution of each would be 3200 x 1440. That would mean the smallest device would technically have the best pixel-per-inch count.
The S20 range could also use a new screen tech, as Samsung has trademarked the name SAMOLED, which sounds like a new take on the AMOLED screens used by its phones.
We don’t currently know how SAMOLED would differ, but that may be the company’s new name for the top-end 120Hz refresh rate.
It’s also thought the whole Galaxy S20 range will come with ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanners. That same XDA Developers leak above has claimed Samsung is using such tech on the Galaxy S20 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S20 camera
We’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S20 range to have some impressive camera equipment, but the S20 and S20 Plus are sure to differ quite a bit from the S20 Ultra.
We have seen an incredibly detailed spec dump, where three sources simultaneously revealed information on the cameras, and it gives us a huge look at what to expect (if true). All the details are below in an easy to read chart:
|Camera||Samsung Galaxy S20||Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
We’ve added the selfie camera count to that list which came not from the aforementioned leak but a subsequent one. This latter leak echoed the camera specs with the addition of the selfie camera megapixel resolution.
Those are some pretty impressive specs if true, although it’s curious that the telephoto sensors have a higher megapixel count on the lower end devices.
We’ve heard a range of zooms cited for the telephoto lenses, but it seems to be 3x optical / 30x digital for the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus, and a whopping 10x optical / 100x digital for the S20 Ultra, although that seems too good to be true. We have heard quite a few 100x digital zoom leaks though, so who knows?
That latter spec could be wrong though, as we’ve also heard that all the devices will have 5x optical zoom. This comes from news that a company has been supplying this type of zoom lens to Samsung for the devices, and it’s a slightly more plausible spec than 10x zoom.
We’ve also now heard more details about the 64MP telephoto camera on the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus. This apparently won’t be able to combine pixels for 4-in-1 shots like some lenses, so you’ll always be taking pure 64MP shots.
It will also apparently be this camera that’s used for 8K video recording, and the camera will supposedly be capable of ‘pixel cropping’ to assist zoom. We assume that’s in addition to an optical zoom, letting you get in even closer with a hybrid zoom, but the source was unclear on that point.
We’ve also heard loads of cool features trademarked by Samsung that could end up in the handset, from ‘Space Zoom’ astrophotography mode to a ‘Bright Night Sensor’, which sounds a lot like a low light mode but with dedicated hardware.
Samsung is also rumored to be putting the best optical image stabilization (OIS) of any phone in the Galaxy S10 Lite – and if it does, it’s likely to also include the tech in the S11. That would make sense, as low light and especially night sky photos could benefit from longer exposures, which usually need either a tripod or decent OIS to prevent blur.
Elsewhere, mention of several new camera features has been found in official Samsung software. There’s a Director’s View mode for tracking a subject, Single Take Photo, which could use AI to automatically take photos at the optimal moment, the return of Samsung’s Pro Video mode, allowing you to adjust the ISO, exposure and the like when shooting video, and some new Live Focus bokeh effects.
Samsung Galaxy S20 battery life
So far, it seems like the Samsung Galaxy S20 range will have impressive battery capacity. One big spec leak has provided a lot of detail that includes the cell sizes for the new phones.
It suggests the Samsung Galaxy S20 will have a 4,000mAh cell, the Galaxy S20 Plus will sport a 4,500mAh cell and the Galaxy S20 Ultra will have a 5,000mAh one.
Just because the battery is bigger in the Ultra doesn’t necessarily mean it will last longer as that cell will have to power more specs in the device, including a larger screen.
These battery sizes are looking quite likely, and it’s expected the same 45W fast-charging tech and 15W wireless charging from the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus will also be on all three devices.
An industry insider has suggested the reason the upcoming phones can use such big batteries is due to shrinking a part of the internals, a technique which the iPhone 12 could use too.
Previous rumors have also suggested Samsung is working on a battery health feature, which could tell you how worn out your S11’s battery is.
Samsung Galaxy S20 specs and features
We’re pretty certain the Samsung Galaxy S11 will come with the Snapdragon 865 chipset unveiled in late 2019, which has been benchmarked with scores that beat any other phone.
Well, it will probably have this processor in the US, but most other regions will likely get an upgraded Exynos processor, probably the 9830.
We’ve heard that the Samsung Galaxy S20 devices (as the leak suggests) will all come with a base 12GB of RAM, although that could go up to 16GB or possibly even beyond. Who would need this much RAM in a smartphone is beyond us, but it’s indicative of the premium nature of the devices.
A rumor also suggests the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the top-end device, will have 128GB / 256GB / 512GB storage options, with a slot for a microSD card that will add another 1TB of space. We don’t know the options for the other devices, though.
All three Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11 phones are expected to be IP68 waterproof and dust resistant, according to one leak.
Exclusive: Full specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Series are here! Some interesting details: Exynos 990 for all three phones in European and Asian Markets. 40MP (?!) Front Camera for S20 Ultra! Checkout the image!LINK(Please add link in credits): https://t.co/az6WmSkNK7 pic.twitter.com/XsDfaINkbE17 January 2020
A more unlikely feature that the S11 could pack is a spectrometer, which could be used to determine the chemical composition of objects. Samsung has patented a phone-like device with just such a feature, so it’s possible, but it sounds a bit far-fetched and niche.
The iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4 have similar systems, where instead of using in-screen fingerprint sensors, they use facial recognition, and this is a rather secure form of unlocking (compared to Samsung’s current photo-based facial recognition) but it’s slower than using a fingerprint.
There’s also a leak suggesting Samsung phones will get an AirDrop-like service called Quick Share to easily swap files between nearby Galaxy phones. This could be extended to older Samsung phones with a software update, though it’s unclear if it will come to other Galaxy products (like the Tabs).
The final point is the confusion over Samsung’s 5G strategy with these devices. It may well be that each and every Samsung Galaxy S20 phone features 5G, or the company may be offering 5G variants of each instead.
Whatever happens, we’re almost certain you’ll be able to purchase a 5G variant of the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, so if you’re keen to get on board with the new technology you won’t be left behind.