The Samsung Galaxy S11 launch and release is fast approaching, so what does Samsung have in store for us inside Q1 2020?
Samsung Galaxy S11 Key Points
- Launch Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 (Location: San Francisco)
- Release Date: End of Q1 (Before April, Basically)
- Nº of Models: There Should Be Three Distinct Models Launched, As Well As 5G Variants
- Price: TBC – Although You Can Expect Prices To Start From $800 – $1300 For Top-Tier Models
#1) New Design For Samsung Galaxy S11
The Samsung Galaxy S11 will feature an all-screen display apparently. And not just minimal bezels, either. Rather, the entire frontage of the phone will be one, complete display. The only break in the visuals will be the embedded front-facing camera, according to reports, and even here, there’s a twist – there might not even be a hole for the camera!
How’s that work? Reports suggest that Samsung is working on a technology that’d make the front-facing camera completely invisible when not in use. That means no notch and no drill-hole like the current setup on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Sound like wishful thinking? I think it might be, considering how difficult this would be to pull off.
I mean, how do you hide a camera lens inside an OLED panel? Where does it go when it’s not in use? If I were a betting man – which I am – I’d wager the Galaxy S11 will use the same, though perhaps smaller, drill-hole-stye camera unit on the front of the Galaxy S11. It’s still one of the best implementations we’ve seen to date, it gets rid of the notch, and you don’t require any bezels at the top, bottom and sides of the device.
What size screen will the Samsung Galaxy S11 have? According to Evan Blass, AKA @evleaks, the Samsung Galaxy S11 range will come with the following display sizes:
- 6.4in – Samsung Galaxy S11e
- 6.7in – Samsung Galaxy S11
- 6.9in – Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus
If true, that would make ALL models significantly larger than the outgoing Samsung Galaxy S10, which tops out at 6.4in. As for colors, the Galaxy S10 range will be available in the following color options: Blue, Grey, Pink, Black.
#2) Multiple Models (Of Course)
As per usual, Samsung will release a range of Samsung Galaxy S11 models. The flagship – meaning the most expensive – will be the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus, while the entry-level model, the Samsung Galaxy S11 E, will be the cheapest. In the middle, you’ll have the standard Galaxy S11.
All handsets will be available in a range of storage options – from 128GB to 512GB, presumably. And we’ve yet to hear whether they’ll support SD cards. Right now, it’s unclear how the handsets will differ. The Plus models could have more advanced cameras and more RAM, as well as more storage and larger batteries. Either way, the E and standard Samsung Galaxy S11 should still be very compelling devices in order to compete with Apple’s ultra-competitive iPhone 11.
#3) An iPhone 11 Pro Max-Beating Camera
Multiple sources suggest Samsung is prepping a 108MP camera for its incoming Galaxy S11 range. This updated camera, if the rumors are true, will be a massive leap forward from the already very impressive camera array used on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10. A new 5X telephoto lens is also being prepped, it’s called Hubble, and this new fixture, in conjunction with an ultra-wide lens, could well give Samsung an edge over its nearest competitor, Apple.
Samsung also filed a patent for something called ISOCELL-Motion, which it describes as follows: “dynamic vision sensor for object and motion detection; motion detection sensors: object detection sensors; camera image sensors for smartphones and tablets.” Sounds pretty cool, right? On top of this, the camera might also include a “spectrometer” or martial sensor which, as the name suggests, will be able to analyze the chemical make-up of objects like your skin, for instance, which sounds utterly bonkers.
While the Material Sensor sounds impressive, it’s unlikely to come this year (Samsung only very recently filed the patent). Still, the applications of this type of sensor are enormous. You could measure body fat with it, analyze the alcohol content of drinks, and check how much sugar is in your drink. The applications for something like this are far-reaching. I just don’t think we’ll see it aboard the Galaxy S11.
What I am expecting, however, is a quad-lens camera, featuring a 108MP main sensor, a 5X telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide lens, alongside another lens for extra detail. This kind of setup would allow Samsung to jump Apple and close the gap on the Huawei P30 Pro and its totally-insane camera. I mean, if Samsung can improve the performance of the Galaxy S11’s camera significantly over the already impressive Galaxy Note 10, then that will be enough to more than satisfy 99.9% of consumers. I know I’ll be very interested…
#4) New CPUs – Either Snapdragon or Exynos
If you want 5G connectivity inside your phones, you need to use Qualcomm chipsets. And right now, the current Snapdragon 855 platform does not integrate the 5G modem inside the board – it’s a separate entity. This is a problem for a couple of reasons: 1) it’s less power-efficient, and 2) it takes up more room, as the phone has to be thicker to accommodate it – this is why the Galaxy Note 10 5G is 0.31mm thicker than the none-5G model.
In Q1 2020, however, all this is going to change. Qualcomm will release a new Snapdragon CPU with an integrated 5G modem, solving both of the above problems. Handsets will be as slim as before and connecting to 5G networks won’t be anywhere near as draining on battery life (FYI: this is the #1 reason why none of Apple’s 2019 iPhone 11 range feature 5G).
All 5G variants of the Galaxy S11 will use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon platform while non-5G models, depending on the region, will feature Samsung’s Exynos CPU. Either way, you’re going to have potentially up to 12GB of RAM and an insanely fast processor, so even if you don’t go for the 5G model, you’re still going to be getting some of the best performance of any phone on the market once the handset gets a release.
#5) 90Hz OLED Displays
OnePlus does them, and so do a few other Android phone makers. And in 2020, the Galaxy S11 range will be joining the party. Not only will it have one of the best OLED displays on the planet, Samsung’s panels are the industry standard, but you’ll have all the benefits of a 90Hz refresh rate, which makes graphics, images, and menus scroll smoother and, generally, look a lot better.
A 90Hz panel makes a lot of difference and it is something you will notice almost right away, especially if you’re used to phones that use lower refresh rates. Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S10 uses a 60Hz refresh rate, so the difference, if you’re coming from that handset, should be pretty darn significant. I cannot wait to see the Galaxy S11’s display in action.
#6) No Headphone Jack…
It had to happen sooner or later, and it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S11 will be the first Galaxy S phone to NOT ship with a headphone jack. Samsung ditched the headphone jack on the Galaxy Note 10, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. In its place, you have two options:
- USB Type-C Headphones;
- Or, Wireless EarBuds/Headphones
Personally, I’d be more inclined to go with the latter – wireless headphones have come on A LOT in the past couple of years. My personal favorite wireless earbuds are listed inside our Guide To The Best AirPods Alternatives, so have a look at that if you’re in the market for a pair.
Might Samsung include a pair of its Galaxy Buds in the Galaxy S11 box? It’d be a nice way to say sorry for removing the headphone jack. It’d also be a massive reason to get the Galaxy S11 too, as the Galaxy Buds are really fantastic – way better than Apple’s standard AirPods.
#7) 3D Facial Scanning
Samsung is believed to be working on a more robust facial unlock feature for the Galaxy S11. Code for the new technology was discovered by XDA Developers and it hits at a far more robust technology than what Samsung currently uses on its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see this tech hit the Galaxy S11, it could come later – 2021, for instance. But that fact that code for it is now in use proves that Samsung is at least testing out the feature. Another alternative for accessing the phone securely would be the current 2D facial recognition and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.
Given that both Apple and Google have dropped fingerprint scanners in favor or face unlock, however, it’d would certainly make sense for Samsung to follow suit with the release of its Galaxy S11 because if it is going to steal any iPhone users, it will want the experience of unlocking the phone to be as seamless as possible, just like it is on the iPhone X and beyond.
#8) 8K Video Recording, Perhaps?
No one has an 8K TV yet, but that apparently isn’t going to stop Samsung from bringing 8K video recording to its Galaxy S11. Samsung’s Exynos 990 chipset is capable of doing it, for instance, and Samsung is said to be drilling-down hard on the Galaxy S11’s imaging capabilities. It wants to leave both Appel and Huawei in the dust.
And adding in the ability to shoot video in 8K, despite the fact no one will have a screen of that resolution to watch it on, appears to be an integral part of that plan. Bottom line? Expect big things in both the imaging and video department.
#9) It Might Be Called The Galaxy S20…
For the longest time, the number associated with new phone updates is a given. The Galaxy S9 was followed by the Galaxy S10, and most thought the Galaxy S10 would be followed by the Galaxy S11. But this might not happen; rumors suggest Samsung is looking at potentially calling the range of handsets the Galaxy S20.
Why? The most obvious reason is that we’re now in 2020. Another? Apple’s iPhone 11 range. Putting a bit of space between the phones, as well as using a bigger number, could help Samsung further differentiate itself from Apple’s latest iPhones. After all, 20 looks and sounds bigger than 11 and that, at least from a pure marketing perspective, is reason enough to switch up the naming game in 2020.