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What to expect at Samsung’s Feb 20 event

In recent years, you can seemingly count on a few things to happen each year toward the end of February, or occasionally early March.

Major League Baseball’s spring training gets underway in Flordia and Arizona, the Oscars air on ABC and Samsung releases a new Galaxy S phone. This year will continue the trend, with Samsung slated to introduce its latest Galaxy S10 line – plus a 5G phone, a foldable phone, new smartwatch and new wireless earbuds – at its “Unpacked” event on Feb. 20 in San Francisco. 

Given that the Galaxy is marking its 10th anniversary at this event, Samsung is apparently going all out. Here’s what we expect to see.

Galaxy S10E, S10 and S10+

Rumors point to Samsung following Apple’s lead from last year’s iPhone event and introducing three versions of its main Galaxy S10: a cheaper Galaxy S10E (an iPhone XR rival), Galaxy S10 (rival to the iPhone XS) and Galaxy S10+ (rival to XS Max).

Screen sizes will vary. According to German website WinFuture, the S10E is expected to have the smallest of the bunch at 5.8-inches. The S10, meanwhile, is said to have a 6.1-inch display and the S10+ a 6.4-inch screen (the same size as the Galaxy Note 9).

All three models will feature Samsung’s new “Infinity O” display, which features a circular cutout on the display for the front camera (or two front cameras, in the case of the S10+) as opposed to the “notched” display used by the iPhone, Pixel and other modern phones.

Noted leaker Evan Blass posted several images of all three phones online.

Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 processor is expected to be under the hood of the S10 and S10+, both of which are also said to be taking advantage of Qualcomm’s new “ultrasonic” fingerprint sensor that puts the sensor inside the screen. It is unclear if the same processor will appear on the cheaper S10E, which is said to have its fingerprint sensor built into its power button. 

WinFuture’s Roland Quandt shared an image of the 10E’s sensor on Twitter. 

Both the S10 and S10+ are said to have three rear cameras while the S10E will go with just two cameras on its back.  

WinFuture reports that 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage will be standard across the three phones, with the S10+ possibly available in what will no doubt be a pricey 12 GB RAM/1 TB of storage variation for those who need such power. 

Among the new features said to be coming to the line include the ability to charge other devices wirelessly using the phone’s battery. WinFuture last week leaked what appears to be a promotional image from Samsung that shows a pair of the company’s seemingly updated earbuds wirelessly charging off of a Galaxy S10. 

Speaking of headphones, the S10 line is also rumored to be keeping the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. 

A 5G variant with a massive display

In addition to the three phones above, Samsung is also prepping a 5G phone for this spring as well. 

According to a report late last year from The Wall Street Journal, the 5G phone will have a massive 6.7-inch screen, six cameras (two on the front, four on the back). 

AT&T and Verizon have already announced they plan to have a Samsung 5G phone in the first half of 2019, with Sprint and T-Mobile saying that they, too, would also carry a Samsung 5G phone this year. Beyond AT&T’s limited 12-city launch late last year, however, no other carriers have turned on its respective mobile 5G network. 

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Last year Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh told Korean journalists, as spotted by ZDNet, that the S10 would not have 5G, with a separate model getting the technology first. 

Other specs for the 5G phone, according to South Korea’s ETNews, includes a massive 5,000 mAh battery,  over 10 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. 

While that sounds like the specs of a power user’s dream phone it remains to be seen if the larger battery will be a necessity to properly power the first 5G phones or will instead simply give days of battery life. 

ETNews reports that the 4G LTE S10 line will be available on March 8, while this 5G model will be available at the end of the month on March 29. 

The foldable phone makes its proper debut

As if the above wasn’t enough, Samsung is also expected to properly introduce its foldable phone for the first time after publicly displaying an early version in November.

When closed, the phone has a roughly 4.6-inch display, however, that screen becomes a tablet-like 7.3 inches when opened. Samsung is working with Google to optimize Android for the new foldable form factor, allowing the apps that you were using when the device is closed to be there when you open up the phone in tablet mode. Samsung also teased that you’ll be able to have three apps displaying at once, allowing you to multitask as you would on a more traditional computer.

That said, plenty still remains a mystery, most notably pricing and whether it will have similar specs to the S10 line, including 5G. 

A new teaser video posted by the company Monday confirmed the foldable phone’s appearance at the upcoming event. 

A new Galaxy Watch

In addition to all the phones and the possible new wireless charging earbuds, Samsung is also rumored to be preparing a new Galaxy Watch. 

Rumored to be called the Galaxy Watch Active, according to SamMobile the new smartwatch will feature a 1.1-inch AMOLED display, can wirelessly charge from a Galaxy S10 and like Samsung’s previous Gear Sport be able water-resistant to up to 50 meters of water (roughly 164 feet).

Indian tech website 91mobiles, which previously leaked an image purporting to be of the new watch, says it will also be capable of tracking sleep and making payments through NFC. 

One thing that will change: Samsung will apparently be dropping the rotating ring that was found around the display and could be used to navigate the device. Instead, the company is seemingly going all in on touchscreen controls.

It remains to be seen what shows up, but USA TODAY will have full coverage of Samsung’s event. 

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/02/13/foldable-phone-galaxy-s-10-what-expect-samsungs-feb-20-event/2841919002/




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