Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S20 — the successor to last year’s Galaxy S10, and the company’s next flagship — at its upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event on February 11th.
Per the rumors, Samsung will have three new flagship phones this year in the US (internationally, it’s a bit of a different story): the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20 Plus, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra. There are also rumors of a new foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip, for a total of four new flagships.
But if you can’t wait until the big announcement, don’t worry. Here’s everything we know so far:
The two bread-and-butter phones are the S20 and S20 Plus, the direct sequels to last year’s Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus models (think of them as basically a Galaxy S11 and S11 Plus, by the old naming standards).
There are three big changes that Samsung’s expected to make with the S20, though: a new 120Hz display, an overhauled quadruple rear camera system, and updated processors that will include 5G support by default (at least in the US).
The 120Hz display has already been thoroughly leaked, thanks to an S20 Plus unit that’s made its way out into the wild. A leak from XDA Developers shows the display in action, revealing the super-fast 120Hz refresh rate that should offer far smoother animations. According to the leak, though, you’ll only be able to use the faster refresh rate with the lower FHD+ resolution. The higher-res WQHD+ setting will only work at 60Hz.
The rear cameras on the S20 are also getting upgrades. Last year, the S10 and S10 Plus offered three lenses: a wide-angle 12-megapixel (77-degree) lens, telephoto 12-megapixel (45-degree) lens, and an ultra-wide 16-megapixel (123-degree) lens. The new S20 models are expected to bump that up to the following specs:
A 12-megapixel main camera lens
A 64-megapixel telephoto lens
A 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens
A 3D time-of-flight sensor, but only on the larger S20 Plus
The new phones are also expected to be even bigger than last year’s. According to a leaked spec sheet from Ishan Agarwal at MySmartPrice, the S20 will have a 6.2-inch screen, which is just slightly bigger than the 6.1-inch S10 from last year. The rumored 6.7-inch S20 Plus is closer to the similarly sized S10 5G model (which also had a 6.7-inch display), rather than the 6.4-inch S10 Plus. The larger S20 Plus is also expected to feature a bigger battery (4,500mAh) than the S10 Plus (4,100mAh).
Both of the new phones are expected to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Galaxy Note 10 lineup when it comes to overall design, featuring a taller 20:9 aspect ratio and a single, centered hole-punch selfie camera — an Infinity-O display, by Samsung’s branding.
Both models are expected to feature an ultrasonic fingerprint reader once again, as opposed to the conventional optical scanner used by most other in-display readers. It isn’t clear yet whether Samsung is using the same, occasionally problematic model as the S10 or Qualcomm’s new second-generation 3D Sonic Max sensor.
And finally, early rumors have confirmed that, much like the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Fold, the new S20 models will both sadly forgo the 3.5mm headphone jack, marking one of the last high-profile flagships to lose the audio standard.
The regular S20 models are all well and good, but the real star of the show is shaping up to be the S20 Ultra: an ultra-premium model with a bigger screen, beefier battery, and some truly absurd camera specs.
The S20 Ultra takes basically everything about the S20 and S20 Plus and just adds more. The display is still a 120Hz 20:9 panel, but the S20 Ultra reportedly has a massive 6.9-inch screen, making it even larger than the 6.8-inch Galaxy Note 10 Plus from last year. The battery is equally big at 5,000mAh, and it offers more RAM (up to 16GB).
But the groundbreaking upgrades come with the cameras. Like the S20 Plus, the S20 Ultra is expected to feature five lenses, with four rear cameras and a front-facing hole-punch selfie camera. But it’s the hardware here that’s different. Instead of a 12-megapixel main camera, the S20 Ultra is expected to feature the 108-megapixel sensor that Samsung has been working on for months. That ultra-high resolution sensor is apparently being combined with some software enhancements to enable a combined zoom of up to 100x, which Samsung is apparently calling “Space Zoom.”
Additionally, the phone will also reportedly feature a 48-megapixel telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 3D ToF sensor on the back. The front-facing camera is also getting upgraded to a 40-megapixel sensor, compared to the 10-megapixel sensor on the other models.
Assuming the leaks are accurate, all this would add up to making the S20 Ultra the biggest, most powerful phone Samsung’s ever made. Those specs won’t come cheap, though, with XDA’s Max Weinbach claiming that the phone will cost $1,300.
Where last year’s S10 lineup was strictly LTE-based, with just the pricey S10 Plus 5G offering support for next-generation networks, all three S20 phones in the US will apparently offer 5G by default, and a single model may be able to support multiple US carriers. The US models are expected to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 865 chipset — which has mandatory 5G support — making it likely that the S20 lineup will also serve as the biggest test for fledgling 5G networks yet.
Internationally, Samsung is expected to use its Exynos 990 processor, and offer both 4G and 5G variants, at least for the regular S20 and S20 Plus.
Go big or go home
Unfortunately, compared to Samsung’s 2019 lineup, there are no rumors this year about a replacement for last year’s smaller Galaxy S10E model, which featured a 5.8-inch display. While the foldable Galaxy Z Flip may fill the role of a physically smaller device for small phone fans, it seems that if you’d like a standard Galaxy S20 phone this year, the smallest size available will be the 6.2-inch S20.
The S20 lineup isn’t expected to be the only news for Samsung: the company is expected to announce a second-gen version of its Galaxy Buds headphones, the aptly named Galaxy Buds Plus. The new model appears pretty similar to last year’s version, but reportedly will offer twice the battery life and improved active noise isolation technology (they won’t feature true noise cancellation, though, like Apple’s recent AirPods Pro do).
According to a post from leaker Evan Blass, Samsung will also be offering the new Galaxy Buds Plus for free to customers who preorder the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, but apparently not the standard S20.