Samsung Galaxy S10 may have a foldable screen, 5G service, and no headphone jack

According to Bloomberg, Samsung will launch its three Galaxy S10 models along with the awaited foldable phone in early 2019. The Bloomberg report adds on information leaked by Korean-language media earlier in the year.

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will include curved OLED screens with in display fingerprint sensors. The technology has been seen in some high-end Chinese phones but has yet to be released by Samsung. The phones also have three cameras on the back with a selfie camera that is “visible and tucked under the screen.” According to many rumours, Samsung is working on displays with small holes so they can accommodate cameras underneath the panels. 

Bloomberg also states that Samsung is testing its S10 prototypes without headphone jacks, although no final decision has been made to leave out the connector. This would differentiate Galaxy flagships from Apple’s recent iPhone models. Within the past year, numerous Android tech firms such as Google, Huawei, OnePlus, and HTC have omitted the headphone jack for USB-C audio. However, Samsung has remained impervious to the trend, emphasizing the presence of the USB-C port in ads and commercials.

Samsung is also participating in talks with Verizon Wireless in order to bring a 5G Galaxy S10 into the United States. It’s difficult to predict the progression of Verizon’s 5G network by the time of Galaxy S10’s release, so this project may be premature. The company’s position has been that it will launch 5G-capable mobile devices in early 2019, although there are some complications with the current “5G” home internet service. However, leaked information was revealed a few months ago that suggested Samsuing was working on a Samsuing 5G Galaxy S10 model, codenamed “Beyond”.  

The Bloomberg report’s most significant discovery is probably the specs on Samsung’s forever-in-development foldable phone, codenamed “winner”. Samsung still hasn’t decided whether the device will fold vertically or horizontally, which seems odd considering the tech firm recently announced they would be showing off the new model next month. The report claims Samsung will likely present conceptual details of the design rather than bring an actual prototype.

Unlike the other upcoming Galaxy models, the folding phone will not include an in-display fingerprint sensor due to technical issues with the screen. The foldable phone is believed to have a four-inch display that can be used when the phone is closed, with a larger screen on the inside that resembles a wallet. This structural design will allow “users to enjoy basic features-like checking emails and messages-without having to flip it open.”

A previous report from the Wall Street Journal claimed the inner screen would be seven inches diagonal when unfolded, although its hard to know what it would look like without a defined aspect ratio. Bloomberg claims the folding display is “coated with film” rather than glass, but doesn’t confirm whether it responds to touch.

Samsung has a myriad of issues to deal with before it can release the phone to the public. Reportedly, the biggest issue to work on is the hinge, the moveable mechanism that allows the screen to fold. According to Korea-based tech expert Sam Kim, the hinge has passed the company’s internal threshold tests of folding over 200,000 times. The company’s only concern revolves around the foldable screen’s production rate. Kim claims the screen “shatters like dried paper” when it cracks due to a special coating that covers it.

Regardless, 2019 is shaping up to be a massive year for the Samsung Galaxy series, which needs a boost after mediocre sales for the Galaxy S9. Samsung’s 2018 released have been fine, but have been overshadowed by their Chinese counterparts, Huawei and OnePlus. Only time will tell whether Samsung can bounce back and re-establish its innovative reputation.