The Samsung Galaxy S11 launch event will be on February 11, a fact we know is official because Samsung itself sent out official invites to its next big Unpacked keynote.
That could turn out to be the Galaxy S20 launch as we've heard several rumors suggesting Samsung will skip S11-S19 and go straight to S20 to line up with the year 2020.
Rumors suggest we'll see three different Galaxy S11 or S20 phones, and it may be that all of them are set to be 5G phones. We know that because the next-in-line chipset, the Snapdragon 865, makes including a 5G modem mandatory.
Other phones we expect to see in 2020:
There are also features we can work out might come to the Galaxy S11 or S20, from perks we expected but didn't see in the Samsung Galaxy S10 to aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy A80, Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Fold that would work well in a new Galaxy S flagship.
Inspired by all these phones, we've also drawn up a list of the things we'd like to see in the Samsung Galaxy S11, or whatever the next Galaxy S phone ends up being called. It may be introduced alongside the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, or Galaxy Bloom, or Galaxy Z Flip, as various different leaks have suggested Samsung's new foldable phone will be called.
Here's everything that we've heard about the Samsung Galaxy S11 so far, including the plenty of leaks we've seen.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next Galaxy S smartphone from Samsung
- When is it out? Tuesday, February 11
- What will it cost? Likely more than $899 / £799 / AU$1,349
Samsung Galaxy S11 release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S11 launch date is locked in for Tuesday, February 11 in San Francisco. That's the same month and city venue as 2019's trio of Galaxy phones.
That means we could see the Galaxy S11 phones in stores the first week of March. For context, the Galaxy S10 release date was March 8, though this year's launch event is nine days sooner than last year's, so things may shift a bit.
The Galaxy S11 price could be the same as the S10 at $899 / £799 / AU$1,349 for its cheapest storage size, and all the way up to $1,149 / £999 / AU$1,699.
There's always a chance Samsung could price the Galaxy S11 to be more expensive, depending on the cost of the tech inside the phone but we won't know for certain until Samsung officially unveils the phone.
Accompanying the launch of the Galaxy S11 might be new premium wireless earbuds to rival the Apple AirPods Pro called the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Given 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 S11 name
While the Samsung Galaxy S11 is the most obvious name for Samsung's next flagship, coming as it does after the Samsung Galaxy S10, it's not the only possible one, with Samsung Galaxy S20 having also been rumored. This is reportedly done because the handset will come out in 2020, and Samsung wants the phone names to match with the years.
Specifically, according to few sources including a reliable leaker and possibly the Samsung CEO himself, we could get a Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, instead of the S11e, S11 and S11 Plus as we've been reporting on.
For the mean time, we're still referring to the device as the Galaxy S11, but that might change if we get confirmation from Samsung that the new devices will be the S20s.
There's also no mention of a 5G model, though this is no surprise, as it's likely Samsung would include 5G in the standard models, much as it did with the 5G version of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, rather than making a unique 5G handset, as it did with the Galaxy S10 5G.
How about this for a rumor though: could the Galaxy S line be discontinued, and the Galaxy S11 never see the light of day? That's what one source suggests, that the S11 and Galaxy Note 11 will merge to create the Galaxy One, a new series that combines all Samsung's premium features into one smartphone.
Sure, we've heard that before about Samsung phones and it turned out to be wrong, but given the similarities between both ranges, it's not something we can totally rule out.
Samsung Galaxy S11 design and display
We’ve seen plenty of leaked renders of the Samsung Galaxy S11 or S20 series, and while there are variations between lots of them, they all are clearly variations on the same idea. You can see some here, others here, and even more here.
[Exclusive] Samsung Galaxy S11 renders reveal advanced camera setup and repositioned hole-punchhttps://t.co/6aPu8FRPbVNovember 22, 2019
Most 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 organised row and others pointing to a more messy splattering.
Hands-on images of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, 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.
A later leak with another screen cover reference model 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 reference expects.
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.
The most enduring size rumor suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S20 (which could launch instead of the S11e) will have a 6.2-inch screen, the S20 Plus (or S11) will have a 6.7-inch one, and the S20 Ultra (S11 Plus) will have a 6.9-inch one. That’s a pretty size increase on the previous generation.
As for the rest of the design, one thing we've heard is that the standard Galaxy S11 might come in blue, grey and black shades, while the Samsung Galaxy S11e might come in blue, grey and pink. The source doesn't say what colors to expect the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus in though.
These displays might have a 120Hz refresh rate, offering smoother interactions than the 60Hz found on the S10 range. That theory is mostly based on a 120Hz mode being spotted in a beta for Samsung's smartphone software. There's no guarantee the feature will arrive on the Galaxy S11 range, but it seems a likely candidate, especially as a source has now said as much.
The S11 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, though we don't know how SAMOLED would differ.
Samsung Galaxy S11 camera
We’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy S11 (or S20 Plus, but maybe not the ‘Lite’ S20 model) to come with a brand new 108MP sensor, as we’ve heard not one but two leaks suggesting that. This 108MP sensor used will apparently combine nine pixels into one, for 12MP shots that can take in a lot of light.
We haven’t heard much about other lenses but we’d expect an ultra-wide angle lens as well as possibly a depth sensor and maybe even a macro lens, as the recent Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite introduced the series’ first.
We've seen how the camera arrangement on the Galaxy S11 Plus (or Galaxy S20 Ultra) might look, and you can see this below. A more recent rumor from the same source suggests there will be a four-camera array on the rear of the Samsung Galaxy S11 and Galaxy S11 Plus (or S20 Plus and S20 Ultra)
This is the real Galaxy S11+ camera. On the left is the ultra-wide-angle, main camera, and periscope zoom lens. I don't know the exact distribution on the right. It is expected to include flash and ToF. pic.twitter.com/98exPMSqgfDecember 16, 2019
Esteemed leaker IceUniverse previously claimed it would be a five camera setup, but says this new information is from a more recent prototype so they believe this to be the accurate details. That matches up with one of the most recent renders we've seen leaked, but so many different renders have leaked that we’ve no concrete idea at what the rear array will look like.
We have heard an incredibly detailed spec dump, when three sources simultaneously revealed information on the cameras, and it gives us a huge look at what to expect (if true). We'll detail it below.
|Camera||Samsung Galaxy S20||Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
Those are some pretty impressive specs if true, although it's curious the telephoto lenses are better on the smaller 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.
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 heard loads of cool features trademarked by Samsung that could end up in the handset, from ‘Space Zoom’ astrophotography mode to the '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.
With regards to video recording, a rumor has suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S11 will support 8K video recording.
Samsung Galaxy S11 battery life
We've heard that the Samsung Galaxy S11 (or Galaxy S20 Plus, based on the new naming rumors) will come with a 4,500mAh battery – that's based on a photo shared by a certification website in Korea, so it seems legitimate, but you can never be totally certain. If this is true, the Galaxy S11 will have the same capacity as the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, which should compensate for the new tech we're expecting to see in the device.
We've heard from another source that the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus (or Galaxy S20 Ultra) will use a 5,000mAh battery, which would be the biggest used in a Galaxy S device. Another source has since backed up that 5,000mAh claim. This rumor makes sense, because it would be an expected step up between the S11 and S11 Plus, but we don't know for sure.
Plus, one rumor suggests the Galaxy S11e will have a larger battery than the Galaxy S10e, though again this could refer to the base Galaxy S20 in the suggested new naming conventions. We’d expect this, as new generations of handsets often bring upgrades like this.
An industry insider has suggested the reason the smartphones can use such big batteries is due to shrinking one part of the internals, a technique which the iPhone 12 could use too.
It also looks like Samsung is working on a battery health feature, which could tell you how worn out your S11's battery is.
Samsung Galaxy S11 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’ll 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 RAM, although that could go up to 16GB or possibly even beyond. Who would need this RAM in a smartphone is beyond us, but it's indicative of the premium nature of the device.
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'll add another 1TB space. We don't know the options for the other devices, though.
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.
We can also look to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 for some possible specs and features. The Galaxy S11 for example probably won't have a headphone port, since Samsung has ditched it for the latest Note. Similarly, it likely won't have a Bixby button.
However, by freeing up space that would have been used for a headphone port, Samsung could potentially make the battery bigger and/or the body thinner.
We could see the Galaxy S11 range launch without an in-screen fingerprint sensor, judging by the news that the upcoming Galaxy phone could use facial recognition unlocking tech instead. 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.
Samsung Galaxy 11: what we want to see
While early rumors have started to swirl, in reality there's still a long way to go before we see the Samsung Galaxy S11, which is good news as it gives Samsung plenty of time to take our suggestions on board.
So, listen up Samsung, here's what we want to see from the Galaxy S11. Please don't let us down.
1. Better camera specs
The Samsung Galaxy S10 has three rear cameras: the 12MP main sensor with a regular lens, the 12MP second sensor with a telephoto lens for distance shots, and the 16MP third sensor with an ultra-wide lens.
The three lenses are generally what we'd expect in a smartphone camera, but the resolution of each is a lot lower than in many other phones.
Handsets like the Honor 20 Pro have a 48MP main snapper, which is a big step up from 12MP, and even affordable handsets sometimes now come with four lenses (the extra is usually a time-of-flight or macro sensor for close-up shots), so to stay competitive in the smartphone camera game Samsung needs to up its game with the Galaxy S11.
We've heard that Samsung is working on a 64MP smartphone camera that could be put in the Samsung Galaxy S11 – if this is true, the new phone would blow its competitors out of the water.
2. A 3.5mm headphone jack
If you're scratching your head thinking "the Samsung Galaxy S10 does have a 3.5mm headphone jack", then you're right – but it may be the last of its kind.
Newer Galaxy smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy A80 have ditched the headphone jack, so it seems Samsung is following suit behind many other smartphone companies in getting rid of the physical headphone port.
But since many, many people still use non-Bluetooth earphones, it's a feature that we'd love to see return in future Samsung smartphones, especially given it's one of the only high-end smartphone manufacturers to still be using them.
3. Different front-facing camera arrangement
The Galaxy S10 was one of the first phones to have a 'punch-hole' front-facing camera, which means the front snapper was in a cut-out section inside the screen, in the corner.
In theory this is a useful feature that replaces the top notch, so you get more screen real estate – but in practice the punch-hole takes just as much space, as there's a sliver of screen between the camera and the edge that just isn't used.
Going forward, we'd like to see the Samsung Galaxy S11 take a different tack – Samsung itself has said it's planning to drop the punch-hole in favor of a camera under the screen, but that could still be a few Galaxy S phones down the line.
4. Greater battery capacity
The Galaxy S10 had a 3,400mAh battery – that's fine, but you've got no hope of that lasting more than a second day of use, especially if you use your phone a lot.
We'd hope the Samsung Galaxy S11 battery life would surpass that – it will definitely have to have a bigger capacity to cater for all the new tech the phone uses, but we'd like to see a serious improvement on the capacity, perhaps 4,000mAh or above.
5. More launch colors
The Galaxy S10 comes in a few colors, most commonly prism white and black – but we always love a vibrant design in a phone, and so far Samsung handsets have often seemed a little dull.
We're not asking for the crazy back patterns of a Huawei or Honor phone, but it would be nice for the Samsung Galaxy S11 to launch in a few different colors.
The Galaxy S10 has a few colors that are only available in certain regions, like yellow, green or red, but if Samsung made these designs available from the get-go in all regions, we'd appreciate the design a lot more.
6. Affordable 5G
We're expecting there to be a Samsung Galaxy S11 5G – there was a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, after all, and by the time the S11 launches 5G will be available in many countries.
However, the Galaxy S10 5G is even bigger than the Galaxy S10 Plus, and so is massive and expensive. Currently there are no affordable 5G smartphones on the horizon, but Samsung could really get ahead of the curve if the Galaxy S11, or Galaxy S11e, had a low price and ran on 5G networks.
- See what we think of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10