Samsung Galaxy S11 is set to come out early next year and it looks to be a radical upgrade on the S10 range thanks to a groundbreaking camera, upgraded design, major performance increases, next-gen memory, a supersized fingerprint sensor and AI-focused image processing. Samsung is also working on revolutionary new battery tech which may or may not make it in.
Samsung Galaxy S11 release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S10 product launch was held a few days before this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, and it was unveiled February 20. The phone then went on sale on March 8. We also saw the Samsung Galaxy S10 release alongside the Samsung Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10 Plus.
Considering that Samsung tends to release its phones in yearly cycles, we expect to see the Samsung Galaxy S11 release in February or March 2020.
Which may mean it will be heard about at MWC 2020, or it may be a touch earlier as one rumour suggests we might see it on February 18. But it’s quite early to hear about an actual launch date, we’d take that news with a big pinch of salt. However, Mobile World Congress 2020 will start February 24, so it’s possible that the phone could launch either on that date or a few days before.
The Galaxy S10 cost $899 for its cheapest storage size and went all the way up to $1,149 for the superior versions when it released. Additionally, the Galaxy S10 was pricier than the Galaxy S9 so we would expect the Samsung Galaxy S11 price to be a small increase on this.
Taking into consideration the usual price increases on Galaxy S handsets between generations, we’d expect to see the cost of the standard Galaxy S11 be around $1,000 and even more for more memory.
But a rumour suggests there might be a Samsung Galaxy S11 Lite, a cheaper option for buyers who don’t have a six-figure pocket change to spend on a smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy S11 design and display
The holy grail of smartphone design for some time now has been an edge-to-edge, bezel-free screen that can slot the front-facing camera behind the display panel without requiring a notch or motorized slide-out camera. And Samsung might be the closest to achieving it, according to rumours out of South Korea.
Some companies have achieved a bezel-free look with the aid of pop-up cameras, but Samsung and others are also working on embedding the camera sensor underneath the screen. Meaning, unlike the Galaxy Note 10, which has a small circular cutout at the top of the screen, the Galaxy S10’s front camera could be completely invisible when not in use.
However, when it comes to the Galaxy S11’s display, we haven’t heard much about it but one leaked benchmark points to a possible taller screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio. That would make it more widescreen than the 19:9 Galaxy S10 (or taller when held in portrait orientation).
Chances are also that the Galaxy S11 will have two screens, as Samsung has patented a design (spotted by LetsGoDigital) with a smaller second screen on the back of a phone.
The second screen would remove the need for a selfie camera as it could be used to frame photos using the main camera. But we doubt we’ll see this design because all sorts of things get patented and often don’t get made.
Samsung Galaxy S11 camera
Having announced new 48MP and 64MP camera sensors, it’s possible that Samsung will use one of them for the Galaxy S11.
A leak from Ice Universe says that the Galaxy S11 may feature a new 108MP camera sensor, which would deliver unmatched detail. The source of this rumour adds that the Samsung Galaxy S11 will apparently also have a lens with 5x optical zoom.
Galaxy Club is also reporting that one of the Galaxy S11’s cameras is codenamed Hubble because of its periscope camera “with striking zoom qualities.” That’s the name of a space telescope, so strongly suggests impressive zoom skills. Plus, another source has also pointed to a 5x optical zoom lens but said that the phone won’t be a ‘normal’ one, whatever that means.
Although it may mean that the lens is more flush with the back of the handset than most zoom lenses, as another source claims Samsung is working on just such a lens – which is also yet more evidence that a zoom lens is in the works.
We’re uncertain on what upgrades it would get, but with Samsung’s first 108MP sensor likely to land on a Xiaomi handset this year, it would make sense for Samsung to make something totally new for the Galaxy S11.
One other leak has stated that the main camera sensor on the Galaxy S11 will be different from all previous Galaxy phones from the S7 to the S10. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be one of the above sensors, but it’s very possible.
The in-display camera is one thing that we may not get at yet, as while the likes of Oppo and Xiaomi are already teasing the technology, a source suggests Samsung will wait for the tech to “mature” first, and in the meantime will stick with punch-hole cameras – albeit ones of ever-smaller sizes.
Samsung Galaxy S11 specs and features
The Galaxy S lineup is usually the first to feature the latest Snapdragon mobile processor. That’s likely to be the Snapdragon 865 if Qualcomm sticks to its standard numbering conventions. (The Snapdragon 855 powers both the Galaxy S10 and Note 10.) The Snapdragon 865 has been benchmarked with scores that beat any other phone. It’s likely that US versions of the Galaxy S11 will use this chip, so that’s promising.
As for Galaxy S models released outside the U.S., they tend to run on Samsung’s own Exynos chips. Samsung just unveiled a new, 7-nanometer version, the Exynos 990. This new mobile processor is capable of supporting up to six cameras and a 120-Hz refresh rate on displays; it’s also got a built-in 5G modem.
When it comes to tech, we know that Samsung has created a 12GB Mobile DRAM, which lets the phone read memory at a quicker rate, so that’s an obvious candidate for the Galaxy S11.
The Galaxy S11 might also be the first phone to have a tiny 5nm chipset, according to Sina, which could see it outperform other handsets.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could be a good place to look for some possible specs and features. The Galaxy S11 for example probably won’t have a headphone port, the fact that the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus ditched the headphone jack makes it all but certain that we’ve seen the last of the 3.5mm port on Samsung’s flagship phones. Similarly, it likely won’t have a Bixby button.
ETNews said that Samsung has decided to go with USB-C exclusively in the Galaxy S11. That means the company will actually ditch the headphone jack and require you to use wireless earbuds or a dongle in the box that will let you plug in 3.5mm headphones.
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.
Judging by the news that the Galaxy S11 could use facial recognition unlocking tech instead, there’s also unlikely to be a fingerprint sensor. The iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4 have similar systems, where instead of using in-screen fingerprint sensors, they use facial recognition, which is a rather secure form of unlocking but it’s slower than using a fingerprint.
When it comes to the battery, it’s almost a given that the S11 will have a greater battery capacity than the model that preceded it. According to a leak published by Ice Universe, the S11e could have a battery capacity as high as 4,000mAh, a jump of 900mAh over the S10e. This has also lead Ice Universe to suggest that the S11 Plus, which is, of course, the assumed largest version of the S11 series, could have up to a 5,000mAh battery. Making it bigger than any other premium flagship on the market right now, and would seal Samsung’s spot at the top of the battery life charts.
Apart from all that, it may be worth keeping an eye out for rumours and leaks regarding the ‘Picasso’ as that, according to leaker Ice Universe, is the code-name Samsung is currently using internally for the Galaxy S11.