108MP lens gets spied in the flesh
WE'RE STILL MONTHS AWAY from the arrival of Galaxy S11, but it's already shaping up to be one of Samsung's most interesting flagships yet.
Speculation suggests the S11 lineup, comprising the Galaxy S11e, Galaxy S11 and Galaxy S11+, will up the ante in the screen department with larger SAMOLED 120Hz displays, and in the camera stakes with a mammoth 108MP main sensor. There's also talk that the handset true will boast souped-up internals, an all-new facial recognition system and baked-in 5G support.
We've rounded up everything we know about Samsung's Galaxy S11 lineup below.
Release date and price
As per unsurprising rumours, the Galaxy S11 lineup will debut in "mid to late February", suggesting a pre-MWC launch is likely on the cards.
There's no word on pricing yet, but if anything like last year's Galaxy S10, expect the so-called S11e, S11 and S10+ to fetch £699, £799 and £899, respectively.
9/12/19: The Galaxy S11 has made its in-the-wild debut, courtesy of tipster Ice Universe who has shared the first images of the flagship in the flesh.
Galaxy S11 in a leakproof case. pic.twitter.com/LVmhQRl69f— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 9, 2019
Though the images aren't the, er, clearest, they show the Galaxy S11's rear camera hump, which will allegedly add 1.1mm of thickness to the device - hardly surprising given rumours that it'll sport a 108MP primary camera and a periscope-style telephoto lens for 5x optical zoom.
6/12/19: Samsung is planning a major overhaul of the Galaxy S11's camera in a bid to better compete with the iPhone, Bloomberg reports. Adding weight to previous rumours, the report - citing the usual sources familiar with the matter - says the Galaxy S11 will sport the Samsung-made 108MP sensor that recently appeared on Xiaomi's CC9 Pro. This will reportedly be accompanied by three other lenses including ultrawide-angle and Time of Flight (Tof) sensors.
Separately, SamMobile is reporting that the highest-end Galaxy S11+ could sport a mammoth 5,000mAh battery, a huge improvement over the 4,100mAh battery inside this year's 4,100mAh offering.
5/12/19: There's yet more evidence that the Galaxy S11 will be capable of capturing 8K video, as SamMobile is reporting that its sources have "confirmed" the feature for Samsung's next flagship. This is hardly surprising, as Samsung's Exynos 990 processor supports 8K video capture at 30 frames-per-second, and it's likely Qualcomm's newly-announced Snapdragon 865 - which will power S11 handsets in the US - will also support the feature.
2/12/19: Tipster Ice Universe has shared an image of an alleged Galaxy S11 screen protector, which hints that the handset will boast a tiny punch-hole cutout and barely-there bezels.
Hi，Galaxy S11 pic.twitter.com/brqPoONDzj— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 1, 2019
The image (above) shows that the front-facing camera will be placed at the top centre of the display, as seen on the Galaxy Note 10. It also confirms, if legit, that the Galaxy S11 will have little in the way of screen surroundings; there's virtually no bezel at the top and sides and a tiny chin underneath the display.
27/11/19: The Galaxy S11+ has shown up in official-looking renders, just days after it appeared on Geekbench. The image (above), courtesy of CashKaro and @OnLeaks, show that the S11+ will look similar to its smaller S11 and S11e siblings with a curved edge display, centrally-aligned punch-hole and a USB-C port at the bottom.
Elsewhere, the report claims the Galaxy S11+ will sport a 6.9in Dynamic OLED screen with an under-display fingerprint sensor and will measure in at 8.8mm thick.
25/11/19: The first benchmark results for the Galaxy S11 5G have appeared on Geekbench
The listing for the handset confirms that the flagship will pack Samsung's new octa-core Exynos 990 SoC running at 1.95GHz; US-bound variants of the device will likely pack Qualcomm's incoming Snapdragon 865 chipset. While that all sounds well and good, the benchmark scores - 447 in single-core and 2,326 in multi-core performance - are somewhat disappointing; the iPhone 11, for example, scored 1,333 and 3,251 on Geekbench, and Samsung's own Galaxy Note 10 scored 736 and 2,691.
22/11/19: A filing at China's 3C certification agency, spied by DroidShout, has all but confirmed that there will be a 5G variant of the Galaxy S11. It's not all good news though, as the listing - which references the devices as the SM-G9860 - reveals that the 5G model will ship with 25W fast charging support. While that's an upgrade over the 15W charging offered with the Galaxy S10, it's lacking compared to the 45W charging offered by the Note 10+.
21/11/19: Samsung has inadvertently revealed another key feature of the Galaxy S11, as in its newly-released One UI beta for the Galaxy Note 9, eagle-eyed users have spotted references to a 120Hz display.
Someone found 120Hz in Note9's One UI 2 Beta! (hidden settings) pic.twitter.com/ii1fNic1YE— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 20, 2019
As per Ice Universe (above), a new mode in Samsung's software will allow users to switch between a 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate, while a third mode will allow for the screen to switch automatically between 60Hz and 120Hz.
20/11/19: Samsung has pushed out a new version of its Camera app and inadvertently revealed some clues about the Galaxy S11.
As spied by XDA Developers, the latest version of the app has references to 8K video recording - a feature also supported by Samsung's Exynos 9980 SoC. The chipset, which is expected to power US variants of Samsung's next flagship, will feature 8K@30fps video decoding/encoding capabilities.
If 8K support is included, the 12MP camera found on the Galaxy S10 ain't going to cut it. Handily, the updated Camera app also includes references to 108MP photos, adding yet more weight to the rumours that the handset will sport Samsung's yet-to-be-announced, second-generation 108MP camera sensor.
Another bit of code inside the app makes reference to a 20:9 aspect ratio display, possible confirmation that the S11 will ditch the 19:9 screen found on Samsung's Galaxy S10 handsets.
10/11/19: Evan Blass has spilled some details about the S11 lineup, claiming the flagship will launch in three different sizes.
In a tweet, Blass says that the Galaxy S11 will comprise 6.4in (S11e), 6.7in (S11) and 6.9in (S11+) variants; by comparison, the S10e, S10 and S10+ ship with 5.8in, 6.1in and 6.4in screens, respectively.
However, in a follow-up message, Blass notes that the smaller model could sport a larger 6.4in display - as large as the screen on the S10 Plus - stating that he's received "conflicting information" about the entry-level model.
The two smaller models will be made available in both 4G and 5G variants, according to Blass, while the top-end Galaxy S11+ will launch with 5G-only. He also notes that all models will have curved-edge displays, marking the end of Samsung's S10e-style flat panels.
Blass claims the Galaxy S11 series will make its debut in "mid to late February", suggesting a pre-MWC launch is likely on the cards.
8/11/19: The Galaxy S11 will allegedly sport a "new" 108MP main camera sensor.
So says Twitter tipster Ice Universe (below), who claims the S11 won't use the 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor that Samsung launched earlier this year, but will instead boast an upgraded second-gen sensor.
The Galaxy S11 has a high probability of using a new 108MP sensor.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 4, 2019
It's unclear how the new sensor will improve on the three-month-old lens that's expected to debut on Xiaomi's CC9 Pro and Mi Note 10 smartphones, as though Ice Universe thinks there's a "high possibility" it'll debut on the Galaxy S11, he doesn't share any additional details.
The first-gen sensor is the smartphone sensor to adopt a 1/1.33-inch size, which means it can absorb more light in low-lit settings than smaller sensors, while its pixel-merging Tetracell technology compresses four pixels into one to produce brighter 27MP images.
It also supports video recording without losses in field-of-view at resolutions up to 6K at 30-frames-per-second.
31/10/19: A new rumour claims Samsung is working on a new facial recognition system that likely will debut on the Galaxy S11 next year.
References to the as-yet-unannounced face recognition system have been spied in Samsung's One UI 2.0 beta by both TechTastic and XDA's Max Winebach (below), who spotted references to "FaceService" for the Picasso - the codename for the Galaxy S11.
Another (exclusive) S11 leak(?). In the Face Service app, Samsung has started to work on the UX_Picasso. Essentially, the UX for the S11. In reality, it doesn't say much about anything besides Samsung is actively working on facial recognition. pic.twitter.com/FNFrK158iu— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) October 28, 2019
Though current flagship Samsung devices feature facial recognition, this leak suggests the company is working on a souped-up version based on 3D rather than 2D in order to make it more accurate and secure like the Face ID and Face Unlock tech found on the iPhone and Pixel 4, respectively.
Samsung, naturally, hasn't commented on the leak, but given the recent issues surrounding the fingerprint scanners on its Galaxy devices, a shift to face recognition would certainly make sense for the company.
30/10/10: We're likely still months away from the official unveiling of the Galaxy S11, but the first rumours are starting to crop up.
Following the leak that it'll likely launch on 18 February (below), we're now hearing that the Galaxy S11 will be powered by Qualcomm and Samsung's as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 9830 processors, respectively.
This somewhat unsurprising information - though some rumours had pointed to Samsung's new Exynos 980 SoC powering the Galaxy S11 lineup - was uncovered in a OneUI 2.0 beta by XDA's Max Weinbach.
The Exynos 9830 exists. In the latest One UI 2.0 beta for the S10, Samsung added support for the Exynos 9830 along with the Snapdragon 865. These will, of course, be used in the S11. pic.twitter.com/v2Bio1Hggf— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) October 27, 2019
The Snapdragon 865, which will likely be unveiled in December at Qualcomm's annual Tech Summit, will reportedly be based on the 7nm EUV-based fabrication process and leaked benchmarks peg it as an octa-core SoC with a base frequency of 1.8GHz.
Samsung's Exynos 9830 is unlikely to make its debut until next year, but we already know a bit about the chip; rumours claim it'll rely on four Cortex A55 cores for low-performance and four Cortex A77 cores for high-performance.
Weinbach also found references to three models of the Galaxy S11, at least one of which supports 5G. The One UI beta also includes references to LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage support.
7/10/19: We don't yet know much about the Samsung Galaxy S11, but we might already know when it will be launching.
A source speaking to SamMobile has claimed that the next-gen Galaxy flagship will make its debut on 18 February, just days before next year's Mobile World Congress kicks off.
While such a date would make sense - the Galaxy S10 landed on 20 February, and the Galaxy S9 before it on 25 February - even SamMobile is sceptical; it notes that it's "not confident enough in the source of this information to put our weight behind the date provided", so we'd take this early rumour with a hefty pinch of salt.
Beyond this shady leak, there's not much information surrounding the Galaxy S11 yet. There's some chatter that the smartphone will feature the bonkers 108MP camera sensor that Samsung showed off earlier this year, and SamMobile notes that it'll likely ship with One UI 2.1 and up to 1TB of internal storage.
If we were to put our speculative hat on, we'd also assume the Galaxy S11 will pack Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon 865 SoC, 5G support, a punch-hole display with baked-in fingerprint scanner and triple rear-mounted camera setup. µ