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At this rate, we know what the Samsung Galaxy S30 will look like
When was the last time you were genuinely excited about a Samsung Galaxy S design? Not a new camera sensor, not a fancy titanium frame, but the design itself. I’d argue that it probably hasn’t been since the Galaxy S21 series, maybe even the Samsung Galaxy S10, if you wanted something truly unique. Since then, Samsung’s Galaxy S flagships have begun to blend in more and more, keeping almost the same design from one year to the next.
Is that a bad thing? Well, no, not really — at least not if you like the current Galaxy S24 design. Is it an exciting thing? No, it’s not that either. Instead, we could probably guess what the Samsung Galaxy S30 will look like over half a decade from now.
Are the Galaxy S24 series' minor hardware changes enough?
Where did the personality go, Samsung?
If you gave a kid a crayon and told them to draw a cell phone, they’d probably stumble into a Samsung Galaxy S24. Or, at least, that’s what they’d draw if you specifically told them not to draw an iPhone. It probably wouldn’t matter if they’d seen a Galaxy S24 before, as the design hasn’t changed in a while, nor does it have any particularly defining features.
At this point, Samsung’s flagships are simple glass rectangles with a few cameras on the back. Each Galaxy S24 camera gets its own little circular housing on the back of a muted panel of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (or Gorilla Armor), and that’s where the personality ends. Sure, they’ll probably land among the best camera phones, but not necessarily the best-looking camera phones. All three models have flat displays with tiny punch hole cameras right up at the top, a continuation of the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus but a change for the Ultra. Samsung flattened the Galaxy S24 series’ side rails, too, which leaves its flagships feeling more iPhone-like than ever — and you know what they say about imitation.
If Samsung doesn't start spicing up its increasingly minimalist design soon, people won't even have to leak its flagships anymore.
Perhaps my biggest issue with Samsung’s seeming loss of personality is that it started on the budget phones first. The Galaxy A14 jumped to the individual camera cutouts before the flagship Galaxy S series, making the more premium offerings feel like they’re following the cheaper ones rather than the other way around. Maybe it’s an example of Samsung testing how those more affordable devices were received before expanding its design language, but the Galaxy S series is consistently among the best Android releases of the year, so it should probably be leading rather than following.
And, again, you might love the current Galaxy S24 design. It feels pretty good in the hand, it’s durable as all get out, and Samsung is finding ways to fit larger displays into the same dimensions. However, it feels like a design that’s on cruise control and will probably stay there.
Not all bad news…
Despite its profoundly boring design, there’s one thing that Samsung continues to get right — the materials it uses. I won’t suddenly find myself entranced by the re-re-retread of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s design, but I’m happy to admit that the Galaxy S24 series feels great in the hand. It strikes a careful balance between lightweight Armor Aluminum and durable Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (or Gorilla Glass Armor) that’s been comfortable to hold and use for long stretches so far.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra also makes a material change that its more affordable siblings miss out on, swapping from an aluminum frame to a titanium one for increased durability. Unlike Apple, which switched from stainless steel to titanium to save weight, Samsung’s upgrade is purely for the device’s longevity. It hasn’t resorted to titanium as an advertising ploy yet, either. The titanium frame might be a bit more tactile in hand, offering just enough texture to stay locked into your hand, unlike the glossy, slippery finishes we see on most flagships.
The Galaxy S30 might not have the most innovative design, but it'll surely have the best materials.
Samsung even has a habit of being the first to bring Corning’s latest flavor of Gorilla Glass to its packed spec sheets, something we expect to continue. It introduced Gorilla Armor on the display of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which comes just a year after adding Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to the entire Galaxy S23 series. We can’t really guess as to what Corning will be calling its toughest glass by the time the Galaxy S30 series comes around, but it’s a safe bet that Samsung will be first in line to bring it to life.
Ultimately, though, the design of the Samsung Galaxy S30 series might not matter too much anyway. Galaxy AI took center stage at the company’s first Unpacked event of 2024, and that will only continue to take on a larger role as Samsung’s AI features take shape. Even still, it would be nice to have a Samsung Galaxy design that makes you say wow again, wouldn’t it?