The back of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

Leaker Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) has dropped some hints about a rumored Galaxy S10 variant. The leaker detailed the potential specs and price of the ‘budget’ Galaxy S10 model (what may be called the Galaxy S10 Lite) in a tweet yesterday (via PhoneArena).

Geskin suggests the phone will have a dual camera, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a flat “infinity-O” display, as opposed to the curved versions Samsung currently favors on its flagships.

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Samsung is said to be working on in-display fingerprint sensor tech, but this would be unlikely to appear on its least expensive flagship variants — a side-mounted fingerprint sensor isn’t a huge surprise. The possibility of dual cameras is a little less expected, though, as Samsung has outfitted recent lower-tier Galaxy phones with more camera sensors.

The leaker also suggests the phone will come in three memory configurations:

  • 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM
  • 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM
  • 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM

Meanwhile, Geskin is tipping a Snapdragon 845 or 8150 (855) chip for this Galaxy S10 variant. Samsung’s other S10 models are likely to have the latter chipset or an Exynos (Samsung’s homegrown chipset) equivalent.

If Samsung really wants to cut costs, the Snapdragon 845 — this year’s flagship Qualcomm chip — might be the better approach; the budget S10’s target market would likely be less concerned with such a decision.

Finally, Geskin touched on the phone’s price tag, suggesting it would launch for $650 to $750.

A new take on the Galaxy S Mini?

Samsung hasn’t offered a more affordable version of its flagship phones since the Galaxy S5 Mini in 2014. Instead, the company has focused on models from its mid-to-low range A and J series to fill this gap. Samsung has been reinventing these brands lately and the most recent Galaxy A device, the Galaxy A9 2018, offers many premium features with a smaller price tag. Given this push, it seems like an odd time for Samsung to reintroduce a less costly, less powerful Galaxy S flagship to its catalog.

That being said, Samsung’s major competitor Apple recently launched a more affordable iPhone, the iPhone XR, with its more powerful 2018 iPhones. Perhaps the market potential is once again there. Similarly, Samsung’s more affordable S10 probably would not be pitched as a budget or Lite model ($650 to $750 would hardly qualify, after all) but just the most cost-effective way to get your hands on a phone from the series.

The Galaxy S5 Mini in a person's hand.

The Galaxy S5 Mini.

We’re expecting the phones at next year’s MWC 2019 conference at the end of February. Samsung is rumored to release three or even four variants of the S10, which could look like a budget model, standard model, plus model, and an even a premium 5G-equipped model. These may launch as well as Samsung’s long-awaited folding phone around the same time.

So, it looks like Samsung will be busy in the run-up to next year, but as a final word of caution: Geskin may have a good record for leaks — you can see his early iPhone coverage here — but we’ve also seen rumors of affordable Galaxy S7, S8, and S9 models without them ever materializing. Take the speculation with a grain of salt.