Galaxy S9 sales haven’t been great so far. To avoid the same fate, the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus need to be massive upgrades. Here’s what I think the upcoming flagships should bring to the table to grab consumers’ interest and outsell the S9 series.
Galaxy S10 wishlist:
Same features for both models
The display and battery sizes aren’t the only differences between the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The larger model has a dual-camera setup, while the S9 features a single shooter on the back. At 6GB, the S9 Plus also sports 2GB of RAM more than its smaller brother.
Samsung should change its strategy with the Galaxy S10 duo and equip both handsets with the same specs and features. The only differences between them should be the screen and battery sizes, just like Google’s Pixel series. That way, the decision of which one to get comes down to the form factor alone. With the Galaxy S9 series, people into photography have to pay extra for the dual cameras, regardless of if they prefer the smaller size of the Galaxy S9.
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Sharing the same set of features could also make the price difference between the two Galaxy S10 smartphones smaller. Right now, the Galaxy S9 Plus costs $120 more than its smaller brother. That’s a lot of money, especially if you don’t care about the dual cameras and more RAM and just want a larger screen.
3D facial recognition
The Galaxy S9 series has software-based facial recognition on board, which lets you unlock the devices just by looking at them. It gets the job done, but isn’t as safe as the fingerprint scanner. Samsung should take a step forward with the Galaxy S10 devices and equip them with 3D facial recognition, which uses infrared light to create a depth map of your face. However, the company shouldn’t ditch the fingerprint scanner like Apple did with the iPhone X.
The technology is ready. It’s already available on the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition and Oppo Find X, with more high-end Android devices expected to join the list soon. There’s no reason for Samsung not to use it.
Hardware for 3D facial recognition would also improve Samsung’s AR Emoji feature, which lets you turn yourself into an animated emoji using the camera. It’s fun to use, but far from perfect. The 3D facial recognition hardware would create a much more detailed and accurate emoji, making Samsung’s AR Emoji a serious rival to Apple’s Animoji feature.
In-display fingerprint reader
Initial rumors claiming the Galaxy S9 series could come with an in-display fingerprint scanner were false. The technology wasn’t ready at the time, and Samsung decided to go with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
An in-display fingerprint scanner would give the Galaxy S10 series a futuristic vibe.
We’ve seen a couple of phones with in-display fingerprint scanners this year, including the Vivo Nex and Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, and I hope the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will join this list in 2019. The technology would allow you to unlock the devices by placing your finger on a certain part of the screen. It would also give the Galaxy S10 series a more modern, futuristic vibe — something Samsung should aim for if it wants to boost sales.
There’s a good chance my wish will be granted. According to a report by The Bell, Samsung will drop the iris scanner on the Galaxy S10 and opt for an in-display fingerprint reader (hooray!). It could be the first Samsung device to do so, as the upcoming Note 9 will still sport a traditional fingerprint scanner at the back, based on the recently leaked images of the phone.
Better battery life
The Galaxy S9’s battery life isn’t great — the Plus model only managed to rack up three hours of screen-on time during heavy camera testing. Samsung should address this issue with the S10 series by equipping the devices with bigger batteries.
The Galaxy S9 has a 3,000mAh battery, while its bigger brother has a capacity of 3,500mAh. That’s average at best, and some competitors offer much more. The Huawei P20 Pro packs a massive 4,000 mAh battery even though it has a slightly smaller footprint than the S9 Plus.
Samsung has been careful with battery sizes ever since the Note 7 fiasco, but it’s time to close that chapter and move on. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus series should offer at least 10 percent larger batteries than its predecessors to increase screen-on time and narrow the gap with the competition.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus look identical to their predecessors, with only a few minor changes here and there. The biggest one is the fingerprint scanner, which sits below the cameras instead of next to them. It’s eye catching, but getting a little old. It’s time for a new look.
However, I don’t expect — or want — to see any substantial changes on the front. Samsung will likely still opt for curved displays and minimal bezels on top and bottom. I’m fine with the tech giant shrinking the bezels to achieve a higher screen-to-body ratio, but I don’t want to see a notch, which lots of people dislike according to our poll.
Samsung should take more risks when it comes to design.
I want to see a completely redesigned back — something simple, but with a little added flair. A good example is the Huawei Mate 10, which is one of the sexiest phones you can get in my opinion. It has a clean back with curved edges, with a reflective stripe running horizontally across the cameras to give the device more character.
Samsung’s brand has always been strong enough that the company didn’t need to take design risks to spark consumer interest. A riskier design might be exactly what the Galaxy S10 series needs to regain the ground the S9 lost.
Samsung is among the few companies still including the headphone jack in their smartphones. I hope that won’t change with the Galaxy S10.
Samsung should add features to the Galaxy S10, not remove them.
A headphone jack is still essential for a lot of people — I wouldn’t buy a phone without it. Sure, you can use Bluetooth or USB Type-C headphones to listen to music, but these are far from perfect. Bluetooth headphones don’t always offer the same audio quality as wired ones, and USB Type-C headphones can’t be used when you’re charging your smartphone (same goes for using a dongle).
Lack of the headphone jack is a deal breaker for many, so Samsung should avoid going down that road. To increase sales, the tech giant has to add features to its upcoming devices, not remove them.
These are the top six things I want to see on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, but a few others come to mind as well. Dual front-facing speakers would make for an even better audio experience. The Pixel 2 XL has them despite its thin edges above and below the display, so we know it can be done.
Lowering the price would also be fantastic, though I doubt it will happen. Samsung has increased the prices of its flagships with each new release, so the best we can hope for is that it doesn’t do it again.
Do you agree or disagree with my list? Let me know in the comments!