Update: January 14, 2019 (05:50 PM ET): The article below has been updated with the recently leaked Galaxy S20 Plus hands-on video and its accompanying specs.
Read on for all the details!
Original Article: December 5, 2019 (10:37 AM ET): We’re coming up fast on Samsung Unpacked 2020. It will take place on February 11, a few weeks before Mobile World Congress 2020, and we fully expect Samsung to announce the Galaxy S20 series at this event in San Francisco.
So far, we’ve seen more than a few rumors pertaining to the S20 lineup, including professional renders and leaked photos of what the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra, and/or Galaxy S20e could look like. We also have a few rumors related to the S11/S20 name change as well as possible specs, and some of the internals of the device we can infer based on past models.
For the most up-to-date and well-rounded look at what we will very likely see from the Galaxy S20 family, continue on below! As soon as we know more information about the Samsung Galaxy S20 series’ price, specs, design, and other features, we will update this post.
Samsung Galaxy S20 series: Name and launch date
Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy S10 series, and we initially expected 2020’s flagship devices to tout the Samsung Galaxy S11 series title.
Well, an initial rumor from frequent tipster Ice Universe saying the Galaxy S11 could instead be known as the Galaxy S20 was recently confirmed during a secret Samsung-led meeting at CES 2020. Ice Universe claimed that next year marks a “new beginning” for Samsung and the brand, and this appears to be the case.
Huawei did a similar thing with its own flagships, jumping from the P10 to the P20 and the Mate 10 to the Mate 20, so it’s not unheard of for a name change this significant to be possible. Samsung also skipped a device version once when it jumped from the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in an effort to keep the S-series and Note series in sync.
As for the launch date of the Galaxy S20 series, we expect Samsung to announce the devices February 11 in San Francisco at Unpacked 2020. The company didn’t say for certain it will unveil the devices at the event, but we think it’s safe to assume this will be the case.
Thanks to a few leaked photos from XDA Developers, we are pretty confident we know what the Galaxy S20 Plus 5G will look like. For the most part, these pictures look quite similar to the leaked renders we got our hands on earlier thanks to reliable leaker @OnLeaks.
According to these pictures and previously leaked renders, you can expect four major design changes with every device in the 2020 Galaxy S lineup:
- A rectangular rear camera module: The center-aligned, horizontally configured camera module featured on the Samsung Galaxy S10 family likely won’t carry over to the S20 group. Instead, a vertically aligned, left-of-center rectangular module will likely be the format.
- A single, centered punch-hole selfie camera: The right-aligned punch-hole cameras in the displays of the Galaxy S10 family likely won’t carry over to the S20 line, either. Instead, the S20 line could adopt the look of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 line and integrate a single, centered punch-hole camera.
- No Bixby button: The renders we’ve seen so far suggest that all the physical buttons of the Galaxy S20 family will be on the right side of the device: a power button and a volume rocker. The Bixby button that usually appears on the left seems to have been axed.
- No headphone jack: From what we know so far, the Galaxy S20 family will be the first entries in Samsung’s much-loved “S” line without 3.5mm headphone jacks.
With those big changes out of the way, let’s take a look at each of the devices in the Galaxy S20 family and what their renders tell us.
Samsung Galaxy S20e or Galaxy S20
Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything about the S20 series’ follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy S10e in a while, and rumors are circulating that Samsung won’t even release this device at all. If it does, we expect the Galaxy S20e to be the cheapest entry in the S20 family.
It will likely cut a few corners design-wise to keep the price down as compared to the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. However, the 2020 entries in the Galaxy S family could all be more similar to each other than we saw in the 2019 models.
One of the more significant changes that the renders above suggest is that the Galaxy S20e could have a curved display. The Galaxy S10e was the only device in the S10 lineup with a flat display, but it appears Samsung is going all-in on curves this time around, even they will be less prominent than last year.
Another significant potential change is the removal of a physical, side-mounted fingerprint scanner. These renders don’t depict the sensor we found on the Galaxy S10e, suggesting the S20e could have an in-display fingerprint sensor, as featured on the S10 and S10 Plus. It’s also possible that the S20e will have an optical fingerprint scanner rather than the ultrasonic scanners we expect in the higher-end models.
Keep in mind, that it’s possible that the renders above are not for the Galaxy S20e, but rather for the vanilla Galaxy S20. If that were true, the renders below would be for the Galaxy S20 Plus and the renders below that would be for the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S20 renders look very similar to the Galaxy S20e. The Galaxy S20 will likely be slightly bigger and feature a more advanced rear camera system.
Interestingly, Samsung appears to be dialing back on the curved display with the Galaxy S20. The curve of the Galaxy S20 as depicted in these renders is less extreme than the display we saw on the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10 5G.
Once again, it’s possible the renders above are for the Galaxy S20 Plus, not the vanilla Galaxy S20. This could be due to the supposed existence of an “Ultra” variant in the series and the possible elimination of the “e” variant.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus or Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus appears to be much the same as the Galaxy S20 with a less-curved display when compared to the S10 Plus. However, the leaked S20 Plus renders reveal one major difference from the S20 and S20e: the alignment of the lenses in the rear camera module. The lenses on both the S20 and S20e appear to be arranged in a symmetrical and organized fashion, while the lenses on the S20 Plus appear scattered around for no apparent reason.
Sometime after those images leaked, a few new renders popped up that suggest the previously leaked renders are incorrect.
The first renders to dispute the original batch come again from Ice Universe. See for yourself below:
This is the real Galaxy S11+ camera. On the left is the ultra-wide-angle, main camera, and periscope zoom lens. I don’t know the exact distribution on the right. It is expected to include flash and ToF. pic.twitter.com/98exPMSqgf
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 16, 2019
Shortly after that image leaked, @OnLeaks — the source of the original renders — updated his own information. He tweeted out this new version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus camera module which seems much more realistic:
Next up, the #GalaxyS11Plus…😏
It appears the renders I shared one month ago were based upon a first stage prototype which had different rear camera layout.
Here an updated render based upon the latest prototype I got and which depict what I assume is the final configuration… pic.twitter.com/IhUWdQh9JN
— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) December 27, 2019
XDA‘s recently leaked Galaxy S20 Plus 5G photos and hands-on video back this updated concept up, so it is likely we will see symmetrically arranged camera sensors on the S20 Plus. The video also reveals more than just the rear camera setup, including a center-aligned selfie camera cutout, the existence of an in-display fingerprint sensor, and the omission of the headphone jack.
As far as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is concerned, we aren’t exactly sure how the design will differ from the S20 Plus. We first caught wind of it in a leaked list of all the official case options for the Galaxy S20 series. We now believe Samsung will most likely include an Ultra variant in this year’s S20 flagship lineup thanks to the rebranding information shared in secret during CES 2020.
We will add more information about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra’s design as soon as we know more about the device. Keep in mind, though, that the renders above could be the Galaxy S20 Ultra if we assume that the Galaxy S20e is not coming out.
Samsung Galaxy S20: Specs
Although we are still a ways away from next month’s Samsung Galaxy S20 announcement date, we can make some solid guesses as to some of the specs in the devices. We can do this simply by examining previous models as well as focusing on Samsung’s most recent flagship, the Galaxy Note 10.
For example, the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset in the US versions of the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, and S20e is pretty much a given. It’s been a long time since a Galaxy S device wasn’t among the first to market with Qualcomm’s latest mobile chip, and we see no reason to think that 2020 will be any different. It’s expected that European models and a few other variants will sport the Exynos 990 chipset.
It's basically a given that every Galaxy S20 device will launch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset in the US.
We can also infer that no device in the Galaxy S20 lineup will have less than 6GB of RAM. The only device in the S10 lineup with 6GB of RAM was the 128GB version of the S10e, with every other S10 smartphone having 8GB or more. It’s very possible even the S20e will start with 8GB of RAM, although sticking with 6GB is more likely so Samsung can keep the price down.
The latest rumors even suggest that next year’s lineup could come with some hefty battery upgrades. Previously, the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus were rumored to tout 4,500mAh and 5,000mAh battery capacities, respectively. Recent leaks suggest the Galaxy S20 Plus will come with a 4,500mAh. We hope the former plays out since that would mean the Galaxy S20 Plus would have the biggest battery Samsung has ever put into a flagship, while the standard Galaxy S20 would sport a bigger battery than both the S10 and Note 10.
Thanks to some recently leaked information shared on Twitter by XDA‘s Max Weinbach, we believe the 5G variant of the S20 Plus (or Ultra) will rock that coveted meaty 5,000mAh battery previously rumored. The Galaxy S20 Plus 5G is also expected to come with an SD card slot, as much as 1TB of internal storage, and up to 16GB of RAM.
The S20 Ultra 5G is going to keep the SD Card slot. Support for up to 1TB.
It will also be available in 128GB/256GB/512GB and have a 12GB and 16GB RAM option.
108MP main, 48MP 10x optical, 12MP ultra wide.
5000 mAh battery with 45W option fast charge. 0 to 100% in 74 min.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) January 13, 2020
The standard Galaxy S20 Plus should also tout some impressive specs, including a 20:9 1,440p display, 11GB of RAM (likely to be marketed as 12GB), 128GB of storage, and the previously mentioned 4,500mAh battery. Meanwhile, we haven’t heard anything about the battery on the S20e, except that it might support 25W fast charging. This would be a leap from the S10e’s 15W fast charging.
These battery upgrades would especially be a welcome addition since we also suspect the Galaxy S20 series will feature 120Hz high refresh rate displays thanks to a tip from SamMobile, citing “highly reliable sources.” It’s unclear if all phones would receive the refresh rate upgrade or if it would be limited to certain models.
Unfortunately, it looks like in order to take advantage of the 120Hz display, these devices will need to be set at 1080p. Any higher resolutions may be locked at 60Hz. At least that appears to be the case for the Galaxy S20 Plus.
It’s also pretty much a given that the Galaxy S20 family will feature wireless charging, an IP68 rating against water and dust, and in-display fingerprint sensors. These are all features included with the S10 and Note 10 lineups (save the S10e in the case of the latter) and there’s nothing in the rumors we’ve heard to suggest Samsung will change them.
Samsung’s Android skin, known as One UI, will also likely be present. We already have a good idea of what One UI 2.0 looks like and how it works, so you can read more about what kinds of software features you’ll see on the devices in our roundup.
One of the star features of any Galaxy S device is the camera. Although we can’t confirm the full camera features list yet, we’ve heard a few rumors that seem very solid. For instance, we know that Samsung has a 108MP camera sensor ready to go, and Max Weinbach from XDA claims the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will sport that 108MP sensor, with 48MP 10x optical and 12MP ultra-wide sensors present as well.
Tipster Ice Universe has suggested that the 108MP sensor on the Galaxy S20 series might be different from the one on the Mi Note 10. They say that Samsung could use a custom sensor with superior quality when compared to the ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor used on the Xiaomi phone.
Ice Universe also claims that the camera on the S20 series will use nine-in-one pixel binning over four-in-one used by everyone else in the industry. The tipster notes that the 108MP camera will produce pixel-binned images equivalent to a 12MP 2.4-micron pixel camera. Larger pixels capture more light and result in better low-light images. So Samsung’s 108MP camera might be the best in the industry when it’s released.
Unfortunately, it looks like only the Galaxy S20 Ultra variants will feature that ultra-high megapixel sensor. Recent Galaxy S20 Plus camera specs leaks reveal the 108MP camera will most likely be absent from the device, though it does look like it will come with a host of cool features.
The Galaxy S20 Plus should feature a Sony IMX 555 12MP 1.8μm primary sensor, a 48MP Samsung ISOCell S5KGW2 secondary sensor, a Samsung ISOCell S5K2LA tertiary sensor, an unknown quarternary camera sensor, and the same 10MP front-facing sensor on the Galaxy S10 and Note 10. All of these cameras come together to enable features like zoom-in mic, smart selfie angle, single take photo, and a pro video mode, though we don’t have any idea on whether Samsung’s impressive Director’s View will actually make it to the Galaxy S20 devices or not.
We’re also pretty sure the Galaxy S20 series will be capable of recording 8K video. The Exynos 990 processor — which will likely power some Galaxy S20 devices released outside of the United States — is capable of 8K video recording and so is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. However, the 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX tops out at 6K/30fps video recording so if Samsung will offer 8K recording, it’s possible that the company will use the rumored custom sensor instead.
If even half of these rumors are true, the Galaxy S20 series will be photography and videography monsters.
Some patent filings also suggest that the higher-end versions of the Galaxy S20 could feature 5x optical zoom paired with optical image stabilization (OIS). Additionally, there’s a rumor that the telephoto lens included with all three of the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones could feature a 48MP resolution.
If all of these camera features do land on the Galaxy S20 series, they will be photography and videography monsters.
Outside of the camera, there are also rumors that the Samsung Galaxy S20 series will feature a 120Hz display refresh rate. This would one-up the 90Hz display refresh rates on 2019 flagships such as the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Google Pixel 4.
Finally, we can also expect Samsung to continue to offer 5G and 4G models of the devices separately. Earlier on in the rumor cycle, we expected Samsung to push out only 5G-capable versions of all the S20 devices aside from the S20e, but those hopes were dashed. Even the S20e is now rumored to sport 5G. You’ll more than likely need to choose whether you want a 4G model or spend the extra cash to get a 5G model.
One obstacle to a 4G model is Qualcomm, as its Snapdragon 865 is bundled with a 5G modem as a package deal. That means Samsung might have to disable the 5G functionality in LTE devices with the Qualcomm chip, use the Exynos 990 for 4G variants, or work out a deal with Qualcomm to bundle legacy LTE modems.
On a different note, we also got our hands on some leaked information from UK online retailer MobileFun which claims to have a list of all the official case options for the Galaxy S20 series. Thanks to this list, we expect Samsung will include various case color options including green, red, gray, and sky blue and will introduce a new textile option similar to the fabric cases for the Pixel phones.
Samsung Galaxy S20: Release date and price
The Samsung Galaxy S20 release date will almost certainly be in the latter half of February 2020. As we previously mentioned, Samsung will likely reveal the devices in full at the Unpacked 2020 event February 11 and then release the devices online and in stores sometime after that.
As far as pricing goes, it is very unlikely that Samsung will offer lower or even the same pricing as compared to the Galaxy S10 lineup. With the spec and feature rumors laid out above, it is far more likely that these devices will be even more expensive than the Galaxy S10 family.
For the sake of comparison, here are the launch prices for the Galaxy S10 devices:
- Samsung Galaxy S10e – $749.99 (6GB/128GB), $849.99 (8GB/256GB)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 – $899.99 (8GB/128GB), $1149.99 (8GB/512GB)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – $999.99 (8GB/128GB), $1249.99 (8GB/512GB), $1599.99 (12GB/1TB)
It’s totally possible Samsung will defy expectations and keep pricing for the S20 lineup the same as those prices above, but you should probably anticipate higher pricing.
In terms of availability, a report from a Korean publication notes that Samsung might release the Snapdragon 865 version of the S20 phones in more countries. Samsung’s home market, Korea, is expected to join North America, China, and Japan in getting a Galaxy S-series flagship with a Snapdragon processor. The report notes that Samsung might bring Snapdragon variants to more regions, with the exception of Europe.
That’s all we’ve got when it comes to rumors related to the Samsung Galaxy S20 release date, specs, features, and pricing. Be sure to bookmark this page as we will update it often with new rumors as they pop up.