Samsung Begins Galaxy S10 Firmware Testing, Model Numbers Leak

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In short: Samsung started testing a custom implementation of Android 9 Pie meant to be pre-installed on Galaxy S10-series devices, with the move leading to three model numbers leaking online – SM-G970F, SM-G73F, and SM-G975F. The SM-G70F and SM-G975F are expected to launch as the direct successors to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, respectively, whereas not many details about the SM-G973F are yet available, though the handset is said to feature the same 5.8-inch display panel found on the basic model. The largest device is rumored to be sporting a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED panel and five cameras in total – three on the back and two on the front.

Background: A known industry insider leaked four Galaxy S10 codenames earlier this week, reiterating one previous report about the series consisting of four devices, not accounting for variations of the thereof based on memory and chip configurations. Besides the three handsets whose model numbers emerged online earlier today, the product family will also consist of a special variant of the Galaxy S10 Plus featuring 5G capabilities, though that particular device may not be available outside of Samsung's home country given how next-generation networks aren't expected to be offering 5G coverage prior to 2020, meaning consumers in most parts of the world would have little reason to pay extra for the very best model. The Galaxy S10 series is expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2019, most likely at the next iteration of Barcelona, Spain-based MWC.

Impact: Between four Galaxy S10 models, a foldable handset, and the Galaxy Note 9 series, consumers will be presented with a record-high number of Samsung made flagships next year. How that approach pays off for the company in the long term remains to be seen, especially given how the Galaxy S series already showed some signs of losing momentum over the course of this year, as per Samsung's own admission.

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