Samsung plans to offer at least one variation of its as-yet-unannounced Galaxy S10 smartphone with a ceramic back panel, according to a recent report SamMobile. No source for that information has been provided and details about which version of the device will include the option are scarce. The option will allegedly be available in two color configurations with buyers having the choice between either a white or black rear panel made from the material.
Background: Ceramic rear panels have previously shown up in several smartphones so the use of the material wouldn't be entirely surprising. Essential's PH-1 used ceramic alongside titanium and Xiaomi has built ceramic-backed handsets since at least 2016. Xiaomi's Mi MIX 3 is the most recent example, following the use of the substance in each of the gadget's predecessors. That flagship device shipped with the material in three colors including 'Onyx Black', 'Jade Green', and 'Sapphire Blue' as well as a special edition model that added a golden dragon to the back panel of the blue version. Aside from the rear panel's ceramic design, the front and edges were built from Gorilla Glass 5 and metal. It isn't unlikely that Samsung will follow a similar pattern with its own devices if it does include the material in its Galaxy S10 design.
As for the Samsung Galaxy S10 itself, four variations of the handset are currently expected to be announced beginning in February. Each of the devices have been rumored to feature an in-house Exynos 9280 SoC enhanced by dual-neural processing nodes. Leaks have also suggested that each will be presented in Black, White, Green, Silver / Gray, and Pink color options but that none of them will be too similar either. The first three smartphones are said to be under development with the codenames 'Beyond 0', 'Beyond 1', and 'Beyond 2'. Beyond 0 will represent the most affordable entry with a flat 5.8-inch display and only 4GB RAM. The remaining two of those devices will ship with 6GB and 8GB of RAM, respectively. Those will also maintain the curved design language used by their predecessors. The least expensive of those will feature a dual-camera array while the top-tier models have been speculated with three cameras on the back panel.
The final version of the device is predicted to be 5G-enabled and the most expensive at $1,770. Codenamed 'Beyond X', that will launch following the above-mentioned variants when and where next-generation networks have been built out to support the capability. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will also set itself above its counterparts with its six cameras. Two of those are expected to be placed on the front for enhanced selfie photos while the remaining four will be on the back. Meanwhile, the device's RAM capacity will reportedly be bumped to 12GB and its display will measure 6.4-inches, according to the most recent leaks.
Impact: Ceramic is not the most sturdy material for use on the back panel of a smartphone. The process for creating and forming the substance is expensive and the final product has, in compositions used on previous smartphones, been prone to breaking fairly easily. In spite of that, Samsung could follow it's competitor's example with regard to how the material is used initially. As Samsung may choose to limit its first use of ceramics to the most expensive Galaxy S10 model or models as Xiaomi did when it introduced the material with its Mi 5 handset. While the material has a history of breaking when used in smartphones, Samsung may be using a more costly but reliable process and that could help justify the cost. If that pattern bears out, future Samsung Galaxy 'S' devices may also feature ceramic rear panels too, at a reduced price point.