Samsung will be launching both a 5G variant of its upcoming Galaxy S10 flagship and its new folding smartphone – expected to be marketed as the Samsung Galaxy F – as early as March, according to recent reports citing industry insiders. The less expensive, 4G-only version of the Samsung Galaxy S10, meanwhile, will launch in February. Moreover, the Galaxy F handset will get an early preview showing during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, the sources claim, which is currently scheduled to take place on from February 25 through February 28. The folding handset is also expected to cost users an exorbitant $1,770 on average at launch, by the most current insider estimates.
Background: The imminent launch of any one of those handsets isn’t necessarily surprising since each has been subject to a huge number of leaks and rumors for several months now. Beginning with the Samsung Galaxy S10, the current speculation is that the flagship will ship in a total of four varieties to cater to a wider audience in terms of price but that each will be available with either an Exynos or Snapdragon SoC. Following the companies trends over the years, the latter of those – predicted to be a neural processor-enabled Snapdragon 8155 – will most likely be available only in select markets such as the US. The other variation is expected to feature a brand new Exynos 9280 SoC with two neural processing units similar to HiSilicon’s Kirin 980 chipset. No specs for either is currently officially available. Aside from that, the four versions will differ by quite a bit, with one version meant to occupy a much lower price bracket achieved by incorporating a flat display instead of an ‘edge’ panel and just 4GB RAM. Memory goes up from there through more traditionally designed standard and ‘Plus’ variations at 6GB and 8GB. Finally, a 5G model is also expected to be made available with as much as 12GB RAM rumored.
The Samsung Galaxy F, meanwhile, won’t come with 5G connectivity, according to the most recent reports but will have at least one feature that no other device does. Namely, that’s a new “Infinity Flex” display panel that can be used in either a “Main Display” or “Cover Display” mode, which measure either 7.3-inches or 4.58-inches respectively. The smaller panel is used when the flexible smartphone is folded down and has an expected resolution of 840 x 1960 at a 21:9 aspect ratio while the larger 7.3-inch panel would bump that up to 1536 x 2152 and 4.2:3. In either case, that smartphone is expected to have a heavily modified variation of Android OS to better suit its folding nature and a display density of 420 dpi. Moreover, the company is expected to artificially limit the number of Samsung Galaxy F handsets available worldwide to just one million units.
Impact: The decision to show off the Samsung Galaxy F just ahead of the official launch is likely intended to help the company build hype to move more units when it goes up for pre-order. That’s not an uncommon practice for any company in the industry, let alone Samsung, so the timeline here isn’t necessarily out of order or unexpected by any stretch of the imagination. However, if the newly revealed pricing is accurate then even the decision to launch with a just million units available could be too many. For starters, that’s nearly double the cost of the company’s other flagships and there haven’t been any leaks to indicate its other specs would make that seem more reasonable. The Samsung Galaxy F, though novel, is also likely to remain a very niche product, to begin with, due to its ability to be folded in half.