Samsung's 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 model being developed under the codename 'Beyond X' will utilize LiDAR-based time-of-flight (ToF) camera sensors for both its primary and selfie shooters, one known industry insider from China said earlier today. The technology in question is ordinarily found in self-driving vehicles and is used to determine distance based on reflections and the known speed of light. Summarily, it measures the time taken for a 'subject' to be illuminated from the activation of a light source in order to gauge distance. That can be discovered using either a laser or an LED. In the case of this smartphone, that would most likely be used in tandem with more typical sensors to improve the distance and depth accuracy in order to enable better photos than its counterparts.
Background: Reports have leaked out dozens of times over the past several months and often from multiple different sources to indicate that a total of four Samsung Galaxy S10 models will be released. The model in question with the latest rumor represents the uppermost premium variant of that, shipping in the largest size, with the most advanced technologies on board. The tweet also relays a few other details about the handset. None of those are unheard of at this point but the most notable is the apparent confirmation of previous predictions that the handset would only be sold in the US and South Korea. Those will reportedly be sold under the model designations SM-G977U and SM-G977N, using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset and optional add-on Snapdragon X50 modem module. Other world regions may or may not still see the handset become available but that will largely be dependent on Samsung. As is always the case with Galaxy-branded flagships, other global regions will probably feature the newest in-house Exynos SoC instead.
Rumors surrounding the new handset have coalesced around several other expected specifications and features. To begin with, the 6.7-inch Beyond X is predicted to ship with an almost unbelievable 12GB RAM and 1TB of storage. That would equate to around 3-times the amount of RAM speculated in the flat-paneled 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite variant expected to represent the budget entry model. It would also be double that of the standard infinity display-enabled 6.1-inch Galaxy S10 and 4GB more than the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy S10+. Comparisons on the storage front will be even more extreme if the rumors bear out, with that budget model shipping with just 64GB. Pricing has been rumored to match up with those extremes as well, with estimates placing the cost of a new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G model at over $1,700.
Impact: Using a technology categorized as LiDAR in conjunction with only the most expensive speculated model of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 flagship could make sense. That's mostly due to the number of cameras it is expected to have. The 'cheaper' models will ship with either a total of three or four sensors but Samsung's Beyond X is thought to have six. That would be two forward-facing sensors coupled with a quad-camera on the back. Other handsets have already shown up from other OEMs with as many cameras built in but ToF sensors could feasibly lead to obvious differences in terms of focus speed and the accuracy of depth perception as well as better management of those aspects across all built-in sensors.