Samsung is taking giant strides with its latest collection of Galaxy S10 smartphones which were announced Wednesday at its ” Unpacked” press event held in San Francisco.
This development comes after a period of slow sales growth due to the similarities between the S9 models and the Galaxy S8 lineup – the phone maker believes that with cutting edge specs, consumers will swap existing phones for the latest variants.
The Galaxy Fold
The press conference began with the debut of the Galaxy Fold, a 4.6-inch smartphone that morphs into a 7.3-inch tablet. This new device boasts of Samsung’s anticipated Infinity Flex display and a slightly hidden hinge system. This flagship product will be available to consumers from April 26. The device costs $1,980.
According to CNNBusiness, a Samsung exec said “We are creating a new dimension for your phone and your life,” he further added that “It doesn’t even define a new category; it defies a new category.”
The Galaxy Fold comes in silver, black, green and blue and supports three apps at the same time. You can watch a movie, check Google Maps and text simultaneously.
Buyers who love big screens, for gaming or the means to have more web pages in a single spot might find this idea attractive. Previously, Samsung has shown critics the interest in larger screen smartphones with the favourable outcome of its Galaxy Note line.
However, the tech giant will have the task of persuading developers to create apps for foldable devices, and the ensuing consumer demand might not be enough to encourage such action looking at the cost.
The Galaxy S10 Lineup
The event also featured updated editions of its highest selling Galaxy S smartphone. The innovative luxury device comes as four variants: the 5.8 inch S10e ($749); the 6.1 inch S10 ($899); the 6.4 inches S10 5G (details concerning pricing not announced).
A curved quad HD+ AMOLED screen graces the front panels of the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10 5G devices while the S10e has a full HD+ flat screen.
Samsung claims that the AMOLED display will offer better graphics and reduce blue light emissions to help reduce eye strain.
Furthermore, the three flagship variants feature an “ultrasonic fingerprint reader” which accompanies its Face Unlock feature but offers more security. According to Samsung, this spec takes pictures of your fingerprints and uses machine-learning algorithms to read 3D fingerprints via ultrasonic sound waves. The company claims the fingerprint data is stored on the phone itself. The lower end S10e has a capacitive fingerprint scanner on the edge of the smartphone instead.
With this lineup, Samsung has taken massive steps to offer better cameras. For one, the Galaxy S10 5G sports a sextet camera assembly which consists of two front cameras with 3D depth lens and four rear cameras with a wide, telephoto and another 3D depth lens.
The S10 and S10+ have the same specs without the 3D depth lens on the rear panel. But the S10e supports a single selfie snapper and dual rear cameras in wide and ultra-wide lens.
Samsung claims that its new devices come with software that helps the camera quickly identify what’s in the shot and offer ideas for better framing.
As from today, the four models will be available for pre-order on Thursday while shipments will begin on March 3. They also start at 128GB and rise in cost. Buyers in the US can fetch these phones in four colours namely black, white, blue and pink. More colour options are available globally.
The S10 5G: Will it Meet its Full Potential?
The S10 5G comes as the first accepted device to support the superfast 5G networks later in the year. This action can make Samsung a leader in emerging 5G markets such as China, South Korea, and China. A worthy achievement as Apple does not have a 5G iPhone until the final quarter of next year.
However, as the 5G network is still in its early stages, it can hinder the new smartphones real abilities.
“Some carriers have aggressive launch dates, but full-scale coverage, like we currently have with 4G, is years away,” Canalys exec, Ben Stanton told CNN Business. “Cellular waves needed for 5G do not travel as far as with 4G and 3G, and it will take time for carriers to build a sufficiently dense network of infrastructure.”
However, as telecommunication companies intend to deploy 5G to a certain level, smartphone makers will need to have 5G as a base feature, instead of an additional unique model of their 4G phones, Stanton further said.
The 5G edition has a massive 6.4 inches which the company attributes to several design factors will be launched on major carriers in the second quarter but will be first restricted to Verizon.
According to Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, “Although volume expectations will be relatively limited initially, having a foothold at the beginning of 5G deployment will be important to Samsung’s brand and being part of the 5G journey with the carriers, so it can learn as much as possible about this new technology and make continuous improvements with iterative devices.”
The new S10 lineup will study your habits during use. For example, it will detect you use a map app and access Netflix in the evening and preload these apps in the background to cut loading times. It will also close them when you are finished to prevent battery drain.
The company claims that this concept will enhance battery life by 24 hours on a single charge which translates into having enough juice to share with other devices.
But the ground-breaking feature of this lineup is the ability to charge other phones (including other Android phones and iPhones) by placing it on any S10 product. However, the owner of the S10 phone needs to approve this feature to prevent unauthorized charging. As soon as the host phone reaches below 30%, the charging function stops.
Samsung also announced its wireless Galaxy buds which can be charged by placing them on any Galaxy S10 screen. The earbuds cost $128 however if you reorder, you can get them for free.
Targeted Consumers of the S10
This latest lineup’s enhanced cameras and extended battery capacity should grab the attention of the average smartphone user. However, analysts are not sure of the 5G although they believe it’s a needed move in the phone industry.
The “Unpacked” event saw the launch of two new smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch Active, and Galaxy Fit. These wearables cost $199 and $99 respectively.
The Watch Active is water resistant and checks your blood pressure. It also comes with a breathing app that supports stress control and sleep tracking. Alternatively, the Fit comes with trimmed down features which monitor heart rate and steps (like a regular fitness tracker). This watch can work for a week on a single charge.