There is no question whatsoever that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are among the best smartphones you can buy right now. The problem, it would seem, is that not enough people are buying them. Samsung has undoubtedly already sold millions of Galaxy S9 phones at this point, but we’ve seen countless insider reports claiming that sales have been well below expectations and that Samsung is disappointed as a result. Samsung’s most recent earnings report also didn’t do anything to change the narrative. While the company’s overall performance in the first quarter was stellar, Samsung’s smartphone business certainly wasn’t the star of the show. Instead, it’s Samsung’s component business that’s pulling in the lion’s share of the company’s profits right now.
Word from the rumor mill suggested that Samsung was working on a completely redesigned Galaxy S9, but it decided to scrap those plans and release an iterative update instead that looks just like the Galaxy S8 from last year. That decision seems to have hurt the company, because many people don’t view the S9 and S9+ as big upgrades compared to the previous-generation models. As a result, all eyes have turned to 2019, when Samsung is thought to have big plans for the fresh new Galaxy S10. And now, some of those plans may have just been revealed in a big leak.
South Korean financial news site The Bell has a stellar track record when it comes to revealing Samsung’s unannounced plans. On Thursday morning, The Bell issued a new report that focuses on the Galaxy S10, and it may be among the first to reveal key details about Samsung’s next-generation flagship Galaxy S phone.
According to the report, the Galaxy S10 bears the codename “Beyond” internally at Samsung. The South Korean company tends to use codenames that describe its goals for upcoming phones. For example, the Galaxy S8 was codenamed “Dream” because it was Samsung’s dream at the time to surpass Apple. Then this year’s Galaxy S9 was codenamed “Star” because Samsung thought it would be the star of the smartphone market in 2018. That second one apparently didn’t pan out.
The codename “Beyond” is supposedly a nod to the fact that the new Galaxy S10 will include capabilities that are beyond anything on the market right now. It’s still unclear what those capabilities might be, however. If current trends in the smartphone market are any indication, we can expect the phone to lean heavily on new AI features in addition to any big hardware changes Samsung has planned. This is just speculation at this point, but we can likely expect a somewhat significant design refresh for the Galaxy S10 considering how the S9 has performed so far.
As far as features go, The Bell covered two big ones in its report on Thursday. The first is an in-display fingerprint sensor, which fans have been clamoring for since last year. There are already some lesser-known phones with in-display sensors, but Samsung is expected to be the first company to release a widely available phone with this nifty feature. It’s still unclear if the Galaxy Note 9 or the Galaxy S10 will be the first in Samsung’s lineup to include an in-display fingerprint scanner, but it likely depends on how soon Samsung can overcome its current manufacturing issues with this novel new tech.
The second big feature mentioned in the report is a 3D sensing module, though The Bell is far less confident about this one. Samsung reportedly wants to include a more complex and secure 3D face scanning feature in the Galaxy S10, just like the Face ID feature Apple introduced on the iPhone X. The report says Samsung is working with Mantis Vision to develop the software that would be needed to enable a 3D face scanning feature in the Galaxy S10, but it’s still apparently unlikely that Samsung will be able to secure enough supply on the hardware side. As a result, the Galaxy S10 might not ship with 3D face scanning. Sorry, Samsung fans, but it looks like AR Emoji is doomed to be awful for at least another year.