When all is said and done, 2018 will be a year Samsung smartphone fans will be happy to put behind them. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are two of the best flagship handsets of the year so far, but they’re also two of the most forgettable phone that have been released in the past few years. They’re “S” upgrades compared to last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+, and no one wants to pay almost $1,000 for an “S” upgrade from Samsung. Back when Apple used to release “S” models every other year, people had no choice but to buy them if they wanted a flagship iOS phone. Meanwhile, Samsung has plenty of competition in the Android phone market.
The rest of 2018 isn’t looking any better for Samsung. Like the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be another boring update that’s basically a Galaxy Note 8 with a specs bump. And as is also the case with the S9 and S9+, sales are expected to be quite disappointing. Fortunately, next year is shaping up to be an entirely different story at the high end of Samsung’s smartphone lineup, which should include the most innovative new smartphone of 2019.
Samsung’s first flagship smartphone launch of the year next year could come as early as CES 2019 at the beginning of July. And if everything we’ve been hearing lately pans out, it’s going to be one of the most exciting new phones we’ve seen in a long time.
The Galaxy S10 is shaping up to right all of the Galaxy S9’s wrongs. The phone will reportedly feature a refreshed design with narrower bezels above and below the upgraded Infinity screen. That new Super AMOLED display should also house an optical fingerprint sensor embedded in the screen itself, so Samsung will no longer need to include one on the back of the phone, which is of course the worst possible position for a fingerprint sensor. On top of all that, the Galaxy S10 will also see big performance improvements courtesy of not just next-generation Exynos and Snapdragon processors, but also upgraded components like next-gen RAM and flash storage chips.
But the reasons Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is expected to launch early may be even more intriguing than the phone itself.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ were released in April 2017 and the Galaxy S9 and S9+ hit store shelves in March of this year. So why would Samsung announce the Galaxy S10 in early January and then release it soon after? No, it’s not because Galaxy S9 sales have been awful, though that certainly may be a piece of the puzzle. According to reports from sources that are often reliable, Samsung is making room for a new flagship phone series that will be released between next year’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagship phones.
That’s right, it looks like Samsung will finally make good on its promise from two years ago and release a foldable smartphone that’s almost all screen on the inside. Recent reports have suggested that the upcoming Galaxy X will feature two inner AMOLED displays that form a single screen with no seam between them when the device is folded open. When closed, those two displays apparently sit face to face and a third screen on the outside of the phone remains visible.
It would be an intriguing design indeed, essentially allowing users to carry a 7.5-inch tablet that fits comfortably in any pocket or purse. If all of these recent reports pan out, the Galaxy X should end up being the most innovative new smartphone of the year in 2019… but that innovation will come at a price.
Earlier this week, we covered a report out of South Korea stating that the Galaxy X could end up costing nearly $2,000 when it’s released next year. Other sites are finally catching wind of that report now and it’s causing quite a stir, so we wanted to revisit it. According to rumblings we’ve seen around the web and feedback we’ve received directly via email, people seem quite unhappy that the phone will be so pricey, even if it does end up being as impressive as rumors thus far have suggested.
Are people willing to buy a foldable smartphone from Samsung that costs twice as much as a normal flagship smartphone, even if it is the most innovative phone of the year? There’s already some pushback from savvy Android fans, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the market responds next year.