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One reason to be excited about the Galaxy S10 even if you’re not going to buy it

Published Jan 22nd, 2019 6:50AM EST
Galaxy S10 X Specs
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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The Galaxy S10 phones are supposed to deliver a bunch of exciting features, especially when compared with their predecessors. We’ve got impressive Infinity-O screens that almost eliminate bezels, sophisticated in-display fingerprint sensors, multi-lens cameras, and better battery technology — that’s if all the recent rumors are to be believed. But there’s one other reason to get excited about the Galaxy S10, and it concerns a more boring detail, storage. A leak earlier this week revealed the purported prices for all Galaxy S10 versions, at least for Europe, showing in the process the various storage tiers that Samsung has supposedly chosen for the new phone.

Here’s that pricing setup, as leaked from Italy:

  • Galaxy S10 Lite 6GB RAM / 128GB storage: €779 ($885)
  • Galaxy S10 6GB RAM / 128GB storage: €929 ($1,056)
  • Galaxy S10 8GB RAM / 512GB storage: €1,179 ($1,340)
  • Galaxy S10+ 6GB RAM / 128GB storage: €1,049 ($1,192)
  • Galaxy S10+ 8GB RAM / 512GB storage: €1,299 ($1,477)
  • Galaxy S10+ 12GB RAM / 1TB storage: €1,600 ($1,819)

As you can easily see, the cheapest Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ models all ship with 128GB of storage on board. That means you won’t have to worry about 64GB of built-in flash data not meeting your needs when it comes to local storage. And yes, it’s very likely the phones will also have microSD support, as there’s no indication Samsung will drop expendable storage anytime soon.

If the rumor is accurate, then the Galaxy S10 will force competitors to reconsider base storage for their phones. Any vendor making high-end smartphones this year, including Apple, Google, and others, will have to deal with the fact that the cheapest Galaxy S10 versions have no less than 128GB of storage and act accordingly. Gone are the days when flagship phones shipped with just 16GB or 32GB of storage, but 2019 might make the 64GB storage tier forgotten. Yes, phones like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the OnePlus 6T do come with at least 128GB of storage on board. But Samsung does have a broader reach and may have a more significant impact on the industry. That’s because Huawei is still banned in the USA, and OnePlus is not quite able to compete with the big names in the business when it comes to sales. And if flagship handsets get more base storage, then mid-range devices should also get flash bumps later this year.

What’s even better, is that the age of 5G might force additional storage-related changes on phones. The Galaxy S10 X — which is the incredibly annoying name the 5G Galaxy S10 might get — will ship with 256GB of base storage, SamMobile said a few days ago. You might not think of yourself as a person who needs that much local storage on a phone, but 5G’s increased data speed could change your mind. You might find yourself downloading more content, and capturing more high-resolution photos and videos that you can quickly share online than before. And you’ll need speedy storage for that.

Again, if Samsung sets these precedents with its next flagship handsets, including the 5G models, competitors will soon be forced to do the same. Of all of them, it’ll be interesting to see what Apple and Google do next because iPhone and Pixel phones have one thing in common when it comes to storage: they don’t support microSD cards. The cheapest iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR have 64GB of flash memory. A recent rumor, meanwhile, said the Pixel 3 Lite would have just 32GB of storage.

The Galaxy S10 X is also expected to deliver other head-turning features, including a 6.7-inch OLED Infinity-O screen that’s going to be bigger than any other Galaxy S10 display, an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, up to four rear cameras, and a 5,000 mAh battery.

It’s unclear whether Samsung will unveil the 5G Galaxy S10 on February 20th or not, but reports do say that Korean carriers will launch this 5G phone by late March.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.