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Galaxy S11’s signature features just leaked, and they’re huge upgrades

Published Dec 6th, 2019 6:50AM EST
Galaxy S11 Plus
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Samsung hasn’t made too much of an effort to keep its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices secret, and we knew everything about the latest models well ahead of the official press conference. Galaxy S and Note leaks were never as bad as what happened with Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, but they certainly answered most of our questions. Fast-forward to early December 2019, and we already know a bunch of things about the Galaxy S11 series that will be unveiled in some three months at the earliest. Recent leaks showed the phone’s design and mentioned several of the phones’ hardware. Nothing could be confirmed, of course, no matter how trusted the sources might be. But we now have two brand new reports that mention the phone’s key specs. And, thanks to a new development, we have every reason to believe they’re the real deal.

That development, of course, is Qualcomm’s massive press event from Hawaii this week, where the chipmaker made several announcements. The company unveiled plenty of new hardware that will power next year’s smartphones and laptops, including its next-gen flagship processor. The Snapdragon 865 will be found inside several high-end Android handsets next year, from the upcoming Galaxy S11 that launches in February all the way through October when the Pixel 5 launches.

Qualcomm revealed all the Snapdragon 865 specs at the event, which, in turn, tease the kind of signature features 2020 Android flagships might offer. The 7nm EUV chip will be faster and more efficient than the Snapdragon 855. It’ll support LPDDR5 RAM, and it’ll be paired with a new 7nm 5G modem on future 5G devices. The 865 will also support screen with refresh rates of up to 144Hz, as well as camera sensors of up to 200-megapixels and 8K video.

This brings us to Bloomberg’s newest report that claims Samsung plans to fight against the iPhone with a “big camera overhaul.”

The report says the Galaxy S11 will have a 108-megapixel sensor for the primary camera, something we’ve heard from other leakers in the past. Samsung happens to have announced a few weeks ago that it’ll provide exactly 108-megapixel sensors to smartphone vendors.

The Galaxy S11 will also feature three additional sensors on the back, including an ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 5x optical zoom lens, according to people familiar with the matter. Also, the handset should feature a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor on the back, which measures depth and can help with portrait photography and augmented reality apps. It just so happens that recent Galaxy S11 renders suggested the phones will have complex camera systems on the back, featuring multiple lenses arranged in novel patterns,

The report notes that the high-resolution sensor and 5x zoom camera — which might be of the periscope variety — will be added to the Galaxy Fold clamshell phone supposed to be unveiled in February, alongside the Galaxy S11.

Qualcomm’s new chip would support all these novel camera features.

Separately, known leakster Ice Universe posted an update on Twitter that seemingly confirms the massive battery of the Galaxy S11+. The phone will have a 5,000 mAh battery, which would be significantly bigger than the Galaxy S10+.

The added benefit of such a high-capacity battery would help Samsung power a 120Hz display, the leaker said. That’s something Ice noted time and again in the past, that the Galaxy S11 phones will have 90Hz or 120Hz screens.

What’s different, this time around, is that we know the Snapdragon 865 chip will support up to 144Hz refresh rates.

As for that battery, the Galaxy S11+ will probably support fast charging speeds of up to 27W, charging rates that happen to be supported by the new Snapdragon 865 processor.

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.