February 22, 2019
Samsung introduced four new Galaxy phones this week, one of which will work on 5G networks and three of which will have somewhat larger screens and more sophisticated camera systems. The company is also teasing a fifth device that is foldable. With regard to larger sizes, Samsung is offering the S10 and S10 Plus, with 6.1-inch and 6.4-inch displays respectively, compared to the S9 and S9 Plus’ screen sizes of 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches. Larger screen size was achieved without enlarging the devices’ body sizes.
The New York Times reports that the Galaxy S10 5G, which doesn’t yet have a revealed price, will “have a jumbo 6.7-inch screen.” The Galaxy S10E, priced at $750 and up, will sport a 5.8-inch screen in a body smaller than the S9s. The S10 is priced at $900 and the S10 Plus at $1,000.
With regard to the Galaxy Fold, priced at $1,980 and available in April, Samsung explained that the device has two screens, a smaller one and a larger one, with “a hinge in the middle containing multiple interlocking gears.” The folded up phone displays a 4.6-inch viewable screen, but when it is unfolded, the 7.3-inch display is “the size of a tablet screen.”
According to Samsung, the company is working “with Google, YouTube and others to develop apps that seamlessly transition” between the folded and unfolded mode. A foldable phone will, in principle, give users the best features of a tablet with the more compact size of a smartphone. Huawei has also posted an image on Twitter of its version of a foldable phone, to be debuted at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus “both include a triple camera system arranged horizontally on the back of the phone,” with the left lens for zooming, the middle lens as the main camera, and the right lens ultra-wide for capturing landscapes and big groups. The Galaxy S10 5G will provide a fourth camera for depth sensing and, thus, augmented reality applications.
Wired adds more details about the Samsung’s foldable phone, including that its larger screen, the so-called Infinity Flex, is not made of glass but rather a “plasticky polymer that Samsung has previously said can withstand hundreds of thousands of openings and closings.” Samsung also revealed that it offers a “new type of hinge system, hidden between the displays, that can withstand the strain” and relies on two batteries, one on each side, as well as “a 7-nanometer processor, a whopping 12 gigabytes of RAM, and 512 gigabytes of onboard storage.”
With regard to its software, it offers “three-app multitasking, which one should expect from a tablet these days” as well as “app continuity,” which lets the user transition from the small screen experience to the larger screen.
Now it’s up to developers to create “smartphone experiences” applicable to the folding format; Google, WhatsApp, Microsoft Office, and Spotify have already said they will, and “Android officially released foldable-phone guidelines in November.” “We know that you’ll use it in ways that we haven’t even imagined yet,” said Samsung senior vice president of product marketing Justin Denison.
Elsewhere, Wired describes the entire new family of Galaxy phones, Galaxy Buds, and two new smartwatches.