Could the Samsung Galaxy S11 really be the Android answer to Apple’s iPhone 11? Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming flagship smartphone.
In our review, the Samsung Galaxy S10 registered a very impressive overall performance, ranking as a strong all-rounder despite the fact that some individual elements, such as the camera, were a little underwhelming in comparison to peers. There’s no doubt that Samsung will aim to surpass its previous efforts with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S11, so we’re impatient to see what the brand has got in store for us. Here’s all we know so far about what you can expect.
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Samsung Galaxy S11 Release Date – When will the Samsung Galaxy S11 be released?
Samsung has announced a new ‘Unpacked’ event to take place on February 11, for the release of ” a whole new Galaxy”. We strongly expect that to refer to the upcoming S11, so we won’t have too much longer to see the official device.
This launch date would mean it’s due to hit the shop shelves the month after that, so by approximately mid-March.
But even though we now have a surefire launch date, the actual name of the device is less certain. According to Twitter insider IceUniverse, there’s a chance that Samsung will name the new device the Galaxy S20, skipping nine numbers along the way. Until this claim has been fully substantiated, we’ll continue to refer to the unreleased phone as the Galaxy S11.
Not only might the numbers change, but we’ve also heard that the model names are likely to switch from S10e, S10, and S10 Plus to S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. Presumably this is a bid to make devices in the range seem more premium.
Samsung Galaxy S11 Price – How much will the Samsung Galaxy S11 cost?
We haven’t yet come across any official or unofficial pricing information on the S11 just yet, but we have got some room for optimism this time around. Why? Because Apple and Google, two of Samsung’s biggest rivals, released their respective flagships, the iPhone 11 and Pixel 4, at lower prices than had been anticipated before their announcement. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Samsung follow suit so as not to be left behind by the rest of the market.
For reference, these were the prices of last year’s S10 series at the time of release:
Samsung Galaxy S11 Design
Our first potential sneak peek at the Galaxy S11 comes courtesy of CashKaro and @OnLeaks. In a video rendering (embedded below). It reveals that the new flagship will have a waterfall curbed screen with minimal bezels, and a cut-out selfie camera centred in at the top of the display just like that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
However, a more controversial aspect of the purported new design is likely to be the unusual rear camera set-up. A total of five sensors are housed within a rectangle, promising admirable versatility, but they’re arranged in an asymmetrical, haphazard manner that’s bound to leave some fans disappointed.
According to the above tweet from renowned tipster Evan Blass, there will be a total of 5 different variants of the Galaxy S11, accounting both for different sizes and the LTE and 5G variants. This year’s Plus-sized version is set to only be available with 5G, and may measure 6.9-inches, making it a seriously large device. There’s some bad news if you don’t like curved screens, as all models in the new series are expected to follow the trend for the ‘waterfall’ design associated with several premium handsets.
Samsung Galaxy S11 Camera
The camera is one specific area that we have earmarked as due for an improvement over the S10, so we’ve been encouraged to hear some of the rumours about the S11 that have emerged so far. Let’s start with the most optimistic of these reports…
Renowned Samsung insider Ice Universe teased his fans with an image of a near bezel-less smartphone, accompanied with a caption claiming that the 2020 handset will boast a camera with 10x optical zoom and another with a resolution of 108-megapixels. This would represent a great leap forward in mobile camera tech, and what phone better to incarnate that progress than Samsung’s top flagship?
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Our feline friend doubled down on the rumour in early November, arguing that there’s a “high probability” that the S11 will use the 108-megapixel sensor. Seeing as a sensor of this resolution has already featured on the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, it doesn’t particularly surprise us that Samsung could join the same game.
As for the zoom capabilities, SamMobile has previously reported that Samsung could add a 5x optical zoom to its next flagship match that of the Huawei P30 Pro. The speculation is based on Samsung’s recent acquisition of Corephotonics, a firm that specialises in such technology and has already created a 5x zoom lens that is just a mere 5mm thick and so would not protrude from the body of a smartphone. This would still be a significant upgrade to the S10’s 2x optical zoom, and is more credible than the idea of 10x zoom on a smartphone.
In early November, Samsung gave succour to the rumour of an incredible optical zoom when it was revealed that the industry codename for the device is to be “Hubble”, no doubt a nod and a wink to the deep-space telescope.
As for video recording, XDA Developers reported that the OneUI 2.0 update (that’s the software expected to ship with the S11 upon its arrival) is enabled to record 8K video, which would be an astonishing capability for a mobile phone.
But if you’re hoping for a revolutionary front-facing camera that’s designed to do away with the holepunch notch of the S10 and Note 10, then you’ll probably be left underwhelmed by the S11. Ice Universe reports that a revolutionary under-display selfie snapper will not be present for it, nor the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2…. but maybe you can still keep your fingers crossed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 11.
Samsung Galaxy S11 Battery
Having been fairly disappointed with the endurance of the S10, we’re relieved to report some more news as far as the battery of the S11 is concerned. According to none other than — you’ve guessed it — Ice Universe, even the smallest model in the range is expected to pack in a 4000mAh battery, while the top-of-the range variant could go as high as 5000mAh.
The speculation about the size of the top-end battery seemed to be confirmed when GalaxyClub leaked an image of Samsung’s new cell, which has a stated capacity of 5000mAh:
Compared to the current iterations, that’s a significant improvement: the S10e had a mere 3100mAh capacity, so the increase in longevity should be a noticeable bump.
On top of that, XDA Developers reports that the S11 series will be enabled for 25W fast-charging to top up that considerable capacity when you’ve finally run out of juice.
Samsung Galaxy S11 Performance
Samsung has already unveiled the chip that we expect to power the Samsung Galaxy S11 (at least in Europe, though worldwide models may vary): the Exynos 990. The octa-core CPU is reputed to be 20% faster than the S10’s Exynos 980.
But the big news that accompanied the arrival this chipset was its lack of a built-in 5G modem. Of course it can still be used in conjunction with a separate modem, but that means it’s likely to be less efficient, and also indicates that the S11 series will probably not have 5G connectivity by default across the range.
Geekbench 5 benchmarking scores of a 5G variant of the S11 have emerged on SamMobile, with the following results:
- Single core: 427
- Multi-core: 2326
The same leak also let slip that the device will pack a whopping 12GB of RAM, so multi-tasking certainly shouldn’t present a problem.
Samsung Galaxy S11 Screen
So far there’s not much information out there about screen size or resolution, but it’s likely to be similar to the range last year.
What could really change things up this year is a higher screen refresh rate. According to the specifications, the Exynos 990 can support a screen refresh rate of 120Hz (double that of the Galaxy S10), making the interactive screen experience far more smooth for the user. In fact, it’s only dedicated gaming phones such as the Asus ROG Phone 2 or the Razer Phone 2 that can match this incredible refresh rate, with only a few mainline phones such as the OnePlus 7T Pro and the Google Pixel 4 able to reach 90Hz.
A 120Hz refresh rate would be an impressive statement of intent from Samsung, putting them ahead of the rest of the market — and fortunately, the rumours indicate that this feature will be rolled out across the entire range of S11 handsets.