Samsung’s newest flagship phones are nearly here.
Over the weekend, Samsung confirmed that its annual product event, called Unpacked, will take place on Feb. 11 in San Francisco. The electronics giant is expected to reveal its Galaxy S11 lineup, and possibly a new version of the Galaxy Fold, a high-end folding smartphone it rolled out last year to mixed reviews.
Samsung has disclosed little about the new Galaxy lineup -- which might be dubbed S20 for the year 2020, instead of S11 -- but rumors and leaks indicate that it plans to pack more camera technology and faster performance into its new models.
VentureBeat reported in November that Samsung’s Galaxy S11 lineup will include three sizes: A smaller 6.4 inch or 6.2 inch version, and 6.7 inch and 6.9 inch versions. The smaller sizes will be available in both 5G and LTE versions, VentureBeat reported, whereas the larger version will just come in a 5G option. All variants will have curved-edge displays.
Other rumors point to a new camera design and other improvements to photo technology.
Steve Hemmerstoffer, editor of the tech leaks site Serial Tech Leaker, posted renders of the Galaxy S11 phone that indicate a new and improved 108-megapixel main camera, with five sensors arranged in an L-shape, and numerous new photography features such as 8K video recording.
Other reports suggest improved performance in the newest Galaxy phones, namely a 120Hz refresh rate that would place the new phones ahead of other high-end models, including the Google (GOOGL) - Get Report Pixel, OnePlus and Apple's iPhone 11. Samsung could also pack in a better battery to compensate for the improvements in its refresh rate, which tends to drain battery life.
Mirroring Samsung, Apple is also expected to release a fresh array of sizing options at various price points, as well as upgraded camera technology.
A forecast from JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said that two high-end iPhone 12 models will include a rear-facing triple camera system that features what is referred to as “world facing” sensor technology, which is oriented towards augmented reality capabilities and other potential use cases. All iPhone 12 variants will feature an OLED screen, according to Chatterjee’s forecast, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem.
Samsung and Apple have long competed on features with their high-end phones, but recent reporting suggests that this year they’ll compete on both features and price.
In addition to the forthcoming Galaxy 11 lineup, Samsung also announced last week the Galaxy Note 10 Lite and Galaxy S10 Lite, two budget-friendly versions of its flagship devices.
Apple may also diversify its iPhone pricing brackets this year, according to recent rumors, with one model that could sell for as little as $399, among other iPhone 12 models with a range of features and price points.
Like Samsung, Apple is expected to release 5G-capable smartphones, which analysts anticipate will spur a fresh wave of smartphone sales in 2020 and thereafter.