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Samsung Galaxy S30 series: Everything we know so far (Updated Oct. 16)


Oct 17, 2020

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Update, October 16, 2020 (04:00 PM ET): We’ve updated the Samsung Galaxy S30 series rumor hub below with some new information today. There’s a possibility we could see the new smartphone family much earlier than expected. We also have some rumors related to cameras and power chargers. Read on for all the latest!

Believe it or not, we are in the final quarter of 2020. That means we’re only a few months away from the launch of the next entry in Samsung’s flagship smartphone line, tentatively known as the Samsung Galaxy S30 series.

Since it’s early, there aren’t too many solid rumors about the devices to find. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have at least a few credible rumors. We also can make confident assumptions about certain aspects based on the history of the line. What we know so far is chronicled in our roundup below.

As usual, be sure to bookmark this page so you’re always up-to-date on the latest info surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S30 phones!

Samsung Galaxy S30 series: Name and release date

Samsung Galaxy S20 family profile

In 2020, Samsung upended its naming scheme for the Galaxy S series in multiple ways. It jumped from 10 to 20 for its numbering and also introduced the Ultra moniker. These big changes make it tricky to deduce what the company could call the next iteration of the series.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S series: A history of the biggest name in Android

Our money is on the company using Samsung Galaxy S30 as the branding in 2021. Some will argue that Samsung might instead use Galaxy S21, but we are doubtful. Our four biggest reasons for thinking so are:

  • Samsung already jumped from S10 to S20. It likely won’t go back to single point launches for this release.
  • S30 is a far more marketable name than S21.
  • An S21 branding would cause confusion with the Galaxy A and Galaxy F series which use “XX1” numbers (A01, A51, F41, etc.).
  • Huawei set the precedent when it jumped from the P10 to the P20 and then continued on to the P30 and P40.

As of now, there is no concrete information proving it’s going to be one name or the other.

As far as a release date goes, we naturally assumed Samsung would announce the Galaxy S30 series in mid-February 2021. That’s the timeframe in which the company has launched every iteration of the Galaxy S series since the Galaxy S9. However, rumors are popping up that Samsung could push that date forward by a significant margin. According to one source, the phones could launch as early as the beginning of January. Stay tuned as we’ll likely have a better idea about launch dates in the coming weeks.

Models and designs

samsung galaxy s20 ultra camera 100x zoom 2

As mentioned, this year saw the introduction of the Ultra moniker with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. With the successive launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, we are going to go ahead and assume that Samsung intends to launch a Galaxy S30 Ultra, too.

There will also be a vanilla Samsung Galaxy S30. The question remains, then, of whether or not there will be a Galaxy S30 Plus. Samsung didn’t release a Plus model in the Note 20 line so it’s possible the company could sunset it in 2021. However, there are rumors suggesting Samsung will stick with three variants of the 2021 Galaxy S phones (see the next section for more on that).

Related: Samsung Galaxy S20 buyer’s guide

If we assume that there will be three models in the Galaxy S30 series, we can also assume that they will all look very similar to one another. Hopefully, though, Samsung will spend a bit more time on the designs of the phones than it did with the 2020 models. Their designs were, in a word, boring. Thankfully, the Galaxy Note 20 designs were a lot better, so the Galaxy S30 phones will almost assuredly deviate quite a bit from the Galaxy S20 formula.

Usually, verifiable designs for the newest Galaxy S phones leak in December or January (although that might happen earlier this year if the release date really is moving up). As such, you’ll need to wait a bit before we have a good idea of what the phones will look like.

Samsung Galaxy S30 series: Specs and features

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus front

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Since we’re still early on in the release cycle, a lot of the spec rumors we’ve found seem far-fetched or contradict rumors from more reliable sources. Keep that in mind as you search the internet for news on the Samsung Galaxy S30 series.

Some specs we don’t need rumors for, though. We can be relatively assured that the Galaxy S30 series will pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset. Samsung has a long history of introducing the latest Qualcomm flagship silicon in the Galaxy S series, and there aren’t any credible rumors to suggest that won’t happen again in 2021. Unfortunately, the company will almost certainly still use its own Exynos processors for models launched outside of North America.

Related: Samsung Exynos processor guide: Everything you need to know

We can also go ahead and assume that none of the specs of the Galaxy S20 series will see a downgrade. That means no phone should have less than 12GB of RAM, less than 128GB of internal storage, or less than a 1440p display resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

Battery and power

We do have rumors for a handful of credible-seeming battery and power specs, though. The biggest leaks we trust so far are related to the battery capacities of the three assumed models in the Galaxy S30 line. The rumors suggest that Samsung could skip updating its advertised battery capacities for the Galaxy S30 and Galaxy S30 Ultra, sticking with 4,000mAh for the former and 5,000mAh for the latter. The Galaxy S30 Plus could see a slight bump to 4,800mAh from the advertised 4,500mAh capacity of the Galaxy S20 Plus.

It doesn’t look like the Galaxy S30 and Galaxy S30 Ultra will see battery boosts. The Galaxy S30 Plus might, though.

Somewhat related to the battery, we also have rumors that ultra-fast wired charging could be on-hand for the series. It’s possible Samsung could introduce 65W charging speeds to the Galaxy S line. This makes sense as OnePlus just launched the OnePlus 8T, which has this feature. However, there is evidence to suggest that not all variants of the line will have it. If that’s true, it’s likely the Galaxy S30 Ultra would get it exclusively. It’s also possible, though, that all the phones will have the option, but only the Ultra will have the in-box charger capable of delivering those speeds.

Samsung Galaxy S30 camera systems

We also have contradicting rumors concerning the camera system of the Galaxy S30 Ultra. One rumor suggests it will get a 150MP primary sensor coupled with a 64MP telephoto shooter, a 16MP ultra-wide camera, a 12MP macro sensor, and a 3D ToF camera. However, we don’t think this is true. A different rumor suggests the S30 Ultra could stick with the 108MP sensor of the S20/Note 20 Ultras and will instead offer two telephoto lenses, one of which likely being part of a periscope zoom setup. That makes more sense to us, as it appears the industry is moving away ToF sensors in flagships.

Finally, we have a rumor related to a feature that likely won’t be in the Galaxy S30 series: in-display selfie cameras. Allegedly, Samsung wasn’t able to meet the production demands necessary to include this new technology in the Galaxy S phones. Instead, it’s rumored Samsung could push that feature to the third-gen Galaxy Z Fold, likely known as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Pricing and availability

samsung galaxy s20 plus review black back on book 1

Every year since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9, the company has raised the introductory pricing of its phones. One would expect that trend to continue in 2021 with the Samsung Galaxy S30 series.

However, we’re not sure that will be the case. There are three major factors that make us think so:

  • Rumored sales figures for the Galaxy S20 series suggest Samsung was deeply unhappy with the numbers.
  • Samsung has seen more global success with its mid-range line of Galaxy A devices, which are priced to move. The Galaxy S20 FE has also proven to be incredibly popular with fans, which suggests a lower-priced phone would be the better decision.
  • All credible scientific data suggests the COVID-19 pandemic will continue deep into 2021.

When you combine these three bits of info, they strongly suggest that Samsung needs to lower or keep the same pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S30 series, not raise it.

One possible way around this is for Samsung to make the vanilla Galaxy S30 the same price or cheaper than the $999 price tag of the Galaxy S20. This could make the Galaxy S30 series more accessible. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S30 Plus and Galaxy S30 Ultra could be priced higher for those who can afford all the best specs and features. This is a similar approach to what Samsung did with the Galaxy Note 20 phones.

Regardless, it is very likely the Samsung Galaxy S30 series could be available to buy in March 2021 all around the world.

That’s all we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy S30 series. Be sure to bookmark this page so you are always up-to-date on the latest rumors!

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