We’re hours away from Samsung’s 2019 Galaxy Unpacked event, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern) at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. During this event, the company’s all but certain to unveil a new flagship smartphone series — Galaxy S10 — and detail the foldable handset it teased at the Samsung Developer Conference last November. It might have a few other surprises in store, too.
The Galaxy S10 is no mystery — indeed, Samsung launched an “early access” reservation system in select countries last week, including the U.S. (It’s offering up to $550 off the asking price with the trade-in of eligible Google, Motorola, LG, and Apple phones.) And countless leaks over the past several months — including several of Samsung’s own advertisements — have painted a pretty good picture of what else to expect from today’s briefing.
Galaxy S10 Series
The higher-end phones in the forthcoming Galaxy S10 series — the S10 and S10+ — will reportedly debut alongside a lower-end Galaxy S10e variant. All three are said to feature Samsung’s Infinity-O design with circular cutouts to accommodate the front-facing cameras, and at least two (the S10 and S10+) will have triple rear cameras — one with a variable aperture, one with a telephoto lens, and one wide-angle sensor.
Those won’t be the S10 series’ only headlining feature. Leaked promotional materials imply the handsets can reverse wirelessly charging Qi accessories. Apparently, placing these accessories on the S10e, S10, or S10+’s rear covers will kick off recharging, just like any charging pad.
Every model in the S10 series is expected to sport Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s latest and greatest system-on-chip offerings — the Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855, respectively. On the software side, there’s a good chance they’ll ship running OneUI, Samsung’s redesigned overlay atop Android Pie, which recently began rolling out to the Galaxy Note9 and S9 series phones in the U.S.
As impressive as the S10 series is likely to be, it might be upstaged by the Galaxy Fold. That’s the rumored name of Samsung’s bendable smartphone, which features the Seoul company’s Infinity Flex Display.
As Samsung revealed toward the tail end of last year, the Fold boasts dual screens — one standard and one that folds in half like a notebook. The company says the latter can safely withstand “hundreds of thousands” of flexes.
Unfurled, the Galaxy Fold behaves not unlike a tablet, with enhanced multitasking features — including Multi-Active Window, which lets you run up to three apps simultaneously, and App Continuity, which seamlessly transitions apps from the smaller display to the larger display and vice versa — taking advantage of the added real estate. Samsung says it worked with Google to optimize Android for the phone’s foldable screen and with a select group of developer partners — among them Flipboard — to build bespoke experiences for the Galaxy Fold.
Like the newly announced Galaxy S10 series, the Galaxy Fold runs OneUI.
Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Fit
New phones might not be the only thing that Samsung launches today. It’s widely expected to announce two new midrange wearables geared toward fitness enthusiasts: The Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Fit.
The Galaxy Watch Active is said to be a stripped-down, slimmer version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Watch, at a more affordable price point. It’ll reportedly feature a 360 x 360-pixel touchscreen in a 40mm body that lacks a bezel-mounted dial, and it’ll come in multiple colors, with plastic bands. A new version of Tizen — the in-house operating system that powers Samsung’s Smart TVs, among other hardware — is on tap, as are beefed-up activity-tracking features (thanks to new sensors) and faster recharging, plus support for Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant.
As for the Galaxy Fit and Fit E, they’re a bit more basic — reports have them replacing the prior Gear Fit 2 and the Gear Fit 2 Pro, both of which boasted 1.5-inch 432 x 216 Super AMOLED displays, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. There is no word on what sort of improvements might be coming down the pipeline, but upgraded hardware’s a safe bet.
Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Home
If you need a new pair of earbuds, consider Samsung’s Galaxy Buds — yet another product that’s expected to debut at Unpacked today. The Buds are AirPod-like wireless earbuds that recharge wirelessly and cost about $170, if the leaks are to be believed — and are successors to Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds.
We might learn more about the Galaxy Home, Samsung’s Bixby-powered answer to smart speakers like Google Home and Apple’s HomePod, during today’s press conference. After all, it’s been months since Samsung formally unveiled the speaker at an event in New York City (alongside the Galaxy Note9), and both pricing and the release dates have yet to be revealed. We’ll see if that changes today.