Reporting from San Francisco
In one of the biggest shake-ups to its product line in years, Samsung unveiled a foldable smartphone together with its new flagship Galaxy S10 phones on Wednesday (20 February).
Celebrating the 10th year since the Galaxy phones were first released, the electronics giant also announced new wearable devices at its Unpacked event in San Francisco – the Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Buds.
The Galaxy Fold has a flexible composite polymer screen and a hinge system that allow the phone to be unfolded into a larger tablet-style device. It is the first such foldable device by a major smartphone maker. The Fold also allows one to multitask on up to three apps at a time on the same screen. There is an external 4.6-inch screen; when unfolded, the larger screen is 7.3-inch.
The Galaxy Fold will be released to markets beginning from 26 April 2019 with an expected price of US$1,980. It will be launched in Singapore sometime in the second quarter of 2019.
The Galaxy S10 series has three phones: the S10, with a 6.1-inch screen; the S10 Plus, with a 6.4-inch screen; and a more budget-friendly model dubbed S10e, with a 5.8-inch screen. New features compared to the S9 include an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a rear triple-camera setup, in-display hole punch cameras, and reverse wireless charging.
Samsung hinted at a 5G version of the Galaxy S10 that would boast much faster speeds than current phones, but this would be released later in the year as compared to the three S10 models that will start selling next month.
The S10 is Samsung’s first phone to feature an ultrasonic fingerprint reader embedded in its screen – this means that the phone can scan the user’s finger placed anywhere on the screen. The ultrasonic method is also a more secure way of mapping fingerprints than the older optical method, as it creates a 3D scan of your fingerprint instead of a 2D image.
The top-tier S10 Plus has three rear cameras which boast wider angles – they have a field of view (FOV) of 45 degrees, 77 degrees and 123 degrees respectively. It has two front cameras with FOVs of 80 degrees and 90 degrees.
The S10 screen has more real estate than the S9’s as it stretches from edge to edge with no bezels. Samsung opted to place its front cameras inside a “punch hole” carved out of the screen, instead of using the notch that Apple went with for its recent iPhones.
The S10 is also the first Galaxy phone to feature reverse wireless charging, in which another device can be charged by placing it in contact with the phone. This feature was first seen in Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro.
The Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10 Plus (128GB) are available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Green. The Galaxy S10 Plus (512GB and 1TB) are available in Ceramic White and Ceramic Black.
Pricing starts at US$899.99 for Galaxy S10, US$999.00 for Galaxy S10 Plus and US$749.99 for Galaxy S10e. Sales of the phones will launch globally on 8 March.
For the Singapore market, pre-orders for the S10 and S10 Plus (excluding S10e) can be made from Friday (22 February).
Galaxy S10s will sell in Singapore at these prices:
– Galaxy S10 (128GB): S$1,298
– Galaxy S10 Plus (128GB): S$1,398
– Galaxy S10 Plus (512GB): S$1,798
– Galaxy S10 Plus (1TB): S$2,198
– Galaxy S10e (128GB): S$1,078
This story was the result of a trip paid for by Samsung.
(From left to right) The Samsung Galaxy S10+, the Samsung Galaxy S10, and the Samsung Galaxy S10e. (Photo: Teng Yong Ping/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)