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
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.
- The 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.
In October 2020, The Elec and SamMobile both claimed that the phones could launch as early as the beginning of January. This was followed by a report from Korea’s Maeil Business outlet in November, claiming that the Galaxy S30 series could be revealed in January 2021 with sales starting from late January.
Reuters then reported on November 9 that Samsung could launch the Galaxy S30 series as early as “late January,” citing three sources. The newswire claimed that the Korean brand is going for an early launch in order to take advantage of Huawei’s struggles and fend off Apple.
As of now, we are confident that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S30 series sometime in January, marking the earliest launch in quite a while.
Models and designs
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 obviously be a vanilla Samsung Galaxy S30, too. Rumors also suggest Samsung will stick with three variants of the 2021 Galaxy S phones, so there will likely be an S30 Plus.
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. In fact, leaked renders of the Galaxy S30 lineup show three phones that look almost identical, albeit for a few minor differences.
The standard Samsung Galaxy S30 is rumored to measure 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm. It could feature a 6.2-inch flat display with a centered punch hole. There are three cameras on the back of the phone as pictured in the renders. See for yourself below.
The Galaxy S30 Plus hasn’t seen full CAD renders leak yet. However, we did find the following image, which shows a design very similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S30:
Finally, renders of the Galaxy S30 Ultra show a quad-camera setup fitted inside a much bigger housing. The phone could come with a 6.7-inch-6.9-inch display with a single punch-hole camera.
You can see the renders for the Galaxy S30 Ultra below.
Not long after those renders leaked, an updated version leaked, too. This one suggests there could be an extra lens on the back of the S30 Ultra:
We’ll need to wait and see if these renders end up aligning with the final designs. However, these renders come from a quality source, so we expect the final products to look very similar.
Samsung Galaxy S30 series: Specs and features
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.
There is a rumor, too, that Samsung could drop the in-box chargers for all the phones in the line, just like Apple did with the iPhone 12 lineup. This is unsubstantiated for now, though.
Samsung Galaxy S30 camera systems
We also have rumors concerning the camera system of the Galaxy S30 Ultra. So far, it seems the S30 Ultra could stick with the 108MP sensor of the S20/Note 20 Ultras and offer two telephoto lenses, one of which likely being part of a periscope zoom setup. The same 40MP sensor found on the S20 Ultra’s selfie camera would likely make its way to the S30 Ultra, too.
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.
S Pen support?
Most recently, rumors have been mounting that the Galaxy S30 series could support the famous S Pen stylus that comes with Galaxy Note phones. The rumors suggest that the phone won’t store the S Pen as we’ve seen on Note phones, but it will work with it. This would potentially bring the Galaxy S series even more in line with the Galaxy Note series. This is good news for Galaxy S fans — and bad news for Galaxy Note fans.
Pricing and availability
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.
As for availability, Korea’s Maeil Business reported that the phones could go on sale from late January, with some regions getting it in early February.
Regardless, it is very likely the Samsung Galaxy S30 series could be available to buy in early 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!