Samsung Galaxy S11 release date, specs, features and rumors

Dec. 13, 2019 – Update: More details about the Samsung Galaxy S11 have been revealed this week. SafetyKorea has published some specs about the handset’s battery, which have been picked up by several tech blogs.

SamMobile spotted the document and did the math to discern that the Galaxy S11 will have a 4,500 mAh battery. Based on the numbers, the rated capacity should be between 4,300 and 4,400 mAh. Other filings for the S11e and the S11 Plus reveal a 3,800 to 3,900 mAh for the former and a 5,000 mAh for the latter. It seems likely that the 5G variants will have the same batteries.

We also heard the possible release date for the Samsung Galaxy S11. Ice universe gave it as Feb. 18 for both the S11 series and the rumored clamshell device:

Nov 27, 2019 Update: With just about month left before the end of 2019, it is time to talk about the smartphones we expect next year. Like always, it will be Samsung’s S series that will set the benchmark for others to follow as the Korean firm usually launches a new S-series phone around mid- to late February. Thus, in this article, we will talk about the release date, rumors, leaks, expected specifications and features related to the Samsung Galaxy S11 series.

Galaxy S11

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Galaxy S11 release date and price

Samsung usually announces its Galaxy S-series phone before the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place in the last week of February. This means the Korean firm will likely announce the phone sometime in mid-February. Samsung has been following the same tradition for the past few years, and the Galaxy S11 series is expected to be no different. If such is the case, the Galaxy S11 release and pre-order dates will probably be in early March, although it is still quite early to predict the Galaxy S11 release date.

The first rumor comes to us by way of SamMobile, which reports that the reveal date for the handset could be on Feb. 18. SamMobile cites an unnamed source for the Feb. 18 launch event date but adds that it is “not confident in the source of this information to put our weight behind the date provided.” The tech site also said it expects the event to be held some time in the third week of February in San Francisco. Of course, February is still months away, so even if this is the plan now, it could change before then.

There hasn’t been any news about the price yet, but the Galaxy S11 price is expected to be in the same range or slightly higher than the Galaxy S10, which was pricier than the Galaxy S9. The starting range for the Galaxy S10 was $899, while the top-most model was priced at $1,149.

If Samsung decides to raise the price, the Galaxy S11 price could be around $1,000 for the base version. If Samsung releases a Galaxy S11E as well, the starting range could be a bit less at around $800.

Display and design

The most reliable information about screen sizes that’s currently available is from tipster Evan Blass. He expects Samsung to launch phones in three different screen sizes: the Galaxy S11 Plus at 6.9 inches, Galaxy S11 at 6.7 inches and Galaxy S11E at 6.4 inches. In comparison, the Galaxy S10 lineup featured 6.4-, 6.1- and 5.8-inch displays, respectively. According to XDA Developers, the upcoming phones would have a 20:9 aspect ratio, making them slightly taller than Galaxy S10’s 19:9 ratio.

In terms of design, Samsung is expected to use an edge-to-edge display with no notch. Smartphone makers have been able to achieve this with slide-out or pop-up cameras. However, Samsung is expected to put the front-facing camera behind the display panel, doing away with the need for a notch. Unlike Galaxy S10, in which the camera sensor was put in a small, circular cutout at the top of the screen, the camera sensor in the Galaxy S11 could be invisible.

If Samsung couldn’t manage to embed the selfie camera under the display, it could significantly reduce the size of the hole-punch cutout. Recent reports suggest the hole-punch would be moved to the top-center of the screen similar to the Galaxy Note 10 line.

One trend that’s been going on for years is thinner and thinner bezels, and it seems like a safe bet that the Galaxy S11 will sport even thinner bezels than its predecessor. Rumors have suggested that the edges of the S11 could be curved even more than those on the S10 were, which could contribute to thinning out the bezels.

The often-reliable Twitter tipster Steve H. McFly collaborated with Pricebaba to share renders of the Galaxy S11E, which came just days after renders of the standard Galaxy S11 appeared online. Steve H. McFly is a well-connected tipster, and most of his past leaks have turned out to be accurate. The Galaxy S11E render he shared has a glossy blue color.

The Galaxy S11E renders show the phone with a triple camera setup on the back, arranged in a large module. On the front, it has a hole-punch in the top-center for the selfie camera. It has a curved-edge display instead of a flat panel.

As per the render, the Galaxy S11E has ditched the side-mounted fingerprint sensor, opting for an in-display fingerprint reader similar to Galaxy S11 and S11 Plus. There is no sign of the 3.5mm headphone jack. The USB-C port and the speaker can be seen at the bottom. The phone is said to measure 51.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm.

For the Galaxy S11 Plus renders, Steve H. McFly joined hands with CashKaro. The S11 Plus features a giant 6.9-inch screen with a single selfie camera housed in a top-center hole-punch. On the back panel, the device has a large camera bump to accommodate as many as five camera lenses and two sensors.

The camera module takes up a huge part of the S11 Plus’s rear panel, and protrudes 2mm out from the phone. The render has a metal frame supporting the front and back glass panels. It has a USB-C port and a single speaker at the bottom. The power button and volume rockers are on the right side. The device measures 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm, making it taller, thicker, and wider than the Galaxy S10 Plus.

As far as what Galaxy S11 colors to expect, another reliable tipster, Ishan Agarwal, expects the Galaxy S11E to come in blue, grey and pink, while the standard model could come in blue, grey and black.


Galaxy S11 camera

Samsung is expected to introduce big changes with the Galaxy S11 camera. The company recently announced new 48 MP and 64 MP camera sensors, which could make their way to the Galaxy S11 series. However, the company is expected to go even beyond that and introduce a 108 MP Galaxy S11 camera. Samsung announced a 108 MP sensor this year.

As per renders from Steve H. McFly, the Galaxy S11E camera module would consist of a regular RGB sensor, a telephoto lens, and a wide-angle sensor. It is suggested that Samsung would use a 64MP lens as the main sensor on Galaxy S11E. There is no sign of 3D Time of Flight sensor on the S11E, which we saw on the Galaxy S11 renders.

The Galaxy S11 Plus is rumored to have a 108MP primary lens with 5X optical zoom, which would be capable of capturing 8K videos and Quad HD+ photos. The other lenses are expected to be telephoto, ultrawide, and a 3D Time-of-Flight sensor. The purpose of the fifth lens is not yet known. The two small sensors seen in the camera module are said to be a Laser Autofocus system and an LED flash.

The Greek-language site Matrixlife and Techmaniacs report that the S11 line-up will feature a 108 MP main lens. The camera will reportedly be able to preview the images from the other lenses even while taking video using the main lens, and the other lenses can be swapped out as desired. The telephoto lens will reportedly feature a 48 MP sensor with 10x lossless zoom.

XDA Developers found code suggesting a 108MP sensor with up to 10X optical zoom in the Samsung Camera app.

Digging into the beta code of Samsung’s Camera app, folks at XDA Developers have found that the Galaxy S11 would get exciting camera features. It will be capable of recording 8K videos at 30fps. The 108 MP camera should be able to handle 8K shooting with ease. There will be a Director’s View mode to let you use multiple cameras and switch between them while recording videos.

Another feature spotted by XDA Developers is a Night Hyperlapse mode. The phone has to be kept still in this mode. It will presumably take brighter photos with reduced noise compared to the standard Hyperlapse at night. There will also be a Single Take Photo option, which would let you pan your phone around a scene for 15 seconds. While you pan, the camera will automatically take a number of photos and videos and put them in one collection.

Samsung would also add a Vertical Panorama mode to help you take photos of tall objects such as skyscrapers. Finally, there is a Custom Filters mode that will likely allow you to save a photo from your gallery as a custom filter for future photos.

Authentication and Security

This next rumor comes via a patent application, so there’s no way of knowing whether this technology will actually make it into the Samsung Galaxy S11 — or any other handset, for that matter. Forbes highlighted a patent entitled “Electronic device comprising fingerprint sensor and method of operating thereof, which was published in South Korea.

The technology described in the patent combines two different methods of authentication to unlock a device. The patent explains how the user’s fingerprint could be read and while they are entering a PIN code, which could be a sort of two-factor authentication. Reading a fingerprint while a passcode is being entered sounds easier said than done though, so it could be a while before this technology is ready for use in a smartphone.

There are a few different ways such technology could be implemented. For example, the device maker could simply use a bigger fingerprint sensor that can scan a fingerprint in multiple areas of the screen. Another option would be to include multiple sensors, although that seems a bit too complex. Another possibility is to shuffle numbers on top of the fingerprint sensor so that the numbers could be pressed only on top of the fingerprint reader.

Separately, other rumors suggest the company could exclude the fingerprint sensor and instead go with facial recognition tech to unlock the phone.

Specifications and features

Samsung’s Galaxy S11 series is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 865 or Samsung’s in-house Exynos 990 SoC depending on the market. For now, there is no official information on it, but we may have something next month when Qualcomm reveals details about its new processors. The creator of this video claims to have information on the Snapdragon 865 processor:

SamMobile reported that the Galaxy S11 will ship with One UI 2.1 and possibly come with up to 1 TB of built-in storage. It’s expected that the S11 series will also get ultra-fast UFS 3.0 storage, which is what the Note 10 has. The tech site reported that the model with the name SM-G981 will come in 128 GB and 512 GB options, while the model SM-G986 will be offered in 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB storage options. The model SM-G988 will supposedly get 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB storage options.

As for RAM, the Galaxy S11E is said to pack 6GB RAM while the S11 and S11 Plus would get up to 12GB RAM. All three variants would run Android 10 software out of the box.

Another specification many are waiting to find out is whether or not the Galaxy S11 will feature a headphone jack. Both the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus came without a jack. Thus, it is largely expected that the Galaxy S11 will also ditch the headphone jack. Samsung will likely utilize the space previously occupied by a headphone jack to include a bigger battery.

The next S-series phone may not have a Bixby button either. Samsung didn’t add a Bixby button to the Note 10 or Note 10 Plus.

One new feature Samsung may introduce with the Galaxy S11 is a spectrometer. This feature would help in ascertaining the chemical composition of objects using infrared light. It could be useful for those trying to track what they eat or take better care of their skin. The Korean company has already patented a device with such a feature.

Lastly, it is believed that the Galaxy S11 and S11E will come in both 4G and 5G versions. However, the Galaxy S11 Plus could only be offered as a 5G phone. The 5G phones remain expensive for most consumers. It would be interesting to see how the Korean company would price the 5G variant of Galaxy S11E.