Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why

Hole puncher, hole puncher... where's headphone jack? Leave out the notch, add hole for snap flash...


With Huawei breathing down its neck, Samsung had planned to unveil its flagship just ahead of Mobile World Congress, the firm's usual stage for its launch.

But leakers have spoiled the party.

After weeks of renders, the disclosure of what appears to be a detailed specification sheet has seemingly ensured every detail of the new product – barring the price – is out there.

Does it matter? Probably not, for two reasons.

Hole punch

Before we explore these, however: what's new? Firstly, from the official "teaser" videos, released in Vietnam, we can confirm the absence of a notch, an in-display fingerprint sensor, a 4K selfie camera, and reverse wireless charging.

From the many renders we can see, the design borrows from the slightly more "boxy" form factor of the Note. Although it is notch-less, the S10's display is nonetheless marred by a small onscreen hole, housing the front-facing camera. Both the cutout and the hole designs intrude on the active area of the display.

Samsung calls the hole "Infinity O"; it was one of four new OLED display types revealed at the Samsung developer conference late last year. The Korean chaebol will be hoping the hole will be less intrusive, rather as permanent onscreen station idents become invisible to the TV viewer.

The leaked spec sheets tout three models: the S10+, S10, and S10e, with displays of 6.3 inches (1440x3040 or 522ppi), 6.1 inches (1440x3040 or 550ppi) and 5.8 inches (1080x2280 or 438 ppi) on the diagonal respectively. All feature an Exynos 9820 SoC built on a 8nm process.

According to the leak, the former two S10s carry three main camera sensors (12MP+12MP+16MP wide angle) while the S10e has two (12MP+16 wide angle). Battery capacity is listed at 4100mAh, 3400mAh and 3100mAh respectively. The "e" model omits the in-display sensor. Headphones will be badged by Samsung's own AKG brand, part of its Harmon subsidiary. Alas, the conventional headphone jack appears to have been dumped.

Perhaps the last detail is significant. Samsung's continuing support for the analogue audio port, ditched by other flagships in favour of USB-C audio, may have helped Samsung retain customers' loyalty – or even won it new customers.

Samsung One UI

One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

READ MORE

(Or so you told us, anyway. In reality, Samsung is suffering in a contracting market, just like almost everyone else.)

So why doesn't the leakage matter so much?

Firstly, it's because Samsung has retained so many hard-won advantages from its early-twenty-teens heyday: its brand, its distribution, a mature and broad feature set (such as DeX) and third-party support. No other OEM comes close to matching the integrated experience of Apple – although Google is working hard on this.

Secondly, the recent One UI design overhaul – showcased here, just rolling out now – has given it a more cohesive proposition. This isn't just fancy talk. Huawei throws a ragbag of innovations into a device as if to see what will stick.

Reviewing the Mate 20 Pro last year we noted "there's more to a phone than a collection of technology", while lamenting "an annoying user experience that's sadly getting worse for the nagware Huawei is introducing this year". One UI simply emphasises the difference in quality between the Samsung and the Huawei user experience.

And that, dear reader, probably matters more than any line on the spec sheet. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Employers in denial over success of digital skills training, say exasperated staffers

    Large disparities in views from bosses vs workers on 'talent transformation initiatives,' says survey

    Digital transformation projects are being held back by a lack of skills, according to a new survey, which finds that while many employers believe they are doing well at training up existing staff to meet the requirements, their employees beg to differ.

    Skills shortages are nothing new, but the Talent Transformation Global Impact report from research firm Ipsos on behalf of online learning provider Udacity indicates that although digital transformation initiatives are stalling due to a lack of digital talent, enterprises are becoming increasingly out of touch with what their employees need to fill the skills gap.

    The report is the result of two surveys taking in over 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 employees across the US, UK, France, and Germany. It found that 59 per cent of employers state that not having enough skilled employees is having a major or moderate impact on their business.

    Continue reading
  • Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?

    Now this looks like a job for me, 'cos we need a little, controversy... 'Cos it feels so NT, without me

    Former Microsoft veep Brad Silverberg has paid tribute to Bill Gates for saving Windows 95.

    Silverberg posted his comment in a Twitter exchange started by Fast co-founder Allison Barr Allen regarding somebody who'd changed your life. Silverberg responded "Bill Gates" and, in response to a question from Microsoft cybersecurity pro Ashanka Iddya, explained Gates's role in Windows 95's survival.

    Continue reading
  • UK government opens consultation on medic-style register for Brit infosec pros

    Are you competent? Ethical? Welcome to UKCSC's new list

    Frustrated at lack of activity from the "standard setting" UK Cyber Security Council, the government wants to pass new laws making it into the statutory regulator of the UK infosec trade.

    Government plans, quietly announced in a consultation document issued last week, include a formal register of infosec practitioners – meaning security specialists could be struck off or barred from working if they don't meet "competence and ethical requirements."

    The proposed setup sounds very similar to the General Medical Council and its register of doctors allowed to practice medicine in the UK.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?

    Top request from devs? A Linux version

    Review Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983.

    The Visual Studio idea came from two main sources. In the early days, Windows applications were coded and compiled using MS-DOS, and there was a MS-DOS IDE called Programmer's Workbench (PWB, first released 1989). The company also came up Visual Basic (VB, first released 1991), which unlike Microsoft C++ had a Windows IDE. Perhaps inspired by VB, Microsoft delivered Visual C++ 1.0 in 1993, replacing the little-used PWB. Visual Studio itself was introduced in 1997, though it was more of a bundle of different Windows development tools initially. The first Visual Studio to integrate C++ and Visual Basic (in .NET guise) development into the same IDE was Visual Studio .NET in 2002, 20 years ago, and this perhaps is the true ancestor of today's IDE.

    A big change in VS 2022, released November, is that it is the first version where the IDE itself runs as a 64-bit process. The advantage is that it has access to more than 4GB memory in the devenv process, this being the shell of the IDE, though of course it is still possible to compile 32-bit applications. The main benefit is for large solutions comprising hundreds of projects. Although a substantial change, it is transparent to developers and from what we can tell, has been a beneficial change.

    Continue reading
  • James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

    Funnily enough, that's where we want to be right now, too

    The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away.

    Mission control sent instructions to fire the telescope's thrusters at 1400 EST (1900 UTC) on Monday. The small boost increased its speed by about 3.6 miles per hour to send it to L2, where it will orbit the Sun in line with Earth for the foreseeable future. It takes about 180 days to complete an L2 orbit, Amber Straughn, deputy project scientist for Webb Science Communications at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a live briefing.

    "Webb, welcome home!" blurted NASA's Administrator Bill Nelson. "Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb's safe arrival at L2 today. We're one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can't wait to see Webb's first new views of the universe this summer."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022