If recent leaks are to be believed, that’s all going to change with the Galaxy S20 lineup, which is said to be using a brand new 108MP sensor built in-house by Samsung as its main shooter, along with a 5x optical zoom and the ability to record video at up to 8K resolution. Other leaks indicate an additional lens with 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, which will be exclusive to the premium “S20 Ultra” model.
Higher refresh rate display
There are a handful of smartphones on the market that use higher refresh rate displays, meaning the contents of the screen is updated more often than the traditional 60 times per second, and once you’ve used one it’s hard to go back.
The Google Pixel 4 and OnePlus 7T for instance use 90Hz refresh rates and, as a result, feel noticeably smoother when doing scrolling or swiping of any kind. Some gaming phones even ratchet that up to 120Hz. Ironically Samsung supplies high refresh rate OLED panels to the likes of OnePlus, but it has yet to use it in its own lineup of smartphones. Hopefully that changes with the S20.
3D Face Unlock
I’ve lost count of the number of times the Galaxy S10’s in-screen fingerprint scanner failed to read my press, to the point that I’ve just defaulted to entering my passcode to unlock my phone. The fingerprint reader simply isn’t as accurate or as convenient to use as a proper 3D-based face unlock system that we see on competing handsets like the iPhone, Huawei Mate 30 Pro and Google Pixel 4.
Galaxy smartphones have had less secure 2D-based face unlock systems in the past, which could easily be fooled by photographs, but I’m hoping Samsung steps up its biometric authentication game with a proper 3D-based face unlock system for the S20, even if it means axing the fingerprint scanner altogether.
Faster charging speeds
Fast charging has become an arms race, at least between Chinese smartphone brands, with Oppo’s Reno Ace leading the way with a whopping 65W unit that is able to fully charge the phone in half an hour. Competitors have also been making significant progress in wireless charging speeds, with the most recent example being Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro which can charge wire-free at a faster rate than what the Galaxy S10 is capable of over a physical cable.
With the Galaxy S10+ it takes me more than an hour to fully charge the handset and, although this was improved slightly with the Galaxy Note 10, I’m hoping Samsung catches up to its Chinese rivals with the Galaxy S20.
No Bixby button
Accidentally triggering Bixby has become a daily occurrence for me thanks to the dedicated physical Bixby button on the Galaxy S10. Samsung attempted to ease the frustration by later releasing a software update that allows you to remap the button to call up whichever app you please. However you’re still forced to deal with Samsung’s less than competent digital assistant if you happen to long press or double tap the Bixby button.
The Galaxy Note 10 removed the Bixby button altogether, so hopefully that trend continues with the S20. Then again the Note 10 also removed the headphone jack, which is something I hope the S20 retains. We’ll find out in less than three weeks at Unpacked.
Krishan is a multi-award-winning Australian technology journalist.