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Samsung's next big smartphone launch is happening next week — here's what to expect

Key Points
  • Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 10 at a press event on Aug. 7 in New York.
  • The company may also announce a Galaxy Note 10+ and support for new 5G networks.
  • The Galaxy Note 10 launch is Samsung's chance to put its best foot forward ahead of the iPhone launch in September.
@OnLeaks

Samsung is expected to announce its new Galaxy Note 10 at a press conference in New York City on Aug. 7, about a month before Apple is expected to announce its new iPhones.

The Galaxy Note, popular for it "S Pen" stylus, has traditionally been Samsung's most powerful device, packed with all of the latest features that it can offer in a phone. The August launch gives it a chance to put its best foot forward before Apple. It's also a chance to recover some of the damage after the botched launch of the Galaxy Fold earlier this year. Samsung said last week that it has fixed the issues with the Galaxy Fold and will start selling it in September.

Rumors this year suggest the Note 10 will come in two or three variants, including a standard Galaxy Note 10, a larger Galaxy Note 10+ and a Galaxy Note 10 5G model that can connect to the faster wireless networks rolling out in the U.S.

That's important, since Samsung has traditionally launched just one model of the Note each year. With a couple of versions of the Galaxy Note 10, Samsung is effectively refreshing its flagship phone portfolio twice a year: Once in the spring with the Galaxy S models and again in the fall with the Galaxy Note.

Here's what we're expecting Samsung to announce next week.

Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus

A render of the Galaxy Note 10.
@OnLeaks @91Mobiles

Steve McFly, who runs the Twitter account @OnLeaks, and who has a good track record of providing details on Android launches, detailed the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ in July. A second site, WinFuture, echoed the claims, and renders of the phone created by McFly match pictures of the Galaxy Note 10 that were recently spotted in an FCC filing.

McFly said the Galaxy Note 10 will launch with a 6.3-inch Infinity-O screen, the same sort found in Samsung's Galaxy S10 earlier this year, though larger. Samsung's Infinity-O screen has a circular cut out for the front-facing camera, which maximizes the screen space on the phone. The Galaxy Note 10+ will reportedly feature a larger 6.8-inch screen and may ship with support for 5G.

The Galaxy Note 10 is said to offer three rear cameras — one for wide-angle pictures, another for "Ultra Wide" pictures that allows you to fit more in each photo and a zoom lens. The Note 10+ model will add a "DepthVision" camera, like the Galaxy S10+, which can improve portrait pictures and augmented reality (AR) apps.

Like the Galaxy S10 family, both phones are expected to offer "PowerShare," which lets you wirelessly charge devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy Buds or even other phones, by bringing them in touch with the the back of the phone.

McFly added that the Galaxy Note 10 will have 256 GB of storage, which is four times the amount that currently ships in the entry-level iPhone XS. Both will also reportedly include with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855+ chip in the U.S. and Samsung's Exynos 9825 processor in global markets.

Samsung typically adds new features to its "S Pen" stylus each year, which helps it stand out against the Galaxy S family of devices by allowing users to write on the screen. This year, the S Pen will reportedly allow users to control what's on the screen using a feature called "Air Actions." Last year, Samsung added support for snapping pictures from the S Pen, controlling Spotify and more.

The phones are expected to be available on Aug. 23 after Samsung announces them on Aug. 7.

Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

A render of the Galaxy Note 10+.
@OnLeaks @91Mobiles

Samsung will also sell a variant of the Galaxy Note 10 with support for 5G, according to a recent filing with the FCC.

This phone should be relatively similar to the Galaxy Note 10+, but with added support for 5G networks. It's also possible that the Galaxy Note 10+ will only be available with the 5G option.

It's unclear if the 5G version will launch at the same time as the other Galaxy Note 10 phones. The Galaxy S10+ 5G is currently sold in the U.S. for budding 5G networks from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, but it launched months after the regular Galaxy S10 phones.

The Galaxy Note 10+ 5G will be the most expensive of the bunch, and likely won't be a good option for most people given the limited availability of 5G networks today.

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