There are rumours surfacing that a brand new Samsung flagship device which could feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (likely the W2019 version) could be released in China. This is after Samsung has already released two flagship devices this year – the Samsung Galaxy S9, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
It depends on the market, but we could be looking at models with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or the Samsung Exynos 9810 – and there is little doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be next year’s flagship device from Samsung, but they could be releasing an alternative Samsung flagship phone for the China market before the S10 is released.
Samsung has been selling premium Android flip-phones in China, such as the Samsung W2017 which was released in December 2016 and used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and an astonishing $3,000 (20,581.50 Chinese Yen) price tag. The Samsung W2018 was then released in December 2017 which used the Snapdragon 835, Android 7.1 Nougat, and a price tag in the $2,000 range – we’re not sure why these devices seem to be so expensive in China, considering they’re flip-phones (running Android, yes, but a flip-phone is still a flip-phone). Maybe next we’ll see a Blackberry-style keyboard Samsung flagship for $5,000! Oh, the endless possibilities of bringing back old technology.
In any case, the Samsung W2019 could be released this December, and its likely to use the Snapdragon 845, and possibly Android 9.0 Pie – though Android 8 Oreo is more likely. And of course, it will carry an immensely steep pricetag, and won’t be available outside of China. This is all rumour, of course, as nothing has been officially confirmed – though there are some credible rumours which we’ll touch on.
The first credible leak about the Samsung W2019 comes from @MMDDJ_, a Chinese leaker of Samsung products who has a pretty good track record of being right. He suggests that the Samsung W2019’s code-name is “Project Lykan” and that it will likely have dual cameras.
The next rumour came from SamMobile, who discovered a firmware build W2019ZCU0ARI1 – which is likely for the W2019, judging by the build version. Unfortunately, there has been no other information about this upcoming device.
We don’t have any hard evidence to share, as these are all rumours, so there have been no photo leaks, press renders, Ukranian black market dealers pitching pre-production devices to YouTubers, or anything like that. The only evidence is that there is a China-bound Samsung flagship which is code-named “Lykan”, and that it will be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.
XDA performed the task of digging through the kernel source code for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S9, and they found several references to a device code-named “lykan.” There are also mentions of two files named sdm845-sec-lykanlte-chn-r00.dtb and sdm845-sec-lykanlte-chn-r01.dtb, which are Device Tree BLOBs (DTB), in the project’s makefile, though the actual DTBs aren’t in the kernel source which they examined.
The most that can be gleaned from the DTB filenames is that “lykan” has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and is intended for the China market, and because the “Lykan” code-name was previously leaked by @MMDDJ_ around July this year, its more than likely that this indeed refers to the W2019, and if Samsung follows their previous release schedules for this flagship series, it will be released in December this year.
So of course, there’s very little known about this device beside what we’ve already mentioned – but if Samsung is going to release it for the multi-thousand dollar pricetag that previous releases had, its more than likely that the Samsung W2019 will pack some serious hardware, especially in the camera department. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a variable aperture that could automatically switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5 depending on the lighting. Overall, it should be a pretty impressive (albeit super expensive) device, and it could be a preview of what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S10 when its released for the international market.