This year, Samsung has released two flagship devices: the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Depending on the market, you’ll either get a model with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Samsung Exynos 9810. There’s little doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will launch next year as Samsung’s premiere flagship smartphone, but another Samsung flagship smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (likely the Samsung W2019) may launch in China before the S10.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Samsung sells premium Android flip-phones, but only in China. The Samsung W2017 was released in December 2016 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and a hefty $3,000 price tag. The Samsung W2018 was released in December 2017 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Android 7.1 Nougat, and a price tag over $2,000. Thus, we would expect to see a Samsung W2019 this December with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and ideally Android Pie, though Android Oreo is far more likely. It’ll very likely cost a pretty penny and won’t be available outside of China, too. Of course, nothing about the Samsung W2019 has been confirmed, but there have been a few credible rumors that we can now add to.
The clamshell Samsung W2018. Credits: Tech Sina.
Samsung W2019 Rumors
The first mention of the Samsung W2019 was made by @MMDDJ_, a Chinese leaker of Samsung products with a decent track record. He suggested that the Samsung W2019’s code-name is “Project Lykan” and that the device would have dual cameras. Next, SamMobile discovered firmware build W2019ZCU0ARI1 which is likely for the W2019. Unfortunately, there has been no other information about this upcoming device. While we don’t have any exciting information to share like photos, press renders, a full specification list, etc., we do have evidence that there’s indeed a China-bound Samsung flagship code-named “lykan” with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Given what @MMDDJ_ and SamMobile posted, “lykanlte” is likely the Samsung W2019. Here’s the evidence we gathered, thanks to help from XDA Recognized Developer deadman96385.
We dug through the kernel source code for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and found several references to a device code-named “lykan.” There are also mentions of two files named
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 we examined. Unfortunately, that means there’s little information we can share on the device. All we can tell, mostly from the DTB filenames, is that “lykan” has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and is a device for China. The “lykan” code-name matches up with what @MMDDJ_ posted back in July, so this finding matches up with previous rumors.
Although we know little about this device, there’s no doubt in our minds that it’ll be an expensive, premium clamshell device. The Samsung W2018 was the first Samsung device with a variable aperture that could automatically switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5 depending on the lighting. We don’t know what crazy camera technology Samsung will pack in the Samsung W2019, but we expect it to be impressive. It could possibly serve as an early look at next year’s Samsung Galaxy S10. We’ll keep an eye out for when this device launches, likely in December.