Samsung's Galaxy S20 and 20+ models have passed the federal certification standards and appeared at the FCC database much earlier than their predecessors in the S10 family which didn't make it theew until early February.
Not only that, but Samsung's first foldable phone with clamshell design has also made a cameo there at the same time, officiating all the rumors that such a device exists, and will be announced together with the S20, S20+ and the S20 Ultra at the February 11 Unpacked event.
What can we learn from the FCC entries of said phones? Well, not much at the moment, since the design pictures are under embargo there until the summer, but we do get a sneak peek at the 4G LTE and 5G bands that Samsung's new phones will support.
In the case of the Galaxy S20+, it does support the mmWave 5G of the type that Verizon and AT&T use, while the Galaxy Z Flip will be a strictly 4G-laden affair, just as we heard.
The FCC even has a neat little render of the S20+ below, indicating how one of the mmWave antennas will look like, and we can clearly see the SIM card tray at the top frame of the phone - on the left when facing its screen, or top right when looked at from the rear.
Galaxy S20+ mmWave 5G antenna placement
Samsung probably needed the opposite top corner for something else - oh, yeah, that insane camera island with the multiple camera lenses that we've taken a peek at many a times before already.
About the Galaxy S20, FCC states
that "this device contains the following capabilities":
- 850/1900 CDMA (BC0, BC1, BC10), 850/1900 GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 850/1700/1900 WCDMA/HSPA, Multi-band LTE, 5G NR (n71, n5, n66, n2, n41), 802.11b/g/n/ax WLAN, 802.11a/n/ac/ax UNII, Bluetooth (1x, EDR, LE), NFC, ANT+, Wireless Power TransferThe device contains receivers which tune and operate between 30MHz – 960MHz in the following bands: CDMA850, GSM850, WCDMA850, LTE B12, LTE B13, LTE B14, LTE B26, LTE B29, LTE B5 and LTE B71.
while the S20+ ratchets
the 5G bands up quite a bit to the following:
- 850/1900 CDMA/EvDO Rev0/A, 1x Advanced (BC0, BC1, BC10), 850/1900 GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 850/1700/1900 WCDMA/HSPA, Multi-band LTE, 5G NR (n71, n5, n66, n2, n41, n260, n261), 802.11b/g/n/ax WLAN, 802.11a/n/ac/ax UNII, Bluetooth (1x, EDR, LE), NFC, ANT+, Wireless Power Transfer
Samsung's Galaxy S20 may not be compatible with 5G on Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T
Given that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile sport 5G bands from the so-called frequency range 2 that the S20 doesn't support, could this FCC filing mean that the S20 won't be able to take advantage of the fast mmWave spectrum on those networks, or only be available as a 4G device on those networks?
28 GHz (US)
The SM-G981U at the FCC could be the U.S. Cellular specific model of the S20, if history is any indication, though, so it only shows what that very version that Samsung sells can or can not do. The S20+ (SM-G986U), however, has passed the so-called Power Density Simulation report that 5G-capable gear with mmWave network support has to go through, while the S20 (SM-G981U) hasn't, so make of it what you will.
The Galaxy Z Flip will have multi-band Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint support, but no 5G modem
Unlike the 5G band differences between the S20 and S20+, the Galaxy Z Flip is only listed
- 850/1900 GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 850/1700/1900 WCDMA/HSPA, Multi-band LTE, 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 802.11a/n/ac UNII, Bluetooth (1x, EDR, LE), NFC, ANT+, Wireless Power Transfer
The fact that it is carrying "multi-band LTE," but not a modem that supports 5G NR frequencies indicates that it might indeed arrive in a 4G-exclusive package but will probably be compatible with each and every US carrier network.
As for the S20 Ultra, so far this handset has only had official LED cover cases
for it being approved for sale in the US by the FCC but its entry in the database shouldn't be far behind, and we'll update you on its purportedly 5G-exclusive situation when it hits the tape.