As Samsung’s 2018 flagship phone, which we’ll call the ‘Galaxy S9’ for now is nearing its official release in the next few months, the rumors and leaks about the phone’s features, specs, price and release date have been increasing.
Samsung set the bar for flagship smartphones early in 2017 with its stunning Galaxy S8 series and there is no doubt the company is going to raise the bar in 2018 with its new flagship phone. In the shadow of the iPhone X, Samsung’s ‘Galaxy S9’ has much to prove.
So, here we bring you the information you need to know about the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and everything we know about it so far.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Design:
Given the increasing number of Galaxy S9 cases sprouting online, the buzz is that the phone will likely look very similar to its predecessor Galaxy S8.
Leaked renders from case manufacturer Olixar suggest that both the fingerprint reader and rear camera arrangement will change slightly from the previous effort. With the S9, the fingerprint reader will now be situated below the rear camera, as opposed to the right.
Samsung looks set to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack with a new leak suggesting the phone will have the port along its bottom edge.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Hardware
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 845, which will likely be powering US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S9. Outside of the US, buyers are likely to get Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 processor.
Snapdragon 845, which is expected to enable a whole bunch of new features plus better battery life, is an octa-core chip with four cores running at 2.8GHz and four at 1.8GHz, with the fastest cores delivering up to 30% better performance than the fastest cores in the Snapdragon 835.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Camera
When it comes to the camera, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is rumored to be having a single rear camera, and the Galaxy S9 Plus having a dual-lens camera. Several alleged rear panels and case leaks have revealed a vertical cut-out that would appear to support vertically-aligned dual cameras, as well as a fingerprint sensor below it.
The Galaxy S9 will be having a ‘3D sensor front camera, which allows you to use facial recognition to unlock the phone. The Snapdragon 845 chipset in Galaxy S9 allows a camera to shoot some incredible slow-motion videos and record 4K Ultra HD video at 60fps. The chip will produce brighter photography and video, reduce noise and make it possible to embed tiny videos within still portraits.
According to a report from ETNews, Samsung is working on a sensor (“3-stack layer” image sensor) capable of shooting at 1,000 fps (frames per second). Means, you can take 1,000 photos per second, which would be better than anything on the market in a phone right now. Sony’s Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ Premium have sensors that can shoot 960 fps, the highest of any smartphone. But the Galaxy S9’s sensor would be best of them if the rumor turns to be true.
There aren’t any rumors surrounding megapixels as yet, but expect a great performer, wide aperture and more advanced features, as is normally the way with a new flagship.
Samsung Galaxy S9: An Improved Face ID & iris Scanner
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 sport two forms of face-based biometric security: iris scanning and 2D-based face recognition.
The 2D-based face recognition is quick and works really well, but it’s not very secure. Some users have been able to fool the face recognition into unlocking devices using photos. On the other hand, the iris scanner is much more secure as it takes a read of your unique iris, but it’s not nearly as fast as the facial recognition. However, there were also reports that few hackers fooled the Galaxy S8’s iris scanner using a photo and contact lenses.
There were reports suggesting that Samsung, on the S9, might further improve these front-facing biometric systems with a 3D sensor. “3D sensing cameras will be applied to various areas such as unlocking, mobile banking, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR),” BusinessKorea quoted as a source saying.
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 processor, rumored to debut in the Galaxy S9, supports the type of 3D face mapping that’s used in Apple’s Face ID technology. And while Apple’s Face ID technology uses 30,000 dots of infrared light to map your face, Qualcomm’s capacity is 50,000 dots, theoretically giving it an accuracy edge.
Samsung will also likely improve the iris scanner for the Galaxy S9, with the reports suggesting that it will be boosted to 3MP (from 2MP on the S8) and better able to recognize faces in more challenging environments – like when the lighting is poor, and also when the eyes move during scanning or are behind glasses. There are reports that Samsung is keen to get more banking apps compatible with iris scanning.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Battery:
The rumored inclusion of Snapdragon 845 in Galaxy S9 may allow the company to include a much bigger battery. A report suggests that Samsung will now use substrate-like PCB tech that will allow the company to include a bigger battery without increasing the size of the processor.
One other benefit of stepping up to the Snapdragon 845 is better power efficiency — 30 percent better, according to Qualcomm. If true, this could push the Galaxy S9 beyond the vaunted 20-hour threshold.
When will it be announced?
We can expect Samsung Galaxy S9 to be revealed sometime around February or March of this year. Samsung usually announces its new flagship phones in March and ships it in April. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were officially announced in late March, with general availability starting from late April.
But, recent rumors suggest the Galaxy S9 will launch in January, before a March launch. Prolific phone leaker Evan Blass said in November that Samsung may debut the new phones at CES 2018, scheduled to begin on January 9 in Las Vegas. VentureBeat also reported the same, adding that there is still expected to be a March event though, suggesting if anything is revealed about the S9 at CES, it could be something small, like a teaser video. However, Samsung has now come out and said that any showing of the S9 in January is “unlikely.”
Meanwhile, few other leaks suggest the new Samsung Galaxy S9 could debut in February at Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) in Barcelona. Case manufacturer Olixar predicts a 28th February 2018 release date for the Galaxy S9 and expects a mid-February reveal by Samsung. We have also heard another rumor pointing to a late February announcement, followed by an early March launch.
“The South Korea-based technology giant plans to introduce the new models, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, as early as late February and release the devices as early as March,” Bloomberg said.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Price:
Given, if all of the rumored upgrades are to be true, it’s highly unlikely that Samsung will drop the price of its newer phone. What we can safely predict is that the Samsung Galaxy S9 is sure to be expensive, as the Galaxy S8 launched at $720, £689, AU$1,199.
Sammobile has reported that there will be two models again this year – Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
According to Forbes, Samsung may follow Apple and name the Samsung’s next flagship phone as the Galaxy X. Of course, it could one-up Apple by going straight to the Galaxy S11 — or something else entirely.
There have been rumors suggesting that the South Korean technology giant has been attempting to embed the fingerprint scanner into the Galaxy S9’s display, but a new report notes that the company may have ditched those plans.
Last year, Samsung filed a patent for a foldable phone, and then Bloomberg reported that the company was considering releasing two models with bendable screens.