Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ : Everything We Know So Far
Updated: A report claims that the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and its smaller sibling will have the ability to make 3D emoticons using the front-facing camera, similar to Apple’s Animojis. This does seem plausible as Samsung is expected to have an advanced facial recognition system as well. Also, both the devices will have dual speakers, one at the top and one at the bottom of the phone.
Samsung will launch the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on the 25th of February in Barcelona. Two of the most anticipated flagship devices of 2018 are expected to go on sale in the first week of March. Samsung is expected to announce the release schedule as well as the first batch of countries that will receive the two devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ became extremely popular for their infinity display, sleek design and terrific camera performance. Even though the camera was not much of an upgrade over the Galaxy S7, it was enough to be one of the best in class in early-2017. The quad HD resolution coupled with Samsung’s Super AMOLED panel meant that even today, the Galaxy S8 has one of the best smartphone displays on the market.
A similar level of superiority is expected from the Galaxy S9 and its bigger sibling. This time around, even though it looks like the design won’t see much of a change, the camera department is expected to see a vast upgrade. With enough leaks out on the internet so far, here’s what we know about the 2018 flagship devices from Samsung so far:
Surprisingly, one of the least talked about aspect of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ has been the price. With the price of flagship smartphones touching new heights in 2017, this year doesn’t seem to be any different. However, if the latest reports from South Korea are anything to go by, Samsung could nail the pricing of the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
In South Korea, Samsung’s native market, the Galaxy S9 will cost KRW950,000, while the S9+ will be KRW990,000. This amounts to about US$ 883 for the S9 and US$ 920 for the Galaxy S9+. It is worth noting that Samsung always prices its smartphones higher in South Korea.
This means that the company will launch the two phones at a price similar or same as that of their predecessors. For context, the Galaxy S8 was priced at KRW935,000 (around $875) in South Korea. Its global price was US$ 720.
Even a year later, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are still two of the best-looking smartphones in the market right now. All the renders and leaks have suggested that Samsung will retain the design for the upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+. This should not be disappointing, owing to the superior design of the 2017 flagship phones. The new smartphones will have a glass back with an aluminium frame.
The top and bottom bezels will be slightly smaller while the edge-to-edge infinity display will be present as well. The fingerprint sensor will now be placed below the camera module, a much better position than the one on the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note8. Interestingly enough, Samsung will also retain the Bixby button on the left-hand side.
As mentioned before, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ had two of the best displays of 2017 and it won’t be different with the S9 and S9+. Unlike the majority of “bezel-less” smartphones of 2017, the Galaxy S8 devices had an 18.5:9 aspect ratio and the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to retain that. The Galaxy S9 is expected to have a 5.8 inch Super AMOLED display with a 2960 x 1440 px resolution. The Galaxy S9+ might have a 6.2 inch Super AMOLED display with a 2960 x 1440 px resolution.
On top of the display will be Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The same glass will also be used on the back.
What’s Under The Hood?
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ will run on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset in the US and South Korea. As is with other Galaxy devices, rest of the markets will receive the Exynos 9810 chipset running Galaxy S9 and S9+.
According to a leak, Galaxy S9 will be offered in two options, 4GB RAM/64GB storage and 4GB RAM/128GB storage. The bigger sibling of the two, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ will be available in 6GB RAM/64GB storage, 6GB RAM/128GB storage and 6GB RAM/256GB models in major markets across the world. The same tipster also claims that Samsung will launch a special edition Samsung Galaxy S9+ with 512GB of storage.
Unless Xiaomi beats Samsung to it, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be the first smartphones ever to run on the Snapdragon 845 chipset.
The camera department is expected to see the most noticeable upgrade this time. Unlike what happened in 2017, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to have much more superior cameras than their predecessors. In a recent leak of the retail box of the Galaxy S9, it was revealed that it would have a 12MP camera with an f/1.5 aperture. Interestingly, the camera would support a variable aperture.
Taking a route Apple has tread so far, the ‘Plus’ model of the new flagship will have a dual-camera setup. In order to justify a higher price tag, Samsung Galaxy S9+ will now offer something substantial that the regular S9 doesn’t.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to run Android 8 Oreo out of the box. While so many OEMs have already rolled out Android 8 Oreo update for their existing flagship phones, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note8 still run Android 7.1 Nougat. This will change once the Galaxy S9 phones are launched.
As is with every other Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have the Experience UI on top. Samsung’s Experience UI has come a long way since its inception and is miles ahead of the TouchWiz UI. As every custom skin does, Experience UI has a divided opinion as well. But, you can always use a launcher if you want a stock OS look.
Bells And Whistles
The Essential Ph-1 was probably the most stock Android phone when it was launched. No whimsical features of any sort, just pure stock Android OS. Even Google’s own Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL had features like Active Edge and Now Playing that came in handy at times. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be nowhere near to what the Essential Ph-1 was.
A recent leak suggested that the upcoming flagship devices will have a ‘Smart Scan’ feature. This will basically combine iris and face scanning for a more accurate authentication system. However, since this will use Samsung’s API, the Smart Scan won’t be utilised for activites like banking. Face ID on the iPhone X has replaced Touch ID which means it is used for storing sensitive data and even banking.
The smartphones will also have an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Thanks to a glass back, wireless charging will again be a feature on the new devices.
On the 25th of February, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be launched. As two of the most high-profile smartphones of early-2018, a lot will be riding on the success of the devices for Samsung. Even though the design is similar to their predecessors, it, by no means, a bad decision. If the renders turn out to be true, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will again be two great looking devices with top-notch specifications.
With the Galaxy S9 sporting a single camera and the Galaxy S9+ with a dual-camera setup, consumers might be drawn towards the bigger sibling. It will be interesting to see how big of a difference the camera performances will make.