Reports in December claimed that Samsung started mass production of its 2018 kickstarter smartphone duo: The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
We’ve seen some early Christmas leak gifts and the president of Samsung's mobile division DJ Koh confirmed the MWC (Mobile World Congress) launch of 2018 Galaxy S series. It’s January and rumours were floating around for quite a while. Let’s have a look what we know so far about the S9 models.
Ten seconds long video leaked and thanks to SlashLeaks we had our first look at Galaxy S9. The video quality isn't that great, but sneak peeks from production lines shouldn't be questioned ? As the video title states apparently, Galaxy S9's sensitivity has been tested. You can easily see curved edges and infinity display. It does resemble Galaxy S8 a lot, however have you noticed thinner bottom bezel as well or it's just us?
Evan Blass - industry tipster with proven record of accurate leaks, cited a C-level executive in his recent tweet and unveiled Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus launch, pre-orders and release dates:
On 26 of February MWC grounds will be open to the public and we'd imagine that dedicated press event will happen a day before. However, Samsung might have changed its strategy and big announcements will be made on Monday.
Pre-orders will follow 2 days later and shippements are rumoured to begin 2 weeks after. Seems like there's not long left to wait.
Recently we have spotted a leaked Galaxy S9 packaging. The key specs are very similar to last years Galaxy S and we can say with a grain of salt that earlier rumours and speculations are being confirmed. If this is a legit packaging, the image sensor will come with variable aperture.
The 12MP main camera can switch between the lowest on the market f/1.5 aperture (same in Samsung's latest flip phone W2018) and f/2.4 for more depth effect at ideal lighting conditions. Samsung will probably tailor camera modes to get the most use of it and will point this out at their Press Conference at MWC. The packaging also reveals a Super Slow-mo! Video recording at 1000 frames per second, ohhh yes!
Earphones tuned by AKG identical to the ones that came with Galaxy S8 mean that headphone jack got its ticket to Galaxy S9 this year.
What will it look like?
At a glimpse, upcoming flagships resemble its predecessors in terms of front look and thin bezels. Renders point that S9 will come with recognisable curved edges on the back and front panels providing nice feel in hand as S8 does. Previously, rumours where suggesting that Samsung might reduce the bottom border, however something went wrong and we’re most likely to see the S8 look with upgraded internals.
Still on the back
The fingerprint sensor will stay on the rear of the phone; however, position will be tweaked a little bit. Early S8 adopters were sharing their complaints regarding the position of biometric sensors on the S8 models as it was parallel to the camera and it took a little getting used to. The Galaxy S9 and Plus version will feature fingerprint readers underneath their cameras paired with flash and heart rate sensors.
We have hope
Synaptics Corporation released the Clear ID end of last year - world’s first in-display fingerprint reader. Working with top 5 original equipment manufacturers (Samsung is definitely in top 5 OEMs), Synaptics aims to make new identification tech reality, just time will show who will be first. We haven’t seen any S9 leaks with any hints to in-display optical fingerprint readers, but maybe it’s something Samsung is keeping close to their chest for the time being (fingers crossed).
Jack (Check!) fuuh…
Thank you, Samsung, for not jumping in “goodbye” headphone jack wagon and keeping it where it belongs – on the bottom of the phone next to a USB Type-C port.
What about cameras?
For the first smartphone to set the trend S8 had a great camera sensor. The single camera is dealing perfectly fine in low light and gives clean detailed pictures. However, the year is 12 months long and more smartphones were released outpacing Samsung’s S8 in single sensor camera performance (read Google Pixel 2).
Leaks point that S9 brothers will be more distinct this year: S9 keeping the single snapper and S9 Plus coming with a dual camera set up. Did Samsung decide to go Apple route this year fitting an extra camera on the plus version of the handset?
We’ve heard in October that Samsung developed a new generation of image sensors with 1000 fps shooting capabilities. If so, the Korean tech giant had plenty of time to prepare the new camera for Galaxy S9.
Currently, the smartphone offering 960 fps is Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium and Galaxy S9 might take the lead in slow motion video shooting.
Loving the 18:9 ratio
Already stunning screen with its curved edge-to-edge infinity display is likely to stay unchanged. We were thrilled by early talks about incorporating the 21:9 aspect ratio, but Samsung decided to play it safe and stick with the winner.
As we might have learnt from previous releases, Plus version gets a bigger screen and this year the S9 will feature a 6.22-inch panel, whereas its little brother will be treated with a 5.77-inch screen.
Face unlock everywhere
Apple smashed it last year introducing the iPhone X and its advanced super complex FaceID technology. The reaction on Galaxy S8 twins facial recognition wasn’t that impeccable last year as it was easy to trick it with a simple selfie and break in.
Samsung is said to be working on improving the technology. 3MP iris camera lens will allow users to unlock their phones in more challenging environments.
In-display fingerprint sensor we briefly talked about above would be perfect to introduce this year as users find scanning their irises unnecessary and are choose fingerprint unlock over facial recognition.
Mobile World Congress is approaching and will happen between 26th of February and 1st of March in Barcelona. We'd imagine Samsung will host a dedicated press event the day before the show starts (on February 25th) to unveil the Galaxy S9 series. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more hot leaks and update this blog. Let us know your thoughts about the upcoming S9 in the comments and stay tuned for more.