We are at the doors of the Mobile World Congress and the world of smartphones is accelerating to reach its peak on February 25, with the expected debut of the Samsung Galaxy S9 . The rumours are flying, so we’ve compiled and reviewed some of the most credible leaks to get an idea of what Samsung will announce in a couple of weeks.
One of the most surprising thing about the Galaxy S9 is that the front of the new flagship Samsung will be almost identical to the Galaxy S8, including the curved screen and rounded corners.
But the back is another story. Here, Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor to a more central location, below the back camera, instead of keeping it on the right side as it did with the Galaxy S8. In addition, the camera is aligned vertically, instead of horizontally, which gives the S9 a more symmetrical appearance. Everything else resembles the Galaxy S8, including the aluminum frame that holds the front and rear glass panels together. The dedicated button for Bixby is also there, just to the left.
For colour, Evan Blass says the S9 will be available in midnight black, lilac, titanium gray and coral blue.
As for the interior, it is expected that the Galaxy S9 comes with the latest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 845. It would be the first time this chip was presented in a consumer device. The memory and storage of S9 would remain at 4 and 64 GB, respectively. Nevertheless, VentureBeat states that the S9 + will get a small increase until it reaches 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage in the standard model. The OLED screens of the S9 and S9 + will remain the same size, 5.8 and 6.2 inches, and should have the same resolution of 2960 x 1440.
A good improvement, according to SamMobile , will be the inclusion of stereo speakers, which should offer a much richer audio experience than the mono configuration of the S8. Finally, again according to Evan Blass , Samsung has wisely decided to maintain another year the headphone jack for the S9, which should be of great help to people who do not want to deal with wireless headphones.
New rear camera
Despite the lack of official information, Samsung is already trying to seduce us with the potential of the new S9 camera. According to Evan Blass , that confidence could be justified, since apparently the S9 will have the world’s first adjustable aperture camera on a smartphone. You can change between f / 1.5 (which would also be the biggest opening on a smartphone) and f / 2.4. On top of that, there are SamMobile reports that say the S9 will have a new slow-motion feature that will be able to record video up to 480 fps at 720p. The S9 + will also have a second rear camera with 2x optical zoom, similar to that found in the Galaxy Note 8.
The current S8 already has biometric security options such as iris scanning and face scanning. But, according to SamCentral , the Samsung S9 will combine the two to create what it calls Intelligent Scan, the company’s response to Apple’s Face ID. As leaked by the update of Android Oreo Note 8, we know that Intelligent Scan will take advantage of the recognition of the eyes and face to offer greater security, while enabling another new feature that people call 3D emoji .
That’s right, after Apple included the Animoji on the iPhone X, it seems that Samsung has created its own version of animated emojis that react to your facial movements. According to ETNews , the S9 will be able to create 3D characters based on a person’s face that can be used in place of emoticons in specific messaging applications. The official name of these emojis in 3D will be announced on February 25.
The last big change is a new version of the Samsung DeX Station, which has gone from being a kind of dock to a kind of pad. The pad will come with all the necessary ports to connect a mouse, a keyboard and an external screen to transform the S9 into a kind of mini desktop computer.
Price and availability
This last issue is the subject of greatest concern, because last fall both Samsung and Apple launched the most expensive phone in its history: the Galaxy Note 8 for $ 900 and the iPhone X for $ 1,000. Unfortunately, according to rumors coming from South Korea and the United Kingdom , it seems that the price of the Galaxy S9 will also rise.
According to the prices that are rumoured in Asia and Europe, I estimate that the Galaxy S9 will have a price between $ 775 and $ 800, which would be a significant jump compared to the $ 700-720 that the Galaxy S8 cost last year (prices varied depending on the operator). Meanwhile, the larger S9 + probably adds $ 100 on the standard model. This would make the S9 the most expensive Galaxy S so far, which is probably not surprising to anyone watching the recent trends of smartphones, but it is a bit worrisome.
And regarding when we can buy one, Evleaks says that the advance orders will open on March 1 and will be sent two weeks later, on March 16. This would be one of the earliest Galaxy S releases in recent history, which is good for anyone wanting to buy a new phone, because Samsung could be the first phone manufacturer to sell the next generation of phones.
So, will the S9 be enough to steal sales from Apple’s iPhone X? It’s hard to say yet, but if those rumors about the camera are true, it could be enough to put Samsung back on top. In any case, we will be in the Mobile World Congress covering all the news.