Soon after the Galaxy Note 8 launch, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been the part of rumor mills. After months of leaks, design renders and rumors, Samsung is all set to unveil the new flagship smartphones at MWC 2018. The event is set to take place on February 25 at 6PM CET (10:30PM IST), and the company will also offer live stream on its YouTube and other social media channels. And while the launch event is still four days away, here’s a look at everything we know about the smartphones so far.
From what we’ve seen in the design and leaked renders, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ won’t feature a radical design change compared to last year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The front is likely to be dominated by the Infinity Display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. While some rumors hinted that the bottom chin will be non-existent due to the higher screen-to-body ratio, the leaked renders don’t show much of a difference. The Galaxy S9 could sport a 5.8-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, whereas the Galaxy S9+ could come with a slightly larger 6.2-inch display of the same resolution.
While the new Galaxy S9 duo may not come with a radical new design, there will be some improvements for sure. Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 users have been criticizing the odd placement of the fingerprint sensor at the back. As it sits next to camera module, users end up touching the camera lens by mistake, thus leaving smudges on it. With the new Galaxy S9 duo, Samsung is moving the fingerprint sensor below the camera module, just like on the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+.
Bixby on the Galaxy S9 duo is expected to gain even more importance, but if you thought that Samsung would do away with the dedicated Bixby button on the left, then that’s not happening. At least, the leaked renders suggest so.
Under the hood
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC in the US and Europe, whereas India and Asia Pacific regions are likely to get the variants running Exynos 9810 octa-core SoC with AI integration. While the Galaxy S9 is expected to come with 4GB of RAM, the Galaxy S9+ is likely to come with 6GB of RAM. In terms of storage, rumors hint that the Galaxy S9 will come with 64GB onboard storage, whereas the ‘Plus’ variant could come with 128GB and 256GB options.
Connectivity options such as dual-SIM card slots, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C port and GPS are likely to be present. And to keep things ticking, the Galaxy S9 could house a 3,000mAh battery, whereas the ‘Plus’ variant could get slightly larger 3,500mAh battery. Both the smartphones will also support fast charging and wireless fast charging.
Samsung has always focused on the camera aspect of its flagship smartphones, and the same is likely to continue with the new smartphones too. This time around, the South Korean giant could go with Apple-like approach. The Galaxy S9 is set to come with a single camera setup at the back, whereas the premium Galaxy S9+ will dual-cameras at the back.
A leaked retail box hinted at a variable aperture camera with the f-stop number ranging from f/1.5 to f/2.4. The wider aperture would help in capturing better low-light photos, whereas the smaller aperture would help in capturing better photos in broad day-light, with bright outdoor conditions. How the technology actually works remains to be seen, but if the Galaxy S9 does get f/1.5 aperture lens, it will be the largest ever on a smartphone.
The dual camera modules on the Galaxy S9+ are expected to be two 12-megapixel snappers – a wide-angle lens with variable aperture (f/1.5 to f/2.4), and other a telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture. The second camera will help in adding DSLR-like blur effects to your selfies.
Up front, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera of aperture f/1.7 is expected. The new Galaxy S9 duo are also expected to gain a couple of neat tricks. Along with an iris scanner for biometric authentication and face recognition, Apple iPhone-X style Animoji feature is also expected.
Miscellaneous features and Software
Other features such as IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, and a heart rate sensor besides the camera module are likely to be present. Both smartphones are also rumored to come with stereo speakers, where the earpiece will double up as a secondary speaker when listening to music or watching multimedia content.
Both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are expected to run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, with a layer of Samsung’s custom UI on top. However, there is no word on whether or not the smartphone will support Google’s Project Treble. For those unaware, Project Treble separates the vendor implementation from Android OS framework, which should eventually help in delivering faster Android updates, rather than waiting for months to get it.
Price and availability
The Galaxy S8 was launched in India for Rs 57,900, but after recent price cut, it now retails at Rs 53,900. The Galaxy S8+, on the other hand, was launched for Rs 64,900, but now sells for Rs 58,900. According to a recent report on ETNews, the Galaxy S9 could retail around 950,000-999,000 Won in Korea, which translates to Rs 56,500-59,000 in India. After customs and import duties, the Galaxy S9 could sell above Rs 60,000.
While there is no word on the Galaxy S9+ pricing, it is likely to sell close to Rs 70,000 after import duties and taxes. Soon after the launch event on February 25, Samsung could start accepting pre-orders from the same day, and the devices are expected to start shipping from March 8. However, details about Indian availability are unknown at the moment, and more details are expected post the smartphone launch at MWC 2018.