Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the two new flagship smartphones from the South Korean tech giant, might arrive in India as early as March. At MWC 2018 last evening, Samsung confirmed that new Galaxy S9 flagship will go on sale starting March 16 in select markets, but the India launch details where not shared by the company.
Now, Samsung India has commenced pre-order for the device on its website, indicating the availability might coincide with that of global release on March 16. Those interested in Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ can prebook the smartphone with an advance payment of Rs 2,000. Those prebooking the device will be alerted via email and SMS on the launch, and can use Rs 2,000 pre-book coupon at the time of final checkout.
Samsung India has not confirmed the price of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, but it is expected to be available at the same price as its predecessors. The website notes that those who pre-book the device but fail to initiate the final payment within the due date will get a refund within seven working days. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were announced in four different colors and in India, they will retail in midnight black, coral blue and lilac purple options.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are iterative updates to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ respectively, and bring minor design changes. The most notable change is at the back with Samsung fixing one major flaw with Galaxy S8 duo and the Galaxy Note 8. The fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is placed below the camera module, which should make it easier to reach.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are powered by Snapdragon 845 chipset but in India, it is expected to launch with company’s own Exynos 9810 SoC. The Galaxy S9 comes with 4GB RAM and option for either 64GB or 256GB storage while the Galaxy S9+ comes with 6GB RAM and choice of 64GB or 256GB storage. There is also expandable storage option in case you find the onboard storage too less for your needs.
While Samsung is offering latest internals on Galaxy S9 duo, the company has focused entirely on improving the camera. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature a primary 12-megapixel sensor at the back with what Samsung calls as variable aperture. The sensor basically works like a mechanical aperture with wider f/1.5 aperture being used in low-light conditions and narrower f/2.4 aperture in bright daylight.
The f/1.5 on the Galaxy S9 duo is now one of brightest lenses found on a smartphone. Samsung has locked the aperture to fixed f/1.5 and f/2.4 values and it can be better than what Google Pixel 2 and Apple iPhone X offer right now. The Galaxy S9 differs from Galaxy S9+ with the larger model getting dual rear camera setup with the second sensor acting as telephoto lens. Samsung has also added a dedicated DRAM chip, which ensures faster processing and ability to shoot super slow-motion videos at 960fps – yes just like the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. The front camera, however, remains the same at 8-megapixels with f/1.7 aperture.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ also bring new features like AR Emoji, which is basically Samsung’s take on Animoji. In the demo, it seemed to be more intuitive than Apple’s offering, and its USP is that it works across platforms and AR emoji can be shared on WhatApp or Facebook Messenger and is not limited to Galaxy S9 devices. Samsung has also improved the iris scanner to support improved face detection and both the Galaxy S9 models feature optical heart-rate sensor for more accurate tracking.
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ run Android 8.0 Oreo, and come bundled with Bixby assistant and has a dedicated button to launch it. Both the models pack a 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh battery like their predecessors, and work with DeXPad that turns the phone into a workstation by connecting to monitor and other input devices. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are priced at $720 (around Rs 47,000) and $840 (around Rs 54,500) respectively in the US, and pre-orders start from March 2.