Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
The new Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are scheduled to launch on the 25th of February ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018. Since so much attention is placed on these two devices, it’s hard for Samsung to keep everything under wraps until the announcement. We’ve seen everything from hardware specifications to pricing to even minute software features being leaked. All of that information can be overwhelming, so here is a roundup of everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ Design
The basic design of the Galaxy S9 will be similar to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S8. The front will be almost identical but with a slightly smaller front bezel at the bottom. On the other hand, the top bezel will be the same size. Also on the top, the earpiece grill will be a bit larger to make room for the new front firing AKG tuned speaker. According to our source who has seen and used the unreleased Galaxy S9, it will match the previously leaked renders perfectly. The body of the device is also rumored to use 7000 series aluminum, making the device more durable than previous models. It will also get the new IPX8 water resistance, allowing for 1.8m submersion instead of the current 1.5m.
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ as leaked by VentureBeat.
The rear of the device will change a bit, which has already leaked. The camera and fingerprint scanner will be stacked vertically, and the heart rate scanner and LED flash will be placed next to the camera and fingerprint scanner. One radical difference between the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is that the latter will have a dual camera, a first for the Galaxy S line, that will also be stacked on top of the fingerprint scanner with the flash and heart rate monitor on the side.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ in Coral Blue with a dual rear camera module. Source: Evan Blass.
The body of the phone is almost the same size as the Galaxy S8 and S8+, though a bit smaller. It will come in 4 colors: Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, and Titanium Gray as reported by Evan Blass. Our source says the phones will be a bit lighter than the current Galaxy S8 and S8+, though the speakers in the Galaxy S9 will also be much louder and have a much better sound quality. Our source claims “A+++” sound quality.
New S9 renders showing front, back, and sides of the S9. Source: WinFuture
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ Camera and Sensors
According to the press invites Samsung has sent to reporters, the camera on the Galaxy S9 will see the largest upgrade. We know already that the rear-facing camera on the Galaxy S9 will be variable aperture. This will be the second Samsung phone to have a variable aperture. It will still be a 12MP sensor, though, but it will have 2 aperture values to switch from—f/1.5 and f/2.4. This will allow for more light intake when taking shots at night and less light for daytime shots. The Galaxy S9+ will have the same variable aperture camera but with another 12 MP zoom lens like the Samsung Galaxy Note8. There is also rumored to a 25% reduction in noise while using the camera in low light. The camera will also be able to take pictures in 10bit color instead of the 8bit that is currently used, this means more vibrant and colorful pictures.
These cameras will also support “Super Slow Mo” recording which is described as a 960 Hz slow-motion 720p video. This is from an unnamed source, so we can not confirm this.
The upcoming Galaxy flagships will get support for Samsung’s new 3D Emoji. This was confirmed to be a feature, and it will allow you to create an avatar of yourself, like Bitmoji, and speak through it like Apple’s Animoji. Unlike Bitmoji or Animoji, however, you will be able to take a picture of yourself and import it in. It will also support Emoji just like Apple’s Animoji. They will also be able to change your voice to add yet another layer onto the 3D Emoji.
Facial Recognition/Iris Scanner
The front Iris camera is rumored to get an upgrade from 2MP to 3MP—increasing speed and accuracy. Our same source has also said that the facial recognition on the phone will use the same camera as the iris scanner. Our source also confirmed that Intelligent Scan, which we leaked through strings in the System UI of the unreleased Samsung Galaxy Note8 Android Oreo beta, will also be making its first appearance in the Galaxy S9. The new 3D emoji will also use the new 3MP iris camera.
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ Software Features
This is hardly a surprise, but Samsung will be launching the new flagship smartphones with Android 8.0 Oreo on board. We confirmed this several months back, but at the time could not tell you specifically what new features would be included in Samsung Experience. Now that Samsung Experience 9.0 started to roll out on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ (albeit briefly put on hold), we know that the update will include features such as a new keyboard with built-in stickers and GIFs, App Pair, and much more which you can read about here. All of the standard Android 8.0 Oreo feature-set will be available, of course.
Bixby will also be getting an upgrade with the S9. When you first turn on your device to set it up, Bixby will be able to assist you in the setup process. We discovered this from the Setup Wizard APK from the Galaxy Note8 8.0 Oreo beta. Along with the setup process, Bixby Vision will be getting an upgrade with new real-time translation, which our own source corroborates.
Our source states that Samsung will be partnering with Sephora to add a real-time 3D makeup augmented reality tester. It will scan your face and use Bixby Vision to let you try on makeup and see how you like it, then you can add it to your cart and checkout right through Bixby. Bixby will also be getting its own standalone app. According to ETNews, the Galaxy S9 might be launching with Bixby 2.0, which should improve the speed and accuracy of its voice controls.
The hardware of the Galaxy S9 will be getting a nice, incremental upgrade. The screen will be the same sizes as the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but will be getting brighter with better support for HDR10. The CPU for the U.S. Variant will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and for the international variant, it will be the Exynos 9810. The Samsung Galaxy S9 will have 4GBs of RAM while the Galaxy S9+ will have 6GBs of RAM. The battery capacity will be the same as the Galaxy S8 and S8+—3000mAh for S9 and 3500mAh for the S9+ respectively. This battery capacity is not all bad though as the CPUs will be more power efficient so you don’t need to worry about battery life being worse than the previous generation.
The phone will be announced ahead of MWC 2018 on February 25th at 9 A.M. PST. You can view the livestream on Samsung’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. Our source claim that pre-orders will start on the 26th, a day after the announcement. This was the same as last year with the Samsung Galaxy S8. We cannot confirm this, but if true, that means pre-orders will start at 12:01 A.M. EST on the 26th and 9:01 P.M. PST on the 25th. According to our source, the phone is scheduled to be in stores on March 9th. I was also told by another source that Samsung usually allows carriers to ship pre-orders a few days early, so be sure to pre-order to get your phone as soon as possible.