We’re only a few days away from Samsung’s official announcement of the Galaxy S9 on February 25th, but as has been the case for the past few years, it seems like most of the information about the upcoming flagship device has made its way online a little earlier than Samsung would have liked.
So, if you can’t wait for the actual event on February 25th, here’s everything we think we know about the Galaxy S9 so far:
What it looks like:
As is practically tradition at this point, numerous official renderings of the S9 have leaked out (mostly from VentureBeat’s Evan Blass). As expected, it looks like Samsung is by and large keeping the same design as the Galaxy S8. The same edge-to-edge “Infinity Display” is here, as are the oblong bezels on the top and bottom of the screen and the (much maligned) Bixby button. That all should be fine: the S8 was one of 2017’s best-looking smartphones, and it makes sense to stick with what works.
The biggest change in the physical design of the S9 is the back, where Samsung seems to be rearranging the fingerprint reader / camera module, placing the fingerprint sensor in it’s rightful place below the camera module, instead of the awkward side placement of the S8. Also said to be new is the addition of stereo speakers.
Samsung is touting the camera as the main focus for the S9, with the company teasing that the phone will “reimagine” the camera on its invitation announcing the unveiling event. It’s still a little unclear what exactly those will entail, and whether or not Samsung will be improving things on the software side, the hardware side, or both. There are reports from WinFuture that the S9’s camera will have ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4 with a variable aperture, (the S9 Plus is said to feature the same variable lens, along with a fixed ƒ/2.4 one for the second camera), as well as an improved slow-motion video feature supporting up to 960 fps shots. The rear cameras are said to be a dual-pixel 12-megapixel lenses with optical image stabilization, while the front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel lens with autofocus.
We do know that the larger S9 Plus will be getting a dual-camera system similar to the Galaxy Note 8, Additionally, there are rumors that Samsung could be exploring face-unlocking tech similar to that found on the iPhone X, complete with its own version of Animoji — while Samsung has had face-scanning tech in its phones for a while now, the company is apparently looking to improve and expand on that.
Spec-wise, the S9 is expected to look pretty similar to the S8. Like last year, Samsung is selling two models: a 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 and a 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus. Both phones will feature the same Super AMOLED displays at 2960 x 1440 in the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and will continue to be rated as IP68 for water and dust resistance and feature a front-facing iris scanner. And like last year, the S9 is expected to ship with a 3,000mAh, non-removable battery, while the S9 Plus will have a larger 3,500mAh one.
Aside from the dual-camera system on the S9 Plus mentioned earlier, the larger phone is also expected to have more RAM than its smaller sibling, with 6GB of memory as opposed to the S9’s 4GB.
Samsung is also expected to upgrade the processors in the phones, with the company using both Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset (primarily in North American markets), while other countries will get Samsung’s own recently announced Exynos 9810 processor instead.
And for those concerned, the S9 will apparently still have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Yes, you read that right. Samsung is reportedly working on a new location-based local social network called “Uhssup,” which it’s rumored to be launching alongside the S9 according to a new report from UberGizmo. And yes, that is apparently the real name.
Price and release date:
Samsung is rumored to be opening preorders for the S9 on February 25th, shortly after the announcement at MWC. There’s no confirmed release yet, but rumors are pointing to March 8th.
There are no concrete pricing details yet either, but the rumors aren’t great on that front, with most of the reports claiming that the S9 will be even more expensive than the S8, retailing anywhere between $800 to $925, depending on rumor sourcing and exchange rates.