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Samsung Galaxy S9: Everything you need to know

Samsung will announce the Galaxy S9 in just a few days. Here’s everything we currently know about the upcoming smartphone.

 

In a few days, Samsung will announce its latest smartphone. It will be the first announcement from the company in 2018 and since Apple unveiled the iPhone X.

In previous years, Samsung has opted to announce its flagship smartphone during Mobile World Congress, or it would host a separate event shortly after. This year, it looks like we will get at least a glimpse of Samsung’s new phone in February, with the potential to have the phone in our hands a few weeks later.

Right now, most of what we know about the upcoming smartphones is from leaks, rumors, and speculation. However, the sources of the various leaks have shown to paint a general picture of what we should expect when Samsung announces a new device.

Here’s everything we currently know about Samsung’s latest smartphone, which will be updated as we continue to learn more — and eventually see — the announced product.

 

WHEN WILL GALAXY S9 BE ANNOUNCED?

At a special Unpacked event in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung will announce the Galaxy S9. The event will be held on Feb. 25 (the day before Mobile World Congress 2018 is set to start) and will be live-streamed on Samsung.com starting at 12pm EST.

The back looks to be the most dramatic change to the overall design, according to images posted by Evan Blass on Twitter (more on that in a minute)

One of the loudest complaints about the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 was the placement of the fingerprint reader. In order to make room for the bigger display Samsung now uses, the sensor was moved to the back of the phone. Only, instead of putting the sensor in the middle of the phone, as most of its competitors do, the sensor was placed up high, next to the camera.

With Galaxy S9, however, it appears Samsung is moving the sensor closer to the middle of the back — just underneath the camera.

We first saw a glimpse of the new fingerprint sensor location when the company announced the Galaxy A8 (2018), which was later seemingly confirmed in render leaks from Evan Blass on Twitter.

Facial recognition

Samsung has featured both facial recognition and iris-scanning technology in its phones for a while now, but the technology has been nowhere near as complex as Apple’s Face ID feature on the iPhone X.

With Galaxy S9, rumors suggest the phone will combine facial recognition with iris scanning to improve the feature and add an extra layer of security to the phone.

Cameras

In early January, a photo leaked of what’s reportedly the Galaxy S9’s box on RedditSamMobile saw the photo and was the first to report on it. On the box, of course, are the phone’s specifications.

According to the leak and the report, Galaxy S9 will boast a super slow-mo mode and a super-speed, dual-pixel, 12-megapixel camera with apertures of f1.5 and f2.4.

Currently, there’s some confusion about which model will feature a dual camera, or if both models will have the same exact lens setup. One thing all rumors currently agree on is that the Galaxy S9 Plus will have two rear-facing cameras.

Stereo speakers

That same photo posted on Reddit, as well as a more recent report from ETNews, have each claimed both Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will finally gain stereo speakers.

Apple’s iPhone line has had stereo speakers for a few years now, and the additional output makes a huge difference when listening to music or talking over speakerphone.

Predicted specifications

According to The Inquirer, the spec sheet of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus appears to add up to one impressive phone.

  • Display: 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the US
  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 9810 everywhere else
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 6GB RAM
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB (likely region specific)
  • Connectivity: Cat 18 LTE support (1.2Gbps download speeds), wireless charging, FM radio
  • Fingerprint: Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • S9 Rear Camera: 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with OIS (f/1.5, f/2.4)
  • S9 Plus Rear Camera: Vertical dual rear-facing camera
  • Front Camera: 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • AI: Bixby assistant with a dedicated button
  • Ports: USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Sound: Stereo speakers
  • Waterproof: IP68 rating

Business features

Last year’s crop of flagship smartphones from Samsung worked with DeX, a dock that turns the phone into a full-fledged computer. This year, rumor has it the company will release a revamped dock, called DeX Pad, that uses the phone’s display as a trackpad.

Software improvements

A more recent report from ETNews claims that Samsung will copy the iPhone X’s Animoji feature and offer “3D Emoji” with the Galaxy S9 duo.

Apple’s Animoji feature uses the front-facing cameras on the iPhone X to animate various emoji characters, such as a dog and a cat.

Also included in the report is the release of Bixby 2.0 on a mobile phone, which jives with what Samsung had previously announced in regards to Bixby 2.0 at CES in January 2018.

Read also: Samsung Gear Sport review: Smartwatch and activity tracker with enterprise-focused functionality

Teaser videos

On Wednesday, PhoneArena spotted a few teaser videos posted on Samsung Mobile Korea’s YouTube channel. The brief videos seem to confirm a super slow-mo camera, an improved low-light camera, and, yes, 3D emoji are indeed ready for the Galaxy S9.

You can watch all three videos herehere, and here.

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