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Community Post #MWC18 14 min read 48 comments

It's official: Samsung's Galaxy S9 is out

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ were just revealed at MWC in Barcelona. For all the official details and first impressions, check out our hands-on reviews of the Galaxy S9 and S9+. And if you're looking to buy one of these new devices, find out how here. If you're still curious about the rumors and leaks leading up to the big reveal, read on below! 


Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9 rumor history


How does the Galaxy S9 compare to other devices?

AndroidPIT are of course on site at MWC. We have had the opportunity to test these devices and compare them with its predecessor, and also set the siblings head to head. Soon, well be testing it against other big contenders from outside the Samsung family.

Have any thoughts on what we should compare next? Jump to the comments!

Below, you will find the collect rumors and leaks from the period leading up to the announcement.


Official Galaxy S9 and S9+ launch video leaks early

As the AndroidPIT team gears up for Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona, it seems that the world can't wait for the Samsung Galaxy S9, as the leaks just keep on coming. To whet your appetite for the unveiling, we've got the official Galaxy S9 launch video for you to enjoy below:

The video, which appeared online on Slashleaks, shows Samsung's pitch for the Galaxy S9 which positions it as the perfect phone for modern business. Samsung stresses the S9's multi-tasking, DeX functionality, AI-assisted efficiency and security. The business-focus is emphasized by the 'Enterprise edition', which offers extended warranties and security updates for up to 4 years.

From the video it seems obvious that Samsung is selling the S9 as the definitive modern mobile business solution. No doubt the Korean company also has a pitch for potential customers who want the phone more for personal use, but we'll have to wait for the Unpacked event to find out more, barring further leaks.

Read on to find out everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy S9, and why we're a little skeptical about whether this can really be the mobile phone 'reimagined'. But maybe Samsung still has a few surprises in store for us at Unpacked that the leaks have yet to spoil. Stay tuned to AndroidPIT as our intrepid team of reporters in Barcelona are ready to spill the beans come Samsung's Unpacked event at 6pm CET, 12pm EST.

What do you think of Samsung's launch video? Is the focus on the business world the right move for the Korean company's new flagship?

 

Price and release date

It’s official: the device will be showcased among the next generation of Galaxy devices during Unpacked 2018, at MWC today, February 25 at 6pm. Last year, Samsung postponed the presentation of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ by several weeks to refine the device, avoiding the mistakes they made in the previous model.

According to a South Korean source who leaked information to Gizchina, the Galaxy S9 duo will be available to pre-order in South Korea from March 2 through March 8, with actual units shipping and hitting store shelves shortly after. 

The Korean won prices convert to about $889 for the base model and $925 for the Plus. Now, of course the price won't be a straight conversion, but it looks like the trend of ever-soaring flagship prices isn't going to stop this year. The leaked UK price is £789, suggesting it may cost up to $100 more than what we had expected. For reference, the starting price of the S8 was $720.

Is the price disappointing or do you think the pricing is reasonable for a high-end device to rival the expensive iPhone X?

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2018 Invitation
Samsung's teaser ahead of Unpacked / © Samsung

Samsung appears supremely confident about the Galaxy S9, compared to the more cautious release of the Galaxy S8 last year. We hope this means a swift release in global markets following the unveiling of the phone at the Unpacked event at MWC 2018.

Design and renders

'Official' Samsung images reveal all

Roland Quandt tweeted images and a link from German Site Winfuture, uncovering almost every detail. These images are apparently official Samsung material, confirming the color versions and also giving some further hints about the camera and sound. 

The S9 Plus will pack a 12-megapixel rear camera, along with optical image stabilization, as well as a variable aperture allowing the user to switch between F / 1.5 and F / 2.4. 

WF samsung galaxy s9 leak 12
New image hints towards stereo speakers / © Samsung / Leak

It looks like the Galaxy S9 will also have stereo speakers. As with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro or the HTC U11+, the second speaker is used for making calls. Created in collaboration with AKG, the speakers should provide a much louder audio output than the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus.

The images show off the device in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac purple, and leaker Evan Blass was quick to add the Titanium Grey version in a second tweet: 

Samsung have also been teasing features about the upcoming flagships, albeit in a more intangible way. In a series of three short promotional videos, the Korean company no-so-subtly highlights such features as improved slow-motion, better low-light photography, and 3D emoji. 

Will these features elevate the Samsung Galaxy S9 from being just an incremental improvement over last year's offering? Take a look at the videos and our commentary in this article.

Also, the available colors have been leaked by Evan Blass, and rumors strongly suggest the return of the Coral Blue version that the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S7 were available in:

Other colors include the usual neutral Midnight Black and Titanium gray, but what's new is the Lilac Purple, shown in renders that were also posted by Evan Blass. We were given a little clue in the form of a video showing the cases that could be available for the S9, with the Lilac Purple version included.

And to settle the rumors that Samsung may be flattening the signature curves, Evan Blass also posted a second image, showing a close up of the curved screen:

As well as this, a leaked image of a DeX pad possibly developed from last year's S8 version, appears to show the inclusion of a headphone jack for the S9: wonderful news for those of you who were wondering whether or not this will be removed, following the trend of other devices such as the Huawei Mate 10 pro.

Both the S9 and S9+ will be packing the Snapdragon 845 (US model) and Exynos 9810 (elsewhere), which have the processing power to handle four (or more, in the case of the Snapdragon) image sensors, so it's possible that the six holes at the top of the devices pictured could secretly be home to dual selfie cameras. However, the report from Evan Blass says there will only be a standard 8 MP front camera, so don't get your hopes up too much.

According to VentureBeat, both devices will have variable aperture on their 12 MP, main rear cameras (f/2.4 to f/1.5), and motion-detection triggered slow motion video capture. The Galaxy S9+ will have an additional 12 MP rear camera. The fingerprint scanner will be vertically aligned this time, just under the camera instead of beside it, and there will be stereo speakers on the bottom. Like it or not, the Bixby button is here to stay. Finally, the date March 16 appears in the image: a hint that the device will be available starting on that Friday.

Reputable leaker Steve H (@OnLeaks) stoked up excitement by leaking not one, but two CAD based 360 degree renders showing the S9 and S9 Plus. 

Feast your eyes on the videos below. First, the Galaxy S9:

And now the big brother, the S9+:

OnLeaks has an excellent track record for accuracy that has made him something of a superstar in the world of mobile tech leaks. His renderings of S8 and iPhone X earlier this year certainly proved reliable.

Now, a video leak from Mobile Fun gives a further hint at the new violet color. And it also looks like the S9 will feel similar to the S8 to use, as the size of the case is almost identical, which is good news if you're a fan of the predecessor.

Located underneath the camera, there is a space for the fingerprint sensor and room enough for the dual camera feature. After Samsung teased improvements to the camera on their Unpacked 2018 invites, things are looking pretty promising.

Dummy S9 phones appear for sale online

What are dummy phones? Basically, they are copies of the original phone that use all the materials as if it were a real version. It also weighs the same as the real thing, but of course it’s useless. Sometimes, stores put these fake smartphones on show with a printed image depicting the display. It's exactly these that have been announced for sale, and we're hoping nobody confuses it for the real thing.

Thanks to these dummy sales though, we can take a further look at the design of  Samsung's new flagships and admire the gold color that you might remember from the Note 8.

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Looking at the dummy, there are no features we don't already know about / © GooMea

Features: relocated fingerprint reader, new intelligent scan to unlock?

Intelligent scan: improved technology

Secondly, it looks like you may be using a face and iris scanner to unlock your phone. Samsung is clearly working hard to perfect this technology, that we saw in the Galaxy note series and the S8. "Intelligent Scan" will be used for unlocking apps and your phone for example, providing additional security. 

The intelligent scan feature could just be the beginning of new biometric innovations from Samsung, as they attempt to steal a march on their American rivals, Apple.

Fingerprint reader location

According to our recent poll, an in-display fingerprint sensor is what users most want, and for a while, that's what we were really hoping for. But, the rumors and leaks seem to have dashed those hopes. Although a patent filed by Samsung suggested that the next flagship will have a front-located fingerprint reader, local news reports in their home country of South Korea indicate like that manufacturer has aborted this plan in favor of a more conservative approach, keeping the fingerprint scanner on the back. A leak from Evan Blass of VentureBeat says it will remain on the back, but move below the camera instead of beside it, which could alleviate some of the problems users have with it. 

Some Samsung fans may well find this quite disappointing, as user feedback about the fingerprint sensor placement on this year's Galaxy S8 was far from overwhelmingly positive. A front-located fingerprint sensor would eliminate the finger strain that can come with using the current generation Samsungs, but such a placement would also open up Samsung to more accusations of copying their old rival, Apple. This is because they'd have to put a notch in the bottom of the display, a feature sported by the iPhone X which is dividing opinion. Still, Apple often points the way for other companies to improve on.

Samsung's '3D Emoji' vs Apple's Animoji

Animoji make use of the facial recognition system by mapping your facial expressions onto your chosen emoji. We first saw this in the iPhone X and now, Samsung are apparently working on their very own improved version for the S9. You can find out more about it here:

AndroidPIT animoji android 2
Other manufacturers are set to follow the 3D emoji trend started by Apple / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Samsung Galaxy S9: Possible technical specifications

 
  Galaxy S9 Galaxy S9 Plus
Display 5.8 inches 6.2 inches
Resolution 2.960 x 1.440 (QHD+) 2.960 x 1.440 (QHD+)
Chipset Exynos 9810 / Snapdragon 845 Exynos 9810 / Snapdragon 845
RAM 4 GB 6 GB
Storage 64 GB, MicroSD-Slot 64 GB, MicroSD-Slot
Camera Single-Camera, 12 MP Dual-Camera, 12 Mp
Battery 3.200 mAh 3.500 mAh
Features Iris-Scanner Iris-Scanner

Galaxy S9+ breaks record in benchmark tests

The leaks are not over yet. Appearing on Geekbench, the S9+ has been given the highest benchmark score for an Android flagship with the Exynos processor. We can now compare them with other smartphones that are currently available.

And here's an interesting fact: none of the new Snapdragon 845 flagships compete with this score, and unfortunately, it is likely to be the Snapdragon version that will be available in the US. 

Geekbench Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Exynos 9810 Telefoonabonnement.nl
The impressive S9+ score / © Telefoon Abonnement

As you can see, the S9+ scores 3775 on single core and 9024 on multi core. Comparing it with the the scores of other Samsung smartphones, we can see how much faster the Plus version will be.

Its predecessor, the S8+, scored 2159 and 7235, and the Galaxy S9 Snapdragon 845 scores are 2422 and 8351. However, the benchmark scores of Apple's iPhone X are still unbeatable with a score of 4204 and 10112.

Snapdragon 845 specifications

The Galaxy S9+ has appeared in AnTuTu with serial number SM-G9650 confirming some of its specifications, such as: 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, Snapdragon 845 (as opposed to the Exynos 9810 version), Android 8.0 Oreo and a screen resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels (in terms of software, but the hardware will be QHD+ as was the case with the S8).

In the US, the S9 will likely have the next generation Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 845. In other markets, it should carry Samsung's latest in-house chip, the Exynos 9810.

A photo of what seems to be the retail packaging of the Samsung Galaxy S9 surfaced on Reddit. The box resembles that of the Galaxy S8, so it could well be the real deal. But it's not just about the box, but what's on it: it shows the technical specifications of the upcoming device.

Leaked box confirms rumored specs

Although it is not possible to verify the source of this leak, if you take a look at the photo below, you can see how the packaging resembles that of its predecessor. 

S9 scatola 3
The box shown on Reddit looks legit. / © Reddit

As you can see, there is nothing particularly surprising revealed, being an incremental improvement over the Galaxy S8. AKG is part of the HARMAN group which Samsung bought last year. It supplied the headphones for the Galaxy S8 and continues its audio work on the successor. 

The 'reimagined' camera

In terms of camera, the Plus version will likely have a dual camera setup compared to the single camera on its little brother. Recently a video appeared on Weibo, the Chinese social network, and shows the Galaxy S9 screen in action. It’s not much, but it’s a great sneak peak for Samsung fans who are dying to see the future flagship that draws particular attention to its new, reimagined camera. The rumors and leaked images of the packaging suggest that it will have a slow-motion feature, Full HD video recording up to 480 frames per second, and variable apertures, meaning that they will be able to switch between f /1.5 and f / 2.4.

Samsung play it safe with the battery

Samsung seem to have played it safe with the battery unlike Huawei with the Mate 10 Pro. Of course, it's difficult for manufacturers to offer a large battery while maintaining sleek, elegant designs, so it's not surprising then that the new images reveal capacities similar to that of the Galaxy S8. The images below reveal that the S9 could have a 3,000mAh, and a 3,500 mAh for the Galaxy S9+.

samsung s9 battery
3000 mAh for the S9, 3500 mAh for the S9+ / © AndroidPIT

What do you want to see in Samsung's 2018 S series flagship? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Let's be clear samsung will price their devices according to market conditions - inflation is average 3-4% - also if they were to sell it cheaper than the S8 then there would inevitable be calls that they are using cheaper materials etc. Also this is there "premium" device, the luxury version - showcasing there best bits - if price is a issue then they also sell midrange phones and entry level devices. They want there flagship devices to be a aspiration, drawing in more people who believe that luxury items will elevate their social status.
    Does the final product justify the price? No of course not, samsung and Apple💩 are looking for 30-50% profit margins on the manufacturing price due to the high cost of marketing and Research & Development which can reduce the profit margins to 20-10% or less. If Samsung were to make a loss on the flagship device, then samsung may not be around much longer.

    Though the marketing teams know very well that we are like peacock's, instead of feathers to show off we have the S9+ - seeing your friends with the latest device, whilst you have the outdated S7 is the reason you will find a way to upgrade...

    Peace 🖖


  • Like to see the Samsung presentation of the S9 models and the reaction from watchers when the pricing of these phones is announced,as that is what might spoil the demand for these new phones,with consumers not willing to pay the prices and instead make consumers purchase the S8 models instead with the prices now more affordable, and with more new phones with cheaper prices than the S9 phones,Samsung & Apple could start to struggle with there sales by overpricing phones,just can't wait to see what Nokia or Huawei as to offer and if cheaper than the S9 models it will bye bye Samsung from me and loads of other Galaxy phone users


  • Thank you Captain Obvious!


  • Nice, but i just dont see a reason for price increase....new SoC is not reason....every year phones comes with new SoC's and if they can't make it with same price, it's Not worth it.
    10 or 30% more performance on benchmarks doesn't mean that price must go up in same prospective....
    And on s9 compared to s8, I don't see any other improvements worth of spending more. Better camera!?
    Same as SoC...every year they are better and better,but is it 100$ better?
    And then again we have new fingerprint reader placement,that is something that could be worth of paying more ;)

    Anyway....there was a lot of talks of price increases when s8 was rumoured....And it was priced ok.
    And iphone x is not selling as they wished, I guess that price has something to do with it, and that others could learn something.


  • Sorin 8 months ago Link to comment

    It would be really great S9 + to catch 275,000+ in AnTuTu!


  • Now, will the phone be soupy? What will it's level of soupage be? Those are my thoughts and questions.


  • Most people have bad habits & spend a lot more than a thousand dollars on them. I will get a whole lot of enjoyment out of the s9+. Your right is spend hard earned money on whatever pleases you. The s9+ will entice me for many months to come!


  • I preorderd my S8Plus in March 2017 received it April 19th. I bought my Note8 through the carrier I will do the same for the S9Plus on March 16th.


  • I would really like to purchase the s9+. I have never pre-ordered a phone before. This will be my first time. Looking forward to the 845 processer, duel camera's, stereo speaker's and all the other features it will incorporate. Excited for this release!


  • As long as people over paying for Samsung devices they will continue to increase the prices and take your money.


    • The way I see it yes the premium flagship's are very expensive. But for myself I usually get my money's worth. My phone gives me many hours of enjoyment. Pocket computer, GPS, weather, news & sports. Plus a wonderful educational tool. I will purchase the s9+ and the money I spend doesn't bother me. For what it offers to me it's worth it! Some people buy drugs, booze & assorted things. I'd rather be addicted to my phone & the best part I bother no one! Choice is a wonderful thing!


  • Great !


  • its will be great


  • string us along Samsung, minimal upgrades. same old tactics. i think its time to get away from Samsung.


  • Great, hype, rumors, leaks... all over again. Every time Samsung releases a new phone. Apple, too. You'd think people would be tired of the same strategy by now. I guess this is the media principle now.
    The actual specs that are still largely unknown are probably going to be confirmed from current theories.


  • STEREO SPEAKERS, this will make consumer's pop! It's about damn time!

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