SAMSUNG HAS OFFICIALLY unveiled the Galaxy S9 and S9+, its duo of flagships for 2018 that failed to have many surprises in store.
Given the huge amount of leaks building up to Samsung's MWC presser, news of the smartphone's upgraded dual aperture cameras, 10nm innards and ability to capture 'super slo-mo' video was expected months in advance. The only surprising bit of information, perhaps, was the Galaxy S9's pricing, with the duo of flagships set to cost less than some rumours had suggested.
Still, the smartphones will no doubt prove to be among the most sought-after this year, so we've rounded up everything you need to know about picking one up below.
You can also check out our Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on review.
- 148x69x8.5mm, 163g / 158x74x8.5mm, 189g
- 5.8in / 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display (570ppi / 529ppi)
- Samsung 10nm Exynos 9810 CPU (4x 2.7GHz, 4x 1.9GHz)
- 4GB RAM / 6GB RAM
- 3,000mAh / 3,500mAh batteries
- 64GB / 128GB storage with microSD expansion up to 400GB
- Cat 18 LTE support (1.2Gbps download speeds)
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, front-facing iris scanner
- 12MP Dual Pixel camera with OIS (f/1.5, f/2.4) / Vertical dual rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera
- Bixby AI assistant with dedicated button
- USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Stereo speakers
- Wireless charging support
- IP68 water and dust resistance
- Built-in FM radio
- Updated DeX Pad
- Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue, Lilac Purple variants
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available, as expected, from 16 March in the UK. Pre-orders are live now, and Samsung said those who pre-order before 7 March at 23:59 GMT will receive their devices seven days early on 9 March.
For those looking to pick up a SIM-free device, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available to pick up from £739 and £869, respectively.
Here in Blighty, EE has prematurely confirmed that it'll be offering the Galaxy S9 once it's available. Interested customers can register their interest on the operator's website.
26/2/18: Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at Mobile World Congress (MWC).
As expected, the Galaxy S9 boasts the same 5.8in QHD+ Super AMOLED as its predecessor, with a pixel density of 570ppi and an 18:5:9 aspect ratio.
Compared to Samsung's last flagship device, however, the new model is thicker at 8.5mm and weighs almost 10g more at 163g. It does have the same IP68 waterproofing, at least.
On the inside, things have been improved, but only just. The Galaxy S9 powered by the Samsung's homegrown 10nm Exynos 64-bit octa-core CPU but with a slightly faster 2.7GHz and 1.7GHz processing speeds (compared to the S8's 2.3GHz), alongside the same 4GB of RAM.
There's also 64GB of internal memory which can be upgraded to a 400GB with a microSD card. All of this is powered by a 3,000mAh battery.
Samsung has given the Galaxy S9+ a slightly better upgrade, though. There's a 10nm 64-bit octa-core processor running at 2.8GHz and 1.7GHz inside, alongside a much beefier 6GB of RAM and double the internal storage of the S9 at 128GB.
As usual, the display is bigger on the Galaxy S9+, with the device touting a 6.2in QHD+ curved super AMOLED screen with the same wide 18:5:9 ratio as the Galaxy S8+, but a lower pixel density of 529ppi. It has a bigger 3,500mAh battery to power that larger screen, though but it does weigh a little heavier at 189g.
One of the biggest improvements in the devices, Samsung said, comes in the form of a new and improved camera and image sensors. While the Galaxy S9 retains its single-lens 12MP Dual Pixel camera with OIS, the Galaxy S9+ packs a dual 12MP set-up on its rear, comprising of wide angle and telephoto lenses.
The cameras on both the S9 and S9+, as expected, come with a dual aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.4. Samsung claims the smartphones are the first to do so, and says the feature will deliver "the brightest lens of any smartphone camera in the market".
That's because the camera now lets in 80 per cent more light than on previous models, which minimises noise to capture higher quality images in dark environments than ever before. It does this by stitching together 12 images taken simultaneously when the shutter button is pressed, merging them together to create a better final image.
Samsung has also integrated DRAM into this image processor for the first time, giving the S9 "the slowest movie recording ever" to create epic slow-mo footage. This is coupled with a new feature called Automatic Motion Detect, which allows users to capture an important event in slo-mo automatically, without having to wait around and manually snap, which usually results in missed opportunities.
25/2/18: We already know pretty much all there is to know about the Galaxy S9, and now, er, Samsung's official launch video has leaked (below). "The Phone. Reimagined" is Samsung's tagline, and the clip confirms that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be the first to pack a dual aperture camera. Elsewhere, the view confirms that the handsets will be IP68-rated, will come with a more sensibly placed fingerprint scanner and will ship alongside a new and improved DeX Pad.
23/2/18: We're mere days away from the official unveiling of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Evan Blass claims to have got his hands on more pricing details for the Samsung flagships: €841 (£740) for the S9 and €997 (£900). While these prices are eye-watering, it's likely Brits will be paying more, as Clove has started taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with prices starting at £799 and £999, respectively.
22/2/18: Twitter tipster Roland Quandt has shared high-res, official-looking images of the Galaxy S9 (below) that look like they've come straight from Samsung's own marketing materials. While we got a good look at the phone earlier this week courtesy of Samsung's own Unpacked app, these are the clearest images we've seen of the smartphone yet and confirm that the handset will look near-identical to its Galaxy S8 predecessor.
Gigantic res pics of the Galaxy S9? Yep. Here ya go. 1/x (add :orig to the end of the pic url to get the full res) pic.twitter.com/LM1uPFr7Na— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) February 21, 2018
21/2/18: It appears Samsung will have no surprises in store at MWC. Not only do we know what the Galaxy S9's specs and what it'll look like, but thanks to XDA-Developers, we now know that Samsung is planning to launch its flagship in augmented reality (AR).
It reports that a Reddit user has pulled apart Samsung's Unpacked 2018 app and found that the firm will let those at the event see the Galaxy S9 in AR by tapping their phone against their event badge. Using the app, attendees will be able to switch between various colours to preview the appearance of Samsung's newest flagship from literally any angle.
20/2/18: There's unlikely to be many surprises in store at Samsung's MWC presser on Sunday, as WinFuture has revealed all there is to know about the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
As expected, the leak confirms that the Galaxy S9 will pack a 5.8in Super AMOLED 18:5:9 QHD+ Infinity display with a 1440x2950 resolution. The Galaxy S9 will pack a bigger 6.2in Super AMOLED screen.
The smartphones, as expected, will be capable of capturing super slow-motion video at 960 frames per second in HD, with Galaxy S9 packing a 12MP single rear camera and the Galaxy S9+ dual 12MP cameras. These cameras will have a variable aperture mode of f/1.5 or f/2.4, alongside optical image stabilisation and both laser and dual-pixel autofocus. Around the front, both phones will feature 8MP cameras with f/1.7 aperture.
Elsewhere, both the S9 and S9+ will come with IP68 certification, a fingerprint scanner underneath the camera and facial recognition via a front-facing iris scanner.
Under the hood, WinFuture confirms that, in Europe, the phones will pack Samsung's 10nm Exynos 9810 CPU featuring four 2.9GHz and four 1.9GHz chips. The Galaxy S9 will pair with a 3,000mAh battery and 4GB RAM, while the S9+ will pack a heftier 3,500mAh battery and 6GB RAM. Both will offer 64GB storage with 400GB microSD expansion.
19/2/18: The Galaxy S9 may not yet be official, but that hasn't stopped UK retailer Clove.co.uk kicking off its pre-orders. Over on the Clove website, the Galaxy S9 can be ordered for £799 SIM-free, in Midnight Black, Titanium Grey, Lilac Purple and Coral Blue colour variants. It claims that shipping will begin on 16 March.
Clove is also flogging the bigger Galaxy S9+, with prices starting at an eye-watering £999.
It's worth noting, however, that the retailer says on its website that "official pricing and availability is to be confirmed", so these prices could change following Sunday's launch.
19/2/18: A Reddit user claims to have spent 20 minutes with the as-yet-unannounced Galaxy S9, and has detailed all in an AMA thread.
The anonymous Reddit user confirms that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are "scary similar" to their predecessors, but - as rumours had suggested - the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the centre underneath the camera module. The Reddit user claims that, despite this repositioning, he still hit the camera a few times while trying to unlock the device.
Elsewhere, the AMA 'confirms' that the Galaxy S9 will feature stern speakers, one place in the earpiece and the other at the bottom of the device. The source, which also confirms that the handset will feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, claims these speakers make for a ‘major improvement' in sound quality over the current Galaxy S8.
The camera, as expected, will support 4K video support at higher frame rates. However, this model - which the Reddit user notes is "very close to production" - has no 1,000 FPS slow-motion mode.
Finally, the Reddit AMA details Samsung's 3D Emoji. The source claims it won't be a straight rip-off of Apple's Animoji, but rather a "mix between Animoji and bitmoji". The Reddit user added: "You create an avatar, and can control its facial features, similar to an animoji. IMO it looks less polished than Apple's version. They are similar but different things."
16/2/18: The Galaxy S9 won't be as expensive as first thought, according to TechRadar, which claims it'll sell for £739 SIM-free in the UK. Earlier rumours had claimed that the flagship would be £100 pricier than its S8 sibling, but the website has heard from 'inside sources' that it'll only be £50 more expensive than last year's model
"Expect the S9 to be priced roughly £50 cheaper than what everybody is saying," the source said to TechRadar "A £100 price hike from the S8 is no longer on the cards and it's looking much more like a £50 increase instead."
15/2/18: Samsung has released a trio of videos, teasing the camera features of the Galaxy S9. The first 15-second clip (below) teases Samsung's 3D Emoji, which will reportedly be "more advanced" than Apple's Animoji. The second, who shows off several dark scenes before brightening up, hints at the Galaxy S9's low-light capture ability, with rumours claiming that Samsung will add an f/1.5 aperture mode to the handset's 12MP camera. Finally, the third clip teases the S9's much-hyped slow-capture mode, which will reportedly offer a mode that only records slow-mo footage when something moves in the frame, similar to Samsung's rear-cam selfie mode.
14/2/18: The Samsung Galaxy S9 will reportedly feature its own take on Apple's Animoji. ETNews reports that Samsung's 3D emoji will be more advanced than those found on the iPhone X, but will offer largely the same functionality. The same report claims that the S9 and S9 Plus will also feature stereo speakers, which previous rumours say will feature Dolby Surround tuned by acoustics company AKG, which is owned by Samsung.
13/2/18: Yet more of the Galaxy S9's specs have leaked, this time courtesy of Orange Romania, which accidentally published the product page for the Galaxy S9 over the weekend. The since-yanked page confirms that the Galaxy S9 will stick with the 5.8in QHD OLED 'Infinity Display', but will introduce a DualPixel camera with 'f/.5 - f/2.5' aperture. Predictably the product page also mentions support for 4G+, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.
However, Orange's listing says the S9 will pack Samsung's Exynos 8995 chipset, which is unlikely, given this is the processor found inside last year's Galaxy S8. It also mentioned 3D Touch support, which again is unlikely given that no pressure sensitive screen technology is expected and 3D Touch is an Apple brand name.
12/2/18: The Galaxy S9 is going to be 25 per cent faster than its predecessor, according to early benchmark tests of Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 SoC. Qualcomm claims this chip will offer a significant performance boost over the Snapdragon 345, and CNET - which carried out 12 benchmarking tests - found these claims to be true. The chip performed "at least 25 percent faster than the best score on all but four tests out of the dozen," the website noted, trumping the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2.
9/2/18: Samsung's next-generation DeX docking station, set to debut alongside the S9, has surfaced online.
The new accessory packs a USB-C connection for hooking up your smartphone, alongside two standard USB and one HDMI port. Unlike Samsung's original DeX dock, the Galaxy S9 will lie flat when connected to the second-gen version, and you'll apparently be able to use the handset as a touchpad or virtual keyboard.
Not only does the leak give us a good look at the Samsung's new DeX dock, but it also confirms that the Galaxy S9 will retain the headphone jack, despite earlier rumours having claimed that Samsung would ditch the port in favour of USB-C.
8/2/18: SamMobile has got its mitts on further details about the 'super slow mo' feature set to debut on the Galaxy S9 and S9+.
The feature, which SamMobile claims will be so impressive that it "could make up for the lack of dual camera setup on the regular S9", will offer users two methods of capture: regular, and a mode that will only record slow-mo footage when something moves in the frame, similar to Samsung's rear-cam selfie mode.
The feature will also take inspiration from the Sony Xperia XZ in that it will offer a mode where users can start recording a normal video, then tap on an additional button that shows up to take slow-motion at specific moments.
7/2/18: Dutch site TechTastic has backed up rumours that the Galaxy S9 will be £100 more expensive than its predecessor. It has learned from 'sources familiar with the matter' that the S9 and S9+ will fetch €899 (around £790) and €999 (£885) in the Netherlands, whereas the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were priced at €799 and €899, respectively, in the region when they were launched last year.
The same report claims that Galaxy S9 pre-orders will kick off on 2 March, and will start shipping two weeks later on 16 March.
6/2/18: Evan Blass has revealed that Samsung will release a 'Lilac Purple' version of the Galaxy S9 (above), which will join the already-leaked Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue models.
Seperately, Twitter tipster @Hakersimar has shown off some of the accessories that will ship alongside the incoming flagship, including new cases and a high-speed wireless charger, which could potentially match the high-speed offering of cable charging.
5/2/18: Pricing for the Galaxy S9 will start from £789 in the UK, according to TechRadar. The website, citing a source in the 'mobile phone deals industry', reports that Samsung's incoming flagship will be £100 more expensive than last year's Galaxy S8. By the same logic, the Galaxy S9+ will likely be available from £879 SIM-free.
"You can expect the S9 to cost £100 more than the Galaxy S8 when it was released last year," said TechRadar's anonymous source. "The truth is that last year's massively inflated smartphone prices on handsets like the S8, Note 8 and iPhone X have shown that there are plenty of people out there willing to pay these higher prices."
2/2/17: It looks like the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have to depend on their processors and software efficiency to extend the life of their batteries. Parts flogger Union Repair claims, via SamMobile, that the handsets will pack 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh batteries, respectively, the same found inside last year's Galaxy S8 and S8+.
1/2/18: Yet more official-looking images of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have surfaced online (below), courtesy of case-maker 'dbrand.' The slick snaps appear to confirm that the smaller device will feature a single camera, while the larger S9+ will feature a dual sensor setup. The images also seem to suggest that both phones will be made available in a simple black variant.
"It genuinely isn't possible to find a more precise, higher quality Galaxy S9 wrap than the one you'll find here at dbrand," the case maker boasts, suggesting that its imagery is likely on the money given that Samsung's launch event is just a few weeks away.
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