THE GALAXY S9 is just a month away from becoming official, with Samsung having confirmed that its 2018 flagship will see a launch at MWC in February.
It's unlikely the impending unveiling will have many surprises in store, though, as we already know a hell of a lot about the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, courtesy of the online rumour mill.
We've rounded up everything we know about the handset so far below.
- 5.8in / 6.2in QHD+ Super AMOLED curved display (570ppi / 529ppi)
- Android 8.0
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US) / Samsung Exynos (UK)
- 4GB RAM / 6GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB / 64GB/128GB/256GB storage
- Cat 18 LTE support (1.2Gbps download speeds)
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 12MP Dual Pixel camera with OIS (f/1.5, f/2.4) / Vertical dual rear-facing camera
- Bixby AI assistant with dedicated button
- USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Wireless charging support
- IP68 water and dust resistance
- Built-in FM radio
- Updated DeX docking station
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will launch at MWC in February.
According to a leak via Evleaks (below), this launch will take place on 26 February, with pre-orders to begin just days later on 1 March. Samsung will reportedly start shipping the S9 two weeks later on 16 March.
There's no word yet on pricing for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. If anything like the S8, expect handsets to fetch around £689 and £779 SIM-free.
22/1/18: South Korea's ET News has learnt some more details about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S9 and has revealed that it'll be the first smartphone to use 'Y-OCTA' display technology. This next-gen screen tech allows Samsung to place the touch sensor directly on the OLED layer, enabling the firm to trim back on both thickness and weight.
The Galaxy S9 will also utilise SLP (Substrate Like PCB) mainboards, a circuit miniaturisation technique first seen on the iPhone X, enabling Samsung to free up more space inside the handset.
Finally, the report claims that the Galaxy S9 will pack a 12MP camera with an f/1.5 'variable aperture' lens, while the S9+ will feature dual 12MP cameras comprising of f/1.5 and f/2.4 lenses.
18/1/18: Samsung's much-hyped Neural Processing Units (NPU), which will bring more advanced AI features to its smartphone lineup by enabling a device to analyse, process and store data without using the cloud, could make its debut next month inside the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. That's according to a report at the Korea Herald, which claims that Samsung will likely show off some of its NPU's capabilities at MWC next month. It adds that a fully-fledged version of the AI chipset likely will debut in the second half of 2018, hinting that it could make its first proper appearance alongside the Galaxy Note 9.
According to the Korea Herald's sources, Samsung's AI chip - although still in its early stages - has "reached the technological levels" of those currently offered by Apple and Huawei, and likely will surpass those of its rivals as the year goes on.
17/1/18: Brazilian telecommunications regulator Anatel has let slip that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will feature an identical battery to the Galaxy S8, at 3,500mAh. However, with the S9 and S9+ set to utilize new processors that are more efficient, it's expected that users will see an improvement in the battery life department.
16/1/18: Serial tipster Evleaks has revealed the release schedule for the Galaxy S9, having been tipped off by an exec at a major casemaker. The smartphone will launch at MWC on 26 February, according to the leak, with pre-orders to begin just days later on 1 March. Shipping will allegedly kick off two weeks later on 16 March.
According to a C-level executive at a major casemaker, the go-to-market schedule for Galaxy S9 / S9+ is as follows:— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 16, 2018
Launch - 2/26
Pre-orders - 3/1
Ships/releases - 3/16
15/1/18: The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have appeared on the FCC website, revealing the model numbers of the two handsets - SM-G960U SM-965U, and confirming that they will support most cellular bands in the US. No specifications have been revealed, but the listing confirms that the FCC ID will be engraved on the rear bottom of the two devices.
12/1/18: A purported Galaxy S9 retail box (below) has leaked online courtesy of Weibo, revealing the full specs of Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone. None of the specs will likely come as much of a surprise, with the leak pointing to a 5.8in Infinity display, a 'super speed' 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera with OIS, an iris scanner, wireless charging support and IP68 dust and water resistance.
The leak, which comes just weeks ahead of Samsung's planned MWC launch, also 'confirms' that the Galaxy S9 will ship with earphones tuned by AKG and will pack 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
10/1/18: Samsung's mobile boss DJ Koh has confirmed that the Galaxy S9 will launch at Mobile World Congress in February. Speaking during a press event at CES, attended by ZDNet, Koh said that the handset at the trade show in February with the sales date also to announced at the event.
8/1/18: A new leak courtesy of China's Weibo claims to have details on the RAM and storage configurations of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. If legit, expect the Galaxy S9 to be offered in two versions - one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and the other with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Galaxy S9 Plus will be offered with 6GB RAM as standard and will be made available with a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage. The post also notes that Samsung could launch a 512GB model of the phone, but this likely will be "temporary" and offered in "select markets" only.
4/1/18: Case maker Olixar has revealed its first official accessories for the as-yet-unofficial Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Its screen protectors (below), available to pre-order at MobileFun, confirm that both phones will have the exact same display dimensions as their respective predecessors, with an identical camera setup up top. Olixar also let slip to MobileFun that, for some reason, the Bixby button will return on both the S9 and S9 Plus.
3/1/18: The first hands-on images of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have appeared online (above), courtesy of Weibo (via Androidandme). The in-the-flesh snaps don't reveal much we don't already know, but appear to confirm rumours that the handsets will feature the same shiny, glass design as their predecessors, along with a repositioned fingerprint scanner. While the also Galaxy S9 on left has just one camera, the Galaxy S9+ on the right has a dual camera setup.
2/1/18: New renders of the Galaxy S9 (below) appear to confirm that the smartphone will, er, look near identical to its Galaxy S8 predecessor. The images, shared on Weibo, do suggest that some changes are coming, though, including an iPhone-esque vertical dual rear camera, a repositioned fingerprint scanner and - despite earlier rumours - a 3.5mm headphone jack.
15/12/17: The Galaxy S9 will be unveiled at MWC in February but won't be available to buy until August, according to according to Korean news outlet The Bell. The report claims that, as the S8 and S8+ continue to sell well, the only reason to bring the launch forward would be to gain an upper hand on Apple. However, Apple won't unveil the iPhone 11 until September, so Samsung reportedly isn't in a rush to start flogging the S9.
Separately, OnLeaks and MySmartPrice have given us a clearer idea of what the Galaxy S9 Plus will look like. Renders (below) show that while the phone will look near identical to its predecessor from the front, it'll sport an upgrade dual-lens camera round the back, alongside a repositioned fingerprint scanner.
14/12/17: Schematic drawings of the Galaxy S9 (below) have appeared on Chinese social network Weibo and 'confirm' that the upcoming flagship will sport a new-look back panel. The drawings show that the phone will feature a vertically-aligned camera, with what looks like a fingerprint scanner underneath and a heart rate monitor on the right-hand side. Around the front, the Galaxy S9 looks set to sport a slimmed-down bezel that should allow for more screen real estate.
However, the report notes that the bigger Galaxy S9 Plus will sport a dual lens set-up, similar to that seen on the Galaxy Note 8. The image doesn't give much else away but does appear to confirm that the fingerprint scanner will sit underneath the camera sensor, while a sticker on the rear of the phone points to a variant with 64GB internal storage.
7/12/17: Qualcomm this week revealed the Snapdragon 845 SoC, which is expected to debut inside the Galaxy S9.
The chipmaker is promising more power than before, with the 845's high-power cores offering a 25-30 per cent boost in performance, while the low power cores offer a 15 per cent improvement. Better battery life is also touted, with the Snapdragon 845 promising 30 per cent better battery efficiency, along with faster LTE speeds with Qualcomm's new X20 LTE modem offer Cat 18 speeds of over 1Gbps. The chip will also support the capture of Ultra HD Premium footage at 60fps, and comes with a new Secure Processing Unit (SPU) that claims to offer "vault-like security."
6/12/17: Samsung has denied rumours that the Galaxy S9 will launch in January, telling the Korea Herald that it's "unlikely" that its next flagship smartphone will make an appearance at next year's CES. However, the firm's long-rumoured Galaxy X could make its debut at the Las Vegas tech show, the SamMobile reporting that Samsung will be showing off the foldable smartphone behind closed doors.
5/12/17: Samsung has announced that it's started production of the 'world's first' 512GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS). The chip, Samsung claims, boasts sequential read speeds of 860 MB/s and sequential writes of 255 MB/s, and the firm says it's intended for "next generation" mobile devices, likely a sign that it'll debut inside next year's Galaxy S9.
4/12/17: Ever-reliable Samsung blog SamMobile is claiming that the Galaxy S9 will be made available in four different colour options: black, gold, blue and purple. Last year, speculation had claimed that the Galaxy S8 would also launch in a purple variant, but this rumour never came to fruition.
1/12/17: The Leaker is reporting that while some models of the Galaxy S9 will pack Qualcomm's 10nm Snapdragon 845 processor, others will feature an Exynos 9th series CPU, which will be "15 per cent more efficient" than the Exynos chip found in the Galaxy S8. This, according to the report, comes as Samsung looks to challenge Apple's A11 Bionic CPU, and could make for "staggering" battery life on next year's flagship.
29/11/17: ET News has debunked rumours that the Galaxy S9 will feature souped-up facial recognition technology similar to the iPhone X's Face ID, and has claimed that, instead, it'll feature the same iris scanning tech as the Galaxy S9. Don't expect an under screen fingerprint sensor, either, as the report notes that the S9 will feature a scanner on its rear.
There's some good news, though. ET News adds weight to rumours that next year's Samsung flagship will launch earlier than usual with its claims that mass production will begin in January.
27/11/17: According to a report at SamMobile, the Galaxy S9 will boast less bezel than its S8 predecessor. A tipster told the website that there could be a 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio on Samsung's upcoming flagship, up from around 84 per cent on the Galaxy S8. According to the report, this will mean that the bottom bezel is almost non-existent, potentially giving Samsung room to squeeze a large screen into the device.
24/11/17: Accessory maker Ghostek has leaked renders (below) of the Galaxy S9 to BGR, confirming the smartphone's full-screen design, dual cameras and rear-facing fingerprint scanner, However, BGR notes that while the renders are "mostly accurate", another source said that the bezel above the phone's display will be a bit narrower, and the speaker at the top looks a bit different.
23/11/17: The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will make their first public appearance at next year's CES, according to a report at VentureBeat. The report claims, having spoken to someone 'briefed on the company's plans', that Samsung will give a sneak peak of the devices at the January tech show before a full unveiling takes place in March next year.
The report also claims that the S9 will arrive as an iterative update, featuring a 'near identical' design to the last year's Galaxy S8. What's more, it's tipped to feature the same 5.8in screen as the S8, while the S9 Plus will sport the same 6.2in Infinity display as its predecessor.
Under the hood, both phones are expected to Qualcomm's upcoming 10nm Snapdragon 845 CPU. The S9+ will reportedly offer more RAM (6GB vs 4GB) and a second rear camera, similar to that seen on the Galaxy Note 8. Elsewhere, expect both the S9 and S9 Plus to pack a microSD slot, 3.5mm headphone jack and AKG stereo speakers
20/11/17: Samsung plans to equip the Galaxy S9 with souped-up iris and face recognition tools, according to a report at ET News. The report claims that the firm is "developing software to increase the face recognition rate of the Galaxy S9 front iris recognition sensor." Industry insiders claim that these improvements come as Samsung looks to take on Face ID, which Apple is touting as the most secure face-scanning tech on the market today.
17/11/17: New benchmark results for a Samsung smartphone with the model number SM-G960F - widely expected to the global version of the Galaxy S9 - have appeared on the Geekbench website. The handset, which likely will come powered by Samsung's new Exynos 9 Series 9810 processor, scored 2680 on the single-core Geekbench 4 test and a 7787 on the multi-core test. While impressive, this puts the device far behind the iPhone X, which scored a single-core score of 4197 and multi-core score of 10051.
15/11/17: Just a day after rumours claimed that Apple was planning to launch three new iPhones in 2018, Ice Universe (via ValueWalk) claims that Samsung is going to beat the firm to it by reviving its 'mini'' line next year. The tipster claims that the so-called Galaxy S9 Mini will launch alongside the S9 and S9+, and will tout a 5in(ish) Infinity display.
14/11/17: SlashLeaks has posted CAD drawings supposedly belonging to the Galaxy S9, which 'confirms' that the smartphone will be a full-screen device with far slimmer bezels than those seen on the Galaxy S8. The image also confirms that the smartphone will sport Samsung's signature curved edges, while a second CAD render shows a vertically-aligned dual camera setup on its backside and a rear-facing fingerprint scanner. However, we'd advise taking this latest leak with a pinch of salt, as reputable tipster @OnLeaks has tweeted that the images are "very likely fake, or at least inaccurate."
9/11/17: South Korea's The Investor reports that, due to "technical difficulties" in developing an under-screen fingerprint sensor, Samsung will stick the scanner on the back of its Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets. This rumour comes amid speculation that Samsung could ditch the sensor altogether in favour of Face ID-style face recognition technology, but an industry source debunked this to The Investor, saying: "Samsung won't get rid of fingerprint sensors in its handsets, as there many services and platforms run based on the technology."
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