The rumor mill does not expect Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S9 to bring radical design changes. The upcoming flagship is expected to look similar to the Galaxy S8, though there will be a few minor changes, especially on the rear panel. Fresh Galaxy S9 rumors coming out of South Korea suggest that the phone would get some cool features. Unfortunately, a Face ID-like 3D facial recognition system is not one of them.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Rumors
Image Source: Benjamin Geskin / Twitter (screenshot)

Galaxy S9 won’t get 3D face mapping feature

Citing an unnamed Samsung official and other supply chain sources, Business Korea has revealed some interesting details. The Samsung executive told the publication that the Galaxy S9 would have no revolutionary features, but it will come with many differentiating factors. It will enhance the “completeness of the Galaxy S8 hardware” and offer an innovative user experience, said the anonymous executive.

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will launch in 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch screen sizes, same as the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The upcoming flagship will retain the bezel-less Infinity display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. However, the S9 would not get 3D facial mapping similar to the iPhone X’s Face ID. Samsung current flagship phones already have a face detection technology. But it relies on 2D mapping, and is not so secure.

Sources told Business Korea that Samsung could add 3D face mapping technology to its later 2018 flagship Galaxy Note 9. Anyway, Samsung will improve the 2D face unlock feature on the Galaxy S9. Earlier Galaxy S9 rumors have claimed that Samsung would also enhance the iris scanner to make it faster and more reliable. The company is working to minimize the time the iris scanner takes to recognize you.

New dual camera to increase the Galaxy S9 price

Business Korea added that the Galaxy S9 would sport a dual camera, which corroborates with past rumors. The S9 dual camera is said to be better than the one onboard the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung has developed a new image sensor capable of capturing slo-mo videos at 1000 frames per second. It will be similar to Sony’s 900fps image sensor used in the XZ Premium.

To avoid any patent disputes with Sony, Samsung will use a “3-stack layer” image sensor on the Galaxy S9, says Business Korea. Other Galaxy S9 rumors indicate that the device could also have a new Broadband Anti-Reflection coating on image sensors to prevent lens flare. The S9 rear camera will in all likelihood be better than the Galaxy Note 8, which already has one of the world’s best smartphone cameras.

The publication added that the Galaxy S9 would have a higher price tag compared to its predecessor. KB Securities analyst Kim Dong-won told Business Korea that the dual camera system would increase the cost of production, which is going to reflect in the phone’s average selling price. The dual camera setup accounts for about 10% of a smartphone’s bill of materials.

Since Samsung will be applying 3-stack layer image sensors, the cost of the Galaxy S9 camera modules could double or triple to $60 or $90, said Kim Dong-won. Business Korea added that the S9 would be powered by Samsung’s recently announced Exynos 9810 processor or Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 845 depending on the market. The US will get the Snapdragon variant. The phone will also have an advanced neural engine to perform artificial intelligence (AI) related tasks.

Samsung looking to add AI capabilities to its smartphones

Chinese Twitter tipster Ice Universe has posted a picture of what appears to be an internal presentation of the company’s Galaxy AI UX. This could be the “innovative user experience” Business Korea was talking about. Samsung adds its own layer of software on top of Android to offer a custom user experience. It is unclear what the Galaxy AI UX is, but its name suggests that it has a lot to do with artificial intelligence (AI).

You can also see the Bixby logo in the image. Bixby is Samsung’s in-house AI assistant that comes pre-installed on its flagship smartphones. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are increasingly adding AI and machine learning capabilities to their offerings. Samsung might be looking to up the game with the new Galaxy AI UX and a revamped Bixby. The Galaxy S9 could feature AI capabilities that would allow the device to offer a customized user experience.

Other Galaxy S9 rumors

The Korean publication claims the Galaxy S9 would be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in late February in Barcelona. It would go on sale in March. The Galaxy S9 is rumored to feature 4GB RAM and run Android Oreo right out of the box.

GizmoChina claims that Samsung will offer AKG-tuned Bluetooth earbuds with the Galaxy S9. However, it doesn’t mean the Korean company would ditch the 3.5mm audio jack. The fingerprint reader will be placed below the dual camera setup on the back of Galaxy S9.