Technology

Galaxy S9 Design: Samsung Realizes It Needs To Revamp The Rear Panel

All the major flagship smartphones of 2017 have already been announced. Now the rumor mill has shifted focus to the devices coming in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy S9 is expected to be one of the biggest launches of early 2018. Though the Korean company is unlikely to radically change the Galaxy S9 design, it is known for actively listening to the consumer feedback.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Design Neural Engine
Image Source: Benjamin Geskin / Twitter (screenshot)

Galaxy S9 design: Fingerprint reader to get a more ergonomic location

A new report coming out of China claims that Samsung will revamp the rear panel of the Galaxy S9. Previous reports have suggested that the upcoming flagship will retain the same screen size and Infinity display as the Galaxy S8. Thanks to the Infinity display, Samsung had moved the fingerprint reader to the rear panel of its flagship smartphones.

The fingerprint reader position in the Galaxy S8 and even the Note 8 was such that users had to make extra efforts to get their finger on the reader. Sometimes users would accidentally place the finger on the camera lens. That was bad. The last thing you want is to smear the camera lens on your expensive phone. GizmoChina claims that Samsung will remedy this problem with the Galaxy S9 design.

The publication claims the S9’s rear panel will be inspired by Samsung’s upcoming mid-range A5 and A7 devices that would debut next year. Both of them will have rear-mounted fingerprint readers. But on these devices, the fingerprint sensor will be placed below the camera sensor rather than on the side. Bringing the camera a little down on the Galaxy S9’s back panel will be a more ergonomic solution.

LG Electronics has taken a similar design approach with the V30 fingerprint scanner. The LG V30 has a horizontal dual camera with the fingerprint reader sitting below the camera setup. GizmoChina speculates that Samsung could also reposition the heart rate sensor and the LED flash on the S9.

Galaxy S9 to have two cameras on the front?

Another report from TechDroider reveals most of the Galaxy S9 details. The publication claims that Samsung will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack with the Galaxy S9. TechDroider added that Samsung is working on a Face ID-like facial recognition system with 3D sensing capabilities. The upcoming flagship would have absolutely no bezels at the bottom, just like the iPhone X, according to the publication. The top bezel has also become slimmer than before.

TechDroid goes on to claim that the S9 would feature two 12-megapixel camera sensors on the front for selfies. The phone is also said to have two 16-megapixel lenses on the back. The report says Samsung has been working to place fingerprint sensor under the S9’s display, but is still experiencing problems. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated previously that Galaxy Note 9, not the S9, will be Samsung’s first phone to feature an in-display fingerprint solution.

A few days ago, the Korean electronics behemoth was granted the patent for a technology that incorporates fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the front panel by creating a notch. But Samsung is unlikely to implement this technology in the Galaxy S9 design as it would make the device look ugly compared to the gorgeous Galaxy S8. The company may switch to facial recognition in the future.

According to tipster Benjamin Geskin, the Galaxy S9 would launch with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, along with a microSD card slot for further memory expansion. The US version of the handset will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset, which will have its own neural engine to handle AI tasks. Other countries will get the device running Exynos 9810 processor.

Korean media recently reported that Samsung had made a “significant investment” in China-based DeePhi Tech to develop its own neural engine that would be used in the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Neural engines are designed to handle specific tasks, which helps reduce the load on the main processor. As a result, those specific tasks can be performed much faster without draining a lot of battery power. Apple’s iPhone X has a dedicated neural engine to carry out Face ID facial recognition.

When is it coming?

The Galaxy S9 is expected to be announced in February next year, right before the Mobile World Congress (MWC). The next MWC will be held between February 26 and March 1. The phone should go on sale in March 2018. Considering the phone is only a few months away, the supply chain and rumor mill will soon start revealing photos and other details of the actual phone.

Previously, there were speculations that Samsung could unveil the Galaxy S9 as early as January next year to defend its market share against the iPhone X. However, that is unlikely to happen. If Samsung has learned anything from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, it is not to rush things.