If the rumor mill is to be believed, Samsung’s much-awaited Galaxy S9 flagship is only a few weeks away. The Galaxy S9 rumors have been circulating on the Internet for months. Though Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything about the device, well-connected tipsters and supply chain leaks have revealed a lot of details. Let’s check out the rumored features and specs of Samsung’s next-gen flagship.
Galaxy S9 to launch with Android Oreo
Dutch publication GalaxyClub claims that Samsung has started testing Android 8.0 Oreo on the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. However, there is no concrete proof such as benchmark results to back up the rumor. Android Oreo was released in August this year. The OS was too late to come pre-installed on the Galaxy Note 8, but now Samsung has sufficient time to test and optimize Android Oreo for the Galaxy S9.
Past reports claimed that Samsung was already working on a firmware for the Galaxy S9. The firmware numbers were G960FXXU0AQI5 (Galaxy S9) and G965FXXU0AQI5 (S9 Plus). The Galaxy S9 and S9 plus carry model numbers SM-G960 and SM-G965, respectively. Only a few days ago, a leaked slide suggested that Samsung was working on an AI-focused user interface called Galaxy AI UX.
Galaxy S9 rumors: A novel battery technology
Samsung has developed a new battery technology that uses “graphene ball” to make the lithium-ion batteries charge faster and last longer. The new technology is expected to debut with the Galaxy S9. It boosts the battery capacity by 45% and increases the charging speed five times. It means a smartphone that would normally take an hour to fully charge could be recharged in just 12 minutes using the graphene ball technology.
It will be a welcome change for millions of users worldwide who spend more than an hour every day charging their smartphones.
Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 processor
We reported back in August that Samsung had signed an agreement with Qualcomm to secure the initial supply of the Snapdragon 845 SoC. It means the Galaxy S9 would be the first device to run Qualcomm’s next-gen processor. The SD845 would power the US and Chinese variant of the Galaxy S9. The units sold in other countries would be powered by Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9810 processor.
Both the Snapdragon and Exynos variants of the device would have a dedicated neural engine to perform AI-related tasks. Meanwhile, Samsung has announced that it has officially started mass production of the second-gen 10nm FinFET process technology. It means the company is now ready to mass produce the Exynos 9810 processors. The new Exynos chips will be 10% faster and 15% more energy efficient than their predecessors.
A rear-mounted fingerprint reader
This one has refused to go away. Users don’t like the awkward location of the rear fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Samsung is working on an in-display fingerprint sensor, but the technology would not be ready for mass production by the time Galaxy S9 goes on sale. Korean site ETNews reports the Galaxy S9 would retain the rear-mounted fingerprint reader, albeit in a more central and ergonomic location.
Reliable sources told ETNews that Taiwan-based Egis Technology would supply fingerprint scanners for the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Egis is expanding its operations to meet the potential demand. The Galaxy S9 would also have an iris scanner and a facial recognition feature, but they are not yet secure and reliable enough to replace the fingerprint reader.
Galaxy S9 Plus to get a dual camera
Samsung introduced the dual camera system with the Galaxy Note 8. The company will include the feature in the upcoming flagship as well, but only the larger Galaxy S9 Plus would get the dual camera. The electronics giant is looking to differentiate the Plus variant from its smaller sibling, according to Evan Blass of VentureBeat. Sources told Business Korea that the S9 Plus dual camera setup would be much better than the Galaxy Note 8.
Other Galaxy S9 rumors
Evan Blass says Samsung will further differentiate between the S9 and S9 Plus by including a higher 6GB RAM in the Plus version. The regular S9 would pack only 4GB RAM. The two devices would look similar to their predecessors, but Samsung is said to ditch the bottom chin to completely get rid of the bottom bezels. It will increase the screen-to-body ratio from 84% on the Galaxy S8 to above 90% on the Galaxy S9.
The upcoming flagship would retain the microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, and the 64GB internal storage.
Galaxy S9 to be unveiled in January
Sources familiar with Samsung’s plans told Evan Blass that the company would showcase the Galaxy S9 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The Korean company traditionally refreshes the Galaxy S line in February or March. Blass said Samsung could still hold an official launch event in March. At the CES, the company is only expected to offer a glimpse of its next-gen flagship to drum up consumer excitement.
The Galaxy S9 will be competing against Apple’s iPhone X, which has been flying off the shelves since its launch on November 3rd. It’s worth pointing out that not all Galaxy S9 rumors would turn out to be true. Samsung may change its plans anytime it wants.