Technology

Galaxy S9 Features: Advanced Iris Scanner, Dual SIM, Single Camera

The Galaxy S8 and Note 8 have re-established Samsung’s supremacy in the smartphone market. The upcoming Galaxy S9 is not expected to bring a radical design overhaul. But Samsung is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the next-gen flagship delivers on consumers’ expectations. We have come across tons of rumors about the Galaxy S9 features in the last few weeks. Let’s check out the rumored Galaxy S9 features.

Upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 Features
Image Credit: Ice Universe / Twitter (screenshot)

An advanced iris scanner

Samsung already offers facial recognition on its flagship smartphones, but the technology is not secure enough for financial transactions. Samsung allows the S8 and Note 8 users to authenticate payments only via fingerprint sensor or the iris scanner. According to The Korea Herald, the company is working to make the iris scanner more secure than ever before. Samsung is also working to get more banking apps to offer compatibility with the iris scanner as an authentication method.

The front-facing iris scanner recognizes users by verifying the iris in their eyes, which is unique for each individual. Sources privy to Samsung’s plans told the Korean publication that the iris scanner on the S9 would better recognize users’ eyes, a step that would solidify Samsung’s lead in the biometric technology. The iris scanner would work with enhanced accuracy even when you are wearing sunglasses or moving your eyeballs.

The feature would work even in bright light and dark conditions. Samsung is also reducing the time it takes to authenticate the user. The current Galaxy S8 and Note 8 take one second. The Korea Herald added that Samsung is developing software to make it safer and more accurate. Also, the Galaxy S9 iris camera lens will be 3-megapixel, up from 2MP lenses used on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.

A Samsung representative told the publication that iris scanning is the “safest biometric authentication” and Samsung would continue to improve the technology for its future smartphones. The improved iris scanner could be Samsung’s response to Apple’s Face ID facial recognition system. The Korean company is also working to bring the iris scanner to its budget smartphones by late 2018 or early 2019.

A single camera setup

When Samsung introduced dual camera setup with the Galaxy Note 8, the rumor mill believed that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would also get the dual camera functionality. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Evan Blass of VentureBeat was first to report that Samsung was looking to differentiate the Galaxy S9 Plus from the regular S9. The company would keep the dual camera exclusive to the larger S9 Plus.

It means the Galaxy S9 will have a single camera lens on the back. Blass’ claim was further confirmed by leaked images that showed only a single lens on the back of S9.

Galaxy S9 features: The rear fingerprint reader is here to stay

Not many people like the location of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Samsung has been working hard to integrate the fingerprint sensor under the phone’s display. But the technology will not be ready in time for the Galaxy S9. The fingerprint scanner will stay on the back panel, but in a more ergonomic location.

Screenshots from Samsung’s S-Health app have revealed that the fingerprint sensor will be placed below the rear camera lens. The LED flash and heart rate sensor will sit on the right side of the camera. The new location of the fingerprint scanner will ensure that users don’t accidentally place their finger on the camera lens.

Snapdragon 845 chipset and super-fast charging

Qualcomm has officially announced the Snapdragon 845 processor that would power the US variant of the Galaxy S9. In most other countries, Samsung will sell the phones running Exynos 9810 chips. The octa-core Snapdragon 845 is 30% faster than the SD835. It also brings improvements to the camera performance, AI processing, virtual reality, security, and battery efficiency. Samsung claims the Exynos 9810 is 10% faster and 15% more energy efficient compared to its predecessor.

The Snapdragon 845 would come equipped with Quick Charge 4+, which delivers about 15% faster charging speed compared to the Quick Charge 4. Since there is limited scope to increase the battery size in flagship smartphones, companies are focusing on energy efficiency and faster charging speeds. Samsung won’t be able to bring Quick Charge 4+ to all Galaxy S9 handsets because at least some of them will be powered by its own Exynos 9810 chips.

Samsung has to offer the same fast charging speed on all Galaxy S9 units regardless of the underlying processor. Phone Arena says the Korean company will have to improve its Adaptive Fast Charge to ensure that both the Exynos and Snapdragon variants of the device offer the same charging speed.

Dual SIM support

Samsung’s flagship phones such as the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 already offer dual SIM support. You could use the second slot for a microSD card or add a second SIM. Folks at Mobiel Kopen have spotted the Galaxy S9 and S9+ with dual SIM functionality passing through the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Android users love the dual SIM support as it gives them the freedom to keep one SIM for work and another for personal use.

SamMobile reports that both the SIM cards in Galaxy S9 would support 4G VoLTE. In most Android phones with dual SIM support, one SIM offers 4G LTE while the other one is restricted to 2G or 3G network.

Other rumored Galaxy S9 features

The S9 would look similar to its predecessor with a bezel-less Infinity display and an 18:9 aspect ratio. But the bezels will be slimmer than before. The S9 is rumored to have a screen-to-body ratio of above 90% compared to 84% for the S8. While the Galaxy S9 would pack 4GB RAM, Evan Blass claims the larger S9 Plus would come with a huge 6GB RAM. It would help Samsung differentiate the larger model from the regular S9.

Galaxy S9 release date

A few weeks ago, the rumor mill claimed that the Korean company was planning to showcase the Galaxy S9 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month. However, a Samsung spokesperson told media that the S9 was unlikely to arrive at the CES. The company hasn’t announced the date for its next Unpacked event, but we expect it to unveil the S9 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in late February.

What Galaxy S9 features are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below.

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