Samsung hasn’t officially sent out invites for the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event yet, but the Korean media may just have revealed when the device would be unveiled. A few weeks ago, reliable tipster Evan Blass claimed that Samsung could show off the device at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month. The company has denied the reports of CES unveiling, but it was indeed considering announcing the Galaxy S9 at the trade show in Las Vegas. But it has decided to hold the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event in late February.
Samsung to hold the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event on Feb. 27 Korea time
So, what made Samsung change its mind? Inside sources told Korean publication The Bell that Samsung wanted to announce the S9 in January to take on Apple’s iPhone X. But the company is happy that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are still selling well, reducing the need to bring the new flagship early. Samsung completed the Galaxy S9’s trial production run in October with satisfactory yield rates. It could bring the device in January if it wanted to, which means it was a strategic decision not to unveil the S9 at the CES.
Sources told The Bell that the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event would take place on February 27 South Korea Time. Depending on the timing of the event, it could be February 26 in the US. Korea Time is 14 hours ahead of ET. Of course, the event would be held in Barcelona on the sideline of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which will be held between February 26 and March 1. Samsung could also hold events in other major cities such as New York and London simultaneously.
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Samsung has decided against holding a separate event after the MWC as it did with the Galaxy S8 this year. The company wants to deliver its next flagship sooner than April to protect its market share against the iPhone X. The Galaxy S9 will hit the store shelves in March. It would help maximize the sales of both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 models.
Leaked renders reveal the Galaxy S9 design
As Samsung fans wait for the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event, noted Twitter tipster OnLeaks has collaborated with 91Mobiles to create the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus renders. The Galaxy S9’s overall appearance is similar to the Galaxy S8, though there are a few changes. On the back of the handset, the fingerprint sensor is placed below the camera lens. The LED flash and heart rate sensor is placed next to the camera.
The device sports a curved OLED Infinity display. Samsung will differentiate between the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus by adding a dual camera system on the back of the Galaxy S9 Plus. The larger model is also said to pack a higher 6GB RAM compared to just 4GB in the Galaxy S9. The top and bottom bezels of the upcoming phones appear slightly thinner than their predecessors. It means the new devices will be able to offer the same screen sizes like the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in a smaller form factor.
The Galaxy S9 has a ‘glass sandwich’ design where the front and rear glass panels are supported by a metal frame. The 3.5mm headphone jack and the Bixby button are here to stay. According to the renders, the Galaxy S9 measures 147.6 x 68.7 x 8.4mm, slightly smaller but wider and thicker than the Galaxy S8. The S9 Plus measures 157.7 x 73.8 x 8.5mm.
No Quick Charge 4+ for the Galaxy S9?
The US version of Samsung’s next flagship offering will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC. The new Snapdragon brings faster speed, better battery efficiency, and improvements to security, camera performance, and AI processing. It also brings Quick Charge 4+ fast charging technology. Chinese leaker Ice Universe says the Galaxy S9 would not support the Quick Charge 4+ technology.
Ice Universe says Samsung is reluctant to pay the licensing fee to Qualcomm for the Quick Charge 4+ charging. The Korean company has supported Apple in the iPhone maker’s fight against Qualcomm’s high royalty fees. Another reason Samsung doesn’t want Quick Charge 4+ in the S9 could be that it wants to offer a uniform charging speed across all the S9 versions.
You see, the Asian and European versions of the device will be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 processor. Samsung has its own Adaptive Fast Charging technology that is not as fast the Quick Charge 4+. Consumers wouldn’t be happy if Samsung offers different charging speeds in the US and Asian versions of the device. So, it would settle with a slightly slower Adaptive Fast Charging in both the Exynos and Snapdragon variants.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would run Android Oreo-based Samsung Experience out of the box. Recent rumors suggest that the phones will be available in five colors – Maple Gold, Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Ocean Blue, and Silver Titanium. The S9 is expected to offer 64GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot for external memory.
An advanced iris scanner
According to the Korea Herald, the Galaxy S9 would feature an advanced iris scanner to take on the iPhone X’s Face ID. The new iris scanner will have a 3-megapixel lens compared to just 2MP on the Galaxy S8 iris scanner to recognize users with more accurately. It would work in both bright light and dark environments. Sources told the Korea Herald that it would be faster and safer than the previous iteration.
According to the publication, the new iris scanner would work accurately even when the user is wearing sunglasses or moving their eyeballs. Samsung plans to bring the iris scanning technology to its low- and mid-range smartphones by late 2018 or early 2019, said the Korea Herald.