Technology

Reliable Tipster Leaks Galaxy S9 Images, Reveals Key Design Changes

Samsung hasn’t officially commented on the Galaxy S9 yet. But the company doesn’t seem to have done a great job keeping the phone’s design and features a secret. The rumor mill and supply chain leaks have revealed most of the details about Samsung’s upcoming flagship. Now the ever-reliable tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer aka OnLeaks has shared a few Galaxy S9 images that shed light on the phone’s design changes. Steve had accurately leaked the Galaxy S8 pictures ahead of its launch earlier this year.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Images
Image Source: Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) / Twitter (screenshot)

The Galaxy S9 images confirm it would look like S8

The leaked Galaxy S9 images show both the front and back panels of the handset. One of the photos also shows the ports at the bottom of the device. The leak confirms that Samsung will stick with the bezel-less ‘Infinity Display’ with no physical home button on the front. The phone’s appearance looks similar to the Galaxy Note 8 with a rectangular design.

The Galaxy S9 images confirm that not a lot is going to change on the design front. Interestingly, the new pictures show a slightly thicker bezel at the bottom of the screen compared to the previous leaks. The rumor mill has claimed that Samsung would increase the screen-to-body ratio from 84% on the Galaxy S8 to at least 90% on the Galaxy S9. It means the company has to make the bottom bezel slimmer than before. There is little scope to reduce the thickness of the top bezel that houses the ear speaker, selfie camera, iris scanner, and other sensors.

Hemmerstoffer’s Galaxy S9 images confirm that Samsung’s upcoming flagship would sport a single camera on the back. Another tipster Evan Blass has previously said that the company would keep the dual camera exclusive to the larger Galaxy S9 Plus. It means the regular Galaxy S9 would see only minor improvements in the camera department. The Korean company is looking to differentiate the larger model from its smaller sibling, just like Apple has done with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and again with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Arranged vertically, the fingerprint sensor is placed right below the camera lens. It’s a design change from the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 phones that had the fingerprint sensor next to the rear camera. On the Galaxy S9, the heart rate sensor and the LED flash are positioned next to the camera module. It confirms that the S9 would not sport an in-display fingerprint sensor. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the Galaxy Note 9, expected to debut in the second half of 2018, would be Samsung’s first smartphone to have an optical fingerprint sensor.

At the bottom of the phone, you could see a 3.5mm headphone jack, much like the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.

Galaxy S9 features and color options

SamMobile reports that the Galaxy S9 would come in a purple color variant similar to the Deep Blue color of the Galaxy Note 8. The other colors include black, gold, and blue. The Korean company is also likely to bring the Arctic Silver and Orchid Gray colors to the Galaxy S9. Samsung has launched the pink versions of its flagship devices in the past, so a purple version wouldn’t be all that surprising.

The upcoming flagship would run Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience on top. The Galaxy S9 would pack 4GB RAM while the S9 Plus would offer 6GB RAM, yet another way to differentiate between the two devices. The Galaxy S9 is expected to have 64GB internal storage plus a microSD card slot for external memory.

The US version of the device would run Qualcomm’s newly announced Snapdragon 845 SoC, which brings tons of improvements to the camera performance, AI processing, and security besides faster speed and better energy efficiency. Most of the Asian and European countries would get the units running Exynos 9810 octa-core processor. The new Exynos also offers significant improvements compared to its predecessor.

Samsung to up the security game with an advanced iris scanner

Samsung is working to improve the facial recognition software for the Galaxy S9. The facial recognition technology on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 isn’t secure enough to process payments. According to the Korean media, the Galaxy S9 would also offer an advanced iris scanner. The S9’s iris scanner would feature a 3-megapixel lens, up from the 2MP lens on the Galaxy S8.

The S9’s iris scanner will be able to recognize users more accurately even in poorly-lit conditions. It is also said to be faster and safer than before. Sources told the Korea Herald that the Galaxy S9’s iris scanner would work even when you’re wearing sunglasses or moving your eyeballs. The Korean company will also bring the iris scanner to its budget phones by late 2018 or early 2019.

Galaxy S9 to be unveiled in late February

There have been a lot of speculations about the Galaxy S9 release date. Some expected the phone to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month, but Samsung has denied those rumors. More recently, Korean site The Bell claimed the Galaxy S9 Unpacked event would be held on February 27 Korea Time on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The Bell’s report corroborates Bloomberg’s prediction that the phone would be showcased in late February and hit the store shelves in early March. Of course, the launch timeline would vary depending on the country. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were launched in April this year. With the Galaxy S9, Samsung will be hoping to compete with the iPhone X. The Bell said Samsung was indeed originally planning to unveil the S9 at the CES to take on the iPhone X. But the company was satisfied with the sales momentum of the Galaxy S8, so it decided to unveil the device at the MWC.