We’ve finally received word of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ reveal date, with a planned launch right before Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress. Ahead of the phone’s launch, we now have access to a Galaxy S9 image that shows exactly what to expect from the upcoming phone.
Galaxy S9 Image
The Galaxy S9 image also includes an S9+ model that looks pretty much the same, albeit slightly bigger. Venturebeat reported previously that the main difference between the two models would be screen resolution, but that there were also some other aspects that set the premium S9+ apart from the base model shown in the Galaxy S9 image. The main difference between the two other than screen size is RAM, with the Galaxy S9+ featuring 6GB and the base S9 only using 4GB. The S9+ also has twice the storage capacity of the base model, with 128GB of internal storage.
As you can see from the Galaxy S9 image included in the tweet from renowned leaker Evan Blass below, the upcoming Samsung flagships are definitely not a significant departure from the company’s tried and true formula they’ve been working with for the past couple of generations. It’s an incredibly safe move for the company, and the phones will likely sell reasonably well just due to the fact that there are rather significant power upgrades with each new generation of smartphones. There’s something to be said, however, for taking risks. Whether sticking to more of the same will pay off remains to be seen.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2018
The Dangers of Stagnation
With Apple’s iPhone X, the company made a radical departure from what they had done previously. With the introduction of innovative FaceID technology, Apple took the smartphone world by storm and dominated the holiday season – shipping a huge amount of iPhone X’s and turning the model into one of the fastest selling phones in the company’s history. While sales have slowed significantly in recent months – almost to the point where Apple is considering cutting down production in the near future – it’s remained a resounding success overall. The iPhone X was a breath of fresh air in an industry that has become largely iterative, and this Galaxy S9 image shows a phone that is the definition of the word.
While Samsung has failed to innovate in a significant way in this S generation, as indicated by the very familiar phone we’re seeing in the Galaxy S9 image, that doesn’t mean they don’t have something new up their sleeves. Recent patents have suggested the development of the Galaxy X – Samsung’s first foldable smartphone. With many people using their phones as their primary form of accessing the internet and watching media, the demand for a bigger screen continues to dominate the market. However, making phones much bigger in traditional ways would make it quite difficult to hold such a device in one hand or fit it in your pocket. The recently discovered patents demonstrate a phone that would fold up to the size of a small tablet and then bend down to be the size of a normal flagship – a novel solution to a frustrating issue.
The Galaxy S9 image makes it clear that these sorts of features won’t be included on the S line – at least in this generation. While we imagined that the folding screen technology would be a more niche feature, at least at first, it’s no doubt a little disappointing to see a Galaxy S9 that doesn’t offer much more than a step up in power. With the pattern of yearly releases and how expensive smartphones have become, it’s just not realistic for most users to upgrade their phone each year unless there’s something really eye catching about the new model. The iPhone X was a clear upgrade from the 7 and 7 Plus, offering a brand new technology and design. The Galaxy S9 image shows a phone that’s pretty much exactly like the S8.
Galaxy S9 Specifications
Outside of the Galaxy S9 image, we do have some knowledge on the actual specifications we can expect from the phone. As mentioned above, the base S9 will feature 4GB RAM / 64GB storage with the S9+ shipping with 6GB RAM / 128GB storage. In the United States, both phones will be powered by the latest Qualcomm chip – the Snapdragon 845. Internationally, Samsung will use their own proprietary Exynos 9810 system that is comparable in power. It’s clear from the specifications provided that the Galaxy S9+ will be a significant upgrade in power, which is unfortunate for those looking for more compact phone with a smaller screen who don’t want to make tradeoffs in power.
The Unpacked event invitation suggests that the main focus for the event will be refreshed imaging hardware and software. The Galaxy S9 image suggests camera upgrades, and motion-detected “super slow-mo” video capture has been confirmed. Both devices will also feature a variable aperture on the primary 12-megapixel camera(s) that switches between f/2.4 and f/1.5.
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are set to launch online and in retail locations on March 16, 2018.