Intelligent Scan Could Be Galaxy S9’s Biggest Selling Point

Samsung Galaxy S9 Intelligent Scan
Image Source: Maxwell Weinbach / YouTube video (screenshot)

The Galaxy S9 is less than a month away. The rumor mill has done an incredible job revealing almost all the details about Samsung’s upcoming flagship. But they might have missed out on the biggest selling point of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The devices will be only minor upgrades over their predecessors. A new leak suggests that the Galaxy S9 would include an Intelligent Scan technology to take on Apple’s Face ID.

How will Intelligent Scan work?

Samsung’s flagship smartphones are already loaded with the iris scanner and facial recognition technologies, but they are not secure enough to authenticate payments. In fact, you could easily fool Samsung’s face detection technology with a photo or mask. The Korean company had indicated that its future flagship smartphones might include an advanced face recognition feature. Samsung might have been referring to the Intelligent Scan.

Maxwell Weinbach of SamCentral has discovered a hidden Intelligent Scan feature in the Settings app APK for the Galaxy Note 8’s Android Oreo beta. The Intelligent Scan technology uses both the facial recognition and the iris scanner simultaneously for “better accuracy and security.” It would also deliver better results in “low or very bright” lighting conditions. If implemented in the Galaxy S9, it would offer a more secure and consistent experience when unlocking the device and processing payments.

Weinbach also found a short video with the feature that shows how it would work in different lighting conditions. However, it’s unclear whether Samsung will combine data from both the features or use one as a backup depending on the surrounding light. For example, the iris scanner could take precedence in low light conditions. The Galaxy S8 and Note 8 already have both the iris scanner and facial recognition, which means Samsung could bring the Intelligent Scan feature to older models as well.

The Exynos 9810 chipset that would power the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus supports 3D face detection and comes with a secure biometric processing unit. So, there is a good chance the Galaxy S9 would boast of the Intelligent Scan. There are some unanswered questions about the feature. For instance, how would it work if you are not directly looking at the iris scanner? The video suggests that the feature could combine as much information as it can collect from both the features to get a fuller picture of who is trying to unlock the handset.

The video indicates that the iris scanner would take precedence in low-light while the facial recognition feature could take priority when you aren’t directly looking at the iris scanner. Samsung aims to take on Apple’s Face ID with its new Intelligent Scan technology. Face ID is far more secure than the facial recognition technology on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.

Galaxy S9 design, features, and specs

The ever-reliable Twitter tipster Evan Blass has posted pictures of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus on Twitter. The photos confirm that the upcoming flagship models would look similar to last year’s Galaxy S8 duo. The S9 would have the same 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display while its bigger sibling would sport a 6.2-inch display panel. On the back panel, both the devices would feature the fingerprint sensor below the camera module.

The Galaxy S9 is said to feature a single 12MP camera on the back. Samsung will keep the dual 12MP cameras exclusive to the S9 Plus. They will have an 8MP snapper on the front for selfies. The rumor mill claims the rear camera on both the handsets would offer variable aperture, a Super Speed technology, Optical Image Stabilization, and a Super Slow-mo mode. Samsung will also use a new Tetracell technology to enhance the low-light photography.

The larger model will also have 6GB RAM compared to 4GB on the Galaxy S9. Both the phones would run Android Oreo out of the box. As it has been doing for years, Samsung will launch the Snapdragon models in the US and China, and sell the Exynos-powered variants in other markets. Other rumored features include wireless charging, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, free AKG earphones, a microSD card slot, and Bixby AI assistant. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are said to have the same 3,000mAh and 3500mAh battery as their respective predecessors.

Galaxy S9 to be more expensive than S8

Even though the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would be minor upgrades compared to last year’s models, ETNews reports that Samsung is going to bump up the prices of the upcoming flagships. Industry sources told the publication that the Galaxy S9 would cost between KRW 950,000 and 999,000 ($890 to $940) in South Korea. It would make the device $60 more expensive than its predecessor. ETNews did not mention the prices of the Galaxy S9 Plus, but we can expect a similar jump. Samsung doesn’t want to increase the prices dramatically as it’s not interested in “burdening” customers.

Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus on February 25 in Barcelona on the sidelines of MWC. The Galaxy Unpacked event is scheduled to start at 6 PM CET (12 PM ET or 9 AM PT). The Korean company will live stream the event on its website. According to ETNews, Samsung would start accepting pre-orders on March 1st. The devices are expected to hit the store shelves on March 16th.