The Galaxy S9 launch will undoubtedly be one of the biggest smartphone events of the year. The Samsung mobile is the flagship of the Korean corporation, and will be tasked with pushing the fortunes of the corporation forward in 2018.
While the Galaxy Note series has arguably becomes the most technically impressive of the Samsung releases over the last few years, the Galaxy S range still outsells its larger and more technologically advanced cousin. And with just days to go until the Galaxy S9 launch takes place, fans of Android devices are awaiting the latest news with baited breath.
Ahead of the release of the Galaxy S9, there’s been no shortage of leaks and renders to appear in the public domain. And one benchmarking of the Samsung flagship suggested that it will be somewhat less powerful than the iPhone X. While this is bad news for Samsung and potential purchasers of the device, it should also be noted that the recommended retail price of the Galaxy S9 will be significantly less than its Apple rival.
It is expected that the Galaxy S9 will will come in two separate units, with a Galaxy S9 Plus phablet accompanying the smartphone. The two devices are expected to be rather similar in terms of specifications, with the Plus version benefiting from a 6.2-inch screen.
The larger device will also be armed with a dual-camera, according to recent reports, although Samsung has decided against including this provision in the smallest smartphone. This is still a first for the Galaxy S series, though, following close on the back of the second camera included in the Galaxy Note 8 last year.
Photographic leaks ahead of the Galaxy S9 launch suggest that the designers of the handsets have been rather conservative in their approach. Although the Galaxy S9 will benefit from a wraparound screen that will dominate the front panel of the device, there aren’t any particularly strong physical alterations to the remainder of the handset’s appearance. This is perhaps not surprising considering that the Galaxy S8 is generally considered to be a particularly attractive mobile.
Elsewhere, it is notable that early renders of the device detected a silhouette with thicker sides than the Galaxy S8 from last year, which surprised some observers at the time. This suggestion has died down recently, indicating that Samsung is likely to slim the device down from last year’s product, if any change is forthcoming.
One of the big pieces of news ahead of the Galaxy S9 launch is the suggestion that Samsung has already signed an exclusivity deal with Qualcomm. This will enable the Galaxy S9 to benefit from the Snapdragon 845 processor, with other manufacturers then frozen out of this prestigious chipset for several months.
It is interesting that the Korean electronics giant is forging this relationship with Qualcomm at the time when Apple is presumed to be, not severing its ties with the developer, but certainly lessening them. This is due to legal action which has impacted on the iPhone series, meaning that Apple could rely on Intel for modems going forward.
This obviously impacts on Samsung as well, and the Korean corporation has demonstrated a commitment to Qualcomm which suggests that it may view the processor in the Galaxy S series as a valid way to separate itself from the Apple iPhone series.
Other physical changes to the Galaxy S9 will see some Samsung slim down the borders that appear above and below the screen of the device, while there is no notch visible in leaked images thus far. This latter physical feature was somewhat criticized in the recent iPhone devices, even though the overall critical and commercial reception was rather positive.
Samsung is also likely to focus on the artificial intelligence qualities of the Galaxy S9, with the chip division of the Korean company having already promoted the qualities of its proprietary Exynos mobile processor. It seems that its latest release in this series will improve the AI performance of the Galaxy S9, while also aiding face detection and image recognition. “Hybrid face detection enables realistic face-tracking filters as well as stronger security when unlocking a device with one’s face,” Samsung commented at the time.
With this in mind, several sources have suggested that the Galaxy S9 launch will unveil a 3D emoji pack that is ready to go live from day one, and provide an obvious rival to Apple’s Animoji on the iPhone X. with the smart speaker war hotting up, Google clearly wishes to build on the excellent reputation of its Google Assistant system in the Galaxy S9.
The dual-camera in the Galaxy S9 will also deliver the most impressive aperture ever included in a smartphone a product. An f/1.5 aperture for low-light shooting or macro photography will be accompanied by an f/2.4 aperture to deliver outstanding object focus. This should ensure that the photographic results produced by the Galaxy S9 are superior to any previous smartphone release. Expect Samsung to seriously emphasise this aspect of its smartphone in marketing when the Galaxy S9 launch takes place.
Super slow motion will also be delivered in the Galaxy S9 generation, with a virtual 1,000 frames per second capability capturing the headlines here. Even at 4K resolution, the Galaxy S9 will be capable of shooting slow motion video at an impressive 120 FPS rate, which will again a place it at the apex of the smartphone niche.
Other specs are likely to receive modest upgrades, with the screen resolution frozen from the previous generation. Samsung could up the RAM memory of the device to 4GB, while a slightly larger battery can also be expected. But with the Galaxy S8 already being one of the most spec-packed devices on the market considering its price tag, we should only expect modest increases to the capabilities of last year’s flagship. The emphasis at the Galaxy S9 launch will be very much on features rather than specs.