Leaked Galaxy S9 Box Suggests Variable Aperture Camera

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Samsung will unveil its Galaxy S9 during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. However, a few specifications of the smartphone are out, thanks to an image leak of an alleged retail box of the Samsung S9.

Samsung S9 – what’s new?

While most of the features are similar to the Galaxy S8, the leaked box, however, did reveal some interesting additions. The new features include a variable aperture for the Dual Pixel 12 MP camera and stereo speakers. A variable aperture is not very unexpected. In China, Samsung has already unveiled a high-end flip phone equipped with a camera that can toggle between a f/2.4 aperture and a wider f/1.5 aperture for better low-light performance.

Another major tweak, according to the box, could be a “Super slow mo” feature. The said feature enables slow motion video shooting at 1000 fps, better than the 960 fps limit of Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium and XZ1, notes Engadget.

Other regular and expected features revealed by the retail box include a 5.8-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display, 8 MP front-facing camera, an iris scanner, IP68 water and dust resistant rating, 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, earphones “tuned by AKG” and wireless charging support. The Samsung S9 is also expected to come packed with an unlocked FM radio chip at least for North America, monetizing on its partnership with NextRadio.

The leaked retail box carries no word about the face unlocking feature. It is widely believed that the S9 would feature face authentication and animated Emojis just like the iPhone X, since Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chip supports such functionality, notes Engadget. However, not all the Galaxy S9s would sport the Exynos 9810 chip. Reportedly, the S9 for U.S. buyers will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which is also capable to run the face authentication feature.

Stronger won hit sales

Separately, earlier this week Samsung reported lower than expected profits owing to the unimpressive performance of the memory chip business and the strengthening South Korean won. For the quarter ended in December, operating income of the Korean firm surged to 15.1 trillion won ($14.2 billion) against 16.1 trillion won estimated by the analysts, according to Bloomberg.

“The exchange rate probably undercut the earnings by 300 to 400 billion won,” said Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities Co., according to Bloomberg.

After a year of strong gains, the prices of the benchmark memory chip have cooled-off. The memory chip has been the cash cow for the company, helping Samsung to post record numbers in the past two quarters. However, the cooling chip prices in addition to a 7% hike in the won against the dollar ate into profits earned abroad. The demand for the OLED screens provided some cushion to the sales adding 66 trillion won in the quarter.

Samsung has not been in a sweet spot lately, and has been facing management upheavals since last year as well. In the third-quarter, CEO Kwon Oh-hyun resigned, opening doors for Kim Ki-nam, a semiconductor engineer. Last year, Samsung’s de facto chief Jay Y. Lee appealed against a five-year sentence related to corruption allegations. Allegedly, Lee bribed a presidential confidante to get greater control of the company.

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